Mind, Motion & Matter

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New Years Lessons and Resolutions

Alan Brookes of the Canada Running Series retweeted the article New Years Lessons and Resolutions from Canadian Runners with the question, How about YOU? This blog post is my reply to the questions asked in that article.

Oh, where oh where would we older folks run track without OMA

Oh, where oh where would we older folks run track without the OMA

What did you learn in 2013 that you want to apply to your training in 2014

The importance of maintaining good leg turnover. I’ve known this intellectually for most of my 30+ years of running but training with the UTTC Masters track team with coach Paul Osland, an Olympian,  has provided the tools to make this a part of my training routine. Even though I have been running fewer miles since the Ontario cross-country championships last November, I’ve been able to maintain my cruising pace, which has quickened thanks to regular track workouts.

Paul-Italy-4X400-relay-733x1024

Super-fast coach Paul

What was a great moment that you will remember about 2013?

That is a difficult choice. But I’m going to say being chosen Ontario Masters Athlete of the month for February by Ontario Masters Athletics (OMA). This gives me the chance to highlight the fantastic support masters runners and track athletes get in Ontario.  I was recognized for having broken the Canadian indoor 5K record twice at this rarely-raced distance.
Doug Smith checks out Doug Smith trophy at U of T Athletic Center

Doug Smith checks out Doug Smith trophy at U of T Athletic Center

The remarkable thing to me is the dedication of long-time volunteers like Doug Smith (President of the OMA) who create the opportunity to race and break records. Doug Smith who with his self-deprecating sense of humour, does an amazing job of making everyone feel welcome whether to the OMA or to UTTC Masters on top of just about everything else including meet organizing, race photos and website maintenance. There are many dedicated volunteers who helps as timers, registrars, lap-timers, record-keepers, cheerleaders and more, including Stafford who emailed me a nice certificate to commemorate the 5K record. Paul Osland our high-functioning Olympian coach, is in his third term as President of the CMA, following in Doug’s footsteps as an extraordinary volunteer. On behalf of all masters runners in Ontario. Thank you all!
The University of Toronto Track Club (UTTC) has recently fully embraced the Masters concept and the UTTC Masters have been warmly welcomed to the main club. A huge benefit is sharing the indoor track and outdoor track at Varsity Stadium.
What goals do you have for 2014?

In order of priority:

  1. Help UTTC Masters team win the Breslin Cup.
  2. Increase my age-graded score for the outdoor 1500 at the Ontario Masters Provincial Track and Field Championships
  3. Increase my age-graded score for 5k on the road.
  4. Run faster than last year at the Boston Marathon.

Two resolutions: one running resolution and a non-running one?

Get back to regular weight work. When I was in top form I was able to legpress 250 lbs. and squat 135 lbs. I can probably only do about 60-65% of that now. Remain ever-grateful for the good heath that allows me to keep training so I can get slower gracefully.

Keep mentally fit. One aspect of this is to keep up to date with all things digital. This is made easier with my great in-house tutor, son Steven, a recent U of T, comp-sci grad. He knows how much time I spend at home and at work on the computer so to celebrate his first job as a software developer, he surprised me with a Christmas gift of a Yoga Pro 2 laptop. He told me this will increase my productivity. Weighing in at 3.1 pounds with a 13.1″ by 8.6″ high resolution screen, perhaps this highly-portable laptop means I should set my sights higher than my two posts a month. I’m not about to make promises I can’t keep but we shall see!

Lean, mean blogging machine


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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!