I hate running. I even have a tee-shirt to prove it. I’ve danced all my life and practiced pilates and yoga alongside whatever group fitness class is all the rage. A year ago, my friend Fia mentioned the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in D.C., and I started to get curious about the whole “running culture,” which led me to sign up for the Nike Women Toronto 15K run.
I’m not a particularly good runner. I get tired easily, my joints hurt and my hips can get stiff. I’m grateful that I’m strong and flexible in the legs (thanks ballet!) but I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to a cardio workout. I’ve had heart issues in the past, and while I’m not currently on any medication, training for the Nike Women Toronto 15K has pushed my fitness to a whole new level. At first, I dreaded hopping on the treadmill after a long day of school, but now, with a bit of motivation and running through the stunning trails, forests and ravines near my house in North Toronto, I have a new outlook towards running. While I much prefer a targeted pilates class, I’m grateful for the endurance aspect.
For training, I started out really slow, with a couple 3km runs a week, ramped that up to 5km a couple times a week, and now, in the past three weeks leading up to the race, I’ve been running 7-10 km three times a week! I cannot believe how far I’ve come since I started and stopped saying “I can’t.” Right now, as I right this post-run just past midnight, I feel energized even after a long day running around at work. I can’t wait to see what challenge Sunday brings!
Now on to the more fun aspect of my journey… the best part about working out (besides having a snack after) is getting to wear cute gear! My absolute favourite things to run in are Lululemon Speed Shorts or Lululemon Inspire Crop II pants. As for tanks, I usually just throw on whatever over a soft, comfy bra.
Yesterday, I had a chance to check out the Nike Women Village and wanted to share some pictures from the experience.
I picked up my packet last weekend, so I skipped the short line and headed straight in where I was greeted with a light up map of the course along Toronto’s Islands. What really pushed me to sign up for this race was that it was going to be on the Island, which had the benefit of being flat, surrounded by nature (less pollution too) and you cannot beat the panoramic views of the city! Seeing the course map like this got me so excited, and I had to take advantage of the photo opp!
There’s an area displaying high-tech shoes, and a spot where you can get your gait analyzed. It was fun testing out their shoes and learning about my feet, though I’m comfortable with the Nike Flex Runs I have right now! In the back of the tent was all the gear. There was stuff from Nike’s regular Women’s line, as well as gear specific to the Nike Women Toronto 15K. I wasn’t completely sold on the Toronto items, so I picked up a simple black hat for the run (I’m hoping for sun!) and will wait to go crazy in the Finisher’s Tent for more gear. I also have my eye on a mint Toronto Dry Fit tee!
In a second tent outside were other vendors sampling Nuun and Vega products. There’s also a little spot to purchase Runners Essentials, but I wasn’t in need of anything at the moment! There’s also a wall where you can sign your name and it will be displayed along the course!
One of the COOLEST parts about the Nike Women Village in Toronto is the Crystal Coliseum, where you can sign up (they’re all full) for fitness classes as part of the Nike Training Club! I managed to snag a spot on Saturday afternoon, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. The class itself is a floating barge on the lake, which is an incredible concept! The lines were long on the first day, so I can only imagine it’s going to get crazy this weekend!
I have to shout out to my mini Utrecht-family for motivating me to sign up for the race. I haven’t even done it yet and I am already so excited and proud of how far I’ve come since signing up in February. To anyone running this weekend at the race, or running in general this weekend, good luck! I’ll be there handing out high fives and possibly singing along to mask any pain while running uphill (It’s a bad habit of mine, just ask my personal trainer/boyfriend)! See you at the finish line when we’ll all be #betterforit.