Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Conversion is at Tier III

Making sense of the data.  Traffic, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Cost-per-Click, Conversions...lots of data from multiple sources measuring specific elements of online marketing.

"What's working?"  That's the question that Dealer Principals and their Leadership Teams need to answer so they can make better decisions.  Brian Pasch in this Auto Marketing Now Video tackles this question by looking at the quality of website traffic in addition to the quantity.  Engagement!

Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Images from Negril

Running barefoot in the sand along the Beach in Negril ranks up there with one of life's great experiences.  And lucky me I get to do it every year at Reggae Marathon.  I enjoyed a couple of early morning runs with Dan Cumming this past December and if all goes well, will be back for Reggae Marathon on December 2, 2017.  

But that wasn't all at Reggae Marathon.  Once again I got to meet some interesting people.  Runners all, they heard about Reggae Marathon from friends or Social Media and were inspiried to make their own running story.  I met Alex from Cologne, Germany in the Reggae Marathon Race Kit pickup line on Thursday afternoon.  He was in Negril to full his dream: Fulfilling a Dream. 

And then of course are the images from Negril captured in hotos.  Here are a few, each one special:
Rocking the Reggae Marathon and Reggae Runnerz colours, the indefatiguable Lisa Laws. Although we only enjoyed a few moments after the race, it was nick to catch up with the lady responsible for 450+ runners from the US who make the annual pilgrimage to Reggae Marathon every year.  If you want to join them, head to their website, Reggae Runnerz.
Dan Cumming from White Rock, British Columbia (a lovely seaside town south of Vancouver on Canada's Pacific Coast) brought these two people together.  On the left is Dan's friend Al from British Columbia and on the right his friend Lawrence from Montego Bay.  Al's not a runner and he was recovering from a knee procedure yet he still made the trek to Negril to walk the Reggae Marathon 10K.  Lawrence is a runner so his travel distance was significantly less but he too enjoyed the Reggae Marathon Experience.
What began with Navin stalking me at Reggae Marathon a few years ago has led to the '4 Amigos', Larry, Navin, me and Dan who now have 28 Reggae Marathon events between us. Larry really had done 6 Reggae Marathons not the 7 his fingures indicate.  He said he was nervous but I think he was thinking about Reggae Marathon 2017 on December 2.

Men with large, sharp machettes chopping coconuts for each runner after Reggae Marathon.  Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte replacement fluid but half of the fun is watching these guys wield their machettes.

That's the Reggae Marathon Experience.  Deeply personal, addictive and made up of special unique momemts.  It keeps me coming back year after year.

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

2016 was a busy year.  Plans made then adjusted for the inevitable curves.  Wins to celebrate and losses to learn from.

Looking forward to an exciting 2017 but taking the time this next week to slow it down and spend time celebrating the Christmas season with family and friends. Hope you will be able to do the same.  

Merry Christmas!

Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Turning 60


Turning 60...it's the new 40.  I heard that somewhere and it appeals to me as I look forward to turning 60 in 2018.  It's still over a year away but unlike turning 50, I'm looking forward to turning 60.  I may look it but I don't feel it.

So here's how you can play a part in helping me celebrate turning 60 in 2018.  I need something challenging to do. And it should involve running something extreme.  It may not be fast and it may not even be pretty but it sure will be fun.  Oh, and it should include Reggae Marathon in December 2018.  If all goes well between now and then, that year will also be the 10th consecutive Reggae Marathon event I'll have participated in.

Here's what I've noodled so far:

  • Running the Gobi Desert.  If you have to ask...it's a 6 stage 250 km 'march' across the Gobi Desert in China.  Hmmmm....
  • Run 60 events in 2018.  Yep, that's more than one per week.  If I start with the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld in January I might just make it...4 days of running:  5k, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon...
  • Run a 60K.  There are a number of extreme running events around Ontario including an oldie in Algonquin Park.  The one that got my attention though was a 60K in Central Park, New York...
You get the idea.

And because the physical challenge just isn't enough, I want to tie this in to a fund raising effort. I've raised funds for the Diabetes Association of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and most recently for Youth Mental Health.  All are worthwhile but I'm drawn to helping young people. Again though, suggestions are welcome.

I've got the better part of a year to figure this out and I'm looking forward to your suggestions. Turning 60 sure is going to be fun.

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Online Marketing 101

SEM, SEO, Social Media, Email, Conversion Rate...the acronmys are enough to drive you mad!  All in the name of Online Marketing.  When I get the 'full glaze' look from a client when talking about online marketing I remind them that it's not about the technology...it's about what the technology delivers.  Here's an Infographic that was shared with me that explains online marketing:


Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Falling off a cliff

It didn't start well at the 15K race in September.  And at about 5km my performance fell off the cliff in a completely unexpected manner.  I walked more than I ran the final 10K and was a mess 'running' to the finish.  I chalked it up to a one-off.

Since then my earlier morning runs have gotten more challenging.  Especially starting out.  That's always tough of course but it was taking a couple of km's before my breathing would settle down. Lots of heaving to pull in air but just not converting like I used to.

Caught a nasty cold in the interim.  Visited my Doctor who checked out the chest...all clear.  She prescribed an inhaler but that didn't help.  

Strange is the best way I can decscribe my experience at BMO Field for the Grey Cup game in November:  Lots of stairs to climb and I had to stop at each landing to catch my breath.  Huh?  I'm a lifetime runner.  What gives?

The final straw happened in Negril at Reggae Marathon last weekend.  I was well rested, felt well trained and was looking forward to a comfortable run.  It started well but then I fell off the cliff. About 2 miles in I lost control of my breathing and started slowing.  Dam! "This is not my day" I quickly surmised and adjusted to walk/run for the balance of the race.  I felt like hell and that was confirmed by both Karen Savitch and Dan Cumming when they passed me on the road:  "You look like hell...you all right?"  "No...yes", I think I mumbled, determined to save enough to have a 'strong finish'.  Getting my 8th consecutive Finisher Medal was a strong motivator.

I visited my Doctor last Friday and laid it all out.  "No running!"  was her immediate command.  "Not until after we get the results of the tests".  Yes, I've got a battery of tests scheduled over the next week to see if we can to the bottom of this.  It may be something simple...that's my hope...because it sure isn't fun looking at the world from the bottom of the cliff.

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Reggae Marathon Experience

Larry, Karen, Dan (Al behind Dan) capping off another Reggae Marathon 
What the heck is the Reggae Marathon Experience?

This past week at Reggae Marathon in Negril was my 8th consecutive time in Negril. Because the date of the Reggae Marthon on the first Saturday in December coincides with an annual Family Christmas Party I've missed the family back home.  I did manage to participate via a Facebook Live Video call but I chose once again to spend the weekend with my running family.

This year at Reggae Marathon joining Dan and I at our Negril home, the ever wonderful Rondel Village in the centre of the beach strip was his non-running friend of 51 years, Al.  Dan is persuasive and determined...he got a non-runner to make the long trek from Vancouver to go to a...running event in Jamaica!

After the usual talk and family catch up that Al sat through stoicially, we got down to more serious matters.  "What makes the Reggae Marathon unique", asked Al innocently.  That's all it took to get us started.  That and a couple or three cold Red Stripes as we lounged on the balcony outside Dan's room.  And it was one of those questions that Dan and I were stumped at first in answering succinctly. We talked for hours about the usual things that we experience at Reggae Marathon:

  • The running of course.  We're runners and getting to race at 5:15 am in the dark on a Saturday morning with 2,300+ other crazy runners is a memorable experience.  But we've all had our share of race starts.
  • Vacationing on the beach.  7 miles of white sand is nirvana for a beach lover and match that up with warm Caribbean Sea water lapping gently on the sure and I don't know if gets much better than this.  But then I've been to Bondi Beach.
  • Runcation!  That must be it.  Lisa Laws and the Reggae Runnerz have coined that phrase to more directly explain the combination of running + vacation.  But...I run on all my vacations.
On to dinner to continue the conversation...
  • It's the post-race party.  Fresh-cut coconut, Red Stripe beer, swim in the Caribbean right outside the finish area.  Ahhh...now we're getting somewhere but still not the 'it'
Then it came to me this morning while running barefoot on the beach with Dan courtesy of a chance meeting with Gene Collier on the bus to Negril last Wednesday:  "It's fun".  Gene is the 62 medal man...he completed 62 endurance running events in 2015. That's more than 1 per week!  I asked him why and his simple answer was, "It's fun".  

I love running because it is fun for me.  The mental and phsycal toughness learned from a lifetime of running.  Overcoming obstacles, setbacks and life challenges...all learned from running experiences. Planning and thinking about the next run.  Looking forward to meeting up in person each year in Negril with my running family...totally fun!

The Reggae Marathon Running Experience is fun.  It's a once-a-year experience that takes a lot of planning to make happen.  In between life can sometimes get in the way but through our friendships and with the help of Facebook, we somehow always seem to make it to Negril to have fun

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vitamin D

After a year in the great white north it's time for some natural Vitamin D. And not the kind that comes in a bottle!  The signals have grown louder in recent weeks: pale and pasty. That's not a good look for me.  It was a great summer in Toronto with lots of heat and sunshine but nothing beats the sunshine, white sand and warm Caribbean in Negil.  Now thay'd real Vitam D and it begins this Thursday.

Rondel Village on the beach in Negril is home base for Reggae Marathon.  It's about a mile and a half from the start/finish area at Long Bay Beach Park.  That makes for a comfortable pre-race warm up walk Saturday morning.  Rondel Village is an intimate resort made up of a number of 3 story buildings nestled on a gorgeous stretch of white sand beach.  The place is lush with tropical vegitation and the walk along the paths to the beach is like walking through a jungle.

Getting settled in at Rondel Village takes no time:  Quick check in, bag dropped off in my room, change into swimming trunks then down to the beach.  That's day one. For the rest of the time it's early morning running, breakfast in the beachside restaurant then sun, sun, sun... Premium Grade Vitamin D!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner taken in leisure at the outdoor restaurant just steps from the beach. They have a great breakfast menu at the restaurant but it's the same every morning:  Blue Mountain Coffee and Ackee and Saltfish.

We talk and talk and talk...and not just about running.  With active families and lifestyles, it takes time to catch up on all the goings on over the past year.  Yeah we have social media but it's better face-to-face.  And what makes Rondel Village even better?   No shoes no problem...bathing suit morning till night.

Gotta go now...back to the Vitamin D.

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hot sauce and running

I love hot sauce.  I love running.  Hot sauce + running = Pain!

A few weeks back as we were leaving the hall after Navin and Daivati's wedding, I stopped at a vendor and impulse bought some Guyanese hot sauce.  It had the magic words, 'Scotch Bonet' on the lable...I was sure it would be flavourful.  Sally shook her head with a smile and a shrug...she knew better than to talk me out of it.

We 'Jamaican born's' know a thing or two about hot sauce.  Scotch Bonet is our specialty.  There's even a Jerk place in Jamaica called Scotchies!  In the past I've made my own hot sauce by grinding up some Scotch Bonet's with vinegar and oil.  Not too flavourful I confess, but packed the heat!  I love my hot sauce!

As I've gotten older, become 'Seasoned' as my friend, Dan notes about aging, I've become less tolerant of hot sauce.  Say it ain't so!  Alas it's true.  My taste buds love a little hot sauce with just about everything...drives Sally crazy!  My stomach however not so much.  And my lower digestive tract is positively 'anti hot sauce'.  And that's where hot sauce meets running.  And the hot sauce is winning!

So I tried a little...OK a lot...of this hot sauce from hell on some rice and chicken.  I should have exercised caution immediately.  While it was flavourful, there was a nasty little bite of heat that I ignored.  How bad could it be?  The next morning on what was to be a long slow run (in preparation for Reggae Marathon of course) Jan's Hot Pepper rose up and bit down hard.  Actually, and without being too gross, it had slid down and announced that it wanted out.  I cut my run short and made a hasty retreat home cursing every step...and every drop of hot sauce I had so eagerly slathered on the day before.

Since then I've been much more ginerly in using this hot sauce.  And more strategic:  No hot sauce the day before a long run.  No need to tempt the running gods a second time...they may not allow me enough time to find refuge.  I still like my hot sauce but I love running!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nothing to say

I've got nothing to say about running this week. Nada.  I'm all talked out about telling running stories and recounting personal bests.  My personal best in the 10K happened nearly 25 years ago!  I'm not tired of running...just talking about it.  I can hear Sally rejoicing!

But it's hard not to talk about running.  Every run brings new challenges and experiences.  How was my breathing?  Will that twinge I felt in my knee develop into something serious?  Can I really enjoy a run when I've got a chest cold? Those are important questions that my running friends deal with regularly and that matter to runners.  Do I retire these comfortable but well past their prime running shoes for a new pair.  It seems silly to my non-running friends because the answer is obvious:  Yes!

I've got nothing more to say, so for now I'll say...nothing!  Enjoy!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Navin, Larry, Chris, Dan

Navin, Larry, Dan and I meet up again at Reggae Marathon in just over 4 Mondays from now.  After a couple of years where I wasn't sure I'd even make it, the annual trek to Negril, Jamaica, is now firmly on my calendar.  This year makes it 8 consecutive!

That's us from Reggae Marathon 2015 boasting of a total of 22 Reggae Marathons under our collective belts.  If you're doing the math, Reggae Marathon 2016 will take the total up to 26!  So in just over a month, all we have to do it run.  Looking forward to it!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Are you smarter than Google?

Have you heard someone say they've figured out how to outsmart Google?  I have, particularly with Google AdWords and Online Searches.  Often it goes like this, "I/we have a way of that guarantees #1 position at the lowest bid for your AdWords campaigns".  I just shake my head.  It's just not possible that one individual or company has developed a new algorithm that outsmarts the sheer volume of computing power that Google brings to Search.  To illustrate, here's an infographic that shows what goes on in Search as you are typing...
When you're using Online/Search Advertising (AdWords) to reach your target customers, it's better to focus on playing within the Google Search Ecosystem:  Relevant headlines and Call-to-action options combined with a Landing Page experience that pays off directly against the specific search query.  

Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just Run!

"Just Run!"

That's the response Ed Whitlock gave after smashing records at the recent Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.  Oh, did I forget to mention:  Ed's 85 years old!  If he and I had run only the Half Marathon he'd have outpaced me by over 15 minutes.  This man can run!

As a runner it's all about Personal Bests...we all say we don't compete with other runners. We all talk a blue streak about how it's important to 'run your own race'.  But buried deep down is that competitive itch:  'I want to beat that guy in front of me'.  We mid-pack runners may not talk about it much but it's there. Watching Ed Whitlock smash world records in his mid-80's is inspiring and motivating:  "I want to run like that when I'm 85!".  Truth be told, I just want to still be moving upright when I'm that age.

So my updated running mantra:  "Just run!".  Or as Sally says, "Run, Christopher, Run!"

Gotta go...the road is calling...

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Digital Marketing Crushing It

I'm old school:  I read the News via an App on my Smartphone.  My local newspaper is now in the coffee sales and distribution business...I think.  The offer that printed on paper and stuffed in my mailbox was confusing.  Do I get a 'Paper' with a pouch of coffee?  

Digital Marketing is crushing Traditional Marketing.


A company can build brand awareness, serve up offers to interested potential customers and measure the effectiveness of everything at every step along the way.  It takes the guesswork out and solves the age-old adage:  "50% of Advertising works...the devil is knowing which 50%"

Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fun Facts about your Heart

Women have a higher heart rate than men:  78 beats per minute for a woman versus 70 beats per minute for a man.  That's at rest and is an average.  My resting heart rate hovers around 50 beats per minute.  Wonder what that makes me?  Here are some other fun facts about your heart, the strongest muscle in your body:
Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Buying a Vehicle in Ontario

Buying a new Vehicle in Ontario today?  It's not as daunting as it once was with Government and Industry Legislation that gives consumers more transparant information. Back in the day before 'full disclosure' it did resemble the good, the bad and the ugly! Here's what it looks like when buying a vehicle in Ontario:
Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Getting ready for some Reggae

With a couple of months to go, I'm getting ready for some Reggae...Reggae Marathon in Negril, Jamaica on December 3.  This year at Reggae Marathon marks my 8th consecutive event.  And while I like new adventures, returning to Reggae Marathon every December is one my all-time favourite vacation running activities.  

Getting ready for Reggae Marathon ramps up now with under two months to go.  I look forward to touchdown in Montego Bay: The hot late afternoon sun once out of the airport terminal;  the cacaphony of sounds making my way to the JUTA Negril shuttle;  the smells...the air just smells better in Jamaica.

I eagerly anticipate the drive from Montego Bay to Negril and my favourite touchpoints:  The waterwheel at Tryall; the highpoint overlooking the harbour in Lucea; the marking on the road just past Green Island where the original Full Reggae Marathon course turned. And especially the sign for Long Bay Beach Park, the start and finish of Reggae Marathon.  Quiet as I pass by but crazy busy come race morning.

Once checked into my hotel, the lovely Rondel Village directly on the Negril beach, I ditch the long pants and shoes and head down to the beach for my first dip in the warm Caribbean.  Ahhh...I've arrived!  Then it's supper with Dan.

Every year since Dan and I have been staying at Rondel Village it's the same:  Red Stripe and Jerk Chicken for supper with lots of catch-up talk.  Even though we keep in touch throughout the year via phone, email and of course Facebook, it's nice to be face-to-face.  We really should record our conversations...I know we solve all the problems of the world.  Generally it's an early turn in for me after the long travel day but it's with anticipation of an early morning run the next morning.  And that first run in Negril each year is really special.

Despite the laid back attitude, Jamaicans are early risers.  On our early morning run along the main Negril road traffic is steady with people going to work, kids off to school and vendors and stores getting ready for the day.  There's a new sidewalk that runs almost the entire distance into the town of Negril and we often see locals sweeping and cleaning up.  It's always a sweaty run this first time out but then it's a +25 degree Celsius swing in temperature for me from Toronto to Negril. Love it!


Breakfast!  Dan and I meet up at the Rondel Village beach-side restaurant after we've changed into our beach toggs.  We always get a menu but the decision is always the same:  Hot Blue Mountain coffee, Ackee and Saltfish. Yes I make both back in Toronto, but enjoying Jamaica's national breakfast barefoot with sand between my toes is beyond sublime.  We take our time but all too soon it's time for the day's major activity:  Catching rays lounging beachside.

And the stories we tell!  In between Red Stripes, dozing off (at least I do), dips in the Caribbean and planning what to eat for lunch it's just hours of glorious sunshine on the white sand beach.  Under copiously slathered on Sunscreen of course. 

Yes it's tough getting ready for Reggae Marathon.  And I am ready to give it another go this December!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Busting Auto Buying Myths

"The Sales Person will go the way of the Dodo Bird".  That and other myths are alive and well.  With more information available online, Consumers are doing more research via Manufacturer and Dealership websites; are getting recommendations via Customer Reviews and various Social Media Channels;  are looking to minimize their time at the Dealership.  But...they still want to buy from a real person.  That and other auto buying myths debunked in the Infographic below:
Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

Screw Making Lemonade

"If life hands you lemons, make lemonade".  Screw that!  I hate lemonade.  When life hands me lemons I'd rather sell them and buy grapes.  I like grapejuice.  And wine.

I think about a lot of things while running. Mostly it's about how running mirrors life.  The training, preparing, anticipating a race;  Winning and expriencing disappointments on any given race day; Celebrating a personal victory and bouncing back from a loss when things just didn't work out the way I planned.  All this and more during my early morning running:
  1. Stop worrying about the future.  Unless you can travel faster than time, you can't tell what's next. Worrying won't get you ahead.
  2. The past is the past.  Stop hanging on to your mistakes. Unless fatal, mistakes are lessons. Take advantage of the learning opportunities.  
  3.  It's not over until the fat lady sings.  And you can't ever hear her warming up.  Get on with it.
  4. When S happens, move aside...fast.  How many times have you stood and wallowed in the mess before taking action? Wallowing in the S stinks!  No one wants to play with a stinky person.
  5. You get to play again tomorrow.  Unless the fat lady is on her last stanza...but then, you can't hear that coming.
  6. It's better to be optimistic.  The roller-coaster of life means you'll experience highs and lows along with the twists and turns.  Doing so with a smile is better.
  7. Listen to all advice.  That doesn't mean you need to take all of it.  Duh!  You have a mind!
  8. Running doesn't solve everything.  Well actually it does.  Can you think of a problem that doesn't get smaller while you're running?
  9. Talking about running drives non-running friends and family crazy!  Go ahead, at the next dinner party, start talking about running.
  10. Should you have non-running friends anyway?  Just a thought...
  11. Running is living! Enough said!
  12. There really is an inner voice in your head. Two actually:  The scaredy-cat and the risk-taker. "Pssst...It's your risk-taker here...I've having more fun".
  13. 'Give er'. 100%. All the time. Otherwise what's the point?
Gotta go now...have some grapes to squeeze.

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Automotive Purchase Journey

Back in the day things were different.  The Manufacturer and the Dealer had more information that we had.  I loved going to the Detroit and Toronto Auto Shows in the winter to pick up new vehicle catalogues.  I poured over them endlessly learning the minutae about each model.  Those were good times!  My wife didn't enjoy the piles of old catalogues though.  Thankfully my job in automotive marketing and advertising allowed me to keep them in my office.

As we all know, the big change in the relationship between purchaser and new vehicle seller is that the Consumer now has more information than the sales consultants in the Dealership.  While not absolutely true...Manufacturers spend large budgets on product training...Google Search puts a lot of information at our fingertips.  And in the process, the automotive purchase journey has changed:

Chris M Morales
chris.morales@bell.net
@ChrisMoralesTO
647 393 3855

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not associated with any other group or organization

A little running music

I don't run with music. I've never been comfortable with earbuds in my ear.  And I run in the city...I want to hear vehicles around me...and the bad guys trying to sneak up on me.  But I do like running music...or to be more accurate, music that pumps me up. 

Heading out to a race I love Dave Matthews 'Two Step', Led Zeppelin's 'Ramble On', Joe Zawinul's 'Procession' and Al Dimeola's 'Flight over Rio'.  Those are my standbys.  But there are a others that I turn to when I really want to get crank it up:  
Sinnerman, Nina Simone.  Loved it in The Thomas Crown Affair...love this extended version even more

Boogie Wonderland Extended Mix, Earth Wind and Fire.  They could have called this 'Happy Feet'. It sure gets my legs turning over.



Thunderstruck, Two Cellos.  OK, AC/DC nailed it with Thunderstruck but this is one of the best versions ever!

What's your favourite running music?

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stumbled but didn't fall

Last Saturday at the RBC Run for the Kids 15K I stumbled.  Badly it turned out.  But I didn't fall. In the process I learned a lot about mental toughness.  And how to change strategy quickly.  We can plan all we want...then life happens.

As you might have surmised I didn't have a great running day Saturday morning.  I've thought about it a lot...including the seemingly endless time out on the course while I stumbled along.  What happened?

Well...what happened is that I finished.  I raised over $500 for kids mental health with your support.  I got another Finisher Medal.  Probably the hardest one I've ever owned...well, maybe the second hardest...the Reggae Marathon Finisher's Medal back in 2009 was hard won.  Both tested me mentally and physically.  And that's life.  Despite the best made plans, some days it's how fast you adapt that keeps you alive.  So what did I learn?
  • No matter how slow you're moving, keep moving!  
  • Pay attention to what's going on.  When something doesn't work as planned, recognize it and adapt or adjust quickly.  
  • Keep your head up and breathe.  It's the end goal that matters...
  • Relax...you get to run again tomorrow.  Only death and taxes are certain.  So after you pay your taxes, and assuming you're not dead, you get to run again.
Potestas in meipsum!  That the Latin version of my personal motto:  Strength within self. That came to me around Kilometer 7.5 when I passed the sign noting we were half way home.  Yes I stumbled...but I sure didn't fall!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hard Running

I had a week of hard running getting back to it. Some of the pain was caused by the realization that I had two weeks to get back into running shape for the RBC Run for the Kids on September 17.  I needed to ramp up quickly...that hurt as expected...but I also wanted to not break anything...that messed with my head!  Who knew hard running was so hard!

I'm pretty sure now that runners are high level narscisists.  Or is it just me?  On a run last Saturday I found myself on a stretch of Bloor West Village where every storefront was plate glass.  I spent more time looking at my reflection than thinking about running. There was a big disconnect between how I looked in my mind and what the mirrored windows reflected.  Whoa!

I'm watching my food intake this week as well.  As is my habit, I've cut out the beer and alcohol. Man is that cold one on Saturday afternoon going to taste great!  I've got some dry roasted peanuts ready-to-go as well.  College football Saturday afternoon here we come!  Sticking with chicken, rice and steamed vegetables this week as well.

It's looking like my type of running conditions this Saturday morning.  Temperatures are forecast for low teens at the 7:30 am start.  And no rain although I actually like running in the rain.  I'm going to use my hydration backpack for this run.  I like PowerAid and am pretty sure that won't be available at the aid stations.  Plus I can avoid the sloppy water-in-a-paper-cup drill.  Why can't every race hydrate like Reggae Marathon:  water and electrolyte replacement in a sealed plastic pouch?

OK, enough jabbering...back to some hard running.  Wait...supposed to be tapering for the rest of this week.  Can't wait until Saturday!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Run...again

I had my first run this past weekend.  And it felt great to be running again.  After an enforced break from running I feared I'd forgotten how to run.  Duh...left foot forward, right foot forward, repeat quickly.  Yes, it was good to be running again.

A big benefit of the 6 week break from running that the broken toe caused was that I got to work on my core.  More frequent planking workouts and regular running and swimming in the complex in our pool.  I didn't lose much leg strength at all!  On that first run I kept it slow for sure but I was itching to pick up the pace.

Another benefit:  The nagging hamstring injury in my left leg healed!  Funny how rest works.  And after all the Dr, Ho sessions and Voltaren Emugel slathered on.  As usual, rest is the cure for all running injuries.


And now that I'm back running, I'm looking forward to my upcoming runs.  First up is the RBC Race for the Kids on Saturday, September 17.  

Two weeks to go to get ready for this 15K race but it's special and will be worth it: I'm running to raise funds to help youth coping with mental health issues.  

You can join me every step of the way by donating at my page:  ThatRunninGuy Race for the Kids Donation Page.  I've got a ways to go and not a lot of time so any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated.

After that I'm teasing myself with the Half Marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront event in mid-October.  I figure its a good training run for Reggae Marathon in December.  My plan is to run the first 11 kilometres at an easy pace then pick it up for the final 10 kilometres.  I haven't registered yet...still thinking about it.

Then the final race of 2016 is the annual trek to Negril for Reggae Marathon.  I hear rumors that a number of the gang are planning to run the 10K this December.  See...I can influence people after all! The biggest benefit to running the 10K at Reggae Marathon is that you get all the benefits of the Reggae Marathon Race Weekend Experience with little of the exertion.  And you're sipping a cold Red Strip by 6 am in the morning on the Beach!  Can't think of a better way to wrap up a running year.

First run over...now on to the next!

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy