Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


The Way I Feel – Running 800 meters

I’ve been busy with an intensive course, on-line for the most part but this is the one week of in-class instruction. It takes place in Mississauga so I’ll have to leave home just before 7 a.m. to get there for 8:45 a.m. Additionally, planning for the gala my husband and I Chair is in full gear so getting my runs in this week will be a challenge, particularly since I’m hoping to boost my mileage after focusing on quality last week.

Last week I had some intense work outs and in fact – surprise, surprise – one of those was to race on the track for the first time since 2002 or was it 2003. So how does it feel to run 800 meters after nearly a decade of focusing on the marathon? Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words.



I had hoped to go under 3 minutes and missed by .04 of a second. Boo! I had trouble during the warm-up while jogging with my spikes, as my low-to-the-ground marathoner’s stride sent me sprawling to the ground with my heel toe motion catching the 5mm pins at the wrong time. I was a bundle of nerves, the only thing keeping me going was the knowledge that I would feel a sense of satisfaction afterward and that my leg speed will benefit from my efforts. To help our team garner more points, I also ran the mile which took place an hour later.

Prior to the race I was wishing for the anonymity of running with 45,000 others in the NYC marathon. Track is an intense affair as spectators can watch you every step of the way so you really feel under the microscope. If you go out too hard and finish miserably in a road race, your splits may tell the story but no one actually sees you slow down at each 200 meter split. I ran the first lap in about 42 seconds which for an evenly run race would mean a time of 2:48 but alas, that was not to be but I did manage a decent last lap.

The rarely run mile

I wore regular lightweight racing flats for the mile as I was worried that I would not be able to stride strongly on the heels of the 800 meter race and that I would  again be hurled to the ground.

I was disappointed in my time of 6:48 although it was relatively a better time than my 800 meters. I have good base endurance, a modicum of strength and little speed at this point but I’m looking forward to speedier times in the late spring and early summer with consistent interval and speed work.

I’m very happy to have finally joined the masters group at U of T. Were it not for the team scoring component, I may never gotten back on track. It’s time to kick up those heels!

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“Once Upon a Time in the West”

Back from our southwest swing, we enjoyed watching a film for which we saw a poster in a Taos, New Mexico coffee shop, a 1968 Sergio Leone film, “Once upon a Time in the West”. We revisited the desert in this film featuring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. Apparently, it is a favourite of film aficionado’s and film makers including Quentin Tarantino, appearing on many an all-time, top one hundred list.

While in Arizona, I was eager to pay a visit to the Cowtown Boot Outlet. I am always on the hunt for stylish but comfortable footwear and blogged about this in the post titled RUBBER SOLES. One exception to the superior comfort of rubber soles is the cowboy boot. What is it that makes cowboy boots so comfortable? Granted, they are not the height of stylishness but they are certainly a little more lithe in appearance than my beloved Blundstones. My comfy footwear instincts were dead on and I was rewarded with a pair of black leather boots for $113.  Sadly there is no such outlet in Canada, not even in Alberta but if you are in the U.S. and in need of comfy boots –  you gotta go!

Score: Comfy all-leather boots for $113

Justin Boots - Black Kipskin

On my last run in Phoenix I was drawn to finish my 6 miles in South Mountain park despite the risk of re-injuring my tender ankle. Fortunately all went well and I left feeling ready to tackle speedwork and increase my mileage upon returning to Toronto.

Last run in the west for this cowgirl