Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

S’no Excuse

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Snow, snow, snow . . . will this storm materialize as predicted?  I thought this might be a good time to list the different indoor venues where I have done long runs when poor conditions prevailed.  In days of yore, treadmills were not available at fitness facilities, so most runners slogged it out on the roads.  I’ve always been finicky about poor footing due to chronic ankle troubles stemming from having severely sprained my ankle at age 13 on a trampoline.  Consequently, I’m usually the first to head indoors to find relief from slipping and sliding outdoors.


Emil Zapotek

The Old Central YMCA on College Street

This track was 26.5 laps to the mile.

I once ran 18 miles on this track, a total of 4955.5 laps in the early-eighties.  David Suzuki used to be a regular on this teeny track.

Former Central YMCA on College Street

The West End YMCA

15.5 laps to the mile.

I ran a full marathon, 26.2 miles here in the mid-eighties, a total of 380 laps.

Hart House Track at the University of Toronto

About 11.3 laps to the mile

I’ve run 12 miles on this track.  Although it is bigger than the old Central YMCA track the banking is horrible and I would not recommend doing a long run here.

The Athletic Centre at the University of Toronto

8 laps to the mile

About 6-7 years ago I ran 23 miles on the outside track and ran by time rather than counting laps.  Who says we don’t get smarter with age.

The York University Track

8 laps to the mile

I’ve run a number of track races on the indoor track, which has excellent banking and run on the outer warm-up track before and after workouts or races.  I’ve never done a long run there but I imagine it would be fairly entertaining with all the high-performance activity on the inside track.  My husband and I used to see the infamous Ben Johnson work out on the sprint lanes.

The Eaton Centre

One New Years Day in the eighties I ran a few miles here, having started outside during a snowstorm, I ducked inside and logged some miles in the mall.


The most miles I’ve run on a treadmill is 18 miles which I did a few years back.

If you think this sounds crazy consider this, legendary marathoner Emil Zapotek’s solution to training in harsh weather.  Zapotek would fill his bathtub with water and then his laundry and run in place for hours.  Zapotek is remembered for winning triple gold in the 5K, 10K and marathon at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

So really, IS snow an excuse for not running?

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