1 Weekend, 2 Personal Bests…

Quick summary: Saturday morning, OPG 5km run, won it again somehow, drove to Ottawa right afterwards.  Sunday morning, Army 1/2 marathon, set new personal best for the half.  Awesome weather all around!

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Not so short version:

I signed up for my company 5km run at the last minute, thinking that it was ludicrous to run both the 5km and half marathon back-to-back on the same weekend.  I had signed up for the Army run months ago, and I’d be wasting my money because my time would undoubtedly be affected.  Or would it?  My well-experienced colleague says that it’s fine to do a high intensity run beforehand, just so long as it’s not an endurance run.

This turned out to be a very busy weekend indeed.

With our team speed training in my pocket, I felt confident about running a 5km distance, especially knowing that most of the competitive runners were doing the 10km distance.  When I got to the Sunnybrook Park start line on Saturday morning, I recognized many familiar faces from the combined Hydro companies.  Especially that of the girl who came in 2nd place behind me last year, and it was a very close second.  This year I had my work cut out for me, as she was indeed older now, and still about half my age.

We were off!  I strangely managed to lead the entire pack for a good distance, short of a kilometer.  I remember that I did the exact same thing the first time I ran this race, but I quickly faded within 30 seconds.  Thank goodness it was different this time.

The 5km people turn around at a 3km checkpoint whereas the 10km runners continue on.  Yes, I was the first one to turn around!  I saw the girl when I did the complete 180 turnaround and I was probably 15-20 seconds ahead.  I had trouble downing the water from the cups, and I probably lost a few seconds there.

From the checkpoint there was only 2km to go, yet I was feeling oddly aloof.  I bee lined towards the finish line feeling strong, and as I kept checking over my shoulder, I saw that she wasn’t really gaining on me.

1km to go.  Still, she was still a fair distance from me, so I started to slow down.  In the back of my mind, I knew that I still had my run tomorrow, so I didn’t want to overdo it.  As the finish line came into sight, I simply coasted across the finish line, but strangely enough, the clock timer was showing a stuck time of precisely 20:00 minutes!  Doh!

This OPG/Hydro One Fun Run is a very well funded race, especially because they ask for absolutely no participation fees.  We had chip timing for the first time ever this year, food and prizes for everyone, medals and trophies for the winners, and even draw prizes.  I guess their timer was just bugging out.  It started to work a little while after.

The girl came from behind me soon after and we exchanged pleasantries.  She stop watched her own time and said that she came in at 19:53, so I guess that I came in a little before that.  Wow!  Under 20 minutes.  I didn’t think that was possible for me.  My legs started to feel really tired at 3.5km.

As much as I wanted to stay for the awards ceremony, I had plans for dim sum with my parents and fiance, who came to support me for the race.  Then it was off to Ottawa almost immediately.

Hints for a better 5km:

  • More high-energy tempo runs between 3-5km will help with getting the legs used to it.

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Army run race time!

Awesome shirt!  The expo was reportedly very small, but we got a wicked long sleeve shirt from the SWAG.  The weather was simply amazing.  The 5km runners started at 8am while the 1/2 started at 9am.  I had two friends running the 5km.

I positioned myself in the Orange Corral (3rd highest), and the gun went off!  I was armed with two GU gels, and I recalled the article I read earlier – the key to a fast half is to start slowly.  There were lots of people for this run, and I was stuck in a good pack for a kilometer or two.  This assisted with the slow start.

Far too many negative thoughts come into my head as I run.  “Did I do enough LSD’s?”, “Why are there so many kilometers in a half marathon?”, “Will my legs fail again at 18km?”  Sucks.  Daily and Weekly practice runs help to build with the mental confidence that comes with long distance running perils.

I continued to pass people 5-6 km in, and it was time to take my first half gel.  I’m still having trouble drinking fluids at the water station.  My laboured breathing is an apparent hinderance.

I make it to 10km feeling good.  The mental halfway hump between 10-11km is a great one to overcome for  the half marathon.  Only 10.55 more km past the hump!

I managed to keep my legs moving all the way through up until now.  The memories of my legs failing out at 18km for my last half marathon careen through my brain.  Rats.  At 11km, I ready my gel pack for another hit, but then it flies out of my hands!  I refuse to stop to retrieve it, as it is already several metres behind me, and it really kills my rhythm.  I still have a fresh gel pack, so I rip into that one and keep push on.

15km!  I’m starting to feel it more mentally than physically, but I think that my legs are affected either way.  I’m start to slow a bit, but I keep visions of Peky & her friends in my head because they promised to be able to cross my path at two points near the finish line.  I could not disappoint them.  I finish the rest of my gels at 17km and hope that it’s enough.

18km!  I’m nearly there.  If my legs weren’t tiring my now, then my brain certainly was.  3km is no easy feat when you’re tired, but I managed to persevere because I just passed by my personal cheering squad!  I feel an immediate boost.

We turn around the bend along the Rideau Canal, a place that I have run countless times before.  Yet, this is it really counts.  I finally pass by the 20km mark, and there’s no stopping now.  I am utterly surprised that my legs have kept moving all the way up until this point.  Many of my fellow runners were quickly chipping away at the final km at an increased pace and I tried to stay in the game.  I knew that the finish line would be in plain view soon, and I gave it all that I had.

BEEP.  My foot crossed the electronic mat and I……..am……..done!  The clock overhead showed that I finished at a good time.  I pray that my chip time would be much better.

I grab the post race eats and quickly find my cheering squad.  My fellow 5km runners both set personal bests as well (it was their first 5km run!), and shortly after, they helped me to find my time posted on the wall to be 1:34:52.6.  Yowee!!!  Sub 1:35:00!  Boston pace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My legs hate me for running two races in one weekend, but my brain is firing off proverbial fireworks to celebrate.  Now can I hold this pace for an entire 42.2km distance?  Probably not.  At least…not yet.  😛

So I went for a barefoot run…

It was not intentional in the slightest.  It was supposed to be a weekend of relaxation, so I decided to lace up one cool Friday evening to go for a brisk jog around my hood.

Off I went at my usual trotting pace, when just 400 metres later, I felt this shooting pain going down my right leg.  I immediately stopped and nursed my leg with my hands.  What was that??  I waited about a min to pass and I tried to run again.  It came back!  I had not felt this type of pain in a while.  It didn’t feel muscle, tendon, or bone related.  It was just…well…pain!  I repeated this several times and I was in no shape to run.  Then a crazy thought entered my mind.

I remember seeing an interview on TV about this barefoot runner who claimed that all of his aches, pains, and injuries was no longer existent thanks to running without shoes.  In fact, when he ran a full marathon, he passed by this gent who was in obvious pain.  And when the gent saw this, he followed suit and unlaced his shoes for the remainder of the run and managed to finish the marathon without any pain.

On this whim, on this night, I decided to try my hand at imitating insane notion and took my shoes and socks off to brave the bareness of the road and sidewalk that lay ahead of me.  With a shoe in each hand, I started off slow towards my home along Finch.

Slowly, slowly I went, with very soft feet.  What a strange and liberating feeling.  The sidewalk was not that smooth, but it wasn’t hurting either.  I remember reading that when you barefoot run, you have to change your running gait, so in turn, I did.  I ran on the balls of my feet (that sounds so funny), landing gently with every step.  I manged to move without the pain!  Amazing.

I made it back home within a few moments, and it was then I decided to drop my shoes off and try a full run feet bare and all!

It was late and dark at night, so I’d have to be careful about where I stepped.

I had more than a few “OW” moments, where I stepped directly on a large pebble or a twig that hid in the shadows.  Barefoot runners say that the greatest tools that you have are your eyeballs, because they help you steer clear of obstacles in your path.

I started to pick up my speed and although my breathing wasn’t heavy, I was able to run at a decent pace down the side streets in my neighbourhood.  I was barefoot running!  So crazy……..

Ew!  A dead squirrel.  I’d best avoid that even moreso now.

There are these special Vibram 5-finger shoes that many people swear by now.  I spoke to a girl at the Montreal Marathon who says that she strictly wears those shoes to run, and would never go back to runners.  Such conviction…

I was not liking the rough pavement or the pebbles that would make me jump every now and then, but I certainly was able to run.

I wonder what these barefoot runners do in the winter?

I did about 4km in my barefeet.  I headed home and donned my regular running shoes and went for another tempo run to see how I’d be feeling.  The pain in my leg was gone, but now the shoes I wore felt rather restricting.  It felt as though I was stepping in a canoe with the edges of my feet carrying the brunt of my weight.

Will I ever be a convert?  I’ll have to see…

Montreal Oasis 10km Run

Sacre Bleu!  Four 10km runners + one half-marathoner + Montreal Run Weekend = 5 personal bests!
 
The Labour day long weekend weather really threw us for a turn.  I got to Ottawa on Thursday night in the blistering heat and Friday was no better.  Peky & I went out for a last minute tune up run on Friday morning and the heat was really beating us down.  I could barely eek out a 6km tempo run, as I tried to simulate near my race pace.  Then on Saturday, the cold came.  Nice!
 
I had high hopes for Montreal to host a well-funded run.  It was platinum sponsored by Oasis, the fruit juice company.  When we got to the expo on Saturday, we were sorely disappointed by the number and quality of vendors.  Even the Running Room was absent!  Mon dieu!  The only saving grace was that the t-shirt co-ordinator was nice enough to let me exchange my medium t-shirt to a large size.  The tech shirts for the Montreal race are indeed nice.
 
10km start time: 8:45am
 
1/2 marathon start time: 10:15am
 
marathon start time: 8:15am
 
Interesting setup.  The course route has everyone merge along the same finish point in the Stadium de Olympique. 
 
Peky & I awoke bright and early and squeezed in a short warm-up jog towards the Charlevoix Metro station.  We arrived at the start line with good time, and I did my pre-race business at a nearby McDonald’s washroom.  Men in line: 2.  Women in line: 30.  😛
 
While waiting in line I quickly downed a GU roctane  about 15 minutes before the gun went off.  Peky did the same with a GU expresso love.  There were no corral dividers so I scurried near the front of the pack.  When 8:45am came around, it was time to allons-y!  The Sportstats chip counter recorded that my difference in gun and chip time was 1 min 17 seconds!  It really didn’t feel like that when I was revving myself up after the gun went off.  Either way, that bodes well for my chip time.  lol
 
My right shoe set off my chip recording time and I was off!  I purposely did not arm myself with my GPS watch as I find that checking my times either disheartens me or forces me to run at an ungodly pace.  I tired to rely on my own instincts. 
 
What the?!?!  There were old people using walking sticks ahead of me!  Parents pushing baby strollers!  Walkers even!!!  We need starting corrals!!!  Yargh!  When I finally reached a clearing in the masses of people, I tried to set out at a strong pace.  My breathing was already laboured but I felt as though I could hold it for a good long while.  I promised myself that if it started to feel too strenuous, then I would slow down my pace.
 
The first water station came at 3km, and I followed my previous advice by slowly down to a crawl to diligently down as much quality sports drink as I could.  I quickly sped up again and returned to my regular pace.  I don’t know how those elites do it, but they must have training sessions on how to drink fluids!
 
I passed 5km with a strong heart but so many thoughts were racing in my head.  More training.  More tempo training!  Why can’t I run faster??  I’d better beat my previous time!  The course route was not all that challenging, thank goodness.  We hit a handful of minor grade uphills, but it was compensated with some good downhills, where I let my legs flank the way. 
 
When I got to the 7km, I started to lose some steam with a long uphill ahead, but thank goodness I challenged myself by sticking to these two faster gents and literally drafted them the entire way.  I think that they were none too pleased having this heavy breathing asian stealing their wind away.  They were both giving each other looks as though I was not welcome to the tea party. 
 
When we finally reached the apex of the hill just before 8km, I felt a new surge of energy.  Hopefully it was the roctane!  I quickly passed the two gents and gave them a ‘sorry bout that’ hand wave, and they kindly returned the favour as to show good sportsmanship.  I started to pump my legs, hoping that they would carry me just 2000m more towards the finish line.  The Olympic Stadium was easily in sight. 
 
I downed my last water at the final water station and I gave it my best.  Our interval speed training immediately kicked in and I imagined myself chasing down the bright coloured red pylons, knocking back each interval.  Passing the 9km mark provided me with an immediate adrenalene rush as I pictured my GPS watch giving me the ‘final countdown’.  The final 800m was the best finish I ever had.  We rounded the corner into the majestic Olympic stadium and the crowds began to thicken.  There was a long massive downhill that led into the entrance of the stadium and I let my legs rip.  I’ll bet, though, that I was still not going anywhere near as fast as the elites, but I like to think that I did.  (Psh, as if.)
 
Once inside the stadium, the air was warm, and you could see the finish line in the distance once you finish the half lap around the outer rim of the stadium.  Burn baby burn!  I felt great.  Many in my running pack were following suit as we sped past the finish line in a great photo-like finish.  I looked up at the clock time and I was disappointed that I only finished below 44 minutes, as I was under the assumption that it only took me mere seconds to reach the start line.  Alas, the race as over!  I was happy.
 
The medals were very nice and so were the post-race snacks.  It was the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Marathon.  Another 20th anniversary!  Great coincidences.
 
I quickly booted over to the entrance of the Olympic Stadium to wait for Peky and Vi.  Surprisingly enough, it was Peky who came trotting in first!  I gave her my heartiest cheer and navigated my way back through the crowds to catch her after she crossed the finish line.  She was disheartened to report that she lost a chunk of time simply trying to get her shoe across the electronic finish line as there were so many people creating a bottleneck at the finish line.  Still, she finished with an incredible personal best, 6 minutes faster than her previous.  Leaving her former self nearly a full kilometre behind.
 
We both decided to wait for Vi at the finish line exit as we expected her to be coming up soon, and surely enough she did.  Her gun and chip time were 10 minutes apart!  Talk about relying on the chip time!  Her boyfriend’s time was an incredible 15 minutes apart.  The stereotypes about Montrealers may be true after all.  🙂
 
As we waited for Vi’s brother to come in on his first half marathon attempt, we were treated to the big full marathon finish and indeed it was!  The leading man from Columbia was overtaken at literally the last second by 0.3 seconds.  He literally collapsed near the end with dehydration.  The 10km finish seemed to be equally as riveting, as the stats show that the winner won by just 0.1 seconds!
 
In the end, five personal bests were set.  I walked away with a final chip time of 42:31 for my best 10km yet, Peky recorded her fastest time.  Vi and her boyfriend now have one notch under their belt, and the half marathoner…..well…..can barely walk today.  Good race weekend!

IT’S BEIBER FEVER…

…here in London.  Which may have been the primary cause of my LSD demise.  My anticipated goal this weekend was 22-25km so as to taper down from my longer run two weekends ago.  Alas, there were too many factors working against me this weekend.

I struggled to make it to the first km.  I walked.  The second km.  I walked.  The third km.  I walked.  The fourth km.  I walked.  The fifth km.  I walked.  I wasn’t even 1/4 of the way to my planned distance and I was already hauling ass.  Now I know why I warm up so much before real races, as the elites do, because my legs need to get warm before they’re working at peak efficiency.  By the sixth km I was starting to feel better.  It was none other than my tired legs that were holding me back.  I took the first half of my GU gel at 7km and I managed to make it to 9km without walking.  It kicked in at that point, and I was happy that my body was starting to come alive.  It was no where near a solid run, but at least I was getting out of the funk.

The night before, I was given the floor to sleep on, in a sleeping bag atop a thin area carpet situated on top of hardwood flooring.  My back was aching throughout the night and I hopped onto the leather sofa at around 2am.  I finally got in touch with my fiance at 3am to make sure that she was ok, and at 4am, she called me back to tell me that she made it home.  I was utterly exhausted.  The sleeping bag provided little ventilation as well, so I was constantly covering up due to chills, and opening up the bag due to cold sweats.  Sleeping in a new and foreign setting takes a toll on your physical self.

I rolled out of bed at a late 9 a.m. and managed to get myself on the road in short time, as I wanted to avoid the afternoon sun.  I managed only to scarf down a peach right before I left, so I’m afraid that the lack of digested food really did me in as well. 

London has a really nice path that runs along a river, and my friend is fortunate to live so close to it.  It’s not as nice as the Rideau in Ottawa, but it’s nice enough.  Although I was lucky that I was protected by an overcast sky, the humidity compounded with the proximity to the lake made it yet another hellish and hot run.

The city of London is very small, especially through the eyes of any Torontonian.  I ended my run in St. Catherine’s Cathedral park, where they have a very nice ‘Queen’s Park’ish circular path that allows you to do nice intervals.  Seeing as how it was the end of my run, I decided to try as the professionals do, and run one final kilometer at my best pace, so as to utilize fast-twich muscles that I had not been using this whole time.  I wasn’t even able to get under 4:00:00.  WTF??  Damn elites!

In the end, I knocked out a paisely 17km, a sizeable chunk of it was probably due to walking.  Let it never be said that a good night’s sleep has no affect on performance.

Highway to Hell…

(Jason)

…is most definitely a hot one.  Running at such high temperatures and humidity tested the limits of our will like never before.  Our plan was to leave at 10:30am on Sunday, but luckily we managed to get our at together and got going at about 9:45am.

The run west on Sheppard provided us with serious challenges with many daunting hills and lack of cover from the blazing sun.  We were fortunate to have overcast skies for about 75% during the whole run.  But it was still that 25% that physically drained nearly 100% of our energy.

Looking down at my GPS watch, even at about 12km, I was more than willing to call it quits, but with Donald at my side, I knew that I had to trooper on.  This partner running really does give you that mental push.  Not only that, but had he not been there, I would’ve been without gels too!

Each preceding step was 2x more labour intensive in this sweltering heat.  We were forced to drink warm water with each sip, as we could no longer afford to spit out the water waiting in the tube in anticipation of cooler liquids.  Stopping for that gatorade fix at the Esso gas station was like taking a sip from heaven.  It felt so good.

It was clearly obvious that the heat was taking its toll on us.  I kept yelling out “Slow it!” to Donald, trying to gain some composure.  I was ready to jump into the next public swimming pool.

I was more than happy to have stopped where we did, and hopefully we’ll have gained some physical and mental experience from this endeavour.  Cycling downtown to the beaches and back was certainly a feat in itself.  Kudos to a endurance-filled weekend!

(donald)
Airport run
Saturday 8:30am…*ring ring* “hallo…?” “Yo man, are we running? Are you ready?” “Bleh… Its only 8:30 dude, thought we said 10?” “Yah man, you can’t wake up at 10 for a 10am run!” “Arg…ok lemme get ready” what a way to wake up after a night of partying 😦 I go downstairs, pull my water pack out of the freezer, grab a couple handfuls of cereal and walnuts, chug some water, change and pack… Crap! No ear buds! I need music! No time, I just borrow my sister’s. Crap! No sweatband! Arg! I hate not living at home. I send Jay a message, gonna be late, gotta go home to get a sweatband… A quick drive home later and I’m ready to go 9:30 🙂

I head out the door and after a short warm up run to Yonge and Finch meet up with Jay. Omg this day is going to be brutally hot! Good thing we left early. We start making our way down Yonge. “Did you bring gels?” I ask Jay, “crap! I knew I forgot something!” Its ok, I brought 3 and that should be enough to get us through this run. Jay proposes an alternate route instead of running down Yonge.st, much less crowded. Sure! Whatever works.

We hit Sheppard and start heading westbound, now the sun is really starting to come out. “Dang it! We shouldn’t of called beach! This weather is starting to look perfect for it!” Jay says. “Yeah maybe true, but look at those storm clouds, they’re looking pretty omnious if you ask me, if it starts to rain, do you think we should call it?” I ask. “Naw man, rain’ll be good for us, this heat is really beating down on us.” Jay says. Its true, the sun is really starting to come out now. We continue down Sheppard, trying to find shady spots along the way. Then I notice it, is Jay picking up the pace a little bit? I’m starting to get out of breath… Bastard! Whatever, I’ll try and keep up till I can’t take it and… “Slow down” Jay says. Sweet! He must of realised that we were going too fast, especially in this heat! He tells me that we should be taking this run at Cat pace.

We continue on our way on Sheppard past Downsview station to the part where it wraps around Downsview park. This is probably the worst part of the whole run, there is absolutely no shade and there seems to be a bunch of long gradual uphills. The sun is really beating down on us at this point, my skin feels like its on fire! As we hit the crest of the Downsview loop we see a dog kennel 🙂 I joke a bit and bark back at the dogs.

We finally finish the Downsview loop and reach Dufferin, there a long downhill and an over passing bridge, we hide under the bridge for a bit for a welcome break from the sun. Once we reach the intersection we take a quick break and share our first gel. “Let’s take the Vanilla first, it has no caffiene in it, so we won’t go too fast and burn ourselves out”. We continue and hit the second big hill, oh man… I remember this beast! I had attempted to do a large portion of this run last year, except in the opposite direction and that time I failed the run. “Taking a hill is like getting a BJ from a granny” Jay says “don’t look up”. Good advice. If you don’t look up, you don’t really know how much further you have to go and it seems to get over sooner.

After the long hill and some running later we approach Jane. Things are starting to look familiar. “This is where I stopped to get some water and a power bar” I tell jay, “this is where I couldn’t run anymore”, “this is where I asked some guy to fill my water bottle”… Luckily I’m feeling much better this time despite the extreme heat, the water pack definately helps.

We keep treking along and we pass the first highway, hwy 400 its a pretty decent incline, but we manage it no problem. Shortly after we see Weston road and make a left. A few kilometers later I see the bridge right before the 401, there’s a long downhill followed by a long uphill, I hear Jay groan. Lucky for him I remember that I didn’t actually run over the bridge, but over it via a side ramp, its a slight uphill, but much easier than we would of had to do if we went under. Right after the bridge we see the 401. Yes! We’re over half way there! We stop for a bit and take our second gel, this time we take the chocolate for a little more of a kick, leaving the Roctane for when we really need it. As we take the gel I ask Jay to check on my water supply, it feels like its running low, Jay confirms this I have about a cup and half left. We say that we have to stop soon to refill. we start up again, and start to cross the 401, OMG the legs feel heavy! I think we stopped too long 😦 after we cross the 401 there’s a large plaza with several fast food joints, and even a real canadian superstore! But because our legs felt so heavy still we decided to keep treking and look for a convenience store instead.

We continue down Weston road, down to St.phillips.st. I notice that there’s a park there and keep an eye out for a water fountain, no such luck 😦 we cross a bridge into a beautiful neighboorhood. All residential, no convenince stores… I start to panic a little as I’m now starting to suck up some air when I take sips of water. Then we see it, dixie.rd! Yes! We’re at the home stretch and on a road this big there HAS to be something! We keep going on our way and pass a couple strip plazas, some having dr’s offices and restaurants, even a shut down grocery store! But no convenince store. At this point my water supply is completely out. Finally about 3km down, there’s a gas station, let’s stop there! We make our stop, Powerade is on sale, 2 for $3 we grab that, I grab a liter bottle of water. We go outside and I try and fill my resevoir up, messily spilling all over the place as my body is extremely exhausted at this point. I get Jay to help me out, he shows me that in that short time he’s already finished his bottle of Powerade. We wait for the light and start treking again. WOW!!! Legs are even heavier than our last stop! 😦 this is no good, no matter we push though and hope for the best.

Soon we hit the 409, there’s a perkins there… Man I could really go for some breakfast I think to myself. The heat is starting to get bad again, and suddenly I feel it, my calf is starting to cramp again 😦 I take several big gulps of water, cramps are usually caused by dehydrated muscles. It helps a little and I keep going. Wooooshhh!!! A plane flies right over us “We’re getting close!”, but then we see it…one last hill 😦 man, we’re 22k into our run now, this is gonna hurt. We take it slow, but it definately doesn’t help my cramping calf, I try and use my thighs more, and keep drinking water. We clear the hill, and there’s the 401. We’re so close now, I can see terminal 3 off in the distance. But the cramps are starting to get worse and more frequently now, I keep drinking water, I even try and stop to stretch it out but nothings working “can’t go anymore man!” I tell Jay, “my calf is cramping”, 24k Jay says, not bad considering the conditions and our previous long run being 4k shorter. We walk the rest of the way, we see a sign that says our final destination was still about 3kms away, meaning a 27k run total, I guess its a good thing we didn’t run the whole thing, that’d be 7k more than we did last week. On the way we decide to stop over at a office building to get a nice long stretch in. We leave nice big sweat stains everywhere we sit :p I change my clothes and head over to Zets, we’re both starving. As soon as we leave the lot it starts to trickle a little “dam you! Where were you while we were running!?!” Yells Jay. We start making our way and the rain gets heavier. Dam, I knew once I changed it would rain! We run between trees the rest of the way to avoid the rain. As we get there I order the 10oz steak and eggs, mmm protein! Best meal ever.

Rain, Rain, don’t go away…

I was driving home yesterday on the hot summer’s day, and the rain was coming down in droves.  Even at the fastest setting, my wipers were barely able to keep up with the downpour on the 401.  I was trying to make it home as fast as I could so that I could take advantage of this opportunity!  Call me crazy, but I wanted to run in the heavy rain.

They say that you should expose yourself to all kinds of conditions for running so that you will have experienced it, and be better prepared for it should it happen to you on race day.  Cold weather, rainy weather, hot weather.

I made it home in good time despite the slowdown of all the cars crawling along the highway, and I continued to convince myself that this was a good idea.  I peered out of the window and the rain was starting to slow.  Drat!

I quickly zipped into my running gear like superman in a phone booth and off I went.  I wanted to get in a good tempo run to see if I could keep up my pace in the rain, so I shot down Yonge street towards York Mills.  Armed with my GPS watch, I was surprised that I made the first km in such a furious pace.  The rain must’ve been helping me keep my body temperature in check, and I trotted on.

“More rain, more rain!”, I thought to myself.  It was starting to let up a bit, and I invited the fury upon me.  By the time I hit the bottom of York Mills my prayers had been answered.  My shirt was soaked to the bone and I was being cooled off as I ran up the monster hill on Yonge as I darted towards Lawrence.

I felt like a modern day warrior as I witnessed passerbyers cowering underneath their pithy umbrellas, trying to stave away one of the beauty’s of nature.  Embrace the rain I say!  I could run for miles!  Or so I thought.

When I hit Lawrence, it was about 7km, so it was time to turn around.  The rain was starting to abade, and the hot sun was coming out to dry me off.  Nooooo!  It was no fun anymore.  I could hear the sloshiness of my rain ridden shoes and a blister was starting to form on my right foot.  My clothes went from being protectors of the water onslaught to an exercise in weighted running.  I transformed back into a regular runner.

I made it back home totaling about an hour’s worth of running, and I was ready to hang up my water worn shoes.  I truly enjoyed running in the rain, as unideal as it was.

Let no amount of bad weather stop me!

Swimming…

Went to a friend’s condo yesterday.  Went swimming.  Man, I suck at swimming.