Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Motivational running

First off, in case anyone wants to read more of my Dalai Lama-like words of wisdom, you can follow me on Twitter (see side panel). Between e-mail, Facebook, my blog and Twitter I seem to have accumulated a fair number of distractions in my life. I figure that deep down I don't really want to graduate, since that might dampen my general bitterness and cynicism, which in turn would have quite a negative effect on the humour in my blog. Then I'd lose my blog friends, and then my life would pretty much suck. So pile on the distractions!

I haven't blogged since the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which was an incredibly exciting weekend. I have to give a shout-out to Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis for their truly inspiring runs. It was thrilling to watch Reid go for the standard so aggressively and run so well given the windy, cold conditions - AND pull off a great race after taking the world's fastest bathroom break! I obviously have a thing or two to learn from him (and Paula Radcliffe) about how to excel at the 'stop-and-go'...is this something I need to train for? I'm sure the city of Toronto would support this. Maybe I should just ask Rob Ford himself: "You wouldn't mind if I ran marathons around the city AND shat all over the streets, would you?" (I am SURE he would appreciate the humor in my comments, given how well he reacted when the actors on This Hour has 22 Minutes tried to play a joke on him. Wow!)

Anyway, although Reid was quite impressive in this feat there were other moments of heroism. With the cameras on him for most of the race, the country missed out on Gillis' extremely gutsy run. Thankfully they did catch his last 300m which were undoubtedly the most exciting steps of the entire race. Seeing him check his watch and realize he had seconds to make it to the line under the Olympic qualifying time almost gave me a heart attack. I have never seen anyone sprint so hard at the end of a marathon. The pained, exasperated expression on his face said it all; he ran those last 100m with everything he had - legs, head, and heart. He flew across that line with 0.7s to spare. Now THAT is inspiration.

Another hero was Fauja Singh, a 100-year-old man who crossed the line in 8:25. It is disappointing that he won't be recognized by The Guiness Book of World Records for oldest man to run a marathon since he doesn't have a birth certificate. I would think there must be a way to genetically determine his age, but perhaps it wouldn't be accurate to the exact year. Nevertheless, perhaps if they could prove he was born within a year or two of 1911, he could get the record? What a shame!

I have to mention Leslie Sexton's exceptional run, besting her time in the half-marathon by two minutes in 1:16:33. When I saw her at Acura in July I asked her what time she'd be aiming for at Scotia. '1:16' she said simply. 'Oh yeah?' I responded with a smirk, 'Any reason for that particular number???' 'Obviously, because I have to beat your time!' she responded. I have to give her props for going out and doing just that on a slower course and on a slower day. Leslie, you can go wayyyyy faster than 1:16 and there are lots of PBs to come for you! Awesome.

Speaking of fast half-marathons (and people not being awarded official records!), congrats to Dayna Pidhoresky for running the fastest half marathon by a female Canadian. EVER. 1:11:46. It's unfortunate that it won't count as a National record because of the 57% displacement between the start and the finish (the limit is 50%) but I have no doubt she can do it again. Even more impressive, she ran that seven days after demolishing the field in Detroit in 1:14! Wow.

A bunch of the Angels raced at Scotia as well - congrats to Kathryn who was 2nd in the 5k (18:33) and to Sasha Gollish, Katie S, Mama K, Jebs, Kap 'N K and V-Cash who ran very well in the half marathon. My Montreal sista Miss Ali-Khan ran an awesome 1:19:44 for a 6min PB in her 2nd half-marathon ever. Not bad for an 800m superstar!

So the good thing about all of these fantastic races is that it gets me pretty motivated. Now all I need is for my body to cooperate with me. So obviously I am dealing with my lingering shin soreness but conducting all kinds of experiments to determine what will actually heal it once and for all. The all-pool approach was decent but I felt that the water resistance and kicking was still using the tibialis muscle too much. Plus I was becoming pretty spongey like SpongeBob. I transitioned to more elliptical, which was fine at first until I hammered out a workout on it with a ridiculous amount of resistance that took the shin back a notch. My short runs haven't seemed to bother it, however...perhaps because it's the only activity where I don't push my limits...so my approach this week is short runs only and minimal cross-training. We'll see how that goes! For now I prefer to talk about other people's running, since mine throws me into the dark depths of depression. On that note, I will go cry in a corner somewhere. Happy running everyone!


  1. ...57% Displacement? (limit 50%): could you explain this a bit further, pls.

  2. Hi there,
    Basically, the IAAF road racing rules state that for a time to count as a World/National record, the distance between the start and finish of the race (along a 'theoretical straight line' between the two) must be no more than 50% of the race distance. If the course favours one direction over another, wind can have a large effect on finishing times. For example, the tailwind in Boston in 2011 (a point-to-point course) produced some extremely fast times, including a World Best time by Mutai of 2:03:02, which won't count as a World Record.

  3. Thank you. Makes sense, but sucks because 21.1 is still 21.1, even though the wind factor can make/break.
    I enjoy your blog, good luck with the recovery.

  4. I agree! And the Niagara course did not seem to be blazingly fast that day (looking at other times). Too bad.

  5. Hey Jane,
    Get yourself better and meet me out there in 2012!

  6. Currently injured as well and your blog has been my solace lol. Keep on at it. Injuries blow big time, I feel your pain.

  7. Thanks Krista, I'm on it! :-)

    Anon - Oh I'm sorry you are sharing in my frustrations (I hope you are not actually feeling my pain, that would suck), but glad that you are drawing some kind of strength from my self-pitying rants! Ha...my blogs seem like a waste of space at the moment; injuries are part of the sport and I'm not always looking at my situation as optimistically as I should! Good luck with your recovery!

  8. Thanks! Wishing you a speedy recovery too!

    Your blogs are not a waste of space - I'm sure a lot of other runners are finding strength through them too(and a few laughs as well :))

    Hope you get to wear your heels soon! Those ones in the last pic are gorgeous!