Category: Running

I run more than just Idée.


“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~Robert Frost

Second consecutive day of running. Small success. Trail running in fall is awesome. The goal for the next 28 days is to run every single day to complete a 30 consecutive running day plan. So what has worked so far: something that I have been very reluctant to ever do: prioritize my running and get it out of the way first thing in the morning rather than plan for a run at the end of day which never happens!


“I believe I can
I know I can, I’m sure I can” Dead Prez – I believe

Yes. I believe I can kick my running procrastination habit!

Fighting running procrastination this week. I am never going to finish that 50 miles race if I don’t start training. Today is going to be a 20 km run day. 5 km this morning while dodging Queen street traffic. Next 15 km trail run in Limberlost – looking forward to the rain and forest. The 2.5 hour ride to get there is going to be the killer on top of a full day of work!


Creemore Vertical

Mal: “We’re not gonna die. We can’t die, Bendis.

You know why? Because we are so…very…pretty

We are just too pretty for God to let us die.”


Creemore Vertical is going to be my first race of the summer. And zero preparation! 25 km at the pace of a snail is going to be super exciting if the weather predictions hold up: rain, rain, rain. In the hope of avoiding last year’s fiasco with the last minute dash to get gear ready I am going to leave the office at a decent time today (hey it is Canada Day!) and get all my gear ready and make sure I don’t forget all the items I forgot last year. And this year: we are getting to Creemore via motorcycle. I am not really sure this is a great idea, because of the rain partially but also because the last thing I really want to be doing at the end of my race is change into my motorcycle gear just to get back home! But for now, let’s focus on the gear list that I will need to get ready and carry to the race (in addition to the obvious running pants and top!):

  • mosquito repellent (last year I got eaten alive and I was the only one the mosquitos found to be tasty!)
  • baseball cap
  • water bottle
  • eload
  • double layer socks (2 sets, can’t remember if there is a river crossing on this race)
  • podcasts – I have been thinking about that and I will do without.
  • snacks: mini cliff bar, jelly beans, gu

This time around I will actually have a breakfast: chia + yogurt and perhaps even a bagel with cream cheese!

We got: a water bottle, repellent, Glide, Hydrogel, endurolytes (apparently it is going to be 30C in the shade tomorrow!), sunscreen, clif bars, eload, gums and candy.



HTFU! Words to live by. Not running is killing me! Beth’s got it right. I call that punching above your weight class! I am always the last to cross the finish line in my long distance races.


My daily commute or how I plan to average 70 kilometers a week.

I am a big fan of winter and snow and the cold does not scare me. My holidays include heading to YellowKnife in the middle of winter and enjoying the frigid temperatures – except that with all this global warming finding cold places to visit is getting difficult. But what I don’t enjoy about the winter is all the slosh, and all the mess from melting snow in the city. So during the winter, although I continue to run, I don’t walk to the office. You see I live a mere 5 kilometers away from the office and walking back and forth between the office and my home is a great start and end of the day routine. Since I started working – and that’s two decades ago – I have never lived more than 5 kilometers from my work – with one exception which we will not spend time discussing 🙂


Queen West to Queen East

I have been a walking commuter for a month now (since the snow melted and spring arrived) and nothing stops my walking – not even the rain!

The rain is just about here!

I headed to the office on a holiday Monday and got totally soaked heading back home with my dog. I had not gotten that soaked since childhood! Water was in my shoes, socks, my pants, underwear … well pretty much everywhere and standing in the living room I formed a puddle of water large enough that it could have been used as a small swimming pool for a 5 year old!

Totally soaked!


Toronto’s streets are incredibly quiet when you venture out early in the morning. When I manage to leave the house at 6 AM, I own Queen street. There isn’t a soul outside and pretty much everyone is just about hitting the snooze button on their alarm clock. But when I leave late – say 8 AM or later – well, the hustle and bustle of Queen street is so unbearable that sometimes I duck into Graffiti alley to get all the way to work. You see I live on Queen West and work on Queen Est. So I have an all Queen Street daily commute. Never a dull moment.

Last month I started using Runkeeper to keep track of my running and walking. My running this year has been pretty pathetic – but I will be fixing that shortly. As I started using Runkeeper I started to make an effort to walk to the office every day and walk back home every day. That’s 10 kilometers a day. Each and every day. What I really liked seeing in Runkeeper was an uninterrupted week of walking to the office.   When my walks got interrupted you know I was on the road and not home! I started enjoying entering my walk data, watching the kilometers accumulate and realizing that I actually looked forward to the morning data entry routine! I had downloaded Runkeeper for my iphone a while back but my iphone crashed and killed all my apps and has since been refusing to sync – more on my iphone battles later but suffice it to say that this old iphone’s days are numbered!

So how does this bring me to improving my running? Well simple: I am interested in building mileage and would like to see my average weeks include 50 to 70 kilometers in a combination of walking and running. When I manage to commute to the office daily, that’s almost 50 kilometers in a week (provided I walk both to the office and back home). And any running that I do tops that off! So that’s what I call building mileage. I am not focused on how quickly I can run or walk to the office but focused on doing it every day. Once that routine and discipline is set in stone, I will start looking at how to improve my time.

There is something pretty awesome about discovering the city you live in by commuting to work and re-seeing all the buildings and streets that you take for granted when driving. Walking brings me closer to my city. I also get to discover awesome graffiti along the way and the odd abandoned objects.

So here is to building a 70 kilometer week! And how is your commute going?





2011 Race schedule update

I have been looking at trail races happening across Ontario and there isn’t much in the winter time – unless you want to use snowshoes! So I added my first California trail race for 2011: The Chabot Trail Run. I will stick to a 30 km race that weekend. Now it is just a matter of weeks before all the races start! Yay! Still need a March and a June race…

2011 Races

Chabot Trail Run: 30 KM – Sunday February 20, 2011

– Seaton Trail: 26 KM – Saturday April 16, 2011

Sulphur Springs: 50 KM – Saturday May 28, 2010

– Creemore Vertical Challenge: 25 KM – Saturday July 2, 2011

– The Limberlost Challenge: 28 km – Saturday July 16, 2011

Iroquoia Trail Test: 32 Km – Saturday August 20, 2011

Haliburton Forest: 50 KM – Saturday September 10, 2011 – or 50 miles if training goes well!

Vulture Bait: 25 km – Saturday October 15, 2011

Getting to the finish line

Apparently you need to train to get to the finish line of a 50 mile race! Oh who would have known? Not met obviously as my training last week was beyond pathetic. Hitting the re-start button: I am just going to pretend that this week is the first training week. So how am I doing?

  • 5 AM wake up time: check! But even I have to admit that waking up at such ungodly hour in the winter hurts.
  • at my desk at 6 AM: check!
  • breakfast of champions (oatmeal + fruit): check
  • scheduled one hour training at the gym: check
  • early bed time for early rise: well, we will see about that one.

The reality of distance training in the winter time is setting in. I mean who wants to be out there in these temperatures (-20C). I keep repeating “I love winter, I love winter” but it is not doing it. Can’t wait for the trail races to start. In the meantime I am going to need to find a 25 km or 50 km trail race somewhere. The goals for the next 30 days is to work on my schedule. Early wake time, early bed time, training daily 5 days a week. Needs to become a habit in 30 days. Will I succeed? hmmm…Time for some Haile inspiration!

Haile Gebrselassie used to run 10 km each way to go to school for 10 years. He is – hands down – the greatest runner the world has known.

2011: the running year! or my 1st 50 mile race?

yes, I can!

I have been dreaming of a 50 mile race for years now and I think it is high time that I just got out there and completed a 50 mile race. What do you say? In 2010, I completed a combination of 50 KM and 25 KM races. I had a lot of fun.  I am looking forward to more running this year with perhaps a bit more training. I am the slowest runner in the world and it would be awesome I am sure to finish my races without utter and complete exhaustion. So I am going to approach things differently this year and actually train. Yes, train, like in actually exercise and maintain a decent weekly mileage. I have no clue how I am actually going to make sure I get the exercise I need, and no idea how to make sure that I leave my desk daily for this exercising thing. I will figure things as I go along, but one thing is for sure: I will schedule exercise time and simply stick to it. Come rain or shine. As Tara is my witness!

My favourite races in 2010 where of course the Haliburton Forest, Creemore and Sulphur Springs trail races. If all goes well in training, my Haliburton Forest sign up will be for the 50 mile race in September 2011.

2011 Races

– Seaton Trail: 26 KM – Saturday April 16, 2011

Sulphur Springs: 50 KM – Saturday May 28, 2010

– Creemore Vertical Challenge: 25 KM – Saturday July 2, 2011

– The Limberlost Challenge: 28 km – Saturday July 16, 2011

Iroquoia Trail Test: 32 Km – Saturday August 20, 2011

Haliburton Forest: 50 KM – Saturday September 10, 2011 – or 50 miles if training goes well!

Vulture Bait: 25 km – Saturday October 15, 2011

I can’t wait until April for a trail race, so I am looking at a January and February trail race in California or somewhere warm. What’s your race schedule?

Iroquoia Trail 2010

I am too stupid to learn the first time around: I am back for another Iroquoia race on August 21. A 32 km race. This race is known as the ITT and when I think about ITT I remember that was the race where I learned what a technical trail race was! When I hear technical (I am in the software industry) I don’t think river crossings, switchbacks, slippery rocks, uneven rocks and tree roots that are just out to get you. In my world technical is a nice, soft, humming word. Like servers. Like software.

The official trail description: Rugged trail running test that offers 7 major climbs over varied surfaces of trail, road, gravel, rocks and double creek crossing.