Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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A fast pace

Indeed! With seven weeks before the Boston Marathon I’m heading into the heart of marathon training. In addition to 60+ miles of training a week, a number of other activities are keeping me busy. But first a running update.

Lynn Kobayashi, Lynn Deutscher Kobayashi

*The Look* On the verge of death or childbirth? I think I need some finish line coaching from Usain Bolt.

A few weeks back I set a Canadian age-group record for the indoor 5K. It was “low-hanging fruit” as far as records go but as one friend said I’m sure it was delicious nonetheless. I ran 21:55 – breaking the old mark of 26:14 held by Gossette Radlein since 2008. Tomorrow, I’ll be running another indoor 5K so it looks like I will be running to lower the Canadian record 🙂

Lynn Kobyashi, Lynn Deutscher Kobayashi

Why am I HERE? (far right)

The 5K was an invitational race with athletes of all shapes, sizes and ages, and just one woman. That would be me. I’m not sure what the logic was of putting me in the best starting spot, the inside track, so to speak, perhaps that was the spot where it would be least likely for someone to trip over the vintage 1955 wannabe record chaser.

5K jerry k

Jerry, the class of the field.

A couple of other records were broken in the race. Jerry Kooymans broke the men’s 55-59 record and Jack Geddes ran 23:29 – breaking the record of 27:46 held by Whitey Sheridan in 1991. I was happy to take the record down to a respectable level, a solid national class time (equivalent to about 17:40 were I in the Open category).

Mini Meet JackLynn

Setting the pace for a 75 yr. old record-holder.

Jerry on the other hand is the crème de la crème of masters running in Ontario, an international caliber athlete who has been competing his whole life and still holds records for the Princeton team. Jerry ran most of the way by himself, finishing in 16:44. He broke the old record of 17:27 held by Robert Jackson set in 2011. Jerry is just a few months older than me which makes me an expert in knowing when he enters a new age-category.

Lynn Deutscher Kobayashi, Lynn Kobayashi

We did it!!

This blog post has filled up rapidly thanks to all the great photos courtesy of Doug Smith of the Ontario Masters Track and Field Association. So I’ll have to elaborate on my other activities some other time. As far as that goes, let’s just say that Ethiopia is on my mind.

My To Do List for the Next Ten Weeks

  • Organize reception at University College on March 7th to recognize and attract sponsors and supporters for gala to benefit Ethiopian orphans. If you are interested or know of companies who might be interested, download this invitation: Sponsor Reception or email: people4kids@bell.net for more details.
  • Organize gala for Ethiopian orphans at the ROM on May 1st
  • Finish reading Les Miserables – The harsh conditions in the book make me think of hardships faced by those in developing nations. I am 45% of the way through.
  • Run for Ethiopian orphans at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th.


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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.

guelph-11-lynda

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


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Run, Reflect, Rejoice

MLK

My son, his girlfriend and my husband at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. MLK

We just got back from Washington D.C. where I enjoyed four memorable runs. Shown above is one of many Martin Luther King Jr. quotes chiseled into the wall surrounding the memorial statue. I was reminded of other memorable words worth reflecting on this New Year’s eve.

085A poem by Rumi, dedicated to my husband.

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

LynnWashingtonRun

Morning run, Friday, December 28, 2012

“When you race, you liberate your soul from the limits of your body. You push your body beyond its limit. In every race, you relive the innocence of childhood and the hope of youth, only to see them dashed in the pain of adulthood and the weakness of old age.”  Kamal Jabbour

Wishing you and your loved ones, a peaceful, joyful and healthy New Year!

Lynn


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Rainy run in Fergus

Rail path from Fergus to Elora, Ontario

Oh, and did I mention that I ran a marathon a couple of weeks back? I’m on the mend from the disappointment of my second-slowest marathon time since my first marathon back in 1981. At some point I hope to blog about it but I’m moving on and enjoying a lot of very short runs as part of my recovery. We just spent three days in Fergus in small-town Ontario and enjoyed a lot of R&R at a local B&B.

Fergus Brew Pub – Sante!

It was a rainy time and we decided to skip our planned three miler on Saturday. I was ready to skip running on Sunday but got out the door thanks to my husband. He had looked into the local trails and led us to the trail-head of a rail path which runs from Fergus to Elora. I carried out my plan to run a modest 20 minute tempo workout within a 5 miler. In spite of the light rain, I felt pretty good and was tempted to extend my tempo run. Erring on the side of post-marathon recovery, I stuck to the plan.

I took a full five days off running after the marathon BUT I am trying to salvage a modicum of fitness to run a masters cross-country meet on November 11th.  My strategy is to keep my runs very short and do some minimal tempo running. In addition to the five days off I ran three miles, twice, for a total of six miles my first post-marathon week. My longest run so far has been five miles.

I read this when I was a girl! Coffee at the Fergus General Store

I’ve been enjoying catching up with friends and getting out and about. Last week we attended the final 2012 Massey Lecture at Koerner Hall, given by Neil Turok. Last night I saw Otto Preminger’s  Bonjour Tristesse from 1958 at the Bell Lightbox and I’ve been getting a bit of reading in. Although my current read A Song for Nagasaki while inspiring if not life-changing, is heavy going. Tomorrow we are going to see Betty Lavette at the Wintergarden Theatre. We saw her earlier this year at the Portland Blues Festival.

Fergus was exactly what we were looking for. It is a simple one-main-street-town with limited choices of what to do. We really enjoyed the fall fair at a local church, picking up books, dishes and a parsons bench.  I was also the winning bidder on the nativity scene shown below 🙂 We also checked out a couple of flea markets, ate at an Indian restaurant, a creperie and a brew pub across the way from our B&B.

The only bidder, the winning bidder! Handknit Nativity Scene

Getting back to the marathon, there is a whole other very happy side of the story which is a about my “other team” but somehow it seems too long a tale to tell as I rush to complete my second post of the month. Two posts a month is my minimum and well, it IS the 31st.

While we were away we found out via Facebook that our son and his friend who lives with us were holding a Halloween party. We hoped the party goers did not get carried away like this pumpkin we spotted in Elora on Saturday. Happy Halloween!

Spotted in Elora


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Guest blogger, Chung-Yee Loo on race hardware

The longer I run, the more I discover that while we runners are similar in many ways, our approach to our sport can be as varied as our numbers. In putting the spotlight on my friend Chung-Yee, I can’t help but recall an encounter with a former team mate at a race, an age-group competitor who inevitably places first in his age-category. He complained that there seems to be less merchandise for age-group competitors and only “stupid old medals”.  Enter Chung-Yee, running adventurer extraordinaire and her lovely tale of what she does with her hard-won finisher medals. Three cheers for Chung-Yee and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Photo
Treasures in a salad bowl and a tea biscuit tin box
Originally posted on Chung-Yee’s Facebook page

When people find out that I run, they always ask a set of similar questions:

“Have you run a marathon?” Yes.

“Have you run Boston?” No, not yet. I am too young to run Boston. At this point, I have to explain to them that with my average finishing time at 4 hours and 45 minutes, I would have to be 70 years old before I could qualify to run Boston.

“What do you do with your t-shirts and medals?”

Most t-shirts go to Goodwill or various charities. I do keep a few technical shirts which the fit, design and colour make me look good. A girl has to look good while running. I also keep shirts that have sentimental value. The ones from the New York City Marathons – the experiences there were just awesome and the memories running through all five boroughs are just as vivid now as they were a decade ago. Another is the Marine Corp Marathon’s finisher shirt and baseball cap that I was wearing on my way back to the hotel after the race, when a marine said that he is an awe of my strength. “Huh?” was the only answer that I had enough energy to express. “You are still standing straight and upright.” Awe now, how could I not respond with a smile:-)

As for the finisher medals, I keep them a salad bowl. I used to hang them on a door knob, then on “over-the-door” racks. But as I ran more races each year, I had this vision that the weight of my medals would yank off the top half of the door. The salad bowl I use now is clear and transparent with leafy motifs, and it is made from plastic so the container does not weigh much. However, it is a different story with my finisher medals … it weighs a ton. I do take the medals out of the salad bowl, especially during “mental health days”, and place them on my counter to remind myself of those accomplishments and how I persevered through whatever obstacles that could come about during epic challenges. Most of the time though, the medals stay in the salad bowl, just visible enough to inspire myself to continue to run.

Every single race I have entered, I have recorded my results on the back of the race bib and have saved those bibs in a tea biscuit tin box. This simple box, from the Hudson Bay Holiday treat collection, was given to me by a good friend Aggie who I affectionately call “Mrs. Claus” because she looks like Mrs. Claus and she volunteers as Mrs. Claus for the Children’s Aid Society. It seems fitting that this box stores a continuous record of my running career.

Aggie is in her seventh decade but she has the energy of someone more than half her age. Over the years, she has been an active volunteer for local races and I always look for her behind the registration desks or at the medical tent at the finish line (she is a registered nurse). I could always count on her words and hugs of encouragement. With support from Aggie, I hope to continue to run into my seventh decade, and hopefully by then, I could qualify to run the Boston Marathon and add that race bib to the tea biscuit tin box collection.

CLICK HERE to read Chung-Yee’s previous post on Mind, Motion & Matter called Celebrating 40 on My Own Terms.

Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing – a grateful heart!

George Herbert


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A Tale of Three 10K’s

Marathon countdown, two weeks to go and time to start evaluating my training and racing results from the past five weeks to determine a target pace for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

On August 26th, I ran a 10K I’d rather forget in Quebec City. The route was a lovely, slightly rolling, point-to-point route run on a wide scenic parkway along the St. Lawrence with one wide turn. The weather was hideous with near 100% humidity, high-heat and not the slightest breeze to be felt. I was far off my goal of going under 45 minutes with a time of 47:35.

Last Sunday, I ran a 10K in Oakville in 45:37. The weather was fabulous, the course fairly flat and I was satisfied with my time. Apparently the course was long. Members of a local running club posted their times with revisions to what they felt their results should-have-been. I was happy to accept the possibility that my time was really closer to 44:40.

A long course . . . I’m open to the possibility.

Today I took part in what was billed as a time trial. The Railpath Run took place on a 2K loop with a timing mat at each 1K mark. The challenge was to see how many kilometers you could run in 45 minutes. The top three male and female runners were determined by the number of kilometers logged and a tie would be broken by the fastest time for those kilometers. My what-if  is . . . say two runners both run 9K but one runner passes the other and holds the lead before the 45 minutes is up. Does the runner with the fastest 9K time still win? In the women’s race this scenario did not materialize as the top two both ran more than 10K but less than 11K. From about 400 meters, I was in fourth place and not long after passed one woman and held on for third place. I received a lovely photograph taken along the rail path route.

Awards at the Railpath Run

The drama for me came when at the last kilometer I saw that I would have to run a really fast lap to get timed for 10K. With the help of cheering from an enthusiastic volunteer who saw how close I was to crossing the timing mat before 45 minutes was up, I just made it! My last lap was my fastest time of 4:16. I was pleased as the last lap was also one of the harder ones as it had some uphill running and a severe hairpin turn.

MY SPLITS
1: 4:22 4:22 downhill
2: 4:31 8:52 downhill, hairpin turn, uphill
3: 4:36 13:27 uphill
4: 4:35 18:02 uphill, hairpin turn, downhill
5: 4:29 22:30 downhill
6: 4:34 27:03 downhill, hairpin turn, uphill
7: 4:35 31:38 uphill
8: 4:38 36:16 uphill, hairpin turn, downhill
9: 4:30 40:45 downhill
10: 4:16 45:00 downhill, hairpin turn, uphill

Given the impediment of the five hairpin turns, I’m confident that I am in sub 45 minutes shape. For an almost-57- year-old, the age-graded equivalent of 45 minutes is 36:25. I think I’ll be finding it harder to internalize these extrapolations when 50 minutes becomes the new 36 minutes. According to my research this will happen in six years when I turn 63. Like most people, I find it is hard to accept the physical limitations of aging.

Quebec City, happy it’s over. A digital photo for $29.99, I’ll think about it.

As for determining my goal pace for the marathon, that is complicated and I’ll save that for a pre-marathon blog-post in the next while.

The best of times, the worst of times, still glad to be out there. Happy days!

Lynn