Race Report: Goodlife Toronto Marathon

What a scorcher! May 5th marked my first marathon of the season and boy was it a hot one! My goal this year is to race two marathons (up from my 1 a year habit for the past 3 years) so I’m half way there!goodlife_tm_logo

My training for this race actually started in January with my Around the Bay the training. So it was a race 5 months in the making.

The expo for this race was well organized but rather small. They didn’t provide plastic or reusable bags which is great for the environment, but not for the arm fulls of gear people were carrying around – although that being said maybe it worked better for the exhibitors as everyone I was with bought something in order to get a bag for the walk home.

TM4The race started up at Mel Lastman Square. When registering you had the option of buying ($5) a shuttle ticket to be taken up to the start line from Ontario Place (where the race finished). We didn’t do this and bright and early at 6:15am Mark drove us up to the top of the city. We hung out at a mall across the street which wasn’t officially open, but the staff had propped open one of the doors, so we along with a couple other runners, entered taking advantage of the empty bathroom.

My goal for this race was to get my pacing under control as well as my mind games – my plan was to choose to accept how I was feel and be happy with that. For my past two races I felt that I started way to hard, and knowing that this was the long haul I really wanted to manage my pace (I did a better job, but still have room to improve).

I found my spot between the 3:50 and 4hrs pace bunnies and once the race started was happy with my pace as i took on the first 5km. I was using my nike+ watch for my overall time and a Running Room wrist band to watch my pace. At 5km this giant hill I had been anticipating, but had no clue how hard it would actually be (think an even steeper Valley Inn) came and I tried to keep my pace and simply pushed way to hard. My glutes were on fire as I kept on pushing and when I got to the top was just zonked. My pace dropped as I tried to connect back to my body and it certainly took me a while to recoup.

TM5After that hill I remember people holding signs and shouting that it was all down hill from there – it wasn’t – there were a dozen rolling hills which always seemed to come out of nowhere.

By 13km I dropped behind my peeps but did not let it get to me. I was glad to run my own race and to listen to my body. For the next 10km, I slowly moved away from my A+ goal and towards my A goal. I would have moments of “I’m so slow” but would quickly catch myself and realize I was still on track for a PB and my A goal, so snapped out of it and kept running.

By 23km the race was hot. I saw 3 people pass out and the sounds of emergency vehicles were happening more often then I had heard in any other race.

As I started to feel the heat and fatigue taking over I really tuned into my body, I knew I was loosing my A goal and then slowly my PB but I didn’t mind.  I chose to be where I was and just enjoy the race – I loved racing in NYC because there was no pressure, I was running for fun – so at this point I decided to let go of any pressure – listen to my body, enjoy the gorgeous day and run for fun.

TM1I began stopping at ever other fuel station, I was dumping water into my hat to keep me cool, refilling my belt bottles, and in not that long found myself running down towards Ontario Place.

The route is a bit of a tease as you run behind the finish area and still have another 15km out and back to go. I wasn’t totally sure where the turn around was but knew I’d be heading over the Humber bridge. While running along the waterfront I was happy to run into my friend Vince who had been out on a long ride, while he was taking pics (this pic) I shouted for him to pace me and after a few minutes on my own there he was. He definitely pushed my pace being on his bike but gave me some great company for about 4km (can’t wait to see our race photos!). I then took on the remaining 7km alone.

I was still feeling the heat but after the turn felt energized that the end was near. At this point I wasn’t even looking at my watch – I knew where I was headed and couldn’t wait to get there. It wasn’t until I hit up one of the final water stations (about 5km from finish) and they had run out of cups, that I even realized how far off my goal I might be. The high school volunteers were standing there with the hose apologizing profusely that they had no cups. I didn’t mind, I just grabbed the hose they were holding, sprayed myself down and kept running.

TM6Around 3km one of our family favourite songs came on and I was driven to the finish. I was totally energized, felt great about where I was and picked up the pace. The heat only continued to get worse, so the drenched tank top came off and I laughed at myself remembering how my run peeps had joked about the awkwardness of run belts with only a sports bra on – and I was doing it.

With about 2km to the finish the crowd support was HUGE. The route was lined both sides with TONS of people and it was amazing and energizing, and again I picked up the pace – according to my GPS this pace was as strong as my start.

I saw my family, my friends from lululemon, then heard the cheers of my newest run community The Runways (this was very special as I had only run with this crew for not even a month – so to hear and feel their support certainly meant a lot). Runway run coach Darren even joined me for the 200m run towards the shoot.

ITM2 turned the corner and there was the big finish, I took my soaked tank off from where I had been carrying it looped on my arm and swung it around my head as I crossed the finish line. The crowd got was cheering and I finished feeling amazing.

I didn’t meet my goal time – this was my second fastest marathon to date – but I listened to my body and didn’t let my emotions get the best of me and that made this race a success.

toronto marathon.

My Goals for 2013

a year from nowWith nearly a full week of 2013 under my belt, I’m already loving what it has to offer.

On Jan 2nd I started the year off with my first morning show appearance on CHCH Morning Live. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but a goal which had fallen to the back burner until post NYC Marathon where it seemed to be in my face all the time, after a last minute guest appearance on the evening news. While this opportunity is set to be a bi-monthly opportunity, I’m hoping to can be something even more frequent. (Update, following the creation of this post I was emailed to make it a monthly deal and to give consideration to a “regular schedule” – yippie!)

If only all my goals would be that easy 😉 So here they are, I share them in hopes that you can hold me accountable and we can celebrate together on December 31st when they are done!

make things happen

My Official Goals of 2013:


  1. I have a consistent strength training program which allows me to live and run hip pain free
  2. I run two marathons.
  3. I qualify for the Boston Marathon at Road 2 Hope on November 3rd.
  4. I race the Olympic Distance Triathlon at TTF
  5. I cook 1 new recipe a week
  6. I can do this arm balance:

    arm balance

    I see it everywhere, but no one seems to know it’s name. If you do please leave it in the comments so i can more easily search the lead in postures. Picture from elephantjournal.com


  1. I am a fun, loving, and supportive wife, sister, daughter, and friend
  2. I continue to surround myself with people who support my life vision
  3. I complete my Masters in August
  4. I return to being student loan/debt free
  5. I take a family vacation somewhere warm!
  6. I run a destination race with my NYC Marathon crew (Disney?)
  7. I (finally) buy my own Stand Up Paddle Board and use it at least twice a week from July to September

 do more of what you loveCareer

  1. I post blog content at least three times a month
  2. I continue to build my personal brand through revisions to my blog/website and use digital tools to become a more effective user of social media
  3. I continue to support lululemon ambassador program through mentoring new ambassadors
  4. I lead a lululemon run event connected to the SeaWheeze half marathon
  5. In September I take a business course at George Brown and by the end of the course have a business plan for my indoor cycling studio.
  6. I am a certified Yoga instructor through the teacher training program at 889yoga
  7. I am a certified TRX instructor by September
  8. I continue to teach at least one day a week (two + courses) through Brock University’s Fac. of Ed. starting September
  9. I will provide a minimum of 15 professional learning opportunities through Ophea and write at least three health & physical education resources

By far the goal that scares me the most is Boston. Likely because it is the biggest unknown. So, here’s to a year of setting a vision, creating goals, crushing the goals, and repeating!

What’s one of your goals for 2013? Become accountable and share it in the comment section!


I’m in to Finish: NYC Marathon Class of 2012

While I know it is just over 4 months away, I am so excited to take on NYC again! I think it likely has something to do with my sister demolishing her goals last weekend in the Welland Half Iron Distance Triathlon, that I can’t wait to conquer mine head on.

In 2010 my sister had the joy of together rocking this race as our first marathon ever – hey, go big or go home. So I’m excited to take on the challenge again. This time with 2 more years of running and racing under my belt.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to the most:
1. Racing the 26.2 miles with my sister again. Finishing together – strong, smiling, holding hands like the cheese balls we are, and likely shedding a few tears too. This time as an added bonus our superstar coach, Kim Agostino, will be racing with us as well – No doubt she’ll be singing, dancing, and referencing random motivational quotes – which is why we love her – can’t wait!

2. Sticking to my training plan. I love racing because I love the routine and schedule training provides. Knowing my workouts months in advance and being able to plan and stick with them. This would be the part of me that loves crossing those goals off a list and my training plan is one thing to cross after another.

3. Sticking to my race plan. I can honestly say this did not happen our first time in NYC. We got caught up in, well, racing NYC! So I’m really looking forward to putting the race lessons I’ve learned over the past 2 years into action. Setting a plan for success and sticking with it – to me that’s what makes a great marathon.

4. Enjoying NYC. Although we frequently visit the Big Apple, it’s definitely a city I adore and never take my visits for granted. I am very excited to enjoy the race this year, as well as the city. To not be so nervous, to relax, and to have fun with it. There were times that I know I checked out of the race mentally, and that definitely won’t happen this time.

So my training will be starting soon enough, and I don’t doubt that come October my friends and family will be feeling a little like this:

But in the mean time, I’m enjoying reflecting and remembering on being part of the class of 2010, and hoping for the joys and experiences of what being part of the class of 2012 will bring.

Check out this 2010 time lapse, I think you can see Nanc and I at 0:25 😉