Showing posts with label Sporting Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sporting Life. Show all posts

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, May 14, 2013

A day of running firsts on May 12

27,000 Runners at the Start of the Sporting Life 10K
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Fowler
First of all the Sporting Life 10K this past Sunday morning was the first race Sally has driven me to in well over a year.  That is not trivial:  it was a 5:30 am wake up call for her on a cold Sunday morning.  And on Mother's Day to boot.  Yes, she really loves me.  Tia on the other hand just wanted to go for a car ride!  

Getting to the start was an easy cross-town drive via a couple of side streets that got me very close to the baggage check truck just north of the Sporting Life store on Yonge Street.  Kudos for the race organizers for handling the bag check very well:  at the end of the race, all the checked bags were neatly lined up and organized according to race bib number.  I was able to get out of my wet running gear very quickly.  But I am ahead of myself...

27,000 runners is one extremely large group!

Thankfully the race organizers had it figured out very well.  We were placed in colour-coded start corals based on our expected finish times.  Then each group was sent off at 10 minute intervals.  Even with this set up, I was always running in a crowd.  But that was the thrill of it.

At 10 kilometres this first race in over a year wasn't a particularly challenging distance for me physically. Plus it was almost all downhill.  Mentally though it was a different matter.  Would I crack a previously injured foot bone?  Would my plantar issue rear it's nasty little head?  Would my calf muscles seize up?  With those thoughts buzzing through my head, my head kept me slow and steady for almost the entire race.  That was a first!  I did pick up the pace at the 8 K mark though and managed a sprint-to-the finish for the final 500 metres.  

The post-race experience was a breeze:  through the finish chute quickly, medal over head, Gatorade, banana and bagel in quick order.  These race organizers had it down pat with enough volunteers to ensure there were no glitches.  The acid test though was the bag claim area.  There was absolutely no delay in picking out my bag and getting out of my wet gear quickly.  That was absolutely necessary since by then it was totally overcast and windy.  It was cold!  

One final note:  I ran with one of my son's and his friends.  OK, let's try that again:  I was in the same race event as Court.  He was in the first starting wave just behind the Elites and burned up the course in just under 41 minutes.  That was truly fast.  Maybe if he actually trained...  It is a nice feeling to know that 'the kid' was out there though.  For fun here are the results:

Age Group
Age Group Placing
Overall Placing
Pace / KM
Chip Time
Male 55 - 59
Male 25 - 29

So with the 25 year age difference I ran 50% slower and still placed in the top half in my age group.  I could have sworn there were more 'middle age' men running.  Not bad for the "Old Man' though.

Oh, and Sally, for my next race in October I'll take a cab.

Until next time...


I'm raising funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation in 2013.  My goal is to raise $2,000 by December 31.  My other planned races in 2013 include:

  1. The Toronto Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon, October 20
  2. The Reggae Marathon, December 7.  
Please join me on Facebook at Run for Heart.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oops...a little running setback

I blame this one on the foot cast!  Placing the blame on the the medical device that got me through the fractured foot bones seems unfair I know.  But it beats the real reason:  I went out too quickly to resume running resulting in a bad muscle pull in my right calf.  Truth be told:  I'm pretty sure I tore the muscle.  I know that's not the correct medical term and NO I'm not going to a doctor!  The immediate plan is to refrain from running for the next couple of weeks to allow it to heal properly before I get back to running...slowly!

As Sally so kindly reminded me recently, "You're not 35 anymore".  Based on that obvious fact, I'm going back to basics with my running.  A lot of the injuries I've experienced over the past few years come down to bad form.  OK, maybe there was a 'wee little bit of ' stupidity since I'm really not 35 years old anymore.  But I am 'learnable' and now seems like a good time to get back to the basics.  

I saw this chart recently on the Reggae Marathon Facebook Fan Page.  If you're a long-time runner like my friend Dan Cumming of Running in the Zone (check out this great article on Running Injury:  Doctor it hurts when I do this) you already know what good running form is.  If you're just starting out, this could be the most simple and best explanation of proper running form.  I fall in to the 'long-time running group who never payed attention but got totally excited by this chart.  

"Stand up straight".  I can still hear those words from my Grandmother when I would slouch my shoulders.   It's the key to good form in running. Duh!  My Grandmother wouldn't say 'Duh' but she'd smile of  hers while asking me what took me so long.  I wouldn't have a good answer.

So assuming all goes well, here's the next target:  the Sporting Life 10K on May 12 in Toronto.  Court, one of my sons, suggested it and it seems like a good idea. 10K races how I started running way back (when I really was age 35) and this is a point-to-point race down Yonge Street in Toronto.  Mostly downhill with a flat finish.  And it starts favourite time of day.  We won't officially have cold Red Stripes immediately at the finish like Reggae Marathon but unofficially... 

Until next time...


I'm raising funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation in 2013.  My goal is to raise $2,000 by December.  
My planned races in 2013 include the Sporting Life 10K May 12,  the Toronto Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon, October 20 and the Reggae Marathon, December 7.  Please join me on Facebook at Run for Heart.