Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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If My Husband had a Tattoo

It might read “I ran a 2:36 marathon”.  I find his time impressive considering that while in his first year of university the three sports he chose for his mandatory physical education credit were fencing, bowling and swimming.  His discovery of long-distance running shortly after, was his first real foray into jockdom, if you can call it that.

Pat Deutscher, Patrick Deutscher

Finish Line Proof, Vancouver Marathon 1982

He ran his first marathon, the Ottawa marathon in 1977 in a time of 3:13.  His second was the Toronto marathon later that year where he qualified for Boston with a sub-three-hour effort, easily going under the qualifying mark of 3 hours.  At Boston on a very rainy day he ran 2:47 another P.B. despite making a pit stop in a restaurant where he ended up using the women’s washroom.  Porta potties were not as plentiful back in the day. His fourth consecutive P.B. was posted at a small marathon in England called the Milton Keynes marathon.  After that he took quite a few runs at going under 2:40 and then finally ran a 2:36 at Detroit his all-time P.B.

Pat Deutscher, Patrick Deutscher

Racing indoors at Hart House, U of T in the early eighties

Injuries, including knee problems, and fatherhood intervened and since then he has only run one marathon.  That was the Columbus marathon in 2000 to celebrate his 50th birthday in what for him was a hugely disappointing time of 3:14:03. I ran that same marathon and finished in 3:15:22.  It is a part of family lore that had the race been 800 meters longer, I would have passed him.  He was in fact, fitter than I was but went out too fast with a 1:30 half-marathon split and a very painful and plodding 1:44 second half. Had he paced himself more wisely, I think he would have gone under 3:10.

So that was yesteryear.  Yesterday my husband ran around Queen’s Park circle, a popular downtown running loop in Toronto and spotted a crew from the local news station.  He made a detour, worried that his knee doctor might spot him on TV, blatantly disobeying his orders to avoid any vigourous activity.  A blog or two ago, I inadvertently offended my husband by referring to the current state of his running as meager.  When he mentioned this to his boss, a long-time and often-injured runner himself, his boss laughed in commiseration. Well, at least my unintended insult had the positive effect of a lightening the workday with a laugh.

Yukon river run

Running together since 1985 (Yukon river run, June 2011)

As for lightening up, that is our current mantra as we are hoping and praying that physics will be on our side and a weight loss of 7-10 pounds might be all that is needed to  put his knee on the right track.

Incidentally, the 5 X 7 proof above was mailed to every finisher by Marathon Fotos, rubber-stamped lightly with the words, “PROOF ONLY Property of Marathon Fotos”.  Things change.

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Run to the lake and back and back again

Footbridge at Palace Pier

The early Saturday drizzle was not the best set up for a longer run without company.  I got a lot done while in procrastination mode, tidying up, gardening.  My husband offered to run five miles with me however this involved a loop back to the house, and the idea of getting close to home with many miles still to run, seemed mentally challenging.  But once I got bunch of chores done, the mood to run long finally arrived and out the door I ran ready to relax into a two hours or more solo run.

View from Coronation Park foot path

The marathoner in me triumphed as I enjoyed a steady pace through High Park, out to the Palace Pier bridge, then back east along the lake, heavily clothed in fog to just south of the Rogers Centre.  From there I ran northwest, home through the city.

Saturday run by mileage markers

It was our anniversary weekend but different commitments including a party for soon-to-be-parents made it difficult to get away.  Our solution was to travel very close to home and that somewhere was on one of my regular running routes.  A place by the lake of course!

Radisson by the Lake

The only expectation I had of the Radisson Hotel on the lake, just west of Queen’s Quay was that there would be a view.  It was a surprise to find our room nattily attired to a standard one might expect in a NYC boutique hotel.  And then with a little something you might not expect at a NYC boutique hotel, a high powered telescope. Which seemed a bit funny given that the easterly view of our corner room was a wall of condos.

Room with a . . . . telescope!

Coincidentally, the Toronto Goodlife Marathon route passed in front of our hotel, affording the chance to provide a bit of crowd support where none existed. I hope the strong tailwind made up for the drudgery and discomfort of the rain.  It was painful to watch runners slog by, both eastward and westward.  Go, marathoners!  I was impressed at how our cheers, lit up the faces of some.  I’m not sure if I could manage a smile in those conditions.

Brendan Kenny, Toronto Marathon Winner

As for our run, we did a route that took us to the Esplanade, a never run route for us.  This also gave us a chance to see the eventual winner speed by half-marathoners who had started out an hour earlier.

Tourist in Toronto

After our run, we walked over to Terminal Quay for breakfast at the Watermark Pub and an enjoyable browse through the Tilley store. Exiting the hotel parking lot proved easy, in spite of the ongoing stream of marathoners we were delayed barely a minute or so.

All's well that ends with Eggs Benedict

Ah, life by the lake.  I found myself wondering how much space and garden I would be willing to give up to trade in our too-big-for-us fixer upper for a lake view.