Race Recap: Goodlife Fitness City Chase

This race is amazing! I’ve done it once before two years ago with Daniel and we had every intent on doing it again. It’s definitely one of those races that are a blast to do and incorporate teamwork, athleticism, and strategy. Since the race was on Saturday photos haven’t been released yet, but when they do I’ll post them in a blog post similar to this one.

The Expo/Parking

If you’re from Toronto or have ever been to Toronto, you’ll know how terrible it is to park here. Especially downtown. The start/finish line was in the Distillery District which is in the heart of Downtown Toronto, so parking was not the greatest. There wasn’t any designated race parking, so although there happened to be a Green P down the street, we had to pay to park. The downside to this is that since the race can literally take up the whole afternoon, parking can get kind of costly. The parking lot is also about a five-minute walk from the expo, so it was a bit inconvenient to get our race kit and then head back to the car to drop stuff off (there was no bag check).

City Chase 1

Sunscreening up! I used Goddess Garden Sport Organic Sunscreen…review to follow!

The expo seemed like an average expo to me. Manitoba Harvest, Ocean Spray and Deep Relief were all there giving out free samples, which really came in handy post-race. Picking up our race kit was a bit of a tedious process though: the first step involved giving them the last name used during registration, which resulted in us receiving a number. We then had to take that number to another table, which gave us our bibs, and then make our way to ANOTHER table to get our race shirts. I should note that we missed pre-race kit pickup, so I guess some of this headache could’ve been avoided.

Pre-Race Warm Up

Goodlife Fitness has a ton of classes at their clubs. I used to be a member, so I’ve taken quite a few classes and they’re a ton of fun. Since Goodlife sponsors the race, they brought in some of their instructors to guide us through a pre-race warm up that was not only effective, but actually a lot of fun. I want to say that what we did was Zumba, but I’m not 100% sure.

The Race

The race starts with all the Chasers getting clues as to where the clue sheets are. The clues on the clue sheets are pretty ambiguous, and although some clues are easy to solve, others are very difficult. They had a different element from the last time we did this race which involved three “hard core” Chasepoints which were deemed optional. Daniel and I decided to take on this challenge, but little did we know what we were in for!

City Chase 2

One of the hard core chase points – we had to pull a bus 30ft!

City Chase 3

And then I face planted…

One of these hard core Chasepoints involved kneeling in a tent-like structure with your partner while solving a puzzle. Although this sounds easy, there’s a catch: a man with a paintball gun is at the other end and shoots you every five seconds. I’ve never been paint balling before, but those things hurt a ton!

City Chase 4

You can’t see it, but just beyond where the people are standing is where you solve the puzzle.

It’s also worth noting how much chasers help you while on course. From willing to take pictures of you completing Chasepoints to helping you with clues, this race is truly one that has me feeling all the feels.

Although we took a half-hour longer to complete the race, we managed to complete all three hard core Chasepoints which all had huge line ups, so I can’t complain. It would’ve been nice to have a better time, but I feel like City Chase is one of those races that you can’t expect anything from because things change from year to year. The “course” is never really the same. That’s one of the things that make this race so awesome!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

 

Advertisements

What’s in my Bag for City Chase

City Chase is tomorrow!!! Gah, I’m so excited! This is hands-down one of my favourite races. Daniel and I try to do it every summer, however last summer we couldn’t make it due to our busy schedules. I wrote a Throwback Thursday post about City Chase a while ago, so check it out! I’ll break this post up into segments, so I’ll post what’s going to be in my bag, and then a link to the website or applicable already-posted blog posts.

What’s In My Bag:

Clif Shot Energy Gels: I love these things! I’ve blogged about them quite a few times and have nothing but good things to say about them. Since the race can take quite a long time, energy gels will definitely be needed.

Week 7 1

Clif Bars (Nut Butter Filled): this is more so for Daniel since he’s not a fan of the energy gels. My love for these bars goes deep! They’re so delicious.

Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled

Under Armour Trail Hydration Pack: this is the actual bag I’ll be taking with me. I took a backpack last time that strapped up across my chest, but it bounced quite a bit and seemed kind of cumbersome. I’m hoping that by taking a hydration pack, I’ll eliminate the bouncing aspect, and we’ll have quite a bit of water to carry with us that I could always refill while we’re en route.

Under Armour Trail Pack

Goddess Garden Sport Natural Sunscreen Stick: I actually received some samples of this (along with their Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion) to review, so this will be the trial run and then I’ll make a product review post sometime next week.

Goddess Garden

KT Tape: I’m not putting this in my bag, but I am wearing it, so I figured I’d put it in here. I need some sort of support for my knee as I noticed I’ve still been getting the odd twinge of pain after runs.

KT Tape

It’s supposed to be 24 degrees (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), so it won’t be too hot, but it might be muggy. Wish us luck! We’re looking to beat our time of 4:57:00, so wish us luck!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

 

Brand Ambassador Issues

I have the worst luck. Either that or I don’t do enough research. As you guys know, I have two brand ambassador agreements: one with Insane Labz and one with American Metabolix. Since Insane Labz doesn’t sell whey, I’d get stuff like bcaas from them and my whey from American Metabolix. Last week I was running low on pre-workout and decided to order a pre-workout from Insane Labz called Psychotic. It has great reviews and tastes great, (I’ve had a sample of it before). After entering my shipping information, I got an error message saying that they don’t ship to Canada. Uh, excuse me? When did this happen? Why wasn’t I notified? Apparently the issue lies with some Health Canada snags so they’re halting on shipping here. I tried a few more times after that with no luck, so I figured I’d give American Metabolix a try.

Although I’ve never taken Havok, (the pre-workout from American Metabolix) before, I had high hopes since their whey is pretty on point. Again, I punch in my shipping information and realize that the shipping is $100!! That’s insane! I can easily buy two or three tubs of pre-workout at GNC for that price. What I want you guys to understand is that if I had these issues prior to becoming a brand ambassador, I would’ve never agreed to it. It’s put me in a position that forces me to buy product that isn’t Insane Labz or American Metabolix. Frustrated, I reached out to both companies. This is the email I sent to Insane Labz:Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 12.58.56 PMKeep in mind, the email address that I sent this two was in an email that I had received from Insane Labz THAT DAY, so in theory it should be correct right? Wrong.

Insane Labz Email 2I could literally strangle someone at this point haha. I decided to move on to American Metabolix and direct message them on Instagram. I successfully managed to get an email address from the person who responded to me on Instagram for the person who coordinates the brand ambassadors. I sent this email:American Metabolix EmailSTILL NO RESPONSE. With anger building, I went back to Instagram and messaged Insane Labz via a direct message which looked something like this:Insane Labz DM

No one’s really helping me out, no one’s will to budge. I shouldn’t give free advertising to companies that won’t even ship to my country or will ship but at the price of my first-born child. Frustration doesn’t even cover how I feel. Moral of the story is to make sure that if you are a brand ambassador, make sure it’s for a reliable company that will deliver to your country!

Do you guys have brand ambassador/sponsor horror stories?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Rugged Maniac Photo Dump

Race photos got released yesterday, so here’s a photo dump of what Daniel and I got tagged in! I was a little disappointed at the fact that there were only cameras at two of the obstacles, but I actually got an email from the founder of Rugged Maniac saying that he was a little disappointed in the quality of the photos. Let me know what you guys think!

Me: Rugged Maniac Race Photo 1

Daniel (they got way better photos of him): Rugged Maniac Race Photo 4Rugged Maniac Race Photo 5Rugged Maniac Race Photo 6Rugged Maniac Race Photo 7

Race Recap: Rugged Maniac Kitchener

Am I crazy for signing up for a 5k ocr while healing from a meniscus injury? Maybe. Did I have a blast though? Heck yeah.

On Sunday, Daniel and I participated in Rugged Maniac Kitchener which was at Chicopee Ski Resort. If you’ve been following my blog for a bit and that name sounds familiar, it’s because Daniel and I went skiing there a few months ago and I blogged it. It was pretty cool to run up and down the same hills I was skiing down just months before. In this recap, I’m going to talk about the location of the race, expo, race, post-race after party and what I would’ve done differently.

The Location

Chicopee Ski Resort is only just over an hour from Toronto. Parking was a little crazy, but it was a huge event that was near sold out. If I’m not mistaken, parking was $20, however you could pay $10 and just be further away from the site. TONS of people just parked on the grass or in random ditches to avoid paying the fee which made me laugh. We ended up getting a prime parking spot, just a few dozen feet from bag check.

Rugged Maniac Start:Finish

The view from our parking spot…we totally lucked out!

Expo/Bag Check

The expo was a breeze, and we were in and out pretty quickly. The only issue I had here was that it seemed that the volunteers looming around the grounds didn’t know where the expo was. It turned out that it was on the opposite end of the base of the mountain, so we couldn’t see any signage. When we approached a volunteer, she had to ask someone who had to ask someone WHO HAD TO ASK SOMEONE ELSE. Grr. It was quickly resolved though, so I got over it fairly quickly.

Once we got our wristbands, race bib and t-shirt, we headed to bag check which consisted of a giant tent that housed everyone’s bags. It wasn’t as chaotic as it sounded; bags were kept on tables so they were almost organized in bunches. That being said, when we went to pick up our two bags at the end of the race, it was FILTHY. You could tell it had come into contact with mud. I guess that’s to be expected at an ocr…I’ll probably just bring a grocery tote next time so that it can be tossed if need be.

The Race

Holy crap this race was tough. The amount of time I put into training was nowhere near what I wanted it to be due to my knee and being in recovery mode. I thought about pulling out of the race, but at my last physio session I asked my physiotherapist what she thought and she gave the green light to race. Daniel’s also recovering from some knee issues, (birds of a feather flock together, eh?), so he was in the same boat as me. Nevertheless, we both had some cardio training in us and gave the race all we had. My knee didn’t hurt at all, (despite dragging it over numerous rocks during muddy army crawls), and Daniel was THE BEST teammate ever. My mom was actually supposed to be part of our team as well, but her leg ulcer, which seemed to be lying dormant for the past while flared up. The obvious choice for her was not to run. When she’s all healed up, she promised me that we’d do an ocr together so stay tuned!

My favourite obstacle was probably The Warped Wall. This consisted of a half pipe-type wall that you had to run up and climb over in order to get to the next obstacle. There was a ladder beside it should you chose not run up the half pipe, however who likes to do things the easy way? Our strategy was to have Daniel run first up the wall since he felt pretty confident that he could make it over. He did, (not that I was surprised), and gave me a thumbs up to run toward him. I was able to grab the top of the wall, but couldn’t swing my legs over to get up and over myself. Daniel managed to grab my right ankle and swing me over – not only did he save the day, but he saved me from sliding down the wall…so he also saved me from embarrassment, haha.

My least favourite obstacle was probably Bang The Gong. This involved jumping up to bang a mini gong which subsequently leads to you falling in approximately five feet of water. For some reason, I thought the water pit would be shallower…needless to say I was in for a surprise when my head was full immersed in the water for a few seconds.

Kitchener Course Map 2017

The course map. The obstacles were densely packed together which I loved!

The sense of camaraderie at Rugged Maniac was insane. Strangers were helping out strangers at every obstacle or giving words of encouragement as they passed you. I remember at one obstacle called Jacob’s Ladder, I got stuck at the top and was scared to swing my left leg over since my right leg couldn’t quite reach the next step on the ladder. Daniel had already gone up and over the obstacle and was at the bottom trying to give me pointers. After yelling down to him that I couldn’t do it, a girl who was about to pass me climbed back down and spotted me. She totally didn’t have to do that, but it was awesome that she did. Because of her, I swung my left leg over and continued on.

The Post Race Party

The post race party was exactly that – a party. After getting hosed off and changed into clean clothes, Daniel and I decided to cash in on the cool stuff going on around us. Daniel doesn’t drink so he gave his drink wristband to me. Score! Once I got drinks, (nothing says lovin’ like double-fisting after an ocr), we headed over to the food trucks and got some food. Daniel got two pulled-pork sandwiches from an unknown vendor while I got a pulled-pork grilled cheese sandwich from a food truck called Fo’ Cheesy. Ssssoooo delicious. During our delicious eats, we watched a pull up competition and a stein hoisting competition. How do these people do all that after what they just ran through?!? Although we didn’t take part in these events, there was also a mechanical bull and beach volleyball complete with amazing music.

Rugged Maniac Medal Photo

Daniel & I all hosed off after the run. I’m in love with the finisher’s medal!

What Would I Have Done Differently?

-Trained properly (though I guess there wasn’t much I could do about this)

-Worn Sunscreen: I figured the mud would protect me, but I totally forgot to account for the post-race party and the fact that we would be lingering around for a while after the race. Since I didn’t pack any sunscreen, we both got pretty burnt.

-Not Wear a Black Long Sleeve Shirt: in my defense, it was dry fit. Daniel also wore a similar shirt…we both reaped the consequences of said action

-Worn My Garmin: I didn’t wear my Garmin because I thought the mud would get caked in the buttons. I felt good about my decision until I saw so many other runners wear GPS watches. I manually entered my run on Strava in sadness.

Race photos don’t get released until Thursday, so I’m planning on doing a post on Friday with just the race photos. Keep your eyes peeled!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

How is May Already Over?!?!

Is it just me, or did this past month go by super quickly?!? Before I know it, the summer will be over and I’ll be starting my final semester of university. I’m going to attempt to hold on to every inch of summer I can!

This past month was interesting, as it saw the rehab of knee, which meant no half-marathon. This made me kind of sad, because this is something that I worked really hard towards and it flopped. That being said, I know what I did wrong and what to fix going forward. Enough about my knee…below is what my month looked like!

Total Mileage This Month: 14. Not much I can do about this unfortunately. Though I feel that June will definitely be higher.

Best Performing Blog Post: Ironically enough, the best performing blog post this month was April is Done! I guess you guys like to read about how the month has looked as a whole.

How was the Strength Training this Month: Like I said on Monday, I wish I made more strides in the strength-training department but everyone’s bound to have off-cycles. I’m looking to make crazy gains in June so watch out!

Cool Products I Tried this Month: I posted this on Instagram a bit ago, but I’ve fallen in love with Clif’s Nut Butter Filled Bars. I’ll probably be doing a review on them in the near future, so keep your eyes pealed.

Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled

The coconut almond butter is my favourite flavour, but they have a hazelnut one that tastes like Nutella. Mmmmmm 

Cool Things I did: Treetop Trekking hands down. Read my review for it here.

Treetop Trekking Grounds

So much green space! The actual area where the treetop trekking takes place is just beyond the trees. This photo doesn’t do it justice, it’s huge!

What cool products did you guys try this month? Anything I should try/do a review on?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

 

 

 

 

End of 6 (?) Week Workout Cycle

So I kind of dropped the ball on this. I have a calendar that I write all my workouts in and when my workout cycles start/stop. I totally didn’t pay attention to the fact that my current cycle ended three and a half weeks ago…woops. On the upside, I get to cycle in pre-workout again! Anyways, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to the past while strength training wise. Keep in mind my knee is still healing, so my stats aren’t nearly as high as I would like them to be.

 Leg & Shoulder Day

Name of Exercise Start Finish Increase
V-Squat (legs) 140lbs 160lbs 20lbs
Standing Calf Press (legs) 75lbs 140lbs 65lbs
Hip Adduction 190lbs 210lbs 20lbs
Hip Abduction 210lbs 220lbs 10lbs
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 30lbs 45lbs 15lbs
Standing Shoulder Press 55lbs 80lbs 25lbs
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 20lbs 45lbs 25lbs

Leg Day was tricky due to my knee. Half way through the cycle, I had to change up my workout in order to accommodate my injury. Also, with some of the shoulder exercises, they felt kind of awkward on my rotator cuff so I couldn’t cover as much ground. I also learned that doing dumbbell shoulder press and standing shoulder press in the same day REALLY tires out your shoulders…probably won’t do that again.

Back & Bicep Day

Name of Exercise Start Finish Increase
Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 75lbs 140lbs 65lbs
Concentrated Bicep Curls 20lbs 30lbs 10lbs
Barbell Deadlift 90lbs 100lbs 10lbs
Barbell Preacher Curls 35lbs 50lbs 15lbs
Low Row 70lbs 140lbs 70lbs

My deadlift had next to no improvement because of my knee.

Chest & Tricep Day

Name of Exercise Start Finish Increase
Incline Bench Press 40lbs 55lbs 15lbs
Assisted Dips 70lbs 30lbs -40lbs
Cable Flyes 17.5lbs 29lbs 11.5lbs
Tricep Kickbacks 15lbs 30lbs 15lbs
Dumbbell Bench Press 25lbs 35lbs 10lbs
Tricep Press 100lbs 120lbs 20lbs  

 

End of 6 (?) Week Cycle

Totally underestimated how hard incline bench is.

I’m really proud of how far my dips have come! I think I could definitely do one unassisted; I just question how many I could do. I had the same issues with the tricep kickbacks as I did with some of the other shoulder exercises. It feels really funky on my rotator cuff for some reason. As a side note, the weight on the cable flyes is per arm and not cumulative.

This next cycle, you guys will see me do a bit of a switch up. Rather than do a 5 x 5 style, I’m doing a 3 sets of 10-15 reps and different exercises. I only plan on hitting each muscle group twice rather than three times, because some of my gym sessions take way too long and with summer schools starting soon, I need to conserve time.

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Treetop Trekking Long Weekend Date

Since Daniel had the day off on Monday for Victoria Day (a holiday in Canada), we made it our mission to do our activity of the month that day. Daniel surprised me and took me to Treetop Trekking (the Brampton location), which was about a half hour drive from our house. For those of you who don’t know what treetop trekking is, it’s essentially what it sounds like; you spend most of your time trekking up trees in a variety of different ways with a zip line component sandwiched in there somewhere. The courses can vary in difficulty but no matter what, you’re always harnessed in.

Treetop Trekking 1

A brief snippet of what Treetop Trekking looked like…the photo doesn’t do it justice!

Our day began with pulling up to the Heart Lake Conservation Area gates and receiving directions as to where to go. Parking was plentiful and there weren’t really any stressors there. The rates were really affordable, and the bonus here is that there are student rates. Yay for having a valid student card! After going to a tiny welcome desk, we signed some waivers, got a wristband with our start time on it, and then made our way over to the equipment.

Treetop Trekking

Daniel after he got all suited-up.

The guy who helped us get into our equipment turned out to be one of the guides that were floating around the course. He was pretty thorough with explaining how to put stuff on, however since Daniel and I have both been rock climbing recently, it was more of a refresher than anything. Suited up in our harnesses and helmets, we made our way to the start of the course, which was in the forest and more removed from the waiting area. Here, our guide taught us how to safely lip ourselves to the trees, and how to safely zipline. After that, we were free to climb!

I’m not one that’s afraid of heights, but some of these obstacles were pretty high! They tested not only my balance, but they tested my teamwork with Daniel as well. Since Daniel went first through every obstacle, he would yell back to me what he did and if he thought it worked or not. Due to Daniel blazing the trail, I didn’t fall! The most challenging course was probably Kingfisher, which is advertised by the guides as “higher, harder, longer”. Boy were they spot on with that. You even have to sign an additional waiver which says that you as a climber acknowledge that it’s a harder course than the rest of the courses. The ladders seemed harder to climb on this course and the landing platforms could barely fit two people. So challenging, but so rewarding. The icing on the cake is that for an extra $17, could take a final zipline across Heart Lake at the end of Kingfisher and take in some pretty nice views.

I LOVED this date. It was amazing and challenging and super hard all at the same time. I will 100% be going back…especially since I won two VIP passes for taking the best photo that week.

Treetop Trekking 2

The winning selfie!

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Liftcorp Apparel Urban Wrist Wraps

A while ago I wrote a blog post about the HORRENDOUS service I received from Liftcorp Apparel (the company that makes these wrist wraps)…this was the product I was waiting for. Definitely give that post a read if you haven’t already, because it somewhat prefaces what will be said here.

After feeling that my wrists needed more support, I was on the hunt for some wraps. I somehow came across Liftcorp Apparel’s site and was pleasantly surprised to see that their wraps were only just over $16.00. Since they’re based in Australia, they use AUD, however CAD is pretty much on par so I really wasn’t paying extra for it. After waiting forever for these wraps to come, they finally came and I was able to try them out for a while before writing this review. Here’s what I have to say about it:

-The only pro to these wraps are that they support my wrist pretty well

-I’m a newbie to the wrist-wrap world so I don’t know if this is supposed to happen, but the thumb loop digs into my thumb like crazy. To the point where I have to unwrap between sets so it doesn’t rub my thumb raw

LIftcorp Apparel Wrist Wrap

You can see here where it digs in.

-One of the wraps is already falling apart! The stitching seems to have come out on one wrap where the velcro attaches to the wrap

LIftcorp Apparel Wrist Wrap 1

Where the loose thread is is where the velcro is starting to detach.

I’m pretty disappointed by this product. I honestly wish I just took my money elsewhere. I’d even be ok with paying more than I did. Anyone have any recommendations?

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: definitely not.

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Week 3 of Physio

I’m pretty sure I talk about this in pretty much every blog post, but I tore my meniscus two weeks before the Mississauga Half Marathon, (yes I’m bitter about it, haha), and have since began physio. After having to research different physio clinics based on some recommendations from my doctor and from you guys, I settled on Athlete’s Care which has different locations all over the Greater Toronto Area as well as Ottawa. Out of respect for the other patients I couldn’t take any photos in the clinic, but I’m going to give you an in-depth review of my experience thus far. FYI, I’ve had three sessions so far and my physiotherapist thinks I’ll need 4-6 more.

Logistics of the Clinic

The clinic itself is a little confusing to get to. I Google Mapped how to get there but since I live close by, I had a rough idea of where I was going. Google Maps told me I had to walk down a certain street that would later feed into the street that Athlete’s Care is on, however you literally cannot walk down this street; it only goes north and not south, (the direction I need). LUCKLY I know Scarborough well enough that I could get my bearings, but for someone who isn’t familiar with my neighbourhood, this could be troublesome.

The clinic is located on the ground floor of an office building so it has a very clean appearance. The only thing missing is the fact that AC seems to be at a minimum in the clinic. I find this odd since people are moving around and generating heat. I also am always running behind, so by the time I get to the clinic I’m sweating and that really doesn’t make for a great combo.

I had a little hiccup with my insurance on the first visit. I have two insurances, (one through my dad’s work and one through my school, both of which cover physio WITHOUT a referral), however when I informed the front desk of this, they immediately told me that they don’t bill directly to my dad’s insurance company and my school insurance wasn’t going through. This kind of irritated me, because I went from thinking that I wasn’t going to have to pay for anything that visit to having to pay almost $100. I always have issues submitting claims to my dad’s insurance myself, so I was hoping that it could be done for me. I guess not. I was also able to submit the claim to my school’s insurance without any issues so I guess that’s the route I’ll be going.

The treatment area is a giant room with hospital-like beds and curtains that can be drawn around them. I’ve never been there when it’s been super busy, but I’d imagine that it would kind of suck – after all, I almost hit someone with a tennis ball as I was doing an exercise.

The Physiotherapist

Uma! I have nothing but good things to say about her. She’s super sweet, attentive, and listens to all my concerns. She always asks how I’m progressing and what’s normal vs. what isn’t. She also cracks some jokes with me during those somewhat painful massages which is nice.

The Treatments

Uma has me doing a variety of exercises that strengthen my knee, surrounding areas, and test my balance. She’s really through when describing what to do, and gave me a new set of exercises to do in addition to what my doctor prescribed to me.

 

How am I Progressing?

I told Uma this, but I feel like my progress has kind of plateaued. I made huge progress the week following the tear, and then somewhere after my first physio session is when it stopped. Uma said that in her experience, she finds this is common since the meniscus gets such poor blood supply. If I haven’t progressed further than where I’m at right now, I’m supposed to get an MRI and we’ll go from there. I don’t think this will be necessary though, seeing as I went for a short run yesterday with no pain. I was advised though to ice my knee post-run regardless of if I felt any pain, which seemed to do the trick.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Got to roll out the glutes! Check out my my review on this roller here:

What kind of experience have you guys had with physio? Anything else I should be doing additionally that you guys found beneficial to speed up the healing process?

 

-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy