My cross-country season last year was short but glorious: I ran two races, the Sunnybrook 8k and XC nationals in Kingston, but I had a blast and posted some good results.
This year was the same story: two races, both very fun, both with good results. Last week, it was the Sunnybrook 8k once again. Yesterday, it was the Ontario Masters championships in King City.
Continue reading “Ontario Masters Cross-Country Championships”
This is my favourite time of year. I love the leaves, the cool days, the way you appreciate every moment of sunshine, since the days are getting cloudier and shorter… And I also love cross-country and some of the other weird races that only happen this time of year. Such as these two.
I got an email about the Wild Mile shortly after getting back from the 5th Ave Mile. Naturally, I was going to sign up for anything one mile long at that point. The race did sound a little weird, though: a Wednesday night “road mile” on a gravel trail, on an out-and-back course with two fairly steep elevation changes. In fact, it didn’t just sound weird — I knew it was weird, since the race was in the Nordheimer Ravine, where I run pretty much every day on my easy runs. It would be steep, and there would be a million different surfaces: hard-packed gravel, loose gravel, mud, dirt, wooden bridges, some interlocking brick…
Continue reading “A week of fall racing: Wild Mile and Sunnybrook 8k”
Today I ticked a big box on my running wish list: I ran the Scotia 5k in 15:56. Here’s how it all went down.
Resetting my paces
Last month, I ran the greatest race of my life (and had one of the best experiences of my life) when I won my age group at the 5th Avenue Mile. My time, a 4:27, was also by far my best running performance ever.
One of my favourite things about setting a new “overall PB” is seeing how it affects all your training paces and equivalent race times. Since 4:27 was almost ten seconds faster than I was supposed to be able to run a mile, it radically changed all my paces and times. Here’s what the McMillan Running Calculator currently thinks I can do (and the insane things I’ll need to do to be able to run a 4-minute 1500):
Continue reading “Sub-16:00 at the Scotia 5k”
Okay, that title requires some qualification. No, I did not win the elite race: that honour belongs to Nick Willis. No, I was not even the fastest man in the 35-39 age group — thanks, again, to Nick Willis, who is 36, and a few other middle-aged elites.
But I did win the Men 35-39 open race.
Which, Nick Willis notwithstanding, still merits an OMG.
Continue reading “OMG I Won the 5th Avenue Mile”
Okay, the season was supposed to be over after NCCs.
It was all perfectly set up. I had a conference to go to in Pittsburgh two days after NCCs ended, and the plan was to stop running completely for a couple of weeks starting then, letting my body recover from all the hard racing in the gorgeous environs of Steel City. (Seriously, though, Pittsburgh is great.)
The problem was that I didn’t feel like I needed recovery. My body was fine. No injuries, and not even really any aches or pains. So although I did take it pretty easy in Pittsburgh, only running a couple of times on the treadmill, I started running again as soon as I got back.
Continue reading “End of the season”
The season ended today. Since I started writing this blog, I’ve been focused on building toward two goal races: 1500s at the AOs (the Athletics Ontario Open Championships) and the NCCs (the North America, Central America, and Caribbean World Masters Athletics Championships). On the advice of my club mate Simon, I was looking for a fast time at AOs, where I’d be up against a bunch of collegiate runners — and I was looking for a medal at NCCs, where I’d be racing masters runners my own age and trying not to get a particular time but to beat them. With lots of careful planning and lots of good advice like Simon’s, I achieved both my goals: a good time of 4:15 at AOs and a gold medal at NCCs. (As a nice bonus, I also got a bronze medal in a non-goal event, the 800m.)
Continue reading “PB at AOs, Two Medals at NCCs”
Here we go.
After lots of careful season-planning, base-building, VO2 Max-increasing, and speed-tuning, now we’re into the important races. This weekend, I race the 1500 at the Athletics Ontario Open Championship, where I’m hoping to run my fastest time of the year. The next weekend, I run the NCCWMA championships, where I hope to take home a medal or two.
Over the past week, I’ve raced another 1500 (and set another PB) and started what Coach Paul is calling “Special Endurance Workouts,” designed to provide that last bit of fitness before the big goal races. Each gets a section below.
Continue reading “Peaking”
One of the many things I’m enjoying about racing track rather than marathons — which I how I got into running — is how much you get to race. So much for the “three times every two years” rule. With track, you can race every week. Or twice a week, for that matter.
Today, after doing my first two outdoor 1500s last week, I ran my first 800m race. My main reason was to work a bit on my speed, which I know is useful for the 1500, my main event this summer. But I’m also still just curious to know what distance I’m best at. I definitely haven’t thought of myself as a sprinter (800s are the tomato of track events, both a sprint and middle distance race) since I started running, but what do I know?
Continue reading “Another Week, Another Race: My First 800”
On May 31st 2019, having just turned 38, I did my first ever outdoor track race. It was a mile at the UBC track in Vancouver, and I ran it in 4:40.11. A little over a week later, at the York University Twilight Series Meet #1, I ran a 1500 in 4:18.50. Five days after that, last night, I ran another 1500 at the London 1500 night, in 4:17.95.
What follows is the story of those two 1500s — how I raced them, how they felt, and what I learned.
Continue reading “Two 1500s in One Week”
I always plan trips at exactly the wrong time — during stretches of beautiful weather in Toronto, or the exact date that a band I like is going to be in town playing a show… or the weekend of a bunch of great races. Of course that was the case for late May/early June, when I had to be in Vancouver for a series of conferences, and when two really interesting races happened to be planned: a meet at U of T with what would have been a perfect season-opening 1500, and the Streetsville Mile road race a few days later.
I was a bit bummed out until searched around and saw that there would be a perfect race while I was in Vancouver: the Vancouver Distance Series’s Mile Meet. The prospect of running a proper mile on the track is inherently interesting to a newbie runner like me — Bannister associations, etc. — and this looked like a particularly good one, with lots of runners organized into several heats, so that there was a good chance someone would be running my pace.
Continue reading “Vancouver Distance Series, Track Mile”