Week 16 Recap
This past week has been especially eventful, particularly the Team Running Free team meeting during the midweek and discovering a trail path perfect for trail running training just couple minutes drive away from home.
Ever since applying for member late last year, I knew for a fact that I was signing up to join a group of inspiring, like-minded personnels from various age ranges and lifestyles. And boy am I ever glad to be accepted to immerse myself with this running community. You see, it is the group support from everyone and sharing their expertise that further fuels my desires to keep pushing my personal running ambitions to the next level. This is further sedimented by observing the crazy amounts of dedication and training all logged onto the closed Strava Team Running Free group. If I can implement the same amount of commitment as they do while also juggling normal daily grinds, who knows just exactly how much better I can self-improve upon! For those looking to join the team, I do encourage checking out Team Running Free's page for more details.
I made a my first ever visit to the Seaton Hiking Trails in Pickering this past weekend. I was repeatedly told that this area was very suitable for trail running training and ultra-marathon training. The deal breaker came from the Strava activity feed of some of the local runners that I follow. There is decent distance, with up to 12.9 km one way, and drastic elevation changes that gave my thighs a good muscle burning. Mind you, the last time I did trail running was back in July of last year when I tackled the North Face Endurance Challenge Half-Marathon up in Blue Mountains, Collingwood. This Seaton trail is much welcomed but is also a stern reminder of always to respect the hills - no matter how easy it may sound or by figuratively determining the difficulty solely by metrics. I know my legs will agree with me on that the very next day after. That's just one part of the equation until you have to also consider the weather conditions and the grounds. I thought I was well equipped by bringing my pair of Salomons and a water belt with a gel pack... that is until I stepped into some extra muddy paths and realized that I did not bring any change of cloths after the run 😭 Nonetheless, I very much enjoyed the run especially since I was running in tranquil area with no competition and strictly running for the sake of enjoyment. Perhaps, this will gear me up for the upcoming MEC Events Trail Race ONE up in Heart Lake this upcoming Sunday as well as future trail races like the 50K that I mentioned from before.
I also look forward to find more trail running locations within the Greater Toronto Area and share my experiences with you as I find them. A recent online article from MEC introduced "Where to Go Trail Running Near Toronto" and I plan to do exactly just that in the weeks or summer months to come. Do you have any suggestions of any other running routes? I would love to hear from you! Cheers, M.W.
Week 15 Recap
Preparations for my first ultramarathon is now under way! I plan to further add running trails close to the Markham-Durham area as well as within the Toronto area into my existing road running train log. Second to that, I have signed up for the smaller scaled trail races as samplers of what to expect and to sustain my paces while enduring for more than 6 hours? This is why thank god for the MEC Toronto Trail Race Series. I ended up signing up for RACE ONE that is happening later at month end (Sunday, April 30th, 2017) up in Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton. I also signed up for a second race - RACE FOUR later this year in October 1, which is essentially a reminiscing "victory lap" of my high school cross-country races. All in all, three months of time available for some quality elevation training and going to the gym for some serious lower body workouts.
Rest week ahead for me this week after completing another three week cycle of racking up some mileage! Cheers, M.W.
Week 14 Recap
More nicer weather days = more runs, more April showers = run just as much while planning around it within the week
I managed to keep the same amount of average running distance of 63km per week plus a little bit more. I either rested or simply hit the gym with some mild upper body workout as well as some dreadmill sessions in the days where weather simply sucked. The longer distance runs were evenly distributed throughout the week so that I can thoroughly enjoy the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8k run on the Saturday. Rather than racing compared to two years ago, I had the pleasure this time around to pace my friend and kickstart her year in running on a strong note. (Congrats again Janice! Hopefully this will keep the running momentum going!) Perhaps I should also make visits to High Park more often in the next couple of months to train the uphill in anticipation of my very first ultra 50K this upcoming July as well...
Race Roster Spring Run-Off 2017
If you are looking for a relatively short race with lots of hills and beautiful scenery, then this is for you! I observed that there were some elite runners that was using this race as simulation for steep hill preps for Boston Marathon (based from Instagram). Meanwhile for the rest of us regular civilians, this race presents a formidable challenge to simply #killthehill at the final stretch of the race.
Essentially the route of the run-off is multiple loops around High Park. What separates this from other races is that this is one of many races organized by the great folks at Canada Running Series. This run off, as well as their other races, is well-organized, has lots of volunteers (for packet pick-up, bag check, and water stations), and has great after-finishing activities.
Will I do it again next year and the year after? Chances are... yes and with a desire to hit a personal best from 2015.
I officially registered for the North Face Endurance Challenge 2017. The only difference from last to this is an extra 29km within the mountains from Half Marathon distance to a full blown ultra 50k. This would definitely be one of the highlights of this year next to the Niagara Falls International Marathon in October. You can expect a whole lot more weekly updates mentioning training in anticipation for this big trail race ahead in July.
That's it for now! Cheers, - M.W.
Week 13 Recap