Thursday, 25 April 2013

Yonge Street 10k Race Report

Alarms rang at 4 am Sunday.  We didn't even eat, because it took so long to put on the make-up and get dressed.  It snowed Saturday morning, but there was none today.  Even so, it was freezing outside, and I offered Jen a red and a black shirt to wear instead of the bikini.  The offer was to cut the arm off of one.  She tried them on, but they bunched up something awful, and took away from the whole effect that she was going for.  If she had bought the skinsuit with full arms, it would have been okay, but cobbling it together like this wasn't working. She had planned to wear the bikini, and was going to wear the bikini.  and the corset.  I would be plenty warm enough in my suit jacket and pants.  I didn't do a trial of the hair colour, and it looked okay, if a little dark.  I was afraid of the make-up not washing out of my hair. It dried hard like wicker, as if I had stuck my head into a bucket of paint.  

We were out the door at 5:30am, for breakfast at Tim Horton's on the highway.  Of course we went in to impress the night staff with our outfits. When you dress up like this, it's to get people to look at you, so we didn't hide in the drive-through lane.  My customary pre-race is a bagel with peanut butter. I got a can of Monster to clear away the morning fog from my head.  We pushed some good speed, making it to parking near Lawrence Subway Station just after 7.  From there we walked South the kilometer to the start.  That left almost two hours to wait in the cold.  

We huddled beside a building for shelter from the breeze and still be in the sun.  It was barely a breeze, but with the temperature right around freezing, you could feel the difference.  I was okay in my suit jacket, and since we had a squire (Meghan) to carry loose articles, Jen got to keep her coat on until 10 minutes before the start.  That's the race start at 9, not our wave start at 9:15. She was all goose-bumps on her arms by the time we set off. Lot's of people asked for pictures with us.  Other costumed revelers were a pair dressed as bananas, the Pharaoh of Egypt, a couple of Wonder Women, and the She-Hulk.  We chatted with her before the start. We couldn't see the bananas, since they were up at the start, but just hear about it over the P.A.  The Wonder Women had coats on, so we weren't sure if it was full regalia, but one had the tiara, so most likely it was.  Didn't see them again.
Harley Quinn and The Joker

Honestly, this temperature is typical for this race.  Racing here 10 years ago is what got me into the practice of buying disposable pants and sweatshirt to abandon at the start.  My first time, I waited 15 minutes in my shorts at the bus stop, then had an hour in the starting corral. Even if you use the baggage drop, you freeze, since you have to leave your parcel well before the start. Running keeps you warm enough once you are moving.

The race invites most everyone except dogs.  Hand-cycle racers began at 8:55.  Walkers, including those with Nordic poles at the back for a 9:25 start.  Strollers were allowed at the back with the walkers. No skateboards, roller skates or such wheeled help.  This race had 7,000 people.  The Sporting Life 10k, which had 12,000 the last time Jen and I ran it, now gathers 20,000. 

I expected devastation at the aid stations, but they were in good order, so we stopped twice for a drink, being careful not to spill and ruin the face.  Jen went to the local costume shop and got Snazeroo face paint.  It looked great, but is water-colour, so it had to be treated with care.  Rain would have completely trashed it.  A couple tears from the cold breeze left a black smudge under one eye.  I bought Mehron brand from eBay.  It was more water resistant, but dried into a hard mask that cracked to pieces.  Perhaps I had it on too thick.  They advertised it as a paint good for air brushing.  I had it caked on like icing. Somehow, the look was okay.  The crackle effect added character to it.  I ran in dress shoes.  The ones I chose have a cushy rubber sole which I knew would run well, and they performed just fine. 
Run! Zombies!

At Christmas I mentioned to Jen that they had a costume division in this race, and she was for it immediately.  She always dresses up for Halloween, and often for Free Comic Book Day.  We discussed several options.  We've done Batman and Batgirl enough times.  The Joker and Harley Quinn choice was a good fit for matching outfits, and easy enough to do.  I bought the jacket from eBay, in lavender which I dyed purple.  The dye doesn't stick well to polyester, but gave it a good purple hue that would be good as long as I don't wash it.  I would have preferred a tuxedo style, but was afraid that the white polyester ones in my price range wouldn't dye purple enough.  I saw a beautiful 3-piece suit in purple that looked great for $200, but the size was way too big, and that's more than I wanted to spend, especially after already buying the lavender. There were plenty of Heath Ledger style outfits, but I wanted a more traditional look. Jen bought two bikinis to make into the bicoloured top.  The corset was a concern for running, but if not tightened very hard left room to breathe and didn't cause chafing in the run tests.  Her hair is permanent dye, and she's keeping until it grows out, which I expect to be over a year.  

By race end I could feel my back wet from sweat. We stayed for the awards, to see who won for the costumes. One of the speakers did a terrific tribute to Boston. The terrorists can eat it.  We will keep on running. They weren't judging costumes at the finish line. The announcer did a quick audience vote amongst those of us who were still there.  So no bananas, no Wonder Women, no Pharaoh.  She-Hulk was present. First place was a baby who did the race in a stroller, dressed as, well, baby with mom, basically.  They were cute and we cheered for them.  Me and Jen were second and third! That’s bonus bucks for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

We were given a bonus shirt for early entry, and I gave mine to the squire for being race support. Thank you Meghan! She took the subway downtown, and was right there waiting for us by the finish line, if a little slow using the camera.  
Gotta be quick to catch The Joker and Harley

Afterwards, we headed up Bathurst looking for Chinese food.  It was the wrong place, so I phoned a school buddy, for directions. Thank you Ted!  He got us routed a block East to Chinatown on Spadina.  That worked out well.  

We finished seconds under an hour.  Jen sprinted ahead to the finish, and people were yelling for Joker to catch up.  It's her best time at this distance and I’m really proud of her.  Already she says she want to go again, a little further.  There's plenty to choose from with Waterloo, Mississauga, and GoodLife Toronto all coming up May 5.  Wait and see!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

I need a new deck

There was a bit of extra bounce in my Horizon treadmill, so I took it apart and found the deck split up the middle.  The deck is a half-inch piece of particleboard covered in MACtac.  That was a surprise.  I thought it was a steel plate like the rest of the machine frame.  I wouldn't have thought particle board to be sturdy enough, and it turns out that I'm right.  It's lasted about three years, with some particularly heavy use this past winter.  

Treadmill deck is split

I  hauled the deck into the local Treadmill Factory, who said they could come up with a replacement.  The salesman went straight into a sales pitch, which was fine.  I want a unit that's metric.  Converting from miles in my head is annoying.  I demonstrated this winter, that i will use it enough to upgrade to a commercial duty unit.  The first thing I asked about the demo unit he showed me was, "does it do metric?".  He's showing the current Horizon, which is similar to mine.  I suggest we look at the next level up, which is AFG.  These have larger rollers, thicker deck, and more sturdy frame for squeak prevention.  Sounds good, and I brought one of them home.  Surprise!  It only does miles.  I could have cried.