Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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Running with the rabbits

I MUST tell you about my amazing teammates. It took me awhile to decide whether I wanted to commit to a club and twice-weekly workouts as I value the flexiblity of working out on my own schedule. Now that I’ve been a member of UTTC Masters for a year, the resounding verdict is triple-YES and WooHoo! How do I love UTTC Masters, I could count the ways but I’ll start with this. I am the oldest female on the team and am usually training for longer distances than my track-focused teammates. This means that more often than not, I do the maximum number of track repeats. So, combined with my age-diminished speed, I am usually the last off the track. What this means is that I get lots of cheers as my teammates cool-down and there are pace bunnies aplenty.

Fifth Avenue Mile

Annie, Queen of the Mile

On many occasions my teammates have jumped in to help me through the final stages of my workouts. The younger men, have paced me for whole segments as part of their cool-down while the somewhat-younger-than-me women have helped me kick it in through the final lap. Most recently I can thank Linda, Nathalie and Rita! And thanks Charlie who, I suspect, has been adding on an extra lap or two from his original target to keep me company.

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Linda, looking good in the 50-plus category

My first experience with being paced was last year when Annie, “The Queen of Fifth Avenue” ran the last two laps of a 1K time trial with me. Yes, Annie won her age-category at the Fifth Avenue Mile. Her balletic running form is admired by all of us. Just check out those pointed toes in the top photo as she breaks the tape in NYC.

Rita Kingston

Rita runs fast and coordinates team social events as well

Last Thursday, four of us ran 6 X 600 together and then I was on my own for the rest of my 12 X 600 workout, or so I thought. My teammates stood by the track to cheer me on and then jumped in for the final 150 meters of each repeat. That made things so much easier. One teammate to push and one to pull me along. Yesterday, I had a big workout of 5 x 1 mile with 3 minutes rest. With no company for the final repeat, Michael paced me through the last seven-minute mile. It was the fastest of the lot but felt the easiest.

Michael UTTC

Michael, a gentleman and a runner

In all my years of training with various teams, I’ve never had this kind of support, a benefit in part of getting slower. Thanks guys and gals.  I guess it is never too late to discover how  running with pace-bunnies can make track work, the hardest type of workouts, easier and fun!

* Many of the photos of masters runners taken at track and cross-country meets have been taken by Doug Smith, another amazing teammate and dedicated Ontario Masters Track & Field  Association volunteer extraordinaire.

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Those long runs, from start to finish

Yesterday I ran 14.5 miles (23.5K) on a balmy, for January day. I then drew up my training plan for the Boston marathon which is on Monday, April 15th, 2013. There are 13 weeks to go and I will do eight long runs. At the bottom of this post is my Boston Marathon racing and long run schedule.

My training will be relatively light, as at age 57, the long runs don’t come as easy as they used to. I’ll be trying to maximize recovery from the long ones and I’ll be doing a single long run of 20 miles. Contrast this to the eight runs of 20-22 miles, I did six years ago when my result was a third place age-group finish at Boston. My goals for 2013 are modest. For my fifth Boston marathon, I’ll be running on memories – and lots of TLC on the day of my long training runs.

Boston Marathon 2007

Boston Marathon 2007

Central to the ability to absorb the impact of long runs will be sedate Friday nights and quiet Saturdays, ideally a nap will take place post-run. One of the benefits of training at my age is that my son is 25 years old so naps are possible AND my husband is very supportive of my training. While we did attend a member’s viewing of Frida & Diego at the Art Gallery of Ontario on Friday, I was just as happy that there was no space in the lounge to stop for a drink. I’m going to try and avoid alcohol before my long runs.

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Marathon training aids

After the run, I enjoyed a long bath, with coffee delivered to the tub and bubbles courtesy of a Christmas stocking stuffer, a LUSH bubble bar, one of my favourite things. Our weekend routine is that my husband does the cooking on as well as the grocery shopping. If I’m not too tired from my run, I enjoy going with him but after a 16 x 200 meter workout on Thursday, I was beat. I was encouraged to have run 37 seconds for the final 200, the fastest of the lot.

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View from a bathtub

My husband does run but far less than he would like due to a torn meniscus. I guess I am the beneficiary of the extra time he has due to his injury.  I wrote about my husband’s running and his torn meniscus in these posts: If my husband had a tattoo and A bit of cortisone for the road

Long Run Recovery dinner

Long run recovery dinner

Things are falling into place for the next eight long runs with one development being that my long-standing Saturday group – known as the Wise Guys (3 of 4 are profs, with one bio-statistician) have agreed to start 30 minutes later than our usual time. Bounding out the door for a long run at 7:00 a.m. solo, for an uphill 5K (often in the dark) was not getting any easier. Getting the extra half-hour sleep is great. Another development is that I finally conceded defeat to my dying IPod and bought a new one. The thought of being able to count on the company of music is a great boost and I’ll be checking out LegalSounds regularly. While I love the pure thrill of running, I do find that my IPod and BlackBerry are much welcomed accessories in helping me sustain 33 years of training, the majority of which has been for the marathon.

I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”  Jesse Owens

Training for Boston

# Week of: Long
14 07-Jan 14.5
13 14-Jan 15
12 21-Jan 16
11 28-Jan race
10 04-Feb 17
9 11-Feb 18
8 18-Feb race
7 25-Feb 18
6 04-Mar 19
5 11-Mar 20
4 18-Mar race
3 25-Mar 18
2 01-Apr race
1 08-Apr relax
0 15-Apr BOSTON