Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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It’s not only me that’s high on adrenalin – Day 3

An unusual two-post day to make up for yesterday.  Early to bed, I went and I slept in to 5:30 a.m. so I felt refreshed.  I was looking forward to a three mile run with my husband but the rainy morning intervened and we ran side-by-side on treadmills at the Y.  The main interaction was when he leaned over to point out that I was on the cartoon channel.  I was immersed in starting the audio book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and had not noticed that Sponge Bob or similar was airing right in front of me.  I switched to the Discovery Channel, as there is always the hope that one might catch sight of some green spaces.

I’ve started fine-tuning my routine at the end of the work day, when I am running home.  I wear my sports bra, and shorts under my pants to make the transition to running gear smoother.  Around 4:30 p.m. I change into my running top and then all I have to do is quickly remove my work pants behind a partition and slip into my running pants.   Fortunately, the winds had died down and there was no rain.  I started my fast sections around Sporting Life on Yonge.  The tennis courts at Winston Churchill Park are no longer on, so I have to avoid the more scenic section of the path.  As I ran through the park, I thought, “What a funny person I am to be here in the near dark, after work, working out with such intensity.  How did I get to this place?”

Shortly after as I ran along Dupont, during a rest section, 5 women flew by me, doing the type of speedwork that I was doing.  One waved, and I realized it was Nicole Stevenson, one of Canada’s top marathoners.  I regretted that I was in the rest phase of my run and wished I too had been whizzing by. 

Click here to see my earlier blog about running into Nicole Stevenson and her charges in Mt. Pleasant cemetery.

Do I look like I'm trying my best here?

About half a mile later, I could feel someone on my shoulder, and to my surprise it was a young woman who must have been trying to keep up to me.  She passed me when I finished the fast section and ran on.  I passed her when I started to run hard again, and then she passed me when I stopped.  This scenario repeated itself a couple more times until we parted ways at Ossington and Bloor.  I wonder if she could tell in the dark that I was 25-30 years older than her 🙂

So by the end of the run, I did not feel so “funny”, how many other women are out there running hard in the dark on a November night?  Because of the piggy back sprinting down Ossington street, I was quite tired and doing a jog-walk afterward so I popped into the grocery store and jogged home with my purchases.  I felt quite happy to turned commuting time into fitness time, with an errand thrown in for good measure.   Dinner was gnocchi with meat sauce (defrosted this a.m.) and as I wind down, I’m finding it hard to face the dirty dishes.  There is always the morning.

Now for the hot bath . . .

Bon soir!

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Staying awake is hard to do – Day 2

Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 6:55 a.m. - Western Boardwalk

Rising at 4:30 a.m. before my alarm, did not bode well for an evening at the theatre. The extra time did however, enable me to feel quite prepared and on top of my day. I could feel the effect of last night’s hard workout in my legs during my easy 7 miler to the lake.

The work day whizzed by and at the end of the work day everyone but I seemed to have been alerted to the big storm. I did take a walk at lunch but the sky while overcast was not broadcasting a storm. A colleague kindly offered to drop me off at the India Rice Factory.

The route there is very similar to my running route home. It was an eye opener to be stuck in the heavy stop and start traffic down Yonge and Avenue road and motion sickness kicked in. I found myself savouring the freedom of my runs and I slowly felt myself turning green. The weird affliction of motion sickness in my case, seems to be exacerbated by an empty stomach. I had lunch early and realized that I was hungry, very hungry.

I arrived at my destination early and immediately ordered corn fritters and a mango lassi.  The mango lassi was superb and just the thing for the fading me. My only prior visit to the India Rice Factory was 25 years ago when I lived on Howland avenue.  The restaurant was quiet with relaxing lighting and I began to feel better. The butter chicken I ordered was excellent.

We arrived at the Tarragon Theatre with 10 minutes to go, just enough time for 2 ounces of coffee.  A shadow of the double or triple espresso caffeine intervention I sensed I needed.  I began to feel apprehensive about my ability to stay awake for 85 minutes of a monologue. A well-founded fear it was, as I was nodding off for at least half the play. Note to self, do not go to the theatre during a big week of training.

My friend was quite keen on the play. My review, not engaging enough to keep a early-rising-big-mileage-marathoner awake. My apologies to the actress, who I felt certain was looking right at me during the performance of  The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

Then there was the storm to contend with.  Fortunately I was wearing a highly functional Sierra Designs raincoat and had an umbrella and had great luck with the arrival of the Dupont and Ossington buses.  So home safely, no time to blog and straight to bed.

Sweet dreams to me!

p.s.  Note to self, remember to pack Starbuck’s canned double espresso drink as an emergency caffeine fix. This used to be a staple item, when I was taking evening courses.