Posts Tagged ‘barrie’

Weekend Update Barrie
It’s Victoria Day here in Canada – celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was reigning when Canada became a country in 1867. It’s the ‘official’ start of summer in most of the country. And summer has definitely arrived in Ontario!

Yep, I’m back in Ontario for another visit – taking a bit more time than our 4 days back in April when I did two very short TravelRuns.

But before I get to the weekend – retracing steps and bringing back memories in Barrie – let’s recap the past week!


The weather was cool and a teeny bit rainy when Lana and I went out for our lunchtime run – the usual route including Stanley Park, Second Beach Pool and Lost Lagoon. Lana snapped a pic for me:
Second Beach

Jill and I conquered the gym – another kettlebell workout, baby! Here’s proof of the kettlebell in action  (sort of)! Plus, I’m wearing my Sun Run t-shirt!

Interval training! Lana wasn’t available, so I went out on my own. After a 2km warmup, I set my Garmin to do 10x 45 seconds, with 30 second rest breaks. The goose family was watching me running back and forth:

And when I finished I felt like this:
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Despite that face, I somehow managed the 2km return trip.

We did it again – Jill and I motivated each other back to the gym, and included a few deadlifts in the routine. Last workout before my holiday!

I had intended to go to Pilates, per my usual routine. However, being a long weekend, I had too much to do before leaving the office. Then we had to pack, and take the cat to our friends’ place.

On top of that, the scratchy feeling I had in my throat yesterday had blossomed into a nagging cough. And I honestly don’t find Pilates all that effective if I’m coughing through it.

Had a terrible sleep. Got up early and flew from Vancouver to Toronto, where my dad met us at the airport. The only exercise today was walking back and forth to the buffet that my dad treated us to. Plus, I was still not feeling 100%.

One week to Ottawa! And although I’m tapering a bit (does it count as tapering when I did a race 2 weeks ago?), I wanted to get a run in. Also, I thought it would be good to acclimatize to this weather – and take my brand new BibRave t-shirt on its inaugural run!
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I headed out and straight north (maybe slightly northwest) out of town. Beyond where the sidewalk ends (literally).

It’s a lonely stretch of road, out past the small local airport. Fields on either side. The last time I ran this route is firmly fixed in my mind.


It was just over 2 years ago. I was running to escape from my own thoughts and the reality of losing my mom. She had passed away 3 days before. I remember running this empty road, nothing but the fields and the sky and the sun and the occasional car, and bawling my eyes out. Just running and crying. Trying to come to terms with the reality of our lives at that point in time. It was an important moment – I hesitate to call it a pivotal one – but I think it was then that I realized then how essential running was to me. That it brought me some peace in the midst of anguish.

The road ends, and there is a trail just beyond. This time, I ran that trail. Not far, but just far enough

A lot of water under the bridge. I’m happy to be running here again. A bit nostalgic, to be sure, but not filled with sadness like I was that day 2 years ago.

On a lighter note, at the trail head this is this insane tree (yep – those are shoes nailed to the tree):

As I headed back into town, I was feeling happy and refreshed – at least emotionally (I was really, really hot).
Barrie sign

It’s springtime here in Barrie. The flowers growing wild in the park make me smile.
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Thanks to Tara at Running ‘n’ Reading, I’ve been inspired to do this weekend update – and join her weekly linkup! Join in, or drop by and see what other bloggers have been up to!

Running 'N' Reading


What route did you run this weekend? Do any of your running routes bring back memories? Have you ever experienced a moment when you realized what running meant to you?

Processed with MoldivMuch as I enjoy travelling, it often means I fall behind on other stuff, like updating my blog. With the preparation for going away, plus a couple of evening commitments, along with that full-time job…I’m way behind!

So I’ll get right to it!

Thursday night, we took the red-eye from Vancouver to Toronto. The flight only took about 4 hours, but because of the screaming toddler on board, it felt like a lot longer. Arrived in Ontario with actual red eyes, having not had a wink of sleep, and drove home to Barrie (about an hour due north of Toronto). Greeted my Dad warmly, and promptly took a 3-hour nap.


On Saturday, we drove 2+ hours to Hamilton, at the western end of Lake Ontario, where we attended my cousin’s wedding. It was a wonderful time, getting together with most of the extended family (including a couple of cousins I’d never met before!), dancing, and enjoying the open bar.

Yes, you read that right. Open bar.

Despite the open bar, I had mentally committed to running in Hamilton. I lived in the area during college – but as many of you know, I was not a runner then. As such, I was determined to make this a TravelRun. After breakfast and a few cups of coffee (but unfortunately not enough water), I headed out.

I had packed for Ontario with the assumption that it would be cold. It was not. I was dressed for cooler temperatures in a thermal long-sleeved top with a t-shirt over it, running tights & shorts, and my Icebreaker toque. I headed out from the hotel past Dundurn Castle and along Harvey Park, which overlooks Burlington Bay in Lake Ontario.

Burlington Bay

Burlington Skyway in the distance

About a kilometre in, I was already sweating.


I pulled up my sleeves.

My destination was Waterfront Trail, requiring me to clamber down a fairly imposing and twisty metal staircase.


I then headed back the way I had come, only now I was right on the lakeshore. The sun was beaming down, the geese were honking, and the fact that I hadn’t rehydrated properly to compensate for a couple of quite a few gin & tonics had set in.

I passed a dead racoon.

It then dawned on me that I was at the base of a small cliff, and that there were railway tracks in between me and said cliff. In order to get back to my destination, I had to do a full loop – which included a hill and a bridge. I briefly took off my toque to wipe my brow, but with the sun growing in intensity on my pale scalp I feared sunburn, and slapped that hat back on.

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Now don’t get me wrong – the Waterfront Trail is beautiful.

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But I was very happy when the hotel came back in sight. I freshened up, and we headed off for some waterfall sightseeing at the Spencer Gorge.

Webster's Falls Tew's Falls

Followed by a lovely lunch with the family and the newlyweds. Then we headed back to Barrie.


In order to ensure that the Ontario TravelRun was done right, I ventured out on Monday morning from my Dad’s place. I’ve run this route quite a few times. Most of it is pretty straightforward residential, all around the neighbourhood where I grew up: Letitia Street, Leacock Drive, Cundles Road, Livingstone Street, Lillian Crescent.

But then I get to run through Sunnidale Park. When I was a child, it seemed vast. Back in the 50s or 60s, it was a golf course. At one point, they wanted to pave it over, and my Mom fought tooth and nail to keep it as a park – and she succeeded. There’s a huge hill where I used to toboggan in the winter. But now I’m seeing it with fresh eyes (although it’s still a bit brown and bare).

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One of the coolest things – the path through the park is part of the Trans Canada Trail – a network of trails stretching 17,000km across Canada.

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As it turns out – the Waterfront Trail in Hamilton that I ran? It’s also part of the Trans Canada Trail!


Back to Vancouver on Monday night. This was a whirlwind trip, but totally worth it to spend the time with my family, who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

On Tuesday, I ran the Seawall in Coal Harbour with three of my coworkers. The Seawall is part of the Trans Canada Trail, too. This fact makes me very happy.

Have you ever run the Trans Canada Trail? Any good TravelRuns in your future?

Have you ever over (or under) dressed for a run?

Have you ever had one of those times when it’s the perfect storm of work, school, family all culminating in so much stuff going on that suddenly almost a month has gone by and you haven’t written a blog post?

Ya, that’s what happened.

2 weeks from today, I will run (or, by this time of day, have completed – I hope!) the Honolulu Marathon. And just to make sure I hadn’t forgotten, this arrived in the mail last week:


But what’s been happening in the meantime?

The Long Run

I probably should have peaked last week, but I got my longest run in about 3 weeks ago. It also happened to be the longest solo run I’ve ever done. It started with an early jaunt to Forerunners, where I joined up with the clinic for the first part of their run. I then continued my loop around False Creek and on to Stanley Park, where I captured a bit of the local scenery.


I’ll admit I also stopped along the way to vote in the municipal election!


After circumnavigating Stanley Park, I finally reached Coal Harbour at 33km, where I stopped for a coffee. The barista said: “Lovely morning for a little jog.” I just smiled and nodded.

Running Barrie

I went back to Ontario for a week to help my dad out following a minor surgery. And for the first time, I took the opportunity to run the beautiful Barrie Waterfront – an out and back around Kempenfelt Bay.


And had intended to get in a long run, but with some housework to manage, plus juggling working from home – I waited too long and woke up to this:

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Winter in Vancouver

I arrived back in BC just in time for…well, no snow yet, but a bit of below zero. Another False Creek/Stanley Park loop, and managed to reach a little more than a half marathon distance. I should have run further, but I ended up at Starbucks instead.

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But then yesterday, winter had truly arrived!


I ended up taking a bit of a tumble en route, but thanks to the cold my glove took the brunt of my fall! I’ve got a bit of a sore hip, too, but no war wound to show off!


So here’s what it looked like yesterday in all my key locales – including my upcoming vacation destinations!


My #42for42 goal is fast approaching – the birthday (on Friday) arriving just over a week before the distance. We’ll then be off to Japan for 2 weeks, where (after some recovery) I hope to run some more!

Stay tuned!