Fitness Swellness: Saddle up and join in the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes

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Charities are getting more and more creative with ways to raise money for their causes other than the usual run or walk, and I think that’s fantastic. As much as I love running, I know it’s not for everyone! I’m excited to take part next week, along with more than 12,000 people across Canada, in the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes 2017!

It’s my first year, but I hear the high-energy event is full of positive vibes. Presented by Sun Life Financial, the JDRF Revolution Ride’s goal is to raise funds so that we can one day live in a world where no one needs to suffer from type 1 diabetes (T1D).

If you’re not familiar with T1D, you should know it can be a devastating autoimmune disease. When you have T1D, your body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin (which your body needs in order to get energy from food). It affects more than 300,000 Canadians, from kids to adults, and diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, blindness, kidney and heart disease and other health conditions. And it’s not due to eating too much sugar, or linked to being overweight or not exercising enough—its cause is unknown. And while people with diabetes must test their blood sugar every day and give themselves insulin injections several times a day (or use an insulin pump) for the rest of their lives, insulin is not a cure, and it does not prevent those severe complications mentioned above.

By taking part in the JDRF Revolution Ride, your fundraising helps contribute toward the incredible advances made in T1D research. It’s thanks to the support of people like you that smart insulin (which responds to your body’s needs) was developed and that artificial pancreas systems are being developed so as to leverage technology to improve T1D management, to name just two examples.

How you can join in the JFRF Revolution Ride:
I’ll be taking part in a one-hour morning spin class that kicks off the JDRF Revolution Ride event in Toronto. And there’s still time for you to take part in the Ride event, too: you can compete either individually or in teams on stationary bikes (in the Ride10, for example, all you do is saddle up and ride seven minutes as a member of a five-person team—seven minutes well spent!), or even bike outdoors on your own when you can find the time to in your schedule. If you can’t take part with an actual ride, every dollar helps the cause, so consider donating to a friend who is fundraising for the Revolution Ride.

So see you there, right? I’ll be the runner-and-infrequent-Spin-class girl sweating through the session. But every pedal we all push in this Ride means we get closer to defeating diabetes.

(sponsored)

Leave a Comment September 29, 2017

Fitness Swellness: Global Energy Race by Dempster’s 10k race report

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I was excited for the Global Energy Race by Dempster’s on Sunday and planned to race it. I haven’t tried to PB in a 10k race in years so I was curious to see what I could do (although I wasn’t sure if I could beat my current PB of 47:51). I also thought it was a good opportunity to see how I felt for my upcoming Chicago Marathon (in 2014 I PB’d in Chicago and it’s still my fastest marathon).

But as luck would have it, after my speed work on Tuesday night with Nike, I noticed my nose was running. And, sure enough, on Wednesday, I woke up with a full-on cold.

My cold did not let up at all by Sunday, and I was very tired and congested. I’d had zero time to rest as I was on an overnight trip right before the race (I’d gone up to Blue Mountain to check out the first Creemore Springs Oktoberfest at Blue). My legs were still sore from the speed work (it was a very tough night of track work!). And when Olympian Adam van Koeverden (and Global Energy Race ambassador) lead all the runners in a warm up, I couldn’t even bear the thought of lifting my knees high because I was so exhausted so I didn’t warm up with the crowd.

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Add that it was very hot (I think it was 25C but that’s not factoring in humidity) and I knew the race would be rough for me. My plan was to run the race as a tempo, which, dialing back my expectations (given my cold and the sticky humid weather would slow me down) I figured I could finish in 55 minutes if it went well as I could hope for. I also threw caution to the wind and tried out two new pieces of gear that I’d never used before: the Nike Zoom Fly shoes and the Nike Lean Runnign Waistpack. That’s a no-no (to try new things for race day) but I was pretty confident they wouldn’t cause me issues, and I’m keen on testing them out as much as possible to see if I want to use them in Chicago.

Given I had zero energy leading up to the race, I barely looked at the race info and had no idea what the route was, and I hoped it was not two loops (it was not). For the start corral, I went into the middle of the pack given I planned to run comfortably hard and I wasn’t aiming to PB.

But once the race started, I quickly discovered that I was faster than most of the people I was surrounded with. As I worked my way forward, I could see there were not a ton of women ahead of me since I could see the runners when the route looped back, so I felt like I was doing decently even in my congested state. I didn’t push myself to run so fast it hurt or that my heart would explode out of my chest. I recognized I needed to give my body a bit of a break.

So how’d I do? I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 52:50.6. I finished 5th out of 26 women in my age category, 15th out of 114 women, and 50th overall. And I’m pretty stoked with those results given I was down and out with a cold and the weather was awful for racing.

Global Energy Race medal

And how can you not love small races: I feel like if I’d been healthy, I could’ve gotten into the top 10 women. Makes me keen to do this race again next year!

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Another reason I’d be keen to do this race again: there was one of the biggest spreads of food I’ve seen after a race: a taco truck! Brunch foods like French toast (with berries and whipped cream to top it with) along with two different breakfast sandwiches! Hot dogs! Hamburgers! Juices! Coconut water! And let’s not forget the table with a huge range of packaged snacks that you could help yourself to. Snacks for days!

Two ways I think the race could be improved: the race results need to be clearly available on the race sit. They currently are incredibly difficult to find. I googled many times, and finally after many attempts I found them on the site RunSignup.com (although the results have the race as being in Hamilton!). Secondly, there needs to be a better way to manage both the 10k race and the 3k race: for a certain period of time, with the start of the 3k race starting and going in the direction of 10k runners finishing their race, 10k runners had to contend with a big wave of 3k runners and walkers coming in their direction on the very narrow path, and those 10k runner were directed into a skinny little chute on the side where there was grass underfoot to finish their race. As I stood there to cheer my friends in, I saw many 10k runners confused as to where they were going (as it wasn’t very clear that this grassy chute would bring you over the finish line).

The adorable Bimbo mascot (of Grupo Bimbo, the Mexican bakery company) was there dancing up a storm, too, even in the intense heat and humidity. Props to Bimbo!

Bimbo at the Global Energy Race

Thank you, Dempster’s, for the chance to take part in this race that helps to provide food to those in need and aims to encourage active living.

Now, Chicago Marathon is in less than two weeks, and I suppose I’m thankful the cold came now rather than right before that race! Eep!

 

 

 

Leave a Comment September 26, 2017

Healthy Swellness: Chevrolet Ron Fellows Driving Experience

Ron Fellows Driving Experience

I think I’ve ‘fessed up before that I don’t love driving. So why do I keep snapping up the opportunity to drive performance cars on a race track? I figure that even though these are performance cars and the experience different than driving you’d do in the city, the more time and skills I develop behind the wheel of any car will help me feel more comfortable and maybe even more skilled handling a car when I’m on the road.

You’ll recall I was on a track in honour of Father’s Day, and more recently I had the chance to go to Chevrolet Ron Fellows Driving Experience at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to drive both a Camaro and a Corvette. And this was a very different experience because I wasn’t in the car with my instructor, but rather Ron instructed us through a headset. I was pretty intimidated at first, but once we started going, I felt safe on the track and did my best to follow the racing line (keep eyes ahead and looking for those pylons for guidance!).

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Photo: Ben Marans Photography

Unfortunately, I forgot to record the data from my time on the track (I guess I was so anxious to get going that I forgot to hit “start recording” for the USB as I was supposed to). I think the fastest I noticed on the speedometer was more then 150 kilometres an hour, which doesn’t sound very fast (I’ve, um, maybe accidentally done it on a highway…) but on a curvy and notoriously difficult race track, that is plenty fast to me!

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Photo: Ben Marans Photography

That day, I got to learn about the Chevrolet performance car lineup (four cars were launched in 2016, including the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Grand Sport). Most interesting to me were the reasons behind Chevy doing performance cars at all: it creates fans worldwide, drives new technologies and drives competition, and racing and performances helps inform their production vehicles (so things they learn from the performance cars can trickle into improvements to the cars that we drive on the roads); those are just a few of the reasons.

Ron Fellows race track day

I will say that this day had me feeling like I was in a scene from the Fast & The Furious. In fact, my new motto may very well be “I live my life a quarter mile at a time.”  And why’d I categorize this under “health”? Because trying new things and getting that adrenaline pumping is always healthy in my book. And, oh, I must mention that I was the only girl in the whole group of media, so patting myself on the back for my day of keeping up with the boys!

 

Leave a Comment September 20, 2017

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