Sunday, 30 June 2013

#105 Get Back... blogging

So it's been a long while since I've written/updated the blog (as promised after Boston). Mostly because no matter how hard I tried (okay, I didn't try all that hard), someone would inevitably get offended, insulted or annoyed by what I had to say/write and I was just getting tired of being judged and viewed as 'that' kind of person when in reality, I am actually a pretty all-round descent human being. Really, I am.

Anyway, since blogging about Cabot (which was awesome!), a lot of stuff has happened.

Firstly of all, I finished and graduated from Teacher's College at OISE/U of T and have (finally) finished with my formal post-secondary education ...and it only took 7+ years and tens of thousands of dollars. Yay knowledge! Now I get to look forward to a dismally poor teaching job market and new legislation that says I have to wait at least 2 years to be employed as a teacher. Boo reality!

But not to worry, because I scored a super sweet job for the summer at Mountain Equipment Co-op (aka MEC... aaka the organization formally with a mountain in their logo Haha). I was hired specifically as a 'natural running guy' given my ability to run 'naturally' and my knowledge and experience with the sport/activity (left foot, right foot...) and minimal/barefoot running (which I acknowledge for its potential value but am actually am not a huge proponent of). But in reality, the majority of this job actually means selling random pairs of rather 'unnatural' (I guess leather is kinda natural... or it was) and definitely 'un-minimal' footwear, mostly to people climbing modest mountains or doing expensive hikes in far off and exotic places (see, I really don't try that hard). I plan to do this for the next 4 months or so while I look for a 'real job' and start this crazy thing called 'adult life.' Which apparently, from what I hear, are neither all that fun or exciting.

Secondably (uh ya, I realize that's not a word)... oh wait, that was everything. Okay, maybe not a lot of stuff happened, but that stuff did and it's been keeping me fairly busy.

June was also a pretty awesome month for running (although which month isn't?!). I ran each and every of the 30 days this month and covered a total of 525 km, which is pretty good but not even close to my one month mileage PB of 645km set earlier this year in March (also a surprisingly good month for running). As part of all that running, Black Lungs Toronto competed in the inaugural running of the Ragnar Relay Niagara Falls where we won the event overall in a time of 20hr and 20min. The scenic route from Cobourg to Niagara Falls covered ~315km, if you count all the times we (ie Hesch and Hidds) got lost, and was a continuous relay where someone was running for the team at every second of the race. We were also the first team to finish (at ~11:20am Sat) as well as the last team to start (at 3:00pm Fri) which means our 'kill count' (Ragnar terms not ours) was... All of them (~120 teams). Each of our 12 guys ran 3 legs, averaging about 26k total within that time, and tempers only flared at the very end when sleep deprivation and poor hydration and nutrition got the best of us (okay, me. Sorry again Davey). All in all, it was an awesome time. Congrats guys, we did well. Man, I love relays!

I also set new 5k (15:53; 3:11/k) and 10k (33:40; 3:21/k) PBs during the Pride run and the Ekiden Relay respectively. 'The Longest Day Ekiden Relay Race' took place on the evening of 21 June and was a mostly successful start to the summer which saw 11 teams compete in the 6-person relay where the goal is to run the fastest cumulative marathon (42.2k) time. Unfortunately, more than a few of the 10k runners found themselves lost after taking a wrong turn on the out-and-back course on the Leslie St Spit/Tommy Thompson Park. Our own BLT team was even disqualified when one runner (lets called him anonymous) only ran ~9 instead of 10k. As organizer and unofficial race director, I take full responsibility for this (the runners getting lost; not Clearsky running 9k) and apologize to those who got lost. I luckily did not get lost (which is good considering I planned the course) during my own 10k leg and ran almost entirely alone (ie time trialed) before setting an unexpected 40sec PB as well as helped our 'Lungboat' team (Melinda, myself, Rob C and Anne B, Erin B and Kyle F) win the top mixed team award with an overall time of 2:37:45. The top men's and women's teams (both from Marathon Dynamics) ran 2:33:08 and 2:56:37. Congrats and thanks to all who came out. Complete results here.

Then, only a week later on Saturday the 29th, the Pride and Remembrance Run (a 5k race) took place along Wellesley and around Queen's Park. This race is always a guaranteed good time despite its late (10am) and often uncomfortably hot and humid (25+ degrees) start. But this year wasn't too bad which translated into some really fast times. BLT submitted a team and all our times were scored (using the average) and were awesome enough for the overall team win. Not to mention all the amazing individual performances where 8 of our 10 guys ran PBs. Congrats guys, simply incredible! We couldn't do it without each other. The race was followed by an excellent post-race food and awards celebration (I won a pair of shoes) and the BLT crew then enjoyed the rest of a beautiful afternoon with a roof-top patio party at the always welcoming CBC. Thanks Rob and Anne! This however made for a less than stellar long run the next morning, which luckily was all (well deserved) easy running.

With 2 new PBs in the bank and more on the mind, it's been really fun getting fast again. Even though the weather has been brutal at times, I'm looking forward to the summer training and the build towards Chicago in the Fall (Sun 13 October).

Well that's pretty much it for now. July is set to be another busy month with a family wedding on the first weekend; a road trip to Utica, NY for the Boliermaker 15k on the second; the Toronto Beermile (and Lindsay 10k?) on the third; and potentially a weekend up to Tom Hesch's cottage for some running and relaxing with the guys on the final weekend. Look forward to a post-July update as I/we continue on 'the Road to Chicago' (I'm actually flying so perhaps I could call it the 'Clouds to Chicago'?).

Happy and healthy running to you all.

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