Tag: endurance

Fitness Swellness: Race Report: Sporting Life 10k 2014

Sporting Life 10k medal 2014

I consider my forte to be endurance rather than speed. So I surprised myself yesterday in the Sporting Life 10k.

I hadn’t put too much thought into my race since my main focus this season was Around the Bay 30k at the end of March and the Toronto Marathon last week. This 10k race I added mostly because I decided to take part in the media team Nike Canada had put together to help raise money to send a kid to camp (Haven’t donated yet? You can donate here!)

I don’t think racing so close to completing a marathon is very wise, but I did it two years ago and it went fine. In fact, it was the same two races, the Toronto Marathon in 2012 followed one week later by the Sporting Life 10k and I ran a 10k personal best.

Since I’ve done very little speed training this season, and my recovery from the marathon has been slower than usual (I can still feel tightness in my legs, I’m guessing because I walked less than usual last week), I didn’t think I could PB yesterday. My fastest for 10k is 49:50. I expected to finish in about 52 minutes.

The weather was just about right — a little too warm for my taste during the actual run (I tend to prefer cool temperatures); thankfully my outfit of a tank, shorts and arm sleeves was just the right gear (I took off the sleeves a few kilometres into the race).

Since I didn’t collapse in my experience two years ago (not joking — I fret about how wise it is to run 10k after a marathon and have all sorts of horrible visions of my body just giving out during the race — so I held back a bit in my 10k race in 2012) I just decided to go hard. I was pretty sure I could maintain about a 5 minute pace if I felt good, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, for the entire 10k. I hustled, and it was difficult. Remember, me, the one that is not a fan of speedwork.

The race has been greatly improved since the first time I ran it. The corrals are nicely timed apart, so no more bottleneck at the race finish area. (One complaint — people in the first red corral who have no business being in the red corral–red corral  means you think you can finish in under 45 minutes–saw way too many slow folks sporting a red bib).

As I crossed the finish line, I knew I had run a PB but wasn’t sure by how much. And my iPhone wasn’t having network issues so I was unable to search for my time. Thankfully, my running buddy texted me congrats and looked up my time for me. That’s what good running buddies are for! She understood how important it was to have this info ASAP.


Exactly two minutes faster.

When I ran 49:50 two years ago, I honestly thought, “Well, that’s it, that’s my 10k personal best for the rest of my life.” There once was a day finishing under one hour for 10k was huge for me. So to complete this in 47:50? That blows my mind. My fastest kilometre? A pace of 4:10. I didn’t think I was even able to run a whole kilometre that fast. I finished 77th out of 1, 495 women in my category.

And now, this has got me thinking…”Can I qualify for the sub 45 minute corral next year???”

I think if I focused on speed training, I could. I really could.

And so the running craziness continues!

Sporting Life 10k 2014 in the start chute

Next up? A few weeks of recovery, which’ll include some easy runs. Possibly a short race in three weeks. Then months of training for the Chicago Marathon will begin.

Leave a Comment May 12, 2014

I’m running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in San Francisco on Sunday

I’m running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in San Francisco this Sunday (thanks, Nike!) and I’d be lying if I said I was not absolutely, positively TERRIFIED.

Why? It is, after all, my ninth half-marathon, so no biggie, right?

Wrong. Because San Fran is effing (pardon my French) HILLY. I had to take rest breaks while merely strolling the city the first time I visited a few years ago so plodding my only-semi-race-ready self through 21.1k with hills — gulp.

At least the Nike website gave me a good laugh, check this out from the race FAQs:

There are no cable car hills on the Nike Women’s Marathon course. Many runners find the hills a welcome challenge that offers the reward of spectacular hilltop views of the bay. The course is extremely scenic, covering most of the San Francisco coastline.

A welcome challenge…Uh-huh. And those “spectacular hill top views”??? That is a nice roundabout way of saying:


Major stressball over here. Wish me luck! I’m gonna need it.

9 Comments October 11, 2011

All talk, no fitness improvement

During long, slow runs, I’ve always been told you should be able to talk to someone during your run; it’s a simple test to gauge your intensity (known as the talk test, you’ve probably heard of it). And I almost always tend to cheat — usually I can chat a little with a friend, but with some difficulty (a sign according to the talk test that I should slow down, but well I like to push harder and go faster, even though I know that’s not the point of the long, slow run).

(or I also cheat by asking questions and making my running partner talk, ha ha!)

Anyhow, there’s a new study that shows that by sticking to the talk test, we may be cheating ourselves when training. The study conducted by the University of New Hampshire foudn that fit people start to have difficulty talking when they are nearing their lactate threshold.

But…if you want to improve your speed and endurance, you need to be exercising occasionally just about at your lactate threshold. So if you’re gabbing away, well, you ain’t improving your fitness.

(your lactate threshold, in case you need a refresher, refers to when the level of lactic acid produced by your muscles during exercise exceeds  your body’s ability to remove it from the muscles).

Leave a Comment October 3, 2011

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