Final LSD in June 2010


It was feeling like another hot summer day, but the need to squeeze in an LSD outweighed the less than ideal weather conditions for our run.  I posed a route that ended up downtown, for a myriad of reasons: to check out water backpack’s at MEC, to pick up some food in Chinatown, and to lay witness to the downtown hoopla.  We managed to get going by 3pm, as we had just realized that MEC was to close at 5pm, and this would be really pushing the envelope.

We left our respective homes at 3:15pm to meet at our usual designated Yonge  & Sheppard meetup point. However, this time of day left us vulnerable to the ill effects of the sun and heat.  Even the short 2km warmup to our meetup spot left us both dreading whether or not we would even make it downtown.  Oh yes, it was hot.  Donald was armed with his waterpack and I with my waist bottle and an extra handheld disposable in tow; we began hoofing it across Sheppard to Bathurst.  From Bathurst we would head directly south, leaving North York behind in our wake.

We had to keep reminding each other that this was an LSD to “slow down!”, but unfortunately in the back of my mind, our destination had an expiry time.  Donald listed this distance at about 14km so we’d be able to make it with some time to spare.

The frequent red lights along the small side streets commanded us to slow down and stop, but we blasted through them knowing that there probably isn’t a cop for miles due to the G20.  We needed to make good time.  Donald was cursing his headband for insufficiently soaking up his sweat, while I was lucky that my hat was doing a fairly good job.  My sunscreen was visibly painted along my arms.

We passed Wilson, and then we tackled Lawrence.  “Slow down!”, we kept telling each other.  Eglinton was coming up soon enough.  The road to Eglinton gave us a challenge with some rolling hills, so till this point we kept trotting at a moderate pace.  It wasn’t until the long steep downhill after St. Clair that we really sensed the urgency to boot it.

With each passing kilometer, the running gods smiled upon us as the clouds paid us a long visit, and the temperature decided to retract its claws.

Donald alerted me with the time.  “Holy crap!”, I said.  It was already 4:15pm.  Right after Donald answered the call of nature at the bottom of the hill, we had settled comfortably into a good pace and there was no stopping us from there.  I was very much in doubt that we’d make it by 5pm, but Donald said that we would.  We pushed on.

We banked east onto Harbord to head down Spadina, and we really turned on the jets.  By now, it was 4:40pm and with no chance of having enough time to actually shop around, we made it our goal to simply make it to the door at the projected time.  It’s fun to have a goal.  Donald says that his calf is starting to act up.  He troopers on knowing that we’re so close.

College!  We shoot past the circle at U of T.  A bunch of bike cops ride their peloton past us.

Dundas!  There are so many pedestrians.  I decide to remain on the road for the rest of the way.  I don’t care that I’m technically on the wrong side.  We’re almost there!

Queen!  Donald drops back and tells me to finish up.  He doesn’t want to risk injury.  5 mins to go!  There’s a red light directly ahead of me with more than 8 cops standing around!  My legs carry me to the other side and my brain shoved its proverbial ostrich head into the sand hoping that cops wouldn’t see……whew….they didn’t care!

King!  I swing around the corner and reach MEC with 2 minutes to spare.

A sign reads: We are closed for Saturday and Sunday.


Mission Accomplished.  The route turned out to be 18.1km and with a finishing time of approx 1:45.00, we are elated to suck back on some vitasoy box drinks and Chinatown delights.



After being rained out the day before, and a late night at the casino, I get a message from Jason “Joiners for LSD down to mec before dinner? Wanna check out camelbaks, pickup bun mi, and smash some windows… ;P” (g20 riots were on just the day before). I already had a week off from my long runs, so I finished up my cooking and cleaning, then planned out a route. Down Bathurst all the way down… Apparently down to the lake was only 14k, so I add a few more km by doubling back at the end. I fill up my water resevoir, grab a headband, pack my flip flops, a change of clothes and a reusable grocery bag and head out the door.

Whoomp! One step outside and it hits me right away, the heat and humidity are so intense it feels like I’m in a sauna! I hope we haven’t made a mistake running so late in the day (3:30pm) as I make my way to Yonge and Sheppard I run at a very slow pace, even at that I find myself gasping for air, oh man… I hope it cools down fast. I arrive at our rendevous point, almost instantly the sweat pours out of my pores. I’m so glad that I remembered to wear a sweatband. Off in the distance I see a guy in a red shirt and black hat, that kinda looks like Jason, but he’s just standing around… Why is he just standing around? He turns around and I recognize Jay’s water belt, he’s getting out his phone. I get his attention and he walks over, apparently he was looking on the other side of the street for me.

Off we go, we both complain about the heat and humidity. Jay tells me how he tries to avoid lunch time runs because of the heat. Clip clip clip… “Did you bring any gels? I forgot to bring mine” Jay say. I did, but I suggest that since this is potentially only a 14k run, we probably don’t need it. Jay agrees, but says we should probably go super slow or do 10 and 1’s.

We approach the bridge on Sheppard between Yonge and Bathurst. By this point the head and humidity are really getting to me, each breath I take is super heavy, the hill feels like hell. As we crest the hill a girl runs by, Jay speeds up..WTF!? “Gotta make it looks good” he says… Yah yah… I’m still trying to catch my breath at this point. I try taking extra deep breaths, hoping that they’ll some how expand my lungs, and each breath won’t feel like there’s a ton of bricks on my chest. Soon we get to Bathurst and Sheppard. “Let’s use this intersection as our 1 in our 10 and 1s!” I say, praying for a break in this hellish run. Ok! Jay says, and we take our time getting to the opposite corner before starting again.

Bathurst! We have arrived, the longest and hopefully the easiest (mostly downhill to downtown) leg of our journey. Clip clip clip… Where’s my wind?!? How come each breath still feels excruciating? At this point my back behind my lungs start to feel tight and sore too. I try my deep breaths technique, hopefully this’ll help a little. Nope! I turn to Jay, “dude! We’re not even at the 401 yet! I don’t even know if I hit my stride yet, my lungs still feel super heavy! F’ing humidity!” He tells me something about training in less than ideal conditions, so your body can work even better when conditions are ideal.

After some more running, and pointing out that almost everyone we came across being philipino (probably the maids of all the Jews downtown, I joke). We see it 401! Yay! Jay says this is the place where Cat changed her pants our last run. We pass under the 401 and it hits us, BREEZE! THANK GOD! Almost instantly I feel the energy kick in! Could it be? Is it my wind? Or is it just the lack of humidity? Whatever it is, it feels like heaven compared to the heavy tight lungs I was running with before.

Down Bathurst we go, at this point we definately had hit our strides, as we constantly kept speeding up and had to keep telling outselves to slow down. Within a blink of an eye there’s Lawrence, and so begin the rolling hills. I tell Jay that I had run this little stretch before too, except at the end of a 14km run, not at the beginning. I get to the hill I hated last time… Hmm not so bad, I guess its different when you’re going at it with fresh legs, as opposed to at the end of you long run. There’s Eglinton! We dash across the street once the light changes to beat the advance green light. Clip clip clip, then it comes, the result of over hydration before the run. I gotta pee! Well we’re over half way done, maybe I can hold it. We pass St.Clair… Nope, now I really gotta go. I tell Jay, he laughs. He suggests we stop by somewhere, nah, we’re guys, I’ll just find a corner. I hate going into places, all sweaty and stinky to just ask to use the washroom. I see a little side street with some bushes, “hold on, I think I found a spot” nope, there’s a crowd of people there, just hanging out outside of their house. Crap! No worries, just a bit later there’s a little forest with a path 🙂

Clip clip clip, I check my watch, 4:30! Are we gonna make it to MEC before it closes? Well we’re over half way done, we shooould be ok, but its cutting it close. We pass Dupont, we’re getting close, more landmarks = feels like we’re covering more gound faster. Bloor! We’re almost there… 4:45 uh oh, its getting tight! We also gotta get back east to Spadina, I tell Jay. Let’s pick a street that isn’t too crowded. 4:50.. Oh man! I take a quick short cut though a high school lot, and we’re now on Harbord travelling east. 4:52…. At this point, both of us definately start picking it up, 8 mins! Can we make it? We hit Spadina, and the pace picks up yet again.

We pass College, then it hits, a pang of cramp runs up my right calf, oh no! Not on the home stretch! 😦 we get to Dundas, the pace picks up yet again. Another pang, on no! “Jay you may need to go on without me, if you wanna make the 5:00 deadline” he tells me to fight though the pain, pain is only temporary he tells me… The cramps start to come more and more frequently now, crap! I must drink more water along the way! We pass Queen, 4:55 at this point my leg is fully cramping. 4:58 Just go! I tell Jay, and he takes off to King, I turn left on Adelaide instead, and drop my pace significantly, still a light jog though. I turn on Peter to King. I get a text from Jay, MEC is closed, he’s going to Europe Bound instead. Man… Did we miss the 5:00 deadline?

I turn the corner, King is totally deserted except for Jay and maybe 2 other people. Apparently Mec was closed because of g20, thank God! Europe bound is closing too, they have 2 conflicting signs, one that says 5:00 and the other that says 5:30. Bah! We walk over to King and Spadina and stretch out, great run! Insane pace.

After a nice stretch, I change out of my soaked clothes, and shoes, into the change I brought and a set of flip flops. I take off my headband, and wring it out to show Jay how much water I probably lost. don’t know how Jay is walking around in his gross sweaty clothes. The only thing I couldn’t change was my underwear that was equally as soaked as the rest of me, its very uncomfortable. We head over to Chinatown, Jay buys an aloe drink and downs it asap. I buy some yu choy, and a 6 pack of malt vitasoy, soy milk. 7 g of protien per carton, excellent recovery food! We make our way to Eaton center which thankfully isn’t on lockdown anymore, and I finally change my underwear.

We make it back up town, and its very apparent that it was raining, heavily. Also as soon as I get home, it start pouring. I message Jay, good timing eh? He asks if its about the riot. Apparently there’s another G20 riot taking place as Spadina and Queen! We were just there! Wow, we JUST missed all the action! What a wicked run!

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