Showing posts with label 10K. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 10K. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

10K: The Perfect Race Distance

The running world has gone crazy over the past years over running longer and longer distances. Above 42.2 K, these are called 'Ultras'.  Regularly now you can read about races at a number of extreme distances:  50K, 50 Miles, 100K!

For a lot of these runners...myself included...the book, 'Born to Run' introduced us to extreme running with the legendary Cabalo Blanco and the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon's of Mexico. These runners could run all day through torturous terrain wearing basically leather thong sandals and eating very, very little.  Much was made of the 'Midfoot Running Style' which went against the 'Heel Strike' that most of us runners followed.

But I digress...

Ultra Runners are CRAZY!  And they are ruining running!! I have no difficulty explaining to Sally that I'm going out for a run.  She figures on about an hour (about 10K for me at a relaxed pace) and that I'll be fairly close to home should I get in trouble.  Heck, she even understands the Half Marathon...a couple of hours or so.  She gets more concerned and less interested in the Marathon. She came along to Reggae Marathon when I ran my one and only Full Marathon, and for that I'll be forever grateful but it was an equally grueling experience for her baking in the sun waiting for me to finish.  Ultras?  Not a topic of discussion in our home!

And that's the challenge:  It's relatively easy to talk to a non-runner about running up to about an hour, the 10K.  Beyond that their attention span fades and their eyes glaze over.  That dis-interest grows exponentially the longer the distance and ventures into hostile territory.

So I say, "Stop the Madness!"  Bring backthe 10K.  Let's get back to civilized running.  A great 10K? Reggae Marathon that is both the perfect race distance and warm location!

Long live the 10K!

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Next Big Race: Sporting Life 10K

So as 2013 comes to an end I've had the opportunity to reflect back on a year of running.  It began back in the cold, dark months of January with tentative steps as the first stage of running after sustaining broken bones in my right foot.

It wasn't pretty.  I'd gained a few pounds after months of less intense physical activity and my leg muscles cried in agony as I pushed beyond just fast walking.  But I persevered and by early spring I was running regularly. A relatively mild and snow-free winter in Toronto helped a lot to get back into the groove.

Then my son Court invited to run with him in the Sporting Life 10K in early May.  I was pretty sure I'd be slow as molasses but it was the first big running test.  Heavier than normal I pounded down Yonge Street and even had a little something left for the final sprint-to-the finish.  It felt good.

I didn't race again until the Reggae Marathon 10K in Negril, Jamaica in early December.  After all these years of running and racing, I'd come full circle:  I spent much of the 1980's and 1990's running many 10 K races in Toronto . Nice!

So what's my next BIG race?   I've already hinted at it:  the Sporting Life 10K on May 11, 2014.

On that early spring morning I'll join 25,000+ other runners heading straight down Yonge Street in Toronto.  It's mostly all downhill with a flat finish. That early in the year should produce ideal cool racing conditions.  I expect a relaxed yet fast result.

Training for the Sporting Life 10Kwill include lots of speed work at the local high school track this spring along with longer runs along the Humber River trails.  I may even include some water running along with some spinning at a local gym.  Yes it's all about the running but I'll mix it up a bit this year.

As we move into the depths of Winter in Toronto, the beacon of light that is the the Sporting Life 10 K in May will be the bright goal.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Training for Reggae Marathon December 7 in Jamaica

It started with a 10K.

30 years ago the goal was to finish a 10K run.   It was called the Speedy Baycrest 10K and it was flat rectangular route in Toronto's North West.  By the time I ran this race, my first ever, I'd been running consistently for about 6 months.  I'd never run the distance.  I figured I could tough it out.  I was wrong.  Not only did I start too fast, I had the wrong clothes (cotton shorts and t shirt) and running shoes that were way past their best-before-date.  I finished.  Well over an hour.  But I finished!  And I was hooked on racing.

Fast forward a few years:  racing through the streets of Toronto nearly every second weekend in 10K races that were the rage back then.  Finishing medals were not popular then, T Shirts were.  I amassed quite the collection of Q107/Coors Light branded shirts...thankfully that have long ago been re-cycled.

A few years later I ran into (pardon the pun) longer distance races the first of which was the Bread & Honey 15 Miler in Streetsville.  Back then we ran along roads north and east of Streetsville Highschool (where the event started and finished) that were farmland. A few weeks ago I drove through the neighbourhood...when did all those houses get built?

I ran a few Half Marathons after that but was fearful of the full Marathon convinced that I could never finish the distance.  That proved correct in my first attempt through the streets of Toronto.  Not until Reggae Marathon in 2009 did I finish my one and only full Marathon.  Reggae Marathon 10K in Negril, Jamaica on December 7.
Waiting and waiting...then waiting some more for
my big Finish at Reggae Marathon 2009.

So while I'm a long-time runner or 'Seasoned' as my friend Dan Cumming often reminds me, I prefer the shorter distance race events such as the 10K. And after running the Sporting Life 10K this past spring, my first race after the broken foot, I've found my running sweet spot once again.  And that brings me to my training for the

I'm obsessed about speed.  Finishing time actually.  I blame that on Dan Cumming who said a good goal would be to finish the Reggae Marathon 10K in the same time as my age:  I'm 55 so that would translate to 55 minutes.  I don't like that one bit so I've been training...hard!  Speedwork and hills the past few weeks with increased weekly frequency in the upcoming 2 weeks before the taper.  So far I've been injury-free so 'touch wood', I should burn up the course in Negril.  I've got a few more pounds to loose as well so the combination of intense workout and lower weight should 'git er dun'.  Plus, I'll need to look good on the beach in my bathing suit.

So if you see me on the streets of Etobicoke racing early morning, don't'l break my focus.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

75 Days to Reggae Marathon!

Larry, Chris, Dan ... Post-race, Reggae Marathon
Yikes!  Where did that year go?  It was only yesterday when I was waiting outside Rondel Village in Negril for the shuttle to take me back to the airport in Montego Bay for the trip home.  All my family and friends had left for home the day before and even though I enjoyed an early morning swim and a few hours lolling for the last time on the Negril beach, saying good by to Reggae Marathon 2012 was tough.  Only 364 days to go...

Fast under 75 days to go to Reggae Marathon 2013, my 5th consecutive Reggae Marathon.  It's the only race event I've done 5 times.  And yes I was born in Jamaica but this race has something special that brings me back year after year.

There have been both highlights and low times at Reggae Marathon.  Each experience...even the not so good ones...have been positive once enough time passed.  Here are some of the experiences that have stayed with me over the years:

  • My first Reggae Marathon in 2009 was my second full marathon and my first and only complete marathon.  It wasn't pretty but I 'got it dun!'.  With my slow pace I spent a considerable amount of time under the mid-morning sun.  I was prepared and had trained for it yet nothing could prepare me for the long, long stretches of running with no one else in sight.  "The loneliness of the long distance runner?"  I got it!  The hardest part:  knowing that Sally was waiting for me at the finish line wondering when I would ever get to the finish.  Thanks for waiting Sally.
  • My second Reggae Marathon event in 2010 was actually harder.  I entered the Half Marathon event and cockily predicted a sub-2 hour time.  It was not to be.  Even with my son Courtney running with me, I struggled.  I ran with a bad case of Plantar Fasciitis, in the wrong shoes and with the wrong T Shirt.  I overheated, destroyed my feet and crossed the finish line a mess.  Not my finest hour.
  • Reggae Marathon #3 in 2011 was much better.  I had two of my sons, Andrew and Courtney in Negril along with one of their friends, Mike.  We all stayed at Rondel Village and had a blast playing on the beach before and after the race.  I entered the 10K and upon finishing could proudly claim I had 'Medalled' in each of the Reggae Marathon distances:  Full Marathon, Half and 10K.  Plus the highlight of this race was that I ran topless!  Don't worry, I didn't scare was dark the entire race.
  • My 2012 Reggae Marathon could have been a disaster.  Barely 2 months before race day I broke some bones in my right foot.  I missed a planned half marathon that fall but expected to be fully recovered for the 10K event in Negril.  Never happened.  I was still in my walking cast when I traveled to Negril and I promised Sally I wouldn't run.  I kept my word and walked the entire 10K in my walking cast.  For the first time I got the opportunity to take pictures along the route...some of them priceless to me.
For 2013 I'm back for the event December 7.  I'll be running the 10K event once again.  Truth be told, it's my favourite's how I got into running in the first place.  I'm totally looking forward to it.  Beach, sun, run...Reggae Marathon 2013 here I come!

Until next time...