Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .

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Gone running . . . 2 weeks@114K

Nearly two weeks since my last post.  Could it have anything to do with my training for NYC and working twice the number of hours designated to my job, which I love in spite of its busyness.  Perhaps.

Just another early morning run to the lake

I ran 114K or 70 miles each of the last two weeks but my life was not just about work and running, although blogging is taking a big hit. Here are some highlights of the past two weeks.

Cool crisp day by the falls

I was in Niagara Falls for a couple of days although I did put in full days of work, the view from my temporary office was great and I ate well.

Consumed in Niagara Falls

I ran 22 miles/34K on Saturday and my husband did a fantastic job of feeding me over the weekend.

What I ate after running 34K

  • We celebrated my husband’s birthday at our local Scottish pub the Caledonian.
  • I treated a new friend from Venezuala to a latte and left the cafe without paying.

My view from my office in Niagara Falls

  • I got my bike fixed up and it is now rides really well. I was not impressed with the tune-up done at Bike Couture but very impressed with the tune-up after the tune-up at Set Me Free on College at Grace street.
  • Our marriage sharing group reconvened after the summer break.
  • I ran into a new friend when she was in the middle of her longest run ever and we got to run together for a few miles.
  • I had breakfast with my former coach Zeba Crook who now teaches at Carelton.
  • I count my blessings while I make steady progress through Romeo Dallaire’s “Shake Hands with the Devil”.

The brother of one of my Saturday run pals died last week, giving us all pause to consider the fullness of our lives and the gifts sent our way.

Here is a  snippet from a favourite William Blake poem which I read at a friend’s “Celebration of Life” many years ago.

I thought Love lived in the hot sunshine,
But O, he lives in the moony light!
I thought to find Love in the heat of day,
But sweet Love is the comforter of night.

Seek Love in the pity of others’ woe,
In the gentle relief of another’s care,
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!

Thank you for reading . . .

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First race of the year!

After running the Sacramento Marathon in December I vowed to build upon my fitness level to get in great shape this year. Things got busy and if you have been following my blog, you’ll be tired of hearing how the volunteer project my husband and I took on in the spring, was all-consuming – but that it was along with being a highly rewarding endeavour.

Ed Whitlock

Ed Whitlock - It's been awhile

Finally, after a nine month lapse I raced 5K last Sunday at the Toronto Island Run.  Ed Whitlock regularly runs the signature Island 10K to get a sense of where his fitness is at.  Even if he is not at the top of his game or has an off day, chances are he will set a record.  That day he set a world age-group record for 80 year olds of  42:49.  Ed does it again.  Congrats!

Ed Whitlock

Ed Whitlock, 100 meters from another record

The Island race has been around for 31 years and has built on its success to become a polished, community event superbly run by the Longboat Roadrunners who have operated as a running club for as the race. In fact, it was while a member of the Longboat Roadrunners that I met my husband some 26 years ago.  The club name honours Tom Longboat who many regard as Canada’s greatest athlete.  Longboat was an Onandagan from Ohsweken, Ontario who won the Boston Marathon in 1907 by breaking the previous record over the old 24-1/2 mile course by four minutes and 59 seconds.  He was the dominant distance runner of his time.

Tom Longboat

As race day drew near I found myself distinctly lacking motivation and were it not for a commitment I to run the race might have decided otherwise. But, but, but . . . it was, and I did know it would be, just the thing to help focus my training for New York. I’ve been too busy to alter my schedule to attend group workouts and I really needed to be pushed. So I ran 23:04 which was good enough to place 2nd in the masters category. But I really hope to be running a lot faster over the next six months. Although it was the closest I have ever been to throwing up after a race due to having sprinted madly to pick off a runner at the finish line. Our times were the same but I was a microsecond ahead. I surprised myself by feeling obliged to push hard in the last 400 meters and try to catch every runner possible.

The Sherpa

My loving sherpa

The weather could not have been more pleasing and we ran into many old friends. For those unfamiliar with Toronto, if you ever visit, a trip to the Toronto Islands is a must. A 10-15 minute ferry ride gets you to a soothing green space with expansive lake Ontario vistas.

Toronto Island

Toronto Islands - Ya gotta go!

As I write, I find myself thinking about how a few years ago I was regularly running under 20 minutes for 5K. Will I ever go under 20 minutes again? Maybe a goal for my upcoming 56th year. But no time to waste, truly. As Ed Whitlock once famously said when queried about his race times. “Time is not on my side.”

Toronto Island Race

Will I ever run under 20 minutes again?

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Now we are four (runners)

I’ve set a record for the longest interval between blog posts of 8 days.  Surpassing the previous lapse of 7 days.  I have been and busy! I logged 60 hours of work and 60 miles of running with little time left to blog.

Wychwood barns

Sharing Saturday chores for a change

I started the week with aspirations to hit 70 miles however on my runs last Sunday and Monday, I felt as though I was running the final miles of a marathon as my legs were super-heavy.  Thus I knew that it was time to back off a little. I had planned to do a tempo run on Tuesday but instead ran an easy 7 miles.  I did a 45 minute section of tempo running on a 10 miler on Wednesday.  Even though I broke the 45 minutes into four sections I was not able to get my heartrate into the threshold zone consistently  because my legs went dead on me after the first 8 minutes.

Wychwood barns

Oh so succulent

I reconfigured the sequence of my workouts due to my belief that our annual family event was on Saturday and did my long run on Friday morning.  I set out with a minimum goal of 16 miles given the results of the last hard workout but happily felt good enough to get in 18 miles. I discovered on Friday afternoon that the family event was on Sunday not Saturday.  I decided to defer the 10 miler I had planned for Sunday to Monday in favour of being less rushed and also to give myself another rest day.

Wychwood barns

Beautiful beets

My husband usually does the meat and vegetable shopping on Saturdays while I’m running.  Due to my confusion about dates I was able to go along with him to the farmer’s market at the Wychwood Barns.  This market is on one of my long run routes and it was the first time I had been there in my civvies as prior visit have been when I needed to make a pit stop.

Wychwood barns

Fresh & fruity

Today I ran 10 miles with 8 x 2 minutes hard. The cooler temperature and the extra rest was a help as I felt great!  There is a lot of exciting stuff going on at our place. Our son just moved back from his year internship at Research in Motion and both he and his friend Alain, who lives with us, are going to join my husband and I in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Before I had begun my workout, Alain was back from his run and just as I finished my run, Steven appeared, having just finished his. When my husband returned from his workout, he cooked up a big breakfast, well-deserved by all.

To find out more about what is keeping our household fit click on Scotiabank Charity Challenge to see our motivation.  CLICK HERE to find out more and perhaps place a pledge on me 🙂 If you would like to join our team just send your inquiry as a comment on this post.