Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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Exactly three years ago . . .

I neglected to celebrate my third blog-o-versary earlier this month. It all started when I took a blogging course at OCAD with a great instructor Greg Smith. I went on to complete the OCAD Digital Media Certificate which has helped me on-the-job with website content management  and communications.  Hundreds of blog posts later, here I am, albeit struggling to get in a minimum of two posts a month. I feel that if I don’t keep that up, I’ll stop entirely. Which begs the question, why not stop . . . hmmm, the topic of my next post? Actually my problem is not lack of content but too many ideas and too much to say, which makes it hard to get started.

Anyhow, the following is post from August 31, 2010 and it was interesting (to me at least) to see that I was then contemplating joining the UTTC Masters. It took me awhile to finally sign up but ta da, I’ve been a card-carrying member for over 1 1/2 years and loving it.

First Stop Sacramento  (August 31, 2010)

For someone who is used to running high-mileage in marathon training.  Running 50 miles a week hardly takes a thought.  I run about an hour a day with a 2 hour plus run on the weekend – this is the default.   However, with 15 weeks until my pre-Boston, marathon outing in Sacramento, the moment has come to either train seriously, forget about it or suffer in the final miles of the race.

2007, Sacramento 30K

So, I’m formulating my plan and the mileage build will go like this 57 miles this week, 61 miles next week and 57 miles the following week (including a rare day off for travel).  I like to do 2-3 solid weeks of building miles and then take an easier week.  Fortunately, this easy week will coincide with a trip to Germany.  My long run will increase from 12-15 miles to 17, 18 and up to 22 miles.

In addition to the increased mileage I have to start speedwork.  I’ve committed to hitting the track with a group.  For the past two years I’ve been taking evening courses, this year I will go to track school.  I’m excited about running on the new Varsity stadium track.  The very scene of my first marathon finish.  The coach, Paul Osland is a former Olympian who is now whipping a group of motivated masters into tip top shape.  I’m apprehensive about the return to the intensity of speed work.  My fast running for the past two years has gone something like this . . . run fast when I feel like it for 30 – 120 seconds.  Take as much rest as I need.

From what I can tell, the plan for Thursday is to run 150 meters at a very fast pace, 18 times and the do it again for a total of 36 fast repeats.  Then we are to bound up stairs, 2 steps at a time, 5 times and then repeat.  I’ve never done circuit training, of which we are to do 4 laps.  Hmm . . .

This could be painful.  Given that most of these runners will be peaking in the early fall, and my timing of a December marathon is unusual, I hope to get some sort of just-starting-out dispensation. I’m reminded of how once, when in top form I remarked to another runner as we readied ourselves for a grueling session à la Zeba Crook that his workouts were effective because they helped us to increase our pain threshold.  The runner turned to me and said, “but that is not what I signed up for”. No doubt . . . I’ll soon have a tale to tell.

Gulp . . .


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Running to work, “The Better Way”

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GO trains to the south, Don Valley to the east & cranes & construction, everywhere else. Welcome to Corktown Commons.

August has been my month to build a base for a cross-country season. I stuck to my resolve NOT to run a fall marathon. Instead I’ll race 4K to 8K distances, with only one 5K on the road.

My coach has suggested that I run no more than 20K in one day, and even consider splitting a 20K day up into two runs. My peak weekly mileage will be about 100K if things go well.  My biggest week in August was 75K or 46 miles.

This is how I fit in my runs this week as well as plans for tomorrow and Sunday.

Monday: Cycle to work | Run home from work = 4 miles | 4 MILES

Tuesday: Run to work = 6 miles | Run home from work = 4 miles | 10 MILES

Wednesday: Run to work = 6 miles | Cycle home from work | 6 MILES

Thursday: Cycle to work | Cycle to team workout, run hill repeats | 3 MILES

Friday: Run 4 miles to work | 4 MILES

Saturday:  Get out the door at 6:30 a.m. to run 10 miles | 10 MILES

Sunday: 5 MILES Projected weekly mileage | 5 MILES | 42 MILES

Money saved on TTC fares = $30

Two things that faciliate all this energetic commuting are a) Availablity of a shower at workplace b) A place to store my bike indoors overnight.

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Playing around in Corktown, the merry-go-round, deconstructed

And how did I get home tonight? After a few failed attempts to find Corktown Commons, earlier this summer, I finally found it while running to work one morning. I first heard of this intriguing park via a Huffington Post story. The article begins . . . “If you want to see why cities are centers of energy, look at the remarkable transformation underway in Toronto (and avoid the sideshow involving the embattled current mayor).”  Since locating the park I’ve visited a few times with workmates, who were amazed with the discovery as it is about 7 minutes from work. It is at the bottom of Lower River Street and you pass by Underpass Park. On a visit this Wednesday, my friend saw a frog. Tonight my husband came by my workplace where we had a romantic dinner of leftovers in the office kitchen and then I took him for a walk to this unique and very urban park. Cost of taxi home = $20 (pre-tip)

Definitely think I’ve found the “better way” if not the best!