Top Toronto Workouts & A 10K Recap

While I was in Toronto, I managed to get in a workout per day with 3 rest days - one per week. Not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty impressed! 

It helped that I was in a major city with fitness at my fingertips. There were three workouts in particular that stood out during my trip. 

Toronto Workouts

MEC TORONTO 10K

When Brynn and I knew we would be in Toronto with a day off on Sunday we started looking up a race to run. We found a race put on by MEC that offered a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. The best part was it was 5 minutes from our hotel and only $15!

My pre-race meal was the delicious sandwich I had at the Beet Organic Cafe. We got to bed at a decent time and in the morning I made myself PB2, a multigrain sandwich round and a banana – it looked like a taco but it worked given the hotel-room circumstances.

Pre Race Breakfast

We weren’t expecting much out of a $15 race, but Kind and Vita Coco were both there along with Tiger Balm and a few other vendors offering samples. Bib pick up was a breeze (and they called it chip pick up aw!)

This 10K (my favorite distance) was by far the best course I’ve ever run in my life. Not only was it perfectly flat, but it was absolutely gorgeous. We ran through a bird sanctuary with water on all sides. It was an out and back and at one point we crossed over a bridge that gave a breath-taking view of the Toronto city skyline. It was so hard not to stop and take a picture! But if you take a look at my Strava map and use your imagination, you can pretend to see the amazing water views. 

MEC Toronto 6

My goal going in was a sub 8:00 pace and negative splits and I’m happy to report that the race was a success on both of those fronts!

Towards the end I paced myself off of a girl slightly in front of me and it ended up being a lifesaver. When the finish line came into view at 6 miles, I booked it for the final .2 and it was THE BEST FINAL KICK OF MY LIFE! That’s a bold statement, but entirely accurate. I felt like I was flying.

As soon as I crossed the finish line I turned around to find her and we both had big smiles and hi-fives for each other which was awesome.

My splits were
8:00
7:48
7:40
7:35
7:28
7:28
and 6:20 for the last .2

Later, when I looked at my results - I was pleased to find that I was the 13th Female finisher! 

Toronto 10K

SPOKEHAUS SPIN CLASS

A few of my co-workers and I were determined to fit in a spin class during our time in Toronto. It had to happen early on, or there would have been no shot as we got more and more run down as the weeks progressed. 

We found a spin studio close to the hotel that happened to have a 2 for 1 deal - meaning that we only paid $14 for a class. Not too shabby (especially considering the exchange rate was in our favor!) 

The waiting room looked all white, shiny and new with automatic lockers. I didn't look in the locker rooms, but I'd imagine those were nice as well. The shoe rental was included in the price of the class, which is always a plus. Unfortunately, the bikes were pretty outdated - they didn't have any bells and whistles and there were definitely no statistics (my favorite part of a spin class, personally). 

I liked the name and I liked the logo - but unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy the class. It was VERY heavy on what I refer to as "bike dancing." Lots of "and crunch to the right, crunch to the left" along with push-ups and "tap backs" while speeding along with little to no resistance. If you like SoulCycle, you'd probably  like a class at Spokehaus, but I'm one of those obnoxious people who insist that doing those types of things on bikes is silly and downright bad for your body. 

I'm also the type of person who doesn't give a crap about being the odd one out in the middle of a group fitness class - for the most part I did my own thing, focusing on spinning with higher resistance in time to the music. I even sat out the arm track which is a blatantly obvious thing to do. Ooops for drawing attention to myself, but I'll never see any of these people again anyway! 

My biggest eye-roll came during the last song when electric candles were placed around the room. I might have audibly groaned. 

Spokehaus Toronto Review

NOVEMBER PROJECT YYZ 

For those of you that are new around here, I'm part of a fitness cult, I mean, group, called November Project. You can learn all about it from all of the press it's gotten in places like the New York Times, Good Morning America and the Washington Post. But essentially, its a group that extends far beyond New York City, where I first joined, to include 28 cities across the world. We workout at 6:30 a.m., which is crazy to some people, but ideal for me! 

I was able to wake up early on my first Wednesday in Toronto and hop in a cab to the meeting locations for Toronto's November Project tribe - at the Baldwin Steps of Casa Loma Park. My cab driver was definitely a little concerned about me when I told him to pull over and drop me off - seemingly in the middle of nowhere in the early morning hours. 

November Project Toronto

But I was quickly joined by others ready to workout. The Toronto tribe leaders, Sam and Michelle, were out so babysitters Ben and Arden took the reins with a killer pyramid workout. 

1 Loop around Casa Loma Park (this includes a fairly steep hill!) 
2 Sets of Baldwin Steps
55 Lunge Jumps (PER SIDE)  - these are my least favorite exercise ever, for sure. I would have rather done 55 burpees. But it was good that I was forced to do them during this workout! 
45 In & Out Crunches
35 Push-Ups
25 Squat-Star Jumps
15 Burpees
1 Loop around Casa Loma Park (this includes a fairly steep hill!) 
2 Sets of Baldwin Steps
15 Burpees
25 Squat-Star Jumps
35 Push-Ups
45 In & Out Crunches
55 Lunge Jumps Per Side

Then, I proceeded to run the3.5 miles back to the hotel! The run didn't feel effortless, but by the end my  legs were feeling much better and I was able to negative split, with my last mile clocking in at a swift 7:19 pace and the last half mile at a 7:07! 

Getting to go to a November Project workout put me in a GREAT mood that lasted throughout the day. I can't explain how waking up at 5:45 a.m. on my own accord and physically exerting myself game me MORE energy throughout the day - but it definitely did! 

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