It's been a while since I revisited my own personal portfolio and keeping tabs on my training schedule this past summer and into fall race season... sorry! If you are ever wondering what I am up to, I am fairly active on Strava logging in my runs or other cardio related cross-training.
WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO
Ever since my last post, I participated in quite a few races which I will eventually elaborate more in detail on separate individual posts and will be hyperlinked in the following lists:
I also joined my local Lululemon chapter for their group runs Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings on a weekly basis from April to October. You can find them numerous ways on social media and Strava here:
In terms of weekly running mileage, I managed to hold myself accountable for up to weekly 65km per week give or take. What worked for me this year was having the mindset that it is okay to be unstructured despite work commitments and hanging out with my social circle from time to time. For example, I will make an honest attempt to at least squeeze in a long run of more than 21km and juggling between some tempo runs and easy runs. This is important to me especially knowing that some days you have it in you to do the extra, while some days when you're planning for a hard workout and you're just mentally shut down for the day after long hours at work.
Summer's been hot and humid most of the time. I vividly remember doing long runs with a hydration waist belt or in some cases having to divert the planned route to parkettes where there are those kiddy splash pads to temporarily cool down - only to be dying in the heat again with my singlets and shorts all dried up from the heat.
The best part of all races (after putting an honest attempt to train) is the runner's high the remainder of the day after crossing the finish line. Although I am proud of the six races and the PBs acquired since June, there are select races that really stood out more so than others. The first one is the Bang & Olufsen Yorkville Run 5K and the second one is the Chicago Marathon.
Did you know? Up until this past September's race, I have never officially ran a 5K race before. Of course, I fell into typical stereotypes of that it is "simply" just a 5K. What actually transpired was the realization that I actually need more track workouts and manage my short spurts of speed and pace changes. I see myself that if I can make it work, then hopefully that converts to incremental seconds to minutes shed off for future marathon times.
Chicago was my first ever travel-race. I recall being ecstatic being selected through lottery around this time last year. I also had just as much jitters thinking of the travel planning and coordinating the finer details since this was a solo excursion and I rarely travel out of province / country anyways. But now that I ran the race and have time to reflect upon it, I guess it all worked out just fine! I was pretty fortunate to come across our weekly run leader in Chicago so I didn't feel all too foreign. The course was as flat as it can be as described by fellow runners and bloggers on the internet. Race day conditions was as stormy and windy as it can be - true to the Windy City claim. More on that later, but the grand prize overall is my first ever BQ attainment. As much of a reserved person that I am, my raw emotions were on full display upon moment of reckoning that Boston is truly within reach.
That's it for now, but my running journey doesn't end here as I resume regular running back in the uptown!
See you on my run - Mike
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront half-Marathon
I took this particular week on the easier, relaxing side with the Niagara Falls International Marathon still fresh on my mind. Meanwhile, there was lots going on leading up to the local Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon happening exactly one week after the Niagara Falls. I signed up for this race months ago, speculating that I should have more than enough rest days to recuperate.
There was also another event called the Ghost Race happening in Toronto as hosted by Lululemon from October 13 - 22. Essentially, it was a live run that starts from a certain marked location and keep following through the hints within their set course. Once the course is completed, the raw GPS data must be uploaded onto the Strava app for validation. In the Toronto region, the run was located at the Martin Goodman Trail. I ran through this route with my buddy that was making a short homestay visit while we were picking our packet pickup at the Exhibition Grounds located in the Enercare Centre. I noticed that this event was mostly hosted in major cities. Although this is fine, it would be much preferred if they also have events like these in the uptown area.
A couple of days after the Ghost Run, it was finally the main feature - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon. For me, this was effectively a mini redemption run - to expel some frustrations from the week before and also rectifying the smaller actions that attributed to last week's fuck up.
This year, I started all the way at the end of the first (red) corral. I was banking that this would give me ample of space to maneuver around various runners and set a constant, sustainable pace for the remainder of the run. The notion of "don't start bursting out of the floodgates too fast" was by and large from the very start of the race - especially since I committed such a rookie mistake still fresh from one week prior. I was very cautious of my pace for the first five kilometres of the race until the slight downhill segment (similar to the end line of the Sporting Life 10K area at the bridge and then the down slope) and then I started to increase my pace comfortably from the 5th kilometre to the 13th km where you do the turnaround at the Lakeshore Boulevard. I also conserved enough energy to make a huge boost by delaying my energy gel intake so that way the calories kick in right when you start running uphill at the 14 - 17th km slot. At the end of it all, I managed to register in a final chip time of 1:32:46 which almost eclipsed the all-time PB time I got back in June 2017 from the Barrie Half Marathon. Not bad considering this was a secondary cool down from the full-marathon from the week before. More importantly, it acts as a huge confidence booster with another few weeks until a second redemption opportunity knocks in the form of the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon.
As my university's universal motto goes, "keep pushing on!" (or Surgite!) - MW