Tuesday, March 29, 2016

500 Metres in High Park

500 metres.  Half a Kilometer.  Once around the local high school track plus an additional straightaway.  5 times the distance Usain Bolt runs in under 10 seconds each time.  500 metres!

Oh, did I forget to mention that it's uphill!

April 9 is my date with 'The Hill' in High Park at the Spring Run Off 8K.  This will be a day of a couple of 'Firsts'.  It's my first race in Toronto in quite a few years. I've sustained a number of injuries over the past 5 years that have coincided with planned races and even this year am recovering from a nasty hamstring strain.  But I've been running regularly for the past couple of weeks and feel ready for this.  I think...

Second, it's my first race of 2016.  Normally in the spring in Toronto in High Park the Cherry blossoms are in full bloom.  With the long-range forecast calling for downright chilly temperatures for the early morning start April 9 it looks to be winter running gear.  But I'll be racing in my spiffy Puma running shoes and will be colour co-ordinated head-to-toe.

Now about 'The Hill'.  It's only 500 Metres.  I've run it before.  It's close to the finish line.  Can you tell that I'm a little spooked?  I only hope I can smile for the cameras like these runners:

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pitter patter...Let's go racing!

Pitter, patter, let's get at 'er...Hamstring injury a fading memory...I'm rnning again.  I couldn't stand not runnig especially now that spring is in the air in Toronto.  OK -3C on Sunday morning for the first official day of Spring maybe stretching it a bit, but soon we'll be complaining about the heat and humidity...I can hardly wait.

To celebrate spring and running, I did something this past weekend that I haven't done in years:  I signed up for three spring races!  All at my favourite running distance, 10K.  And all of them in Toronto.  I know Half Marathons are still all the rage, but thankfully enough of us who cut our running and racing teeth on 10K's back in the day still enjoy the distance.

First up is the 8 K Spring Run Off in High Park on April 9.  The 8K runs a couple of loops on the paved roads around and through High Park.  It's famous for 'The Hill', a long, steep incline that we'll run up a couple of times, the second time as we approach the finish. I've run this hill before but never in a race...this will be my first time and I'm a little apprehensive. But hey it's only 8K...how tough can it be?

Next up is the Sporting Life 10K on May 8, Mother's Day.  It's an early morning start, downhill all the way which will allow me the opportunity to set a Personal Best, and make it to Orangeville to celebrate Mother's Day with my Mom.
Got my priorities right don't I!  I've run this race before and it's a thrill to run basically straight down Yonge Stree through the heart of the city of Toronto.  The crowds are hugh!  Even at my slightly below one hour planned finish time, I'll be running in a crowd the entire time.  It makes for a slightly challenging 'sprint to the finish' but it's great atmosphere and I'm looking forward to my second outing.

And even though it will be officially summer by then, my third and final 10K of the 'Spring' is the Toronto Waterfront 10K on June 25.  It starts on University Avenue and has a little downhill to Lakeshore Blvd where it runs flat out along Lakeshore West before looping back for a finish south of the CNE.  I wanted to run this last year missed the date totally.  I've got my confirmation this year and am looking forward to it for a very special reason:  Back in the day when I was doing 10K's regularly, I set my all-time best 10K time on a course that was very similar to this.  Will history repeat?

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Running in the rain

If you're a runner living near the coast in the southern areas of British Columbia, you know all about running in the rain.  For the rest of us, running in the rain occurs less often.  As Spring approaches, a sure sign that warmer weather is ahead are the 'April showers'.  And I can't wait!  Yes, running in the rain plays havoc with the running shoes but I'm the crazy runner in our neighbourhood who loves running in the rain

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A pain in my hamstring

This pain in my hamstring is a real pain!  A few weeks ago I felt a tiny 'twinge' in the back of my thigh on a normal run.  I didn't think much of it at the time.  Heck, at this age and after all these years running, I'm used to a little pain every now and then.  And then it developed into a full-blown hamstring injury

I immediately backed off running in hopes of minimizing the injury and speeding up the healing. Unfortunately I made the mistake of going out for a fast run with some gentle ups and downs and that did me in.  It's been a couple of weeks of pain and frustration now and I don't like it one bit!

Recovery has included rest of course (not enough of that but you know me), Naproxin to reduce the inflamation and my secret weapon, Dr. Ho!  And to prevent a reoccurance:  pre-run stretching.  On that last part, we'll see how that goes...I'm notorious for not stretching at all before running but after this hamstring episode I may finally have to change my ways.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Energy in sports: Runners rule!

And there you have it:  Runners rule!  When it comes to burning calories that is.  Hands down, running is the best exercise.

Until next time...

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