Long Run #bRUNch

There are many blog post and research articles available to tell you the importance of fueling post run – what to eat and when. While after some runs we’d rather be showering, or lying in bed, fueling is key for a speedy recovery. This post won’t tell you what to eat after you’ve drained the tank – instead, here are my three favourite Toronto restaurants to hit up for post long run #bRUNch!

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3. Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar.

Located at 504 Adelaide St W. Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar offers an extensive menu of “comfort foods, updated.” The usual omelets, pancakes, and French toast are featured on the breakfast menu along with items such as tofu scramble, which is scrambled tofu served with home fries, veggie bacon or veggie sausage and toast, as well as Huevos Rancheros, which is two eggs over easy on corn tortillas with salsa, refried beans, guacamole & cheddar cheese (there is also a tofu version of this dish). The staff are pleasant, and atmosphere is quaint (be sure to check out their Pez wall), I do suggest bringing cash, as when I was there the debit machine was down and our whole group and to add on to our run to find some cash to pay.

 I recommend: The Huevos Rancheros with scrambled eggs.

 

2. Thompson Diner.  

Located at the Thompson Hotel, 550 Wellington Street W, Thompson Diner, although the most expensive brunch spot on the list, offers a variety of post run fueling options in both food and liquid form. You’ll find classic items on the menu including omelets, breakfast burritos, pancakes, and oatmeal, but you’ll also find items such as their Breakfast Poutine, made of fries, chopped turkey sausage, poached egg, hollandaise sauce and gravy, or their famous Brunch Burger, which is a beef burger with a fried egg, bacon and melted cheddar served on a powdered donut. The service here is what you’d expect from the Thompson Hotel (friendly and professional) and chances are pretty good that you might see a film star or professional athlete dining at the booth next to you. Open 24 hours.

 I recommend: The buttermilk pancake with your choice of banana. blueberry, or chocolate filling.

 

1. What A Bagel.

Located at 130 Spadina Ave, What A Bagel, is a dine in and take out bakery and eatery. Their menu contains a variety of items served is sizes perfect for someone who has just rocked a long training run (they’re big with lots of sides). You can order omelets, breakfast sandwiches, a variety of specialty eggs including benedict florentine and  benedict with salmon, French toast/pancakes/waffles, fresh fruit bowels you design, fresh bagels still warm or my favourite chocolate croissants hot from the oven (I’m pretty sure these are the best in Toronto – if you know of better please share!). The seating exists in a variety of configurations so they can support run clubs of larger sizes, just be sure to arrive early, because it gets packed! Weekend hours: 8am-5pm.

 I recommend: Making your own custom 3 egg omelet. Get it the way you want and it’s served with sides galore! And of course you need a chocolate croissant on the side!

 Bonus: Why not host your own brunch? Have your tribe each contribute their favourite items and snack and stretch in the comfort of your own home!

 

Where do you love to eat post run? Share it in the comments!

Race Recap: Disney Characters On the Run

One of the highlights of a Run Disney race includes the meet and greet with Disney characters along the way. Prior to rocking the Dopey Challenge we identified which characters  were our “must stop for.”  Of course characters we hadn’t planned on seeing were also on route, and so we held frequent votes along the way. Here are my seven favourite on the run characters.

7Peter and Wendy.

This shot was during the 10km. I was dressed as Tinkerbell so it only seemed appropriate. Wendy helped me hone my Disney princesses poses which I then rocked for the remainder of the weekend as appropriate.

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6. Toy Story Army Man.

This shot was the fine maybe 5km of the half marathon. It was a very hot day and as you can see the sillies had started to settle in. The Army Man was mic’d and encouraged “soldiers” along the way to keep it up!

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5. Villains. 

Now who doesn’t secretly (or not so secretly) love a good villain. The back drop was one of the top (just behind Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship) and really added to the evilness of the experience.Disney2

4. A Bug’s Life.

Our first character stop during the 5km. The picture turned out really great and was for me really the start of this magical adventure. disney1

3. Cinderella.

The sun was rising when we posed here during the full marathon. Of course we didn’t notice until we started running again an commented “when did the sun come up?” well the answer is in this picture. Being with four characters in this one picture also made it special.disney 8

2. Lilo and Stitch.

I love this movie. The Elvis music, the message about the importance of family, this was definitely a treat along the half marathon route.disney1

1. Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The mouse himself, in front of sleeping beauties castle, how could we not stop. Definitely the longest wait, but it added to the magic of the adventure. Disney6

And of course…Us!

Cinderella (Jenna), Tinkerbell (me), Sleeping Beauty (Nanc), and Minnie Mouse (Kim). Running in costume was so much fun. Have spectators cheer us on added lots of motivation and excitement to the race. Thanks to Jenna’s mom for doing an amazing job with the skirts and accessories.

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Race Report: Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope

Sunday marked the celebration of my 5th marathon and the crushing of my 2013 goal to run two marathons during one calendar year. The funny thing about that goal is that I will have actually run 3 marathons over a nine month span – but they cross over two years – and by funny, maybe I mean painful yet optimally challenging 😉

I originally ran Road2Hope in 2011, at that time it was my fastest marathon and I loved it. With 8km downhill, no wind, and gorgeous sun (even got a sunburn in NOVEMBER), I was happy to tell everyone I met who was even considering running their first marathon that this needed to be it.

Fast forward to this year – FREEZING conditions, a bit of sun, but continuous head winds, especially on the 8km of downhill – yuck!r2h2

As many of you know, i’ve been battling a few ongoing injuries this season including a hamstring that likes to moan while running, my left hip dropping as a result of my gait, a pulled muscle between my ribs because my sister makes me laugh to much, and did I mention a month ago (during the longest runs in my training) I sprained my ankle? Well despite all that, and thanks to my new training crew The RUNWAY, race day support by my friend Kim and the Tribe (Jenna and Emily), lots of chiropractic appointments at The Health Loft, and a few tears, I am happy to share that I did get another personal best (PB), taking a whole 5 minutes off of my race time from this same race in 2011 – and a whole 15min off of my May marathon (The Goodlife) in Toronto.

I also completly rearranged my race plan, moving from 20:1s to simply grabbing fuel quickly at the stations while keeping this to max 30 seconds, and running with as little extra weight as possible which meant ditching the water belt (for the first time in 6 years) and my cell phone. I got myself a RoadID bracelet, stylish and black, so I’m still keeping safe, just without the extra weight. So I will apologize for the lack of pictures – my PB made me do it 😉 (Thanks to My Sports Shooter for these race day pics)

Here’s the Run Down:

Participants:

Thumbs Up: It’s a small race which is very convenient. Because of this you can be pretty confident in not having additional race chip time delays resulting from over crowding on the course. You’ll start running across the start line and have a clear path the whole 42km.

Course:

Thumbs Up: Being from Hamilton, I actually love this race course. 20km of gentle rollers on top of the Hamilton escarpment, 8km down along the Red Hill Parkway, and the remaining through trails and along the water front, very pleasant. Waiting inside the Dofasco Center at the start of the race is also nice. It’s heated and there is plenty of room to wait, stretch, do what you’d like.

Thumbs Down: Not enough washrooms for the women and some were broken when we arrived. I know ladies washroom lines are always insane… I waited in line for 20 minutes – when you gotta go, you gotta go!

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Swag:

Thumbs Up: Post race we weren’t provided with tinfoil sheets, but instead cheap disposable jackets – sure you might be thinking “waste” – I’m thinking “great, now I have a throw away for my next cold marathon!” – score!

Thumbs down: The race kit was LAME! It contained a shirt, fine, except it was COVERED in advertising. There was one Clif Builder’s Protein Bar and that was it! I know this is a charity race, but with all the sponsors profiled on the shirt, couldn’t one of these people helped to beef up the bags! Subway was the major sponsor – no coupons for a 6 inch sub? The bag was reusable, so I guess that counts as swag too.

VolunCHEERS:

Thumbs Up: The race course had many volunteers, especially at the fuel stations which meant no lines. Most of them were staffed by high school students and they had tons of spirit and cheer. Along the race route there were many families out supporting all runners and there was even a band playing on the Red Hill which definitely lightened the dark wind tunnel mood.

Thumbs Down: Now only because I put a ton of effort into my sisters IronMan Cheers signs I am even considering writing this, but there were 5 different people with cheer signs that said “Run like you stole it”. Cute, but there were 5 of you! Google something new or get creative! So, here are 35 signs from the NYC marathon to inspire future VolunCHEERS – my favourite: “Worst Parade Ever.”

Finish Line:

Thumbs Up: I love this finish line – not quite NYC – but has a gorgeous flat beachfront 6km stretch which concludes in Confederation Park, just outside the entrance to Wild Water Works. There are always plenty of spectators getting their cheer on along this finish passage and once through the finish a large food tent awaits your arrival. Because the race is small there is virtually no waiting to grab your metal and eat, or if you didn’t want to stay around, the roads are often fairly clear to make an instant quick exit.

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Conclusion:

A nice small race it continues to be on my suggested list for first time marathoners. The only risk is that it’s in November and the weather can be unpredictable. So, wear your “throw aways” and hit the downhill in Hamilton’s fastest marathon and the number one qualifier for Boston – maybe next year 😉