Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Time to run fast

Last Thursday I ran on the new varsity track just west of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) on Bloor Street.  I love that stretch of Bloor, as I have fond memories of taking my son to the RCM for piano lessons for many years.  We often had ice cream at Greg’s which used to be across the street from the RCM.  At the time my son would tell me regularly how I was ruining his life, however he plays very regularly now and much enjoys it.  I think one of the highlights of motherhood was waking from a nap to hear him play some Erik Satie.  I did feel as though I had died and gone to momma heaven.

The evening of the track workout was hideously hot.  Were I not a person who is almost pathologically stuck on keeping to promises even though others may not care.  I probably would have skipped the workout.  However, I told the coach that I was going to give it a try.  That coach as it turned out was away on vacation that day.

Masters track, with Toronto legend, Dr. Bob Moore (2:14 marathon PB)

Thankfully, that group was small and the ambiance very relaxed.  I was assigned a 10 X 200 meter workout with a 200 meter jog rest.  I had no idea what to expect and was thrilled to easily run 44-48 seconds per 200 meters at a modest effort-level.  We then moved on to the stair bounding.  Again, I was surprised to do half the workout quite comfortably, 5 times up the stadium steps, two steps at a time.  The hard part was not tripping ,due to the hypnotic visual effect of running up the stairs so quickly.  I could have done another set of 5 but did not want to overdo it the first time out.

Then came the mysterious circuit training.  Now that was tough.  I consider my upper body strength to be pretty good however there is no way in hell that I can do 25 full body push-ups.  I was told by my 45 & 55 year female workout mates that it was okay to do knee push ups.  Then a round of  planking which was about 4 times as hard as my usual plank workouts, more ab exercises and finally, push-ups with the legs raised about 20 inches.  “Isn’t that harder than regular push-ups?” I asked, incredulous.  And yes, was the answer.  Much of this was done on a wet synthetic infield that felt like plastic mesh against bare skin.  Yuck!  Finally, an exercise involving balance which I was unable to execute.  From a seated position, one leg is raised off the ground and with your arms folded in front, you use your other leg and glute muscles to rise on that one leg and then sit down.  I tried this one a few days later at home in bare feet and it was a lot easier to maintain balance.

My legs were heavy the next day but not sore.  I guess my lower leg weightlifting prepared my body for using the muscles needed for fast running.  In spite of my seeming lack of overall body fitness, I’m going back tomorrow and my goal is to do 2  full body push-ups.

Onwards and upwards!

p.s.  I’ve been to a couple of concerts at fabulous Koerner Hall in the RCM including Penderecki Plus.  Penderecki was visiting composer at U of T last year.  The acoustics at Koerner Hall have a higher rating than the Four Seasons Opera House.