Thursday, 25 July 2013

Running Tales & 5 Peaks Trails

Oh to be fearless as a child on the trails!
Loving the "unstructuredness" that comes with summer. Not chained to the desk very much these days, but still plodding along with workouts. Actually, plodding seems negative, so how about "bursting forth with positive energy" on an every-other-day basis.

Thanks to my daughter I have also been adding some early mornings to the repertoire. Not easy for a night owl. Yes, the teenager who usually enjoys getting her extra couple of hours of beauty sleep has asked me if I would care to do a 6 a.m. run "because I like getting it done and also because the neighbours won't drive by that early." Or some words to that effect. She has also agreed to join me at the gym (at later hours, of course) for several spin and core strength sessions until she leaves for university this fall. So this past weekend I managed to barter for 7 a.m. and she was OK with that. (Once upon a time I did two boot camps a week from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., meaning I got up at 5:15 a.m. and hit the road at 5:30 a.m. to get there for 6 a.m. I think I was a little insane back then. Some of my dearest friends, including my fitness instructors, still are. Maybe one day I'll have a relapse into early morning craziness but for now, 7 a.m. is my earliest.)

5 Peaks Adventures Continue...
(Thrive Team in 1st Place So Far...)

So my lazy writing hands failed to record the latest 5 Peaks race, which happened two weeks ago at Albion Hills in Caledon, Ontario. Lovely trail. Beautiful sunny day. I had to laugh at my results. Earlier this summer, I was so pleased to "podium" for the first time EVER at our town's Summer Solstice 11K ROAD (key word) race, placing first out of 12 women in my age category, at 1:05. Fast forward to the latest 5 Peaks 11K TRAIL (key word) race: twelfth out of 12 women in my age category, at 1:36! I tried to "run like a kid" through the woods (somewhat) but I think that as a kid, I must have been a little cautious too. So I was running like the careful kid I was, and that didn't help my speed. Don't wanna fall and scrape my pretty knee! I guess what I need to do next time is run like my 10 year old son. (And also maybe stop being so damn polite about not passing certain people who are clearly slower than me. Being polite must add a couple of minutes to the clock, at least.) My husband compares my fear of going fast/falling on the trails to the way I downhill ski. "Just let your skis RUN!" he calls out to me in his best coach's voice, every winter, as we glide down our local little ski hill. "I don't like SPEEDING!" I usually yell back. Every winter. Same words. We've been married nearly 24 years. I digress.

 More Inspirational Trail Running Technique Photos Featuring My Little Athlete:
"How to Run Like a Child 101"

So granted, I have some work to do to get better on the trails. But what I and my running friends have noticed, when we go to these 5 Peaks races, is that there are a lot of super, (uber?) fit, competitive people at these particular events. There are a lot of hard core outdoorsy types whose careers probably centre around fitness (not to mention our own run coach, Ann, who is making it a habit of being on the podium this summer. In fact, we have so many great runners on our team gaining points for their awesome times, that the Thrive Team is currently standing at first place in Ontario! Yes! Even with slowpoke moi on the team!) I wish I got a photo of one gorgeous blonde 40-something woman who was in the race. We all admired her defined muscles as she stood at the start line in her little black running shorts and tank top. Just before the race began, I saw her husband/boyfriend lean in close to give her a little kiss on the neck and a quick pinch on her well formed gluteus maximus. Then there was the guy whose conversation with a fellow runner I overhead while running through the woods. He was running with a heavy backpack because he was training for an ultra trail running event. Some 100K thing. Then there are the teenagers and 10 year olds. W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R. (Seriously though, love to see the kids doing this. They are awesome and are setting themselves up for a lifetime of health and wellness.)

As a "late bloomer" to trail running, my goal for 5 Peaks is to podium in 10.5 years. By then I'll be 60. And guess what? There was not one woman in the 60-69 age category for the Enduro (long) course two weeks ago. Hopefully that trend will continue, or at least be the case at one of these trail runs in 2024! I have 10 years to look like that gorgeous taut-assed blonde. And if I get there, my husband better be there to pinch my butt.

Random Things That Have Made Me LOL Lately:

  • At 5 Peaks, they give away awesome draw prizes. Sometimes they make you work for them. Like when they held a "plank contest" and a bunch of us eagerly gathered together to be put through a "last man/woman planking" competition in order to get a shot at earning the last few prizes up for grabs. A "judge" (Ahem, clearly unlicensed...) walks around and disqualifies anyone whose butt is "too high" or "too low". About 2 minutes into it, if that, who but my own fitness coach gets disqualified for her butt being too high. Hahahaha we chuckled. And then I get the little tap - OUT!. W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R. (My butt naturally sticks out lady!) But our friend Janate hung on to the end! I have pictures to prove it -- but she'd kill me if I posted them. Pardon the pun. LOL.

  • My friend Heather made me laugh tonight while we chatted at our boys' soccer game. She has become quite dedicated to running, and is an early riser. This morning, we had quite a dip in temperature after several days of hot humid weather. So she woke up, planning to hit the pavement for her usual crazy early 6 a.m. time, but had a fashion conundrum! "It was cold out this morning, so I lay in bed and started wondering what would be the best thing to wear, shorts? capris? leggings? t-shirt? jacket? long-sleeved shirt?" No matter. In the end, she dozed off in mid-thought and missed her run altogether. 

  • Running with my daughter yesterday morning after she dragged me out of bet early, the caffeine and adrenaline kicked in, and I was feeling great. "Two things make me think more optimistically about everything," I said enthusiastically as we kept pace with each other. "The positive endorphins that are emitted during a shower and running. Running just gets me thinking about all kinds of possibilities! " By comparison, she has a much more cut-and-dried opinion of running: "I just try not to die," she responded. Funny girl.

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