Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Looking Good at the Sporting Life 10K

Every runner is delusional.  In our mind we are all Elite Marathoners and have the smooth, effortless running style of a Gazelle.  In reality, and speaking for myself, I'm closer to a plodder with a painful-looking running style.  Having this discrepancy between fantasy and reality is why I continue to run...maybe one day I'll have that svelte, easy style.  Or maybe not...

This is my son Andrew at the recent Sporting Life 10K.  He had a very respectable time of sub-42 minutes. And he did it looking good!

I was a mere 16 minutes behind him.  Both he and his brother Court were at the finish waiting for their 'Old Man'.  Even though we didn't run side-by-side we ran together.  That was special.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Top 10 Running Songs

While not strictly songs with 'running' in their titles or subject lines, these are a few of my favorite running songs. I can sing along, wail away on an air guitar and bash away on my imaginary drum set to all of them. Most are in the heavy metal rock genre but a couple will surprise you.

#10. 'Firestarter', The Prodigy.  "Wake up!".  This will get the blood flowing .  This is one track that needs to be played LOUD!

#9. 'Ramble On', Led Zeppelin.  My favorite Led Zepplin song and arguably the best Led Zepplin tune of all.  It combines their signature acoustic 'Gentle' side with driving rock riffs.  There's also a reference to Lord of the Rings that I love.

#8. 'Thunderstruck', AD/DC.  An amazing guitar riff to start followed up with a driving bass line that doesn't let up for the entire track.

#7.  'Tubthumping', Chumbawumba.  Motivation 101:  "I get knocked down but I get up again'.  One night in Minneapolis at a Dance Club called First Street I danced on stage to this.  Next time you see me ask me to tell you the story.

#6. 'Right here, Right now', Fat Boy Slim.  Whenever I feel like quitting on a run (or not going out at all), the lyrics of this track get me 'back on track'.

#5. 'Sausilito Summer Nights', Diesel.  By now you might be able to tell that I love a heavy, driving bass line combined with a catchy riff.  This is one of the best.

#4.  'Hold your head up', Argent.  A chesnut from my miss-spent teen years in High School which should give you a pretty good idea of my vintage.  As an FYI, the 70's were not a particularly good look for me.

#3. 'We don't need another Hero', Tina Turner.  From the movie, Thunderdome.  Starts gently with an undercurrent of tension then snaps to a driving, wailing Tina Turner in fine song.  Plus you have to see her costume from the official video.  Amazing!

#2. 'Down on the Corner', Creedence Clearwater Revival.  I fell in love with CCR when I heard this song. The guitar riff is never far from my consciousness.

And my all-time favorite song for running, driving, on the subway, on an airplane...you get my drift:

#1. 'Baba O'riley', The Who.  I've always loved this track from the Who.  It's the lead on Side 1.  One of my favorite lines is, "Sally take my hand...".  Maybe way back when I first heard this I knew I'd be with my Sally some day.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sporting Life 10K Dun! I'm back baby!!

5 minutes to go!  I'm in the second coral.
Optimistic about a sub 55 min finish...before the injury!
The Weather gods were smiling on the organizers of the Sporting Life 10K this past Sunday: 10 degrees Celsius, no wind, sunny...perfect conditions for running.  And with it being mostly downhill, a perfect race for me to get back into running.

It being Mother's Day, I couldn't ask Sally to drive me to the start for 7 am.  Instead I made the trek to Bloor Street and boarded the first of two Blue Light Buses to get me to the start.  For those of you not familiar with the nuances of the TTC Subway system, the Subways don't start running until 9 am on Sunday! Instead the City operates all night buses along a number of major routes, Bloor Street being one of them. Anticipating delays, I got to my stop early with Led Zeppelin's 'Ramble On' playing on my Samsung Galaxy 4.  With no traffic, we zipped across Toronto in 12 minutes arriving at my transfer point (Yonge Street) ridiculously early...I barely had time to swallow my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The ride up Yonge Street to Eglinton Avenue was also super fast and along the way it was cool to see the volunteers setting up the water stations in advance of the 27,000 runners who would be streaming by them in a couple of hours.  I had Dave Matthews 'Jimi Thing' Live from Central Park playing by now and felt really relaxed and loose ahead of my first race of the year.

The Sporting Life 10K starts about 500 metres north of Eglinton Avenue on Yonge Street and runs straight down Yonge Street for almost 7 km's.  With only a few slight inclines, it really is downhill all the way (The Red Line above shows the elevation change).  At the turn, it runs flat for the final 3 km's.  I wasn't expecting much to be totally honest since I had only completed 4 training runs prior to the race.  I was hoping for under an hour but truthfully finishing was my only goal.

Andrew and Court were also running but they were with the first wave of runners...yes, the Elite group. I didn't see them at the start and only hoped they'd wait around for me at the finish (they did).  Both did really well finishing in just under 42 minutes (Andrew edged Court which is a first and good for many months of bragging rights).

58 minutes!

OK, a little over that was my official Chip time and I tell you I was super pleased.  I even had enough in the tank to pick up the pace for the final 2 km's with a sprint to the finish line.  It felt great to have the finisher medal slipped over my head.

So what's next?  "I need to loose a few lbs"!  Seriously!  Not running for the past couple of months has allowed the weight to creep up...make that flow down and the spare tire, muffin top running look was not attractive.  Bye, bye salty snacks!

In no particular order, here are some memorable photos from Sunday:

When you gotta go, you gotta go.  Yes there were more than enough port-a-potties
Coronation Park at the finish line.  About the only location downtown to handle 27,000 people after the race
Yeah I'm sucking in my stomach but with these guys to my left and right I had no choice.
But you have to love my Puma Running shirt (Thanks Holden)
Until next time...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's Missing in Digital Marketing

Analytics, Mobile, Content Marketing, Social Media, eMail Marketing, SEO, Marketing Automation...these are the top skills that are missing in Digital Marketing in large companies. This talent gap is driven by two things:  Lack of previous work experience and the fight to attract and retain top talent.  In Toronto an employment market driven by the Financial Services Industry (Banking, Investing, Insurance, Wealth Management) the situation is even more acute:  
Full time jobs take too long to fill and in many cases remain unfilled.  

Long-term, the Colleges and Universities are turning out talent better aligned to the business and marketing needs.  Short-term the competition for talent will continue.  Shameless plug for That Recruiting Guy:  I'm a Recruiter, Headhunter if you will, who understands the business needs, can identify the talent and can pull them out of their current positions.


Chris Morales

647 393 3855

Linkedin:  Chris M Morales 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It's nice to be running again

My legs felt like lead;  my breathing was laboured;  I felt like a slug.

Man is it nice to be running again!

If you've been following along, I re-injured my right foot back in the winter.  I knew the drill:  Walking cast on for 6 weeks before easing back into running.  This time I didn't go swimming or even attempt to maintain any aerobic activity.  It was a cold, snowy winter and the thought of heading out at 5:30 am to go swimming just didn't appeal to me.  I did a lot of pushups and squats though so all was not lost.  But it was a struggle this past weekend when I went out for my first post-injury run.

I did a combination of walking and running with an emphasis on walking for my first time out.  And for the first actual 'running' I chose the softer more forgiving surface of the clay track at the local high school. And I didn't push it...only did a couple of laps actually running.  I couldn't have done more given the ragged breathing.  Fortunately though after a day of rest my second outing was more comfortable.  Monday morning after another day of rest was a 3 1/2 mile continuous run and only then did I start to feel really comfortable again.  I still felt like a slug but my breathing was much more comfortable.

All this is a prelude to my running goal this weekend:  Running in the Sporting Life 10K on Mother's Day.  I know, I know I have to take it easy and mentally I am prepared to walk if I have to. I won't be trying for a Personal Best but hoping to come in under 1 hour.  Yes, the competitive juices are still alive and well.  That's the Finisher Medal I'm looking forward to getting this Sunday.  Plus I'll be using the MapMyRun App on my Samsung Galaxy Smartphone...can't get any more hi-tech than that :).

It is nice to be running again.  The real goal now is to stay healthy, loose a few pounds and not break any more bones.

Until next time...

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Top 5 Challenges in Content Marketing

More and more frequently I get asked to find Digital Marketing people who Content Marketing. It's the latest buzzword in digital marketing and CMO's in every sector from Banking to Retail to eCommerce talk about their Content Marketing Strategies.

The challenge in business and marketing today is the same as it always has been:  There's never enough time, information or resources. The secret to success is how a business overcomes these challenges by leveraging effectively what resources they do have to provide real value to their customers.  

For more information on these top 5 challenges in Content Marketing, here's the link to the article:  The Top 5 Challenges in Creating Effective B2B Content.

For a easy-to-understand Infographic on the Content Marketing Delivery funnel, go to this link: Content Marketing.


Chris Morales

647 393 3855

Linkedin:  Chris M Morales