May, or it might be better known as Maybruary, was a great month of training and some early races. It all started with a training camp down in Boone, North Carolina. Despite the cold and rain it set me up for an awesome opening to my racing season. Which so far has included the Sporting Life 10km in support of Camp Ooch, Victoria’s Duathlon, The Toronto Women 5km, The University of Toronto Track and Field Twilight meet and the Real Deal/MGCC Thursday Night Time Trial.
Boone, North Carolina
I left for Boone with the Morning Glory Cycling Club on April 30th. In true Sasha form, I was up and out at the MGCC Brimley hill workout before jumping in the car for 13hours. Surprisingly my legs felt stellar, which was evidenced on day #1 as we were climbing the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It was 4 awesome days of riding, despite the rain, the cold and the fog. Highlights included:
- an 18km climb up Highway 181
- Bonking that same day because it was so cold and wet I was afraid to take my hands off the bars
- Crashing on highway 181 and stopping traffic (walked away totally unscathed)
- Climbing Beech and Pinnacle on Day 2, and feeling no effects from my bonk the day before
- Being the only gal to stay with the lead group on the final day.
- Driving home in convoy with the van
The last day, drive home day, we all decided not to ride due to the torrential rain. I owe a huge thank you to my MGCC boys for carrying me through some tough stretches, Ms AC for being one tough chick and LRDP, for being such an awesome friend and training buddy. And of course RM for saving me on my bonk, the bike maintenance, being my driving buddy and just being awesome.
The Sporting Life 10km in Support of Camp Ooch
The following weekend after Boone was the Sporting Life 10km. A race down Yonge Street with more than 27,000 people! It’s just an amazing vibe; 27,000 people all running to support an amazing summer camp that helps children who are, or have been, diagnosed with Cancer. Camp Ooch is a full service facility so even if a child is in treatment they can still be at summer camp.
Many of the Camp Ooch volunteers were at the race, and most of them were dressed up as Waldo. In a group of 27,000 people playing ‘Where’s Waldo’ is a lot of fun.
It was a pretty cold and blustery day. The objective was a tempo, go hard but still feel really relaxed and comfortable. I started out at a perfect pace, 3:36/km (when generally I’ve been known to go out as a jack rabbit!). I cruised through 5k in 17:53 and finished in 35:55 (the race is actually 10.1km so I think I must have split almost dead even). It was a total unexpected win and the first big race I have won. I was in total shock, but luckily had my amazing training partner LRDP with me, who seemed to celebrate for both of us.
The race went at 10am in 5 waves to give all the competitors some space on the course. With narrow, hilly roads in the KW region it was much appreciated. The race was an odd distance, 4k run, 30km bike, followed by a final 4km run. My first run felt light and easy and my transition on to the bike was great. I am still a newbie, a rookie when it comes to putting on my shoes and I always do it in transition. But I was still out of transition in 34s!
The bike was a tough one. It had few flat sections and a few really steep hills. With the swirling winds I felt disappointed in my ride. That was until I saw my power output. I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased with the effort.
The final run was very difficult. I am not used to running in the heat, and it was a hot one!
Overall it was a success, I was the first woman across the line!
Toronto Women’s 5k
I keep saying it but these events are my favourite, Cory Freeman does an incredible job organizing and putting together the best running event in Toronto. Sorry guys, but we prefer it just be women’s only.
The opening race was on May 26th in the lovely Sunnybrook Park. It was unfortunately Maybruary again and quite chilly.
I had the unfortunate experience of bonking. It had been an emotionally stressful week for me and when I get like that I tend not to eat. Which ultimately means there is no fuel in my body to power it through the things I love to do. I did spend the rest of the day at home napping, catching up on work and hanging out with friends. I had wanted to go for an easy recovery spin, but my body just said no.
I persevered and everything hurt! I went from feeling great to feeling awful in the span of about 10 steps. I just tried to hold and push myself to the finish line (dropping out is not an option!). I was passed with just over 1km to go. I managed a 17:49 and a second place.
The highlight of the day goes to my training partner and very good friend MP. She ran an epic half marathon. She was 2nd in sub 1:30 on a VERY challenging and hilly course. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw her charging in to the finish line in 2nd place. A much deserved podium for such an awesome person.
University of Toronto Twilight Series #1
Tuesday night was not friendly weather. Toronto received just over 60mm rain, which caused the Don Valley Parkway, the Bayview Extension and the GO train lines to turn into a lake. While it may have been a cool place to go paddling, it made for some interesting running weather.
I was not so excited to run my opening outdoor race in a monsoon. Along with my running buddy GT, we were trying to decide between run or bail on the race. After the lightening delay the rain seemed to let up and make for a beautiful evening. GT and I committed to the 1500 and started warming up.
My amazing cheering squad, including Princess Bunny and my #1fan, came over after a few pints and wings (jealous). I stuck to my plan and ran even 75s, finishing just over 4:40.
The Real Deal/Morning Glory Thursday Night Time Trial
Hosted up in Markham it is a great way to test out your TT bike and your TT legs. It was the first time I had done one, I’ve helped time many. And now I’m addicted. It is such a rush to be on your TT bike, in your aerobars, hammering away. Plus everyone sits down to have a ‘drink’ together after. Again a group of great people, fun ride, no better way to spend a Thursday night.
Lots of fun and exciting events in June. I can’t wait for my summer. Thanks again everyone for the support.