Registered Races

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m not very motivated to train properly when I don’t have a solid race in mind.

So, with that in mind, I signed up for a couple fall races with the Canadian Running Series!

Race Confirmation

Oasis Zoo Run Toronto 2017

I typically run the Oasis Zoo Run and really enjoy it even though it’s got a bunch of hills, but I didn’t go last year because I had to go to Baltimore for work at the same time.

This time, I’m running the 10K and I’m excited to go back to beat my race time of 01:05 (ish).

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (Half) Marathon 2017

I was training for a half marathon before I got into the car accident, so I know I was physically capable of getting up to long runs of 19K. Theoretically, I can do it again, and I really hope I’ll be able to do it according to my corral time – 02:15!

But, I’m thinking that I need to get myself out running more often, which I’m hoping won’t get in the way of my rock climbing training. I’ve run to the rock climbing gym before (about 5.5km) with a Gregory backpack, but then I’m limited to just bouldering since I don’t have the space to pack my harness and GriGri.

Any suggestions on how to balance running and rock climbing? There’s only so many hours in a day!



Race Report – Oasis Toronto ZooRun 10K 2015

It’s a little late for a Race Report, but it’s better late than never! And, this will be my first Race Report to commemorate my first anniversary of running!

I ran the Oasis Toronto ZooRun 10K by myself, but my mom, cousin and Christine did the 5K Run/Walk at their own paces. Since the 10K started at 8:15am and the 5K was scheduled for about 10am, I would wait for them at the finish line!

I wanted to see if I could finish under 60 minutes, but I gave myself a realistic time between 1:00 and 1:10 since that’s about the pace that I usually run. I figured that it’s possible that I run faster since it’s a race and the weather forecast shows that it’ll be a lot cooler, but it also predicted some rain and I hadn’t run this course in about a year, so it’s just as possible that I’d run slower! Gah.

Zoo Run 10K Map

Toronto Zoo Run 10K Course – Courtesy of Canada Running Series

Pre-Race – Night

I ran an easy 3.5KM the night before to gauge how I was feeling overall. I didn’t feel awesome on that run, but I hadn’t eaten in over 5 hours, so that could have been a factor! After a quick check on the ofrecast, I stuffed my daypack with some things I figured I’d need:

  • Spare change of clothes, including socks
  • Tiny umbrella

Since I couldn’t really predict what would happen during and after the race, I also packed:

  • Extra KT Tape strips
  • Extra granola bars (for post-race waiting)
  • Camera + 2 lens

I was surprised my 10L daypack could fit all of that. Thank goodness for baggage check!

Pre-Race – Morning

7am: It’s 7 and I’m still at home and just finished changing. Crap. I was hoping to be at the Zoo by now!

7:30am: Waiting at the Zoo for a parking space. Craaaaap. Hoping I can get to the baggage check on time or else I could be doing an extra km just to get my bag into the car and back to the corrals.

7:45am: Bag is checked in! It’s raining kind of hard at this point so I’m desperately hoping that my camera isn’t going to get wet even though it’s in its own protective case!

7:45am – 8:10am: I slowly sip on a cup of water since I was rushing out the door, which was a terrible, terrible idea at the time. There’s huge lines for the portables, but I figured I could stop at one along the route somewhere. I do some dynamic lunges and pace around to try and keep myself warm, but it’s just so damn cold and wet!

8:15am: Gun starts and the Red Corral is opened. Damn, they’re fast! I wonder what the winning time will be…

8:25am: Damn. I’m starting to feel that pee signal.

8:30am: My corral, Green, is let through the starting gate. Woo hoo! LET’S DO THIS SO I CAN FIND A PORT-A-POTTY.

1 – 2KM – I spot an older gentleman in front of me, who’s much taller, wearing a neon green jacket and going at a nice pace for my liking, so I’ve dubbed him my Pacer for the rest of the race.

It’s pretty interesting running on the highway that I just drove on. The incline isn’t too bad so far and the pavement seems pretty good.

3KM – My Pacer is so far ahead of me! GODDAMN IT.

A lot of people ran ahead of me by now, but now I’m starting to pass them. Yay for pacing!

We turn from the roads back into the Zoo property now and it’s really, really muddy back there. That rain isn’t making anything better…

4KM – Just passed the water station. WHERE IS THIS PORT-A-POTTY?!

It dawns on me now that they probably don’t have any on the route because the Zoo has to stay open to the public afterwards and they might not have the resources to take them away before the anticipated crowds.

I still have to pee but I gotta wait until the end now! Aggghhhh.

5KM – Oh, right. There’s HILLS in this course. And I haven’t trained on hills since… well, ever. I’m screwed.

But, what’s that ahead? I see my Pacer and pass him as he walks. PROGRESS!

And, at least the hill doesn’t look as scary as last year! MORE PROGRESS!

6 – 7KM – Were the hills always here?! Holy crap, man.

7.5KM – Left foot and right lung/ribs are starting to hurt in some really strange ways, so I decide to start doing some walking to catch my breath and to make sure I don’t cross the finish line with a branch crutch.

Ooh, an arctic wolf!

8KM – Pacer catches up.

NO. I will cross the finish line before you, sir!

I start picking up the pace back to 6’10” even on the inclines, but I start to worry about how my legs will be afterwards.

Ooh, camels!

9KM – I’m slowly dying. This feels like the longest 10km I’ve ever run and something doesn’t feel right somewhere in my body, but I refuse to give up.

I remember how I’ve passed by dozens of runners who started before me and I see an older gentleman chugging along ahead of me.

I can do this. Just one more incline and curve and I’ll be done.

10KM – I DID IT! I crossed the finish line just ahead of a couple of other girls who I was following for the past 300m or so(gotta finish strong, right?).


I quickly grabbed my medal and then immediately doubled back to the Canadian Ski Patrol medical tent to get someone to check on my foot. Luckily, the bone was still in place but they guessed that I had strained the tendons too much, so they rebound my foot and firmly agreed with me that I should see my physiotherapist soon after the race.

But, here’s my final results!

Chip Time: 65:05.1
Overall Place: 1398
KM Pace: 06:31
Place in Gender: 664 / 1504
Place in Category: 148 / 324
Category – 10 KM F25-29
Zoo Run 2015

I MAINTAINED MY PR! Seriously, it’s almost exactly the same time as my PR and I’m not sure if I’m proud or annoyed at that. I’m super proud that I managed to run those hills that fast, but it’s SO close from breaking a PR!

The food and amenities were quite generous and there was a lot of port-a-potties available at the finisher’s area. They offered some Liberté Greek yogurt, bananas, some cookies and Pita Break’s Morning Rounds.

As the main sponsor, Oasis set up a huge sampling tent for their juices and handed out bottles of their NutriSolution, which is a meal replacement product.

I waited around for my mom, cousin and Christine to finish their 5K and cheered them on to the finish line!

I had a great time at the Oasis ZooRun this year and I’m definitely planning on making this an annual race.

Have you been on the ZooRun or another Canadian Running Series race?



Toronto ZooRun 10K Tomorrow!

Tomorrow’s the Toronto Zoo 10K Run and I had set a goal earlier in the summer to run the race in under 60 minutes.

I’ll be perfectly honest: It ain’t happening. Simply put, I didn’t train often or hard enough over the last few months because I’ve been extra cautious with letting my foot recover. By the time I was confident enough to run without injuring myself again, Toronto was hit with a couple of heat waves!

I did try running in 34C and again in 38C (with humidex), but I was seriously suffering at the 7.5km mark and my times were horrible. I knew that there was no way I’d be able to make my original goal, but I’m okay with it. I’m happy that I can actually participate in the run even if I’m not able to reach that goal. After all, I’d much rather make sure my foot heals properly so I can run as pain-free as possible!

But more about the Toronto Zoo Run! It’s a great course that goes through the Toronto Zoo’s exhibits so all the runners actually get to run past the animals! It also has a fundraising portion where the proceeds go directly to the Toronto Zoo’s conservation and research programs.

It’s also the run that got me into running!

So, I’m super, super excited to be running the 10K course this year instead of the 5K and I’m so amazed at how much I’ve achieved in just one year!

It’s going to be much, much cooler this weekend with a little bit of rain so it’s going to be a fantastic run. Here’s what I’m going to be using:

  • Dri-FIT tank top with Bib attached
  • Shorts
  • New Balance RC1400 shoes
  • Wireless headphones
  • Cell phone and valuable ID in SPIbelt
  • Running hat (in case it rains)

We’re allowed baggage check with a backpack, so I’ll also be packing this in preparation:

  • Change of clothes
  • Water bottle (for touring the zoo after the race!)
  • Nuun tablets
  • Extra granola bars
  • Light sweater/sweatshirt (it looks like it’ll be a bit chilly tomorrow morning at 7am)
  • Camera kit

I’m expecting to finish around 1:05 since I ran 10K on a sort of trail last Friday in 1:10 and it was much warmer. If I break that time, I’ll have a new PR!

Are you running this weekend?



Oasis Zoo Run 2014

I took part in the Oasis Zoo Run’s 5K Walk this year and it took place on September 20 within the Toronto Zoo!

Oasis Zoo Run 2014

And yes, that meant that Chris and I did the Walk through the Zoo! How awesome is that?!

We got there pretty early at around 8:50am to pick up our race package and get to the starting point, which actually went over pretty smoothly. There weren’t any major hold ups and the directions were fairly clear although everything seemed to have been delayed by about 15 minutes from the 10K race starting later than anticipated.

Watching the 10K runners pass by in the morning.

Watching the 10K runners pass by in the morning.

The last time I went to the Toronto Zoo was during a field trip for an Ecology course in university, and we were mostly focused on getting enough data for an assignment for me to remember much. Also, the Zoo was under some renovation in some areas during that time and I hadn’t been back since!

The planned route was carefully laid out and barricaded from public visitors so the participants would be able to go through the course with minimal disturbances.

We all started in corrals separated by colours. When I signed up with Chris, I wasn’t sure how long I would take so I put in the maximum amount of time at 1h30m and got placed in the Purple Corral with Chris. We were in the last group to start!

Running Shoes

I used these shoes for the run – New Balance Minimus WT1010v2. Love them!

Well… The last group in the 5K section, at least. The run also has a separate run for kids called the Cub Run, which started right after ours and had a much shorter distance for the kiddies to go.

Although, I was extremely impressed that there were a lot of young kids doing the 5K with their parents and I even saw a few who did the 10K run when they passed us on the routes!

For some reason, I expected the route to be a bit more… flat. It turned out to have a bunch hills, including one that felt like it had a 30 degree incline that we had to go up and down on the 3rd kilometer!

Courtesy of Canada Running Series

Chris and I walked the whole course together and I finished it in 49:34.4! Considering that we only jogged the first maybe 100m to get a good spot on the track, that’s a pretty good walking speed of 6km/h.

That’s faster than the Gardiner Expressway during rush hour! (Ba-dum-tsh)

After the run and some lunch, we went exploring the zoo and visited the giant pandas, polar bears, and the wolves before absolutely calling it a day.

Toronto Zoo Panda Toronto Zoo Panda Toronto Zoo Tiger Toronto Zoo Giraffe

Even though we didn’t do any actual running, finishing a 5K event has really inspired me to at least try to increase my fitness endurance over the next year so I can actually run for the majority of the route!

Right now, I’m not sure what sort of fitness plan I’ll try to follow, but it’s definitely something I’ll be looking into this season.

How do you train for marathons? Have you ever tried? I’d love to hear about your experiences!