A quick note

Nothing too new is happening week to week. We walk, as usual on Saturday mornings. Last Saturday we were at least 15 walkers, and a few more came just for breakfast. Check out our new photo above – at our new Yonge Street meeting spot.

We’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather on Saturday mornings – but don’t get too comfortable! It will be snowy before you know it. Time to dig out your winter gear – hat, mitts, scarf, and Yaktrax (plus ski goggles for Phyllis). As we all know, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear’ – or something like that!

We’ve had two terrific training nights with Barb Gormley. We learned about many easy exercises that we can do to strengthen our core. You should do them even during the active training season. Don’t forget to do your 30 seconds of push-ups before you go to bed!

We are looking forward to ‘Black and Medals’ night at Harbord House on Thursday Nov.26th. Come wearing all your medals….with stories to tell. We’ll celebrate the past season and get excited about 2010.We’ll eat, drink and be merry! 6pm start.

One more word about walking on Saturdays…..until the new year, we are not walking according to any training schedule, however, there have been requests that we walk a little further than the 6k around the cemetery. Any interest in 1.5 or 2 laps??

Walking and ‘Intellectualizing’

It struck me, later, that my discussion (over breakfast) with Sherry was marked by a seriousness I usually give when resolving the plight of another person’s woes. The subject which had my attention was cross training.

Could it be that the upcoming training with Barb (500 Avenue Road) this Tuesday (@6:30 pm ) and next Tuesday (same time and place) was on my mind? Could it be that our end of season celebration @ Harbord House on Thursday Nov. 26th (6pm) was responsible ? Somehow I doubt it. When I met up with James, the first to greet me at the cemetery, cross training was not on my mind. Nor was it on my mind when Sue informed me that parking on the street was only for an hour; I ended up parking in a parking lot. The seriousness certainly could not be attributed to the weather or the distance.

Fiona, Maggie, Laurel, Diane, Mary, Debra, Carol, David, Klara, James, Sue, James, Rosemarie, Carron, Sherry, our newest member Cheryl and myself walked in cool but not cold weather. It was a beautiful November day. Sun shining, leaves falling to the ground carpeting the cemetery road. No, certainly not the beauty of the walk, the company nor the weather. Somehow walking the distance, this time, has taken on more of a intellectual meaning.

The meaning may reveal itself during one of my weekday walks, or on the longer Saturday walk or it may remain forever a mystery. It may. One thing, for me, is sure and that is regardless of the seriousness I attribute or the mystery of the origin of the seriousness, it really boils down to an irrelevancy because it is a matter of doing ; for those of us who walk the distance.

Reminder: Please RSVP (tpw@rogers.com) for the Nov. 10 or 17th training and whether you are coming to the end of season dinner on Nov. 26th.

We are still walking on Saturdays, from the Yonge Street side of the cemetery, but you are on your own for mid week walks…. Check out cross-training opportunities in your neighborhood, or talk about it while walking or eating (as Susan did)

TPW discovers a new way to cross train – quilting!

Rorie’s magic rain jacket had run out of mojo on Saturday morning. Despite the drizzle, six of us (Rorie, Phyllis – who didn’t melt, Ela, Susan B., Sherry – dressed as an elegant witch (see photo below) — and Diane – that’s me) did the cemetery circuit and agreed that every kind of weather has its own beauty. The rain had washed the leaves off the trees, creating puddles of gorgeous colour on the ground.

We reminded each other – and remind you all – that starting next week we meet at the Yonge street entrance to the cemetery. It is easily accessible by subway (Davisville or St Clair) and there is parking both within the cemetery ground and on the street outside. There is also a greater choice of restaurants that we can walk to. So remember – Yonge entrance, next Saturday at 8:30!

On Sunday, many of us joined Rorie for a quilting bee. The objective was to create five quilts to donate to an organization Victoria ’s Quilts that gives them to cancer patients. Rorie’s mum had received one and that gave her the inspiration.

We gathered at Rorie and Carol’s offices, along with a group of their colleagues. And here, Rorie’s magic returned. The operation was a miracle of organization, enthusiasm, co-operation, hard work and good fun. Some of the participants knew what they were doing and others, like me, learned as we went along. [Diane has an amazing ability to select and match different fabrics – Phyllis]

What started as a pile of ill-matched remnants of fabric ended the day as nine (count them, NINE) beautiful and unique quilts. When we held them all up for Rosemarie and Dave to photograph, the colours reminded me of the fall leaves we had walked through the day before. Our creations were awe-inspiring.

Thank you Rorie for bringing us all together for a wonderful day of cross-training. Who knew quilting was such hard physical work!

P.S. Speaking of cross-training. Now is the time to explore training opportunities, at home and in your community. We will NOT be gathering for Tuesday or Thursday group walks for a few months. Check out Pilates, Yoga, Aerobics or other exercises, with friends or on your own. If you have not done so already, please select one of the two training nights with Barb Gormley (Nov 10 or 17th) and tell us which one you will be attending tpw@rogers.com . Training location TBD very soon.

Also, if you have not done so already, please RSVP for our end of season dinner at Harbord House on Nov 26th . Just email tpw@rogers.com

Talking and Waiting

It was on Thursday that I (Susan) felt my feet urge, well really, beg me to go for a walk. When I met Dianne, Sue , Laurel, Susan , Ela , Sherry , Carron, Lynn, Barb, Mary and Lee in front of Mount Pleasant Cemetery at 8:30 on Saturday morning I became aware that the feeling in my feet had spread to my hips. They (hips and feet ) wanted to join in the power walk rhythm.

Knowing full well that the ‘want to join’ could soon override my knowing that my body needs a full two weeks plus of inactivity after the marathon, I told everyone I would meet them at the Golden Griddle (our prearranged breakfast spot) and left. When the 9 of us gathered at the Golden Griddle the conversation soon hummed with shared experiences, suggestions and personal information. Breakfast was enjoyed by all and that person who will only be identified as The Waiter was very well mannered.

Fiona and Klara have been busy walking with the Shore Things in the Beaches. Two Saturdays ago they completed 18K and last Saturday 16K . Fiona is planning to race next weekend in Hamilton. Go Fiona!

This Sunday, Phyllis, Rorie and Helen completed the Niagara Half marathon and to quote Helen ‘The route was spectacular with lots of fall colours to enjoy, steps from the Niagara river at all times. Bright blue skies and sunshine – the whole way. We had decided to walk the full route together. The conversation was good, the pace consistent which added to the fun of doing the event together. Sure we could have achieved better times by focusing on our pace but the goal was to enjoy each others company. Mission accomplished. At the finish we enjoyed the view of a rainbow over the falls and were met by Judy Strathdee, a former Jeans Marines coach. She told us that we walked in good form!’ We did her proud!

Needless to say after reading such a beautiful description, my feet, hips and arms are yearning to get out on the road. Tomorrow will be Monday and I look forward to starting my training sometime next week.

I look forward to moving feet, hips and arms with everyone next Saturday Mount Pleasant Cemetery at 8:30 am . The talk will then turn into the walk and the wait will be over.

A lovely Fall Walk

After training every week at High Park since the spring, it was nice to get back to Mt Pleasant Cemetery. We had a decent turn-out despite some of the regulars being out of town or unable to join us.

Sherri, Lynn, Susan, Deb, Diane, James, Carron and I walked briskly for one loop of the cemetery. No need to go too fast….or too far. What a pleasant change. We all had places to go and things to do afterwards, so we passed on our weekly communal breakfast. I understand that we are still seeking an affordable, hospitable, nearby venue for breakfast, so I am sure if you know of one, we will be willing to try it out. The season is just starting!

If you haven’t been out for a while on a Saturday…now is a good time to get out there…we’re walking shorter distances until at least January. For most of us, the next ‘race’ will be the 5k Resolution Run…. definitely do-able by all of you.

Good-luck next week to Rorie, Helen and Phyllis on their half marathon in Niagara on Sunday. Given Rorie and Helen’s busy schedules and inability to adequately train, I think it will be a ‘stroll-athon’ that ends at Niagara Falls. You still get the same medal – regardless of how long it takes you.

A few more weeks of Tues and Thurs walks.. come out if you can. We’re walking every Saturday at 8:30 from the Cemetery, come join us and walk the distance!

TPW’s have lots to be thankful for…

…the marathon season is over!

It was a Thanksgiving weekend of marathons for the 3 of the TPW with Phyllis in Baltimore, Ela and Susan in Chicago.

Baltimore, according to Phyllis was a great place for a marathon, or a half marathon. Great food, picturesque inner harbour with good shopping. Oh yes, the race was fun too. Definitely a possible destination for a TPW Fall excursion. Fewer than 4000 in the marathon and approx. 7500 in the half.

Chicago, needs no explanation other than the weather…it was freezing at the start line, and Susan and Ela shed clothing as they walked. What a difference from the scorching two previous years. I’m sure they had lots of water for participants this year! Congratulations to Ela for completing her first marathon, and in good style!

Congratulations to Susan and Phyllis too, veteran racers. Where to for 2010?

Some of us were thankful to be tapering off for the year and headed back to our beloved Mt Pleasant cemetery, our quiet winter walking location. Sue, Sherry, Carol, Deb, Rosemary, David and Diane walked the perimeter and soaked in the fall beauty. It was a perfect morning, cool and clear with the leaves flaunting their colours. There can’t be a more beautiful place on earth on such a fall day! A smaller group breakfasted at Chai on Bayview – a pleasant little spot for groups of up to about six.

We will be using the cemetery as our default Saturday location from here on in and we hope to see more of the gang (and any newbies who want to try us out) there next week. And don’t forget we are still at the pub on Tuesdays and the community centre on Thursdays. See the sidebar for details.

The season is waning but we are still going on!

We’re coming to the end of the racing season but we only slow down and change venues.

Two marathon events coming up – in Baltimore and Chicago. Good luck to Ela and Susan in Chicago on Sunday! I’ll be in Baltimore checking out the city and the course for all of you for next year!

Last Sat, there were many out walking at 7:00 and 7:30 – training, recovering or some just came out for breakfast! It was great to see everyone.

Next Saturday, we move back to Mt Pleasant Cemetery, to our winter home and winter hours, 8:30am start. We’ll continue walking on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of October when it gets too dark.

We have some training planned for November with Barb Gormley to help you weather the winter. Now is the time to check out other exercise options – near your home or work, and hopefully with someone else so that you ensure that you actually do it. Personally, I’m going to attend fitness classes at the North Toronto Community Centre on Tues and Thurs nights. They have classes all week for all levels of fitness, as well as a pool. Membership is quite inexpensive.

Save the date – Nov. 26th will be our annual ‘black and medals’ dinner where you get to show off all your medals, and socialize with all the TPWers. We can talk about plans for the winter and spring, and generally socialize and celebrate our terrific first year as Toronto Power Walkers!

We’ve come a long way. Keep walking the distance!


A day of races

Congrats to all who participated in this weekends races!

Personal bests were achieved, goals met and some amazing first efforts. Congratulations to Lorna and James for completing their first marathon at the ScotiaWaterfront.

Ela completed her first Scotia half and did it with a sub 3 hour time. She is ready for Chicago !! Sherry, Rorie, Leslie and Phyllis all did the half as well and their times were all sub 3 hours ..there may be a few PB’s in the group. After completing the half they joined Sue and Carol who had cheered them in, for brunch and planned their cheering strategy and location to bring in the marathoners!

Both Mary and James had sub 6 hour marathon times. WAY TO GO! It was great to see them out on the course, with great form and lots of smiles. Helen and David completed the marathon, making it their 3rd in 12months!!!

They say it takes a village to raise a child, on the course on Sunday I felt it also applied to marathoners. We got to the start line after months of training and support from our group TPW and our friends and families. On the course we had Rorie, Phyllis, and Ela walking the route with Mary,and Helen until Stadium road (approx 18k) where the marathoners turned south onto Queens Quay. On the way we saw Barbara and Janet cheering us on. It was great to see both of them out there.

Later on the marathon route as we looped, James, David, Mary, Helen and Lorna were able to cheer each other on. The far east section of the course had volunteers we all know, Wendy and Graham with the Stellar runners group. Graham always the coach asked Helen if she was on pace. Wendy walked 2K with Helen and then returned to her volunteer duties. A marathoner wearing a marathon maniacs t-shirt told Helen that the walkers were amazing. So true!

Phyllis and Rorie were out on the course around Parliament awaiting Lorna and Helen’s arrival so that they could walk with them to the finish! Rorie and Helen talked about this being a little like the Chicago finish .Lorna was happy to see Phyllis as she walked the last few kms. Coming up Bay street it was great to see Rosemarie out with her camera. It felt great to see the TPWer’s Carol and Sue at the finish , cheering enthusiastically and full of smiles. Family at the finish is great , whether it is traditional family or the one you have chosen for yourself- our walking family.

Linda and Kathrin represented TPW in Kitchener-Waterloo this weekend at the KW Walking Classic. I am sure they had a lot of fun and we hope to hear all about it soon. Susan B was out there training Saturday and had a PB on her training walk! Way to go Susan. Both you and Ela are going to Chicago well trained and ready to kick some asphalt!

Let us know what you were doing this weekend if you are not mentioned above …..we want to hear from you! Training as usual, see sidebar fordetails. Even if you’re not training for anything, come out and socialize. Some of us are still training and we need company. So much success this weekend ! and it truly would not have happened without the support of our group!

Congratulations to all TPWers!!!!

Toronto Power Walkers – on the streets!

Wow what an amazing weekend, and I don’t just mean the spectacular weather!

On Saturday morning shortly after 7am Helen, Ela, Susan, Mary and Marty (our pace dog), shivering, using sleeves for gloves, began walking their distances (16k and 32k). They missed not walking with the usual gang but kept up our tradition of going around the park and down to the Lakeshore. I wonder if the Ela and Susan saw the army of women accompanied by their friends and family going over to Toronto Island for the half marathon (more on them below). Helen and Mary were tapering for their marathon next weekend, so they ‘only’ walked 16k. According to Ela and Susan… Saturday was the best walking day ever! Blue sky, deep blue water, crisp air…

Eleven members of our group participated in the first Toronto Island Women’s Half Marathon an intimate, 2-circuit race of just over 250 women – and met our fellow walkers, Lorna, Shirley and Carron who were there as volunteers. It was a bit chilly as they sat in the sun on Centre Island and chatted, waiting for the start. Some of us (Diane, Laurel and Sue) had personal bests and Carol, intending to do 10k or less due to injury, finished as only Carol can. David was there as our official TPW photographer and cheerleader. TPW represented 25% of the walkers out there and we rocked!

On Sunday morning another group of walkers were out on the Lakeshore. Rorie and Phyllis started at 7am also with multiple layers of shirts, and gloves! They were joined by James and Leslie along the Lakeshore for the 2nd leg of Phyllis’ 32k walk. We spoke about many discussion topics including race strategy and pacing, what we eat for breakfast as well as the excitement of the Scotiabank as their first race – Leslie (half) and James (full).

If you are free next Sunday mid to late morning, come down to City Hall to cheer for Leslie, Rorie and Phyllis in the half (around 10:30am) and Helen, Mary, David, Lorna (first full marathon too) and James (from 1pm-2pm). We’re going for brunch at 11am at the Queen & Beaver Public House located at 35 Elm Street between Bay and Yonge Sts. If you plan on coming, please RSVP to our email. tpw@rogers.com

One last note. Just because you’ve done your race – it doesn’t mean that we’re done…we need company walking for the next few weeks through to the Niagara Half near end of October. We have a few training sessions booked with Coach Barb in November to keep you going through the winter, as well as a year-end ‘black and medals’ dinner on November 26th. More on that to come soon!

Congratulations to all! Your training paid off!