I had originally signed up for the Toronto Waterfront 10k with the intention of pacing a friend who had wanted to do her first race ever. Sadly, after I had signed up, she had changed her mind due to her workload and could not commit. I was definitely not ready to race this so I was kind of moping around trying to figure out what to do. In comes Allison! When she told me she signed herself and her eldest, Aimee, up for volunteer duties, I had suggested that her middle child, Chloe should run the race so she could received her medal from her first real “race” from her mother or sister. It was a spur of the moment idea (Chloe and I ran 1k together leading up to Ragnar) as neither one of us had run 10k in a while. However, when Allison asked Chloe, Chloe had apparently very confidently stated she could run 10k no problemo. She practically laughed at Allison for even thinking that she might need training to run 10k. Oh to be young and confident!
So there we were, Team Carmy and Chloe. Carmy who has ran a grand total of 4 runs the two weeks leading up to the race and Chloe who ran once (and hated it!! LOL!) two weeks before the race. We were team undertrained and overconfident. I mean what could go wrong right?
The Kit Pick Up
Before you go asking, here’s what was in the race kits. Aveeno sunscreen, Neutrogena sunscreen, Cetaphil lotion, and a drink.
The race shirt was a Lululemon swifty in black with the Toronto Waterfront logo on the side of the sleeve. I absolutely love the shirt as it is something that I already own a few of and because the logo is subtle and not front and centre, it’s something I know that I’ll wear again. While I understand why races put huge logos on their shirts, it usually just means I won’t be wearing it too often.
The kit pick up was at the Lululemon Queen West location where with the bib, you were able to get 25% off the store. I took full advantage of that and picked up a Long Distance SS, another pair of Trackers, and the Run All Day bag which I had been eyeing for well over a year now (sadly they only had it in black and not red). I’m a sucker for a discount when it comes to kit pick ups, that’s why I love big expos where it seems like every booth has a sale of some sort!
Race Day: Morning
Morning of I wore my Under Armour tee, a pair of Lululemon Tracker shorts, the Run Stuff Your Bra from Lululemon, and my Feeture socks.
I woke up bright and early at 4:50AM because Allison would be picking me up. As a volunteer, she and Aimee had to be at her position waaaaay before the start time so she was going to come get me and then Chloe and I would hang out at the a Starbucks until the start time. This is also when we found out Starbucks opens at 6AM so we would have to wait a bit outside. That was how early it was!!! Our corral didn’t start until 7:40AM but baggage check was to end at 7AM so I got some water and Chloe and I started drinking as much as we could (and pee as often as we could) as the weather was supposed to go as high as 30C (86F) and it was a sunny course with no shade.
Yes her bib says Judith, we bought and transferred her bib during kit pick up and it was too late for a bib reprint.
Other than the drinking and peeing, we spent our time pretty wisely! I gave Chloe a dutch braid, took photos to send to Allison, we talked about how corrals work and where the route would take us, and then suddenly, it was 6:45AM and we had to go over to baggage check!
With 40 minutes left to kill, Chloe wanted to stretch but I held her off til closer to the start time to do a quick warm up. During that 40 minutes, we talked about how it was important to pace ourselves. This was going to be a tough one based on the heat and the last time we ran together, we were running a 5:30ish/k! That pace was not going to happen for the entirety of the 10K with our lack of training under our belts. We sat around for a bit, lined her up for a portapotty and took more photos for Allison. This was definitely going to be a race for Chloe to remember.
Then we went off for our warm up! I was trying to show Chloe the pace we would try and maintain and she tried her best to not sprint 🙂 Afterwards, we stretched it out and I explained that doing cartwheels does not could as stretching and cartwheels are a no-no pre-race. 😂 Oh and I made her her shoelaces were double knotted because our last run, she ran the entire thing with her laces undone!!
Race Day: The Race
Pace: 6:21, 5:16 (under a bridge? may not be accurate), 6:18, 7:11, 7:06, 7:24, 7:43, 8:12, 10:00, 7:08
Clearly we were on point haha. I spent most of the race talking to Chloe about running – reminding her to breathe (constantly, sorry if it got annoying Chloe!), how we were supposed to run tangents, showing her how to weave in a crowd, how it’d be nice to jump in the water to hang out on the boats, and at one point, singing Taylor Swift because she said she was more motivated with music. We ran most of the first half continuously, we stopped for a walking break around the 4K mark but after I texted Allison that we were walking, she said she was at the 5K mark waiting to cheer for us so we went back to running so Allison could see Chloe in action.
Sarah had told me after the race that Allison joked that she was going to be so distracted that she’d miss us and funny enough, that was exactly what happened. We ran up to the 5K mark where as you can see on the map is where the finish area would be, and spotted Allison’s bright red hair. As I yelled “ALLISON” and Chloe yelled “MOM!!!!!” she was busy handing out a medal (aka doing her job lol) and missed us! Aimee however, saw us and was yelling as us to “KEEP GOING! GO! GO! GO!”
I had meant to text Allison we were coming right after “walking” because we had changed our mind about walking when I realized too late my text didn’t send! So you know, it was partly my fault too 😂 Of course I had to jokingly text Allison “worst mom ever lol” because she had turned around literally a second too late and saw us running off.
I wanted to make sure Allison was up to date as we were both worried over Chloe running in the heat so I kept texting her updates. She was turning pink and I suggested we take a few more walking breaks (FYI Chloe is a fast walker and I struggled to keep up to her walking pace!)
I texted her that Chloe was chafing and that we were going to take a pee break at 8K. Around the 8k mark was when Chloe mentioned it was the furthest she’s ever run (the furthest she’s ran was 5k LOL!) which made me think back to my conversation with her mother Allison were during the Niagara Women’s Half Marathon earlier that month pretty much said the exact same thing at the 8K mark. That was the cutest like mother, like daughter moment EVER.
After we had our bathroom break, we had spotted Heather with her 70min pacer sign so I brought Chloe over and we tried to stay with them for a bit. However, it was getting a bit too crowded and Chloe and I left the group.
Chloe however, was having fun “but at the same time, really tired.” We dumped water on our heads and worked on powering through the heat. Near the end, it was starting to get really hot and Chloe had asked for water, luckily a very nice lady was ahead of us had a hydration pack and overheard Chloe and offered her some water.
Early in the morning, Chloe had mentioned she was a fan of 400m and 800m (I don’t know why!!!!) so as we were approaching the end, I reminded her of our strategy to start speeding up. Around 800m left, we started picking people off. I would point to whoever was ahead of us and told Chloe to catch them. We kept going until there was 400m left and I told her it was just one lap around the track and that we were going to sprint!
Look at her knee drive! Look at her arms! She’s a natural. I was so proud of her for finishing the entire 10k! I was hoping that we would cross the finish line in 70-75 minutes and we managed to do it in 74 (and with a bathroom break!!)! I was so happy that she had finished what she had set out to do and the look on her and Allison’s face when we went to find her for Chloe’s medal… I almost cried! I mean just look at them!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are the first moments Chloe & I saw each other after she finished running the Toronto Waterfront 10k with @runcarmyrun. I put a lot of medals around a lot of necks this morning but the one I placed around Chloe’s neck was the one that really mattered. To say that I am proud is an understatement. ❤️ a special thank you to @runningdesigner for being present enough to take pictures when it wasn’t even a thought in my mind.
She did so well for her first big race and despite the heat and lack of training, we made it through to the end!
After the mini photo opp, I quickly rushed Chloe over to the wall of donuts (I KNOW. WALL. OF. DONUTS.) where Chloe got her sugar fix (and I managed to meet up with my cousin who also was running his first race ever, I AM ALSO PROUD OF YOU DUDE!) and we went over to go “trick or treat” style (Chloe’s words) to the food tent and got her all the food to her heart’s desire. We then headed over to the yoga mats and had a mini post run yoga session led by Lululemon while we waited for Allison and Aimee to finish their volunteer duties.
TEARS! At the end of the yoga session, the instructor talked about thinking about how we overcame so many obstacles to get to where we were now. She had us think about the race, the community, our friends and family and I just started to tear up! I was just so proud of what Chloe had accomplished and how much it meant to be to have someone beside me the whole time. Even though the race was about Chloe and pacing her, the race gave me a renewed sense of running – how it doesn’t have to be about speed but just about having fun. There was just so much joy in my heart over Chloe finishing that I texted H “my heart is so happy over her happiness” <- I clearly was having trouble trying to express my feelings other than using the word and variation of the word “happy.” I can only hope that one day if I ever have a child that I’m able to do this with him/her.
Lululemon and RunCRS did an amazing job with the Toronto Waterfront 10K. Everything ran smoothly, corrals left on time, the course was clearly marked, plenty of water stations and cheer stations, and I loved that they offered free race photos. While it was hot and not a lot of shade was on the course, I went into it knowing it’d be like that so it wasn’t a surprise. The course was mostly flat with minimal inclines. At the finish line, lemon scented towels were handed out so we were able to wipe off a bit which was a nice touch. Overall, the race was a great one, the volunteers were amazing, the course was clear and well marked, and atmosphere of it was upbeat and fun!
Major shoutouts to Chloe who rocked her first 10K and made the whole race 100% more fun for me! Pacing her made time fly 🙂
Let’s Chat! Did you race this weekend? Or just a long run? How did it go?