Tuesday, June 28, 2016

No wind at my back

Summer arrived in Toronto with a vengance and reared it's best sunny and hot features at the Toronto Waterfront 10K last Sunday.  The wind was definitely not at my back...actually no wind at all! Nothing but bright sunshine at the 7:40 am Blue Corral start and throught the entire morning.  The not-so-good stuff first:
  • I did not fuel up properly.  No breakfast.  Gulped down a gel at the start and another at 5K.  Kids, don't try this for your next race.  I was energy-depleted almost from the start and no amount of water or Gatorade could overcome that.
  • I didn't hydrate properly.  A couple of glasses of water when I got up at 4:30 am but the large coffee to 'caffeine up' effectively expelled that.  
  • Couldn't catch my breath.  A combination of going out a little too fast combined with the warm temperature and bright sunshine are the likely culprits.
  • I didn't wear a hat.  For some reason I didn't take into account that from 5K to the end there was no shade.  Dousing my head and neck with water at two aid stations at 6K and 8K helped but by then the damage had already been done.  
Now the good stuff. Canada Running Series who organize and put on the race know how to take care of runners.  This was my second race with them this season (Spring Run Off Apr 9) and once again they did a great job.  They sure know how to take care of runners!
  • Very well organized bag check. I love the clear plastic pouches everyone has to use to check baggage.  Can't bring everything...have to choose carefully.  
  • Well managed start corrals.  I get to start toward the front and love the feeling of being 'elite' even though it is fleeting
  • Lots of water stations with many volunteers on hand.  I must say though that Reggae Marathon has a better hydration solution with their sealed plastic pouches. Easier to drink from, a whole lot less messy and way less garbage.
  • Great post-race experience with lots of drink and food and entertainment.  They had a live band playing, get this...Reggae!  Thought I was in Negril at Reggae Marathon for a minute.
So three races in three months.  I've been bitten by the 10K racing bug.  On the hunt now for other 10K's this summer.  Feels good to be racy again and will have the wind at my back soon.

Until next time...


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Running like the wind

Look out for me this Saturday morning, June 25 burning it up at the Toronto Waterfront 10K.  It's my third and final race this spring and I'm pumped!
The Finisher Medal looks really cool and if all goes to plan I should be slipping it over my head around 8:20 am. I put it out there:  Targeting 50 minutes to finish.  

If you've been following my journey so far you'll know I improved my pace from the High Park Spring Run Off 8K to the Sporting Life 10K.  The first one was my first 10K in Toronto in eons and featured two steep hills...the second one at the finish.  My second race, the Sporting Life 10K was mostly downhill so I expected an improvement...and got it. The Toronto Waterfront 10K is more honest...a slight downhill to start but flat for most of it. I've training hard with my Workout from Hell and if conditions are good, I'm going to go for it this Saturday!

As usual you'll be able to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.  I promise to only post updates at the Start, 5k mark and Finish.

As the running saying goes, "May the wind be at my back"...

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My workout from hell

I created a workout from hell last week and plan on hitting it once a week forever!  OK, forever may be a stretch.

I call it 'workout from hell' because it encompasses three fiendish elements:
  1. Multiple hill repeats on a couple of local roads with steep inclines to both start and finish 
  2. Stair repeats with Plank routines in the middle
  3. Track repeats to build all-out speed 
It's only a little over 11 km in total distance but I push my heart rate up and down like a yo-yo and my legs feel like well cooked spagetti at the end.  But does it ever feel great!
For those of you interested in these factoids, you'll notice the change in my pace at the 41 minute mark where I'm doing the stair repeats and Planking and again around the 1 hour mark where I'm doing the speedwork at the local highschool track.  I don't have a heart rate monitor but take my word for it that I'm pumping pretty good.

It's pretty rewarding once I've finished this workout.  During the hills, stairs and on the track not so much.  I've invented some new swear words...I'll share those in Negril when a number of us meet up for Reggae Marathon.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Battling the pain

Muscles, lungs...some mornings it's a real pain battling the pain.

Was running always like this? Truthfully I don't remember.  I don't remember much about completed runs and races.  Way too many miles logged and races finished.  OK, maybe dropping out of my first Marathon race still irks and walking the Reggae Marahon 10K in a walking cast due to broken foot bones wasn't such a good idea...made for a good story though!  

When I think about all the aches and pains running has caused I wonder if it's worth it.

Is running worth the pain?  Yes!

Until next time...