Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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Run, Shower, Bike, Work, Bike

Welcome to my daily routine. I’m not training for a duathlon but I’ve taken to cycling across town to work whenever possible.  The trip is about 4 miles each way. The trip is made easier because I can use two major roads with bike lanes, Harbord Street and Sherbourne Street.

I recall hearing about a new bike lane in the works for Sherbourne street but it didn’t have much meaning for me as I have always been a west-ender who rarely strayed east of Yonge street. But now I point myself in the direction of Queen and Sumach five days a week and get to use this barely-six-week old bike thoroughfare. The lane is well-marked and raised, with a curb in spots and a slope in others.  The ride south is a blast as there is a pronounced but gradual downhill grade. Whee!

Best bike lane in town!

Best bike lane in town!

I’m a big fan of Portland, Oregon which has great infrastructure for cycling and many artistic and design flourishes paying homage to the bike, however I’ve never seen a lot of people actually cycling there. Or at least not to the degree that we Torontonians bike.

Bike art at Burnside and 13th avenue, Portland OR

Bike art at Burnside & 13th avenue,Portland OR

Outside of Powell’s Books (my favourite bookstore in the whole world) is a book-themed bike rack. But can you imagine a bike rack outside a bookstore in Toronto with empty parking spots? Of course, Portland is about 20% the size of the GTA but still it seems surprising in such a bike-friendly city.

Bike rack outside Powell's books

Bike rack outside Powell’s books

My first day of cycling to work was the day of the flood. I had to make a three hour stopover at the Eaton Centre where I bought a rain poncho, had a very bad dinner of curried Pad Thai and waited out the storm.

But I am in the groove now and getting cycle-fit which is helping my running in that I feel looser than I have for awhile even though I am running more miles than I have in months. I hit 40 miles this past week.

I found out that there is a shower in our office down the street which will give me the option to rearrange my run, shower, bike, work, bike routine to bike, work, run, shower, work, bike.  When I get to my peak mileage I’ll have to cut out the bike part some days and to run, shower, work, run, shower. Ah, the joys of Making It All Work *. I can’t imagine what a triathlete’s day looks like, with an extra shower or two thrown into the mix, followed by a lot of laundry.

* This is on my top ten list of time management books.

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Running slower but getting faster

While on my run this morning, I ran into a former club-mate who told me that a record I had held while a member of the Longboat Roadrunners was nearly broken the other day. The record was for a track mile. I didn’t remember having set a record for this event. So I checked the Longboat website.

I sometimes check the Longboat website to see what times I once ran as my memory of that is getting fuzzy. So I looked at the records and saw that a road mile I once ran in Buffalo, NY was credited as being a track mile.  This race took place 12 years ago.That mile, as I remember, was run on a road and park paths and had a hairpin turnaround point.  I like to think that a track mile would have been faster, tangents and all and with the important advantage of being able to gauge one’s pace per each 400 meter.

Like many keen masters athletes, I am somewhat fixated on measuring my performance on the World Masters Association (WMA) Age-Graded tables. Having recently run a 1500 meter track race, I wondered how my metric mile compared to that road mile. Here is the result for my run at the Ontario Masters Track and Field Championships earlier this month. My time was a very respectable 85.87%.

W55 1500 Meter Run Sat 1:30pm
=================================================================================
Name Age Team Finals Age-Grading
=================================================================================
1 Lynn Deutscher Kobayashi W57 UTTC 5:53.60 4:30.72 85.87%

My mile time scores a 82.19% which is equivalent to a 5:06 miles.  At age 30 or so, I ran a 5:04 but in the 1500. My first race ever was a marathon and I’ve always had that as my main focus. Translating my current 1500 meter score to an open time gives me a 4:53 for the mile and an open time of 4:30.72 for the metric mile.  Hey, I broke 5 minutes for the mile. I’m getting slower but actually I am getting faster. This is how we aging runners cheer ourselves up!!

This is what I looked like when I was hypothetically breaking 5 minutes in the mile.

OMA Outdoors - Lynn 1500

Photo courtesy of Doug Smith

But my own personal reverie aside, I will contact my friend and tell her that whoever it was that nearly broke my record, actually has the record as my time is ineligible.  And congrats to her! I have a feeling that she did not look in quite as much pain as I was here.

Ps. And thanks to my coach Paul Osland, Olympian in the 800 meters. Now UTTC Masters coach and a driving force behind My Remote Coach. Check it out!