Around the Bay 30k race recap

Great shirt this year.

Here’s a quick recap of my Around the Bay 30k. This was my 3rd year in a row doing this race, and I highly recommend it – one of my favorites.

We had a beautiful day again this year. Blue skies, sun and a cool but pleasant temperature. The wind picked up throughout the race, but it didn’t bother me until the last 4k when we seemed to be running right into it.

Gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny...

Me in blue – gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny…

It was an interesting race for me. I hadn’t trained enough because of the cold winter, I only got up to 23k in training, and I’ve been running slower than I have in years. I had a goal of 3 hours when I signed up and I had adjusted it to 3:10 for the race. I had planned to run with the 3 hour bunny as long as I could and then just do my best after I couldn’t keep up.

Well, right off the bat I lost the 3 hour bunny. I was busy gawking at the side looking for my husband and friends as I started, and I realized a few minutes in that I couldn’t find the bunny (that had been just beside me at the start) anywhere. My Garmin had also shut off just before the start and it took me a couple of minutes to get it going so I had no idea exactly where I was timewise. I spent the first few kms trying to catch up to the pace bunny in front, only to find out that it was the 2:55 pace bunny.

Anyway, long story short, I decided to just do whatever felt good. And I think the fact that I was staying ahead of my pace bunny and not letting him catch me, instead of feeling like I was struggling to keep up to him, made me feel more confident and like I could really get a good time. When I passed the 10k I was just under 59 minutes. For the next 10k I took advantage of the flatness and hit 20k at around 1:57.

It was at 20k that some crazy spectator was yelling out “You’re almost there”. I turned to a lady in pink beside me and we joked about it (that’s not even close to almost there – but smiling does make you feel better when you’re running). I was feeling good about being in the last 3rd of the race until I hit 23k and I hit my wall – hard. At first I got a little down, but then I decided on mind over matter. I told myself that it was just my wall and I’d get past it. I allowed myself an extra walking break and took some more fuel and then told myself, “it’s a race – it’s supposed to hurt”, and got on my way. I was really tired for the last 5k and had to talk my way through it. At 28k, I stopped for a Gatorade at the last water station and I was feeling completely out of gas, then I noticed my pink lady from 20k run by and I decided she was going to help me in. I caught up to her and she said “I met you at 20k right? NOW we are almost there!” That was what I needed and I just stayed with her til the end of the race.

Chip time: 2:57:57. A personal best – and a new sense of what I can accomplish.

I had read this article before my race and used the tips in it throughout the race – I think it helped. 🙂

Mile Posts: 5 Tips To Help Running Feel Easier Read more at


Jackie” target=”_blank”>My run on Strava


BRRRR – Chilly spring morning running


Well, I had planned to do my 20k training run this morning – and it didn’t quite turn out as planned. It got up to a high of 2C today (so nice to have temps above freezing finally!), so I mistakenly thought that early this morning it would already be nice, you know, maybe a nice -8 or so. It ended up being -18C when I woke up, and still -18C when I started my run around 6:45. It was a beautiful morning, but almost immediately I knew that my running tights weren’t going to keep me warm enough – you’d think living in Canada that I’d have a proper pair of winter running tights by now. I kept going until it was clear my legs were not going to warm up, and at 7k (and still -17C) I made it back home and decided tomorrow will be my 20k day.


I was aiming for visibility when I got dressed this morning – so I wore all the bright runner colors. 🙂

I broke out my pink Mizuno Wave Rider 9s for their maiden voyage. Can’t wait for dry sidewalks, they’re coming, I can feel it. Even though it was so cold, it was soooo nice to be out on such a beautiful sunny morning and see the sun coming up. Yay for spring mornings – even if they are -18C.

Did you have a beautiful running morning where you were?

– Jackie –

I’ve Got My Tight Pants On

You know, I’ve just always felt more comfortable having my butt camouflaged in black compression tights. I love all those funky bright tights, but I usually feel more comfortable in black. However, maybe because running marathons over the last couple of years has given me a new appreciation of my butt, (if it’s gotten me through a marathon, I shouldn’t be so worried about what it looks like, right?), my black tights are now nestled beside red, bright blue and pink pairs of running tights.

This post is about my red tights… and what I do when in my red tights ever since I saw the above video.


(My red Lululemon pants)

On a day when I am feeling especially fit, I’ll put on my red Lululemon pants and start humming the song. If my kids are lucky enough to be nearby, they are treated to the song being accompanied by me in my red pants and running shoes doing my version of Will’s dance.

Thankfully I have no pictures or video of this. 😉

I usually hear “Mom, no” or “Nobody is talking about your red pants!” But, my red pants (and that video) always make me leave for a run in a great mood.

Do you have any running gear that brings a smile to your face?

– Jackie – Jackie


Each month we try and review a book on Running or Health. This month we are reviewing the book Run Less Run Faster from the Experts at FIRST, Bill Pierce, Scott Murr and Ray Moss. Please enter our draw for a chance to win a copy.


Since I turned 40, I’ve run a couple of half marathons, a 30k race and 2 full marathons. This year, among my races I am planning on doing are a 30k, as well as a couple of halves.  I usually use traditional training schedules to train, but as a “Masters Runner”, personally, I find I get a little worn out doing 5 – 6 runs a week when the weekly mileage gets higher. When I heard about this book, I decided I might want to try this training method for my runs this year.

Run Less Run Faster uses the FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) 3plus2 training method. You do 3 quality runs per week, consisting of:

  1. Track repeats
  2. Tempo runs
  3. Long runs

Further, you do 2 cross training workouts per week that can include biking, swimming, deep water running or rowing. Each quality run and cross-training workout is clearly explained and the book has detailed, user-friendly schedules, graphs and charts that make training simple.

Setting realistic goals and knowing when to revise and redefine your goals is stressed and the race prediction table can help you figure out what that goal should be. There are also chapters on new runners, the essentials of rest and recovery, year round training and many other topics. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the importance of flexibility and form.

Each chapter is followed by questions and answers and “real runner reports”. These are testimonials from real runners on how this training method benefited them. The theme of Qualifying for Boston is throughout the book and among the pages and pages of training schedules are training schedules for qualifying for your age category.

I really enjoyed reading this book. In the past I’ve been more likely to use a running book solely as a reference book, but I enjoyed reading this book cover to cover. It is well-written and interesting, detailed without being tedious. I’m looking forward to giving this method a try this year.

Click here to enter our draw for a copy of RUN LESS RUN FASTER.  This giveaway is open worldwide until next Monday.

– Jackie –Jackie


So I’m a little bummed out because I just found out my running shoes aren’t available anymore. I have these great Muzuno Wave Inspire 9’s in blue – my second pair now. I started getting a little worried the other day when I was browsing for shoes and the online store I was checking out didn’t have my size. I spent about an hour the other night checking every online store I could find and they’re gone in my size. I even went far enough that today I went to a running store to try on a half size down to see if I could squeeze into them. I know – I’ve come to my senses.


When I first made the switch to the Mizunos, I liked them the minute I put them on. They still offered me support, but they were noticeably lighter than my old shoes. I felt super-fast in them too.  But it was during the middle of my second marathon that I fell in love with them. I was running the Mississauga Marathon in the spring, and was in the part that I find really difficult – that mind numbing 10k stretch between the 22k and 32k mark. Running a marathon is often emotional anyway – and a lot of weird thoughts go through my head during that “blah” part – like when I tripped and caught myself so I didn’t fall, and then was disappointed because I thought, if I just fall and break my leg, the guy on the bike will get the ambulance and I’ll never have to run again. That’s how crazy that middle 10k gets for me. Anyway, I was running down a city street and since it was a busier road there wasn’t a lot of crowd support. I heard a noise and looked across the street to my left and there was a woman with her little boy in his buggy and he was pointing and saying something, she bent down to him, then yelled across the street “He likes your blue shoes”. I waved to him and that little emotional moment kept me going for a bit…and I fell in love with my shoes.


(looking a little worse for wear after our muddy hill run)

I’m sure a lot of you know how I feel. You know that feeling when you find the brand of shoes that were just made for you. Of course I knew they wouldn’t make my shoes forever and I’ll have to move on, but I really loved my blue feet. I don’t like white and gray options that are available in December, but in January yellow and blue (but not the same…) will be available. My local Running Room store has the Wave Inspire 9 in pink, so I’ll get a pair, and then I’m sure I’ll (gulp) be able to deal with the new Wave Inspire 10’s.


(the new Wave Inspire 10’s available in January, 2014)

But I’ll really miss my blue Mizunos.

(ooo – but if you know a place that has them in a 8.5…)

Mandy’s Dream Races

I think every runner has a to-do list of races.  I keep a list of races that I am planning on running in the next year taped to my desk.  It gives me something to look forward to when I’m bored and stuck inside at work.  But tucked away in the back of my mind, I also keep a list of my dream races.  They are the races that, above all other races, I’d love to run!

Some of them are local, realistic goals, and others are far away and will probably never happen.  But each one is special to me.  Here they are:

1. Around the Bay Road Race

Around the Bay is a race with a lot of history.  It is the oldest road race in North America, first run in 1894.  That’s pretty cool, and for that reason alone, it’s on my list.  But on top of that, it’s only an hour away from home in Hamilton, Ontario!

Jackie and a few friends ran this race last spring.  It was a hard route, but they loved it.  The longest I’ve ran is a half-marathon.  So, although it scares me, I think this race may be in the not-so-distant future.

Image via Around the Bay

Image via Around the Bay

2. Waterloo Marathon

This is a small, local marathon that is held every spring.  The route is very scenic.  It winds through country roads, and even includes the famous covered bridge in West Montrose.  I think it’s important to support local races, so I would love if this was my first marathon.

3. Ottawa Marathon

Ottawa is a beautiful city, and this race takes you through some of its prettiest spots.  Running this one would make for a fun weekend away in the capital, but wouldn’t require too much planning or expense.

Image via Ottawa Tourism

Image via Ottawa Tourism

4. ENDURrun International

This is another local event, but it is CRAZY!  They call it the Tour de France of running events. It is a week long series of races in the heat of summer.  It includes a half-marathon, 15km time trial, 30km trail run, 16km hill run, 25.6km alpine run, 10km time trial, and then finishes off, just for the heck of it, with a marathon.  It’s pretty impressive that our relatively small community hosts such an epic event.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever have it in me to complete this race, but it’s fun to think about!  (You can also enter as a team, with one person tackling each race.  That might be a good place to start.)

Image via ENDURrun

Image via ENDURrun

5. Subaru Triathalon Series Milton Try-A-Tri

I think it would be amazing to complete a triathlon.  However, I can barely swim. If I could get past doggy-paddling, I would love to “Try-a-tri.”  It’s a mini triathlon, consisting of a 375m swim, 10k bike ride, and 2.5km run.  I think this race would take me far out of my comfort zone, but is still achievable.

6. Appalachians Ragnar Trail Relay

Running and camping with a bunch of friends!  How can you beat that? I don’t think it’s possible.  🙂

Image via Ragnar Trail Relays

Image via Ragnar Trail Relays

7. SeaWheeze Half-Marathon

This half-marathon is put on by Lululemon in Vancouver, BC.  Every picture I’ve seen from this race shows a sea of colourful Lulu-wearing runners.  I think it would be a fun, festive atmosphere, and I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver.

Image via SeaWheeze

Image via SeaWheeze

8. Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco

This race is up there on my list.  San Francisco is my favourite city that I’ve traveled to, and I’d love to visit again.  I can’t imagine all the beautiful sights you’d see running 42.2k through that city!  At the end of this race, firemen hand out the medals, which are Tiffany & Co necklaces.  I like the thought of being able to wear your medal everyday without getting strange looks.

9. Klondike Trail Road Relay

Jackie told me about this relay.  It starts in Alaska and crosses into the Yukon.  As you can probably imagine, it has some serious elevation.  It would be an amazing experience, but the logistics of finding a team of runners crazy enough to travel that far to run up a mountain are nearly impossible!  This race will probably remain a dream.

10. Big Sur International Marathon

I’ve listed the previous races in no particular order, but my holy grail of all races is definitely the Big Sur International Marathon.  I’ve driven the Highway One coast line twice, and the beauty of that road is unbelievable.  It has a special place in my heart.  I imagine running that route would be life changing, and I hope I get the chance one day!

Image by Doug Steakley via

Image by Doug Steakley via