This past Sunday I ran the Toronto Waterfront 1/2 marathon. No big deal right?! I run 1/2 marathons and I like them. This one was different. I was born and raised in the big beautiful city of Toronto. I have been one of those people cursing that the main roads and highways were shut down for the marathon. This run was different because my memories of Toronto are from when I was overweight. I know Toronto landmarks by restaurants. I remember spending many days at the Taco Bell across the street from the Eaton Center…that thought now makes me want to barf.
Running down the streets where my Aunt use to take me shopping or remembering my first time riding the street car and now I am concentrating so much not to trip on those street car tracks while running. Running the roads that I have driven on a million times or realistically sat in traffic on those roads, it was kind of special.
When I was a fat kid/teen I never ever would have thought that running a half marathon was even possible. I would not run to catch a bus much less run in a race. To say I am thankful that I found my way is an understatement.
You don’t have to run half marathons, but try something and set a goal. Even if the goal is to get out of your house tonight and walk–then so be it. Just make the decision to do something.
Ok, enough about me and why I am happy not to be that overweight girl anymore.
Some interesting things seen along the run. I will say that yes you need your body to cooperate and you have to do the training but you need a strong mind…you need intestinal fortitude to make sure that when you get tired you don’t quit.
Here were some fun and interesting things I noted along my 21.1km/13.1 miles:
-my heart smiled everytime I saw a runDisney shirt! I talked to a few fellow runDisey runners in the corral and it’s kinda like long lost family…instant bond.
-Canadians for the most part are just decent people. At the start there was no pushing or shoving and if someone brushed by you it was follow immediately by “Im sorry” or “excuse me”….love my Canadians and their manners.
-Canadian runners will hurdle other runners to get their water cup into the garbage cans provided…not joking. There was not a lot of splash and dash. Every water station people really tried to make sure their cup landed in the garbage cans-which was great to see.
-Sadly, there was no glitter, no sparkles, no costumes–except for the guy in a banana outfit…kinda lame.
-Back to Disney…so Im all out biased full disclosure…I am a tried and true runDisney runner. I love every bit of a runDisney experience and that is my comparison-the standard is set high so anything below that is junk. Needless to say there were no characters or entertainment. There was no chEAR squad-but many thanks to those that did come out along the route to cheer. Let’s talk about the porta potties…Disney has banks of them strategically placed. The Toronto race they were random…one here, two there. I had to stop at 7km…could not run another step…ONE-thats right 1 potty (barbaric) and the line was 10 people deep. Awful. As I stood there looking at my watch -seeing the minutes tick by…stressing about my finish time…feeling the lactic acid starting to pool in my legs….let’s just say it wasnt magical. 9 minutes I had to wait in line…..9 flippin minutes. This was just more proof why I heart runDisney.
-Something else perhaps uinque to Toronto the homeless people under the bridges were awake and cheering (sort of-they might have been yelling) – one had a sign…thoughtful-lol
-I know I mentioned dodging the streetcar tracks….that was some agility training at work but then the potholes…oy, the potholes. Canadian roads that are chipped away with snow plows all winter that have salt eating away the asphalt…they were not pretty…at times scary. One poor guy beside me face planted…hard #ouch
-Running along side the lake, the Rogers Center and through the downtown core was a great experience.
-Also confirmed- I am still one of the only people without an iphone and still one of the few who doesnt run with her phone.
Some shout outs:
-A big thanks to my family. It was so amazing to see you guys along the race route-thanks for getting up in the dark and standing out in the cold all morning! Thanks for always being supportive when I said I had to go for a run and for being my cheerleaders on those days I didnt want to run and you pushed me out the door because you knew I would feel better!! I love you guys!!! I hope to be the inspiration that keeps you fit and healthy.
along the race hugs are the best!!!
-Dr. J … has been keeping my achilles in one piece and taking care of my plantar fasciitis. Thankful for the adjustments (crack-a-lack), the acupuncture and keeping me mobile and upright–thank you so much!!
-Coach Gord – uber runner, (who I think is part Kenyan because he runs so dang fast)–I strive to put in as many fast miles that you do. Thank you for getting me to a sub 2 hour half marathon. I feel odd thanking you for making sure that those tempo and hills runs were done…but thanks?! Thanks for always answering my crazy questions and making sure I am stretching.
-Thank the lord for Hoka’s – my new running shoe. I picked them up from the runDisney expo at The Tower of Terror 10 miler. They have changed the sport of running for me. I am no longer in agony from the fasciitis or achillies-I still have some aches/pains but nothing close to what I was experiencing before. They are u-g-l-y you aint got no aliby ugly but I will rock the ugly because the comfort is amazing. No, I am not sponsored by Hoka-I paid for them with my own money and will continue to do so. They have changed the game of running for me and I am thankful!
-This race I wore my compression leg sleeves and glad I did because I felt better and it was freezing. I like my Zensah’s because of the funky colours and they seem to work for me.
-A big thanks to all of my boot campers that have been running with me. I am so proud of you all and so appreciative when you would run with me–thank you!! I love you guys!!
-To all of my social media friends on facebook and twitter who sent me shout outs–thank you! Always so nice to get support from your friends.
If nothing else I hope to inspire you to do something healthy for yourself today. Just do something. Walk, run, play tag with your kids, lift some weights, do some push ups at home…just do something. Small things lead to big changes-I promise.