wpid-IMG_20140419_100944.jpgCountdown to the Mississauga Marathon Events

Categories: General Running
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Published on: April 20, 2014

Last Saturday, I ran the Mississauga Half-Marathon route in preparation for the Mississauga Half-Marathon! Only two weeks left until I run the Mississauga 5k and Half-Marathon.

Our local Running Room was unexpectedly closed for Easter Sunday. So, I decided I’d do my scheduled run on the Saturday instead. And a few friends joined me!


Javaid and I before the start of our run

It took me a couple of kilometers to warm up, but after I got about 6km into it, I felt a lot better.

There’s a section of Outer Rim Road at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga Campus that’s closed for renovation. I had to take a shortcut through the campus, but I found a way to make up the mileage later in the race.

I wonder if anyone at the Mississauga Marathon organizing team knows this. I wonder if it will be open in time for the race.

It a really good feeling to run the course like this. It felt familiar, comfortable, and felt like home.

I’m such a poster-boy for the Mississauga Marathon :p

To make up for the mileage I missed because of the construction at UTM, I took a diversion through the RK McMillan Park where the Mississauga 5k and 10k races go. It was nice to see that part of the course too because I’m doing the 5k too this year.


Finish line!

I finished the 21.1km distance in 2:25, which really surprised me. I wasn’t really trying hard on this run, which makes me hope I have a really impressive performance to come in two weeks.


Danielle noted that we had all had different coloured shoes. I felt that deserved a picture.


An Odd Artifact:

Just north of Dundas on Mississauga Road, I saw this plaque by the sidewalk. Googled the name and found out a bit about the person. I just thought it was odd that it was on the side of the road.

Found on the ground during my run on Saturday


Only 14 days…

I’m a little concerned that this half-marathon will be back-to-back with the 5k. The 5k starts at 6:00pm on Saturday night, then the half-marathon starts at 7:30am on Sunday. So, I would realistically have about 11 hours in between both races! In some ways that’s worse than the Dopey Challenge!

Some people have told me to take it easy for the 5k. But, I don’t think I can do it. I feel like I could set a new PB by beating my previous 5k personal best of 27:14! That’s a pace of 5:26 min/km. I wonder if I have it in me to do it.

Then the half-marathon itself. I get the feeling I won’t be able to beat my old personal best of 2:03:22 that I set at the Chilly Half-Marathon in 2012. But, I think I can beat my time from Chilly this year of 2:17:39.

My big question at the moment is what to wear. As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing the Mississauga Half-Marathon as a fundraiser for the Trillium Health Partners Foundation. There’s no team uniform, so I’ve mused about doing it dressed as a superhero, again. But I’m starting to consider running it in merely practical running gear.

The countdown is on!

164238474YThe Single Life

Categories: Non-Running
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Published on: April 19, 2014

My regular readers might note that I haven’t posted in a while. My heart wasn’t in it for a while, but I feel better now.

Long-story sort is that I’m single again. It happened about a week ago. I won’t go into any details, but number 1 on this list was a factor.


Back On The Market

So, back to the single life. I’m not happy about it, but it’s an opportunity to meet someone better. I’m okay being alone for a while. But long-term I’d like to marry and be a father. I’d like to meet that best friend I want to spend the rest of my life with. And, for lack of a better description, I don’t have the ‘manufacturing facilities’ to create offspring, so I need to find her.

My last experience on the dating circuit was pretty depressing. I don’t know how other people deal with so much rejection, but it grinds on you pretty fast. And online dating and speed dating got depressing pretty quickly too.

I hope to go back into the dating scene better equipped than before. There a few things in particular I want to be better at:

  • More interesting
  • More confident


More Interesting

I read a little phrase somewhere which has really hit me: “Nice guys, don’t finish last. Boring Guys do!”I consider myself a really nice guy, but I can see why that could be so uninteresting and repulsive to some women. I’m starting to understand how being ‘yopes‘ or plain and unflavored leads to being overlooked and forgotten. So, I’m going to work on being less boring: Some of the things I listed in my New Year’s Resolutions like learning Tai Chi and learning a new language make good conversation starters. I should also try to read more and try to find time for hobbies like playing music.

Avoiding being ‘yopes’ will be rather challenging for me. I’m particularly conscious of always being polite, professional, and respectful. I can see how that would seem like walking on eggshells, and how that would seem unattractive. But it’s rather out of character for me to be a ‘bad boy’.


More Confident

I look at the upcoming dating circuit with some dread. But I hope if I feel more confident, it won’t be such an ordeal.

I’ve mentioned on this blog that a couple of times that I’m hitting the weights pretty hard. Here was a pretty blunt piece of advice from Mark Manson that got me thinking:

If you’re a guy, and you can’t get girls, you’re not allowed to complain about your looks unless you’ve been a member of a gym for at least six months.

I think it’s pretty important to be properly equipped before going into anything, and I think my fitness goals will help me out in general. Now I have another level of motivation.

But, I don’t think having muscles will be the be-all and end all. I’m a little worried about what woman would be wooed just by that. That topic turned into a nice little conversation on dailymile:

fitI’m planning to get my teeth whitened too. My dental hygienist has been recommending it for years. I guess the english genes I inherited included english teeth. Well, that’s going to change, and I hope it encourages me to smile more.

In general, I hope being fitter and feeling more comfortable about my appearance will make me feel more confident, and thus, attractive.



I’m wide open for any advice. Do any of you lovely readers dating advice for me?

Could any of you set me up with a lovely young lady in her late 20′s or early 30′s?

My Garmin Connect stats from Wednesday's runCatching Up

Categories: General Running
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Published on: April 10, 2014

I had a really good run yesterday evening. It was a great moment because the weather was pleasant, I pushed myself, and felt good throughout.

Since my clinic ended at the Chilly Half-Marathon, I have been something of a ‘freelance’ runner. But, I continue to be very active in my local Running Room. I am often called-upon to give a clinic talk about the philosophy of heart rate training. And I’ve been filling in as a substitute instructor/group leader for other clinics when their instructors can’t be there. Someone last night called me a Locum. I had to look that up

Last night I planned to do about 8km. There was a 10k clinic that I’ve guided sometimes that was doing 5k, so I decided to join them. Most of them are doing the Toronto Yonge Street 10k this weekend, so I suspected they’d be doing their 5k pretty slowly. Of course not, they took off at about 6:10 min/km pace!

About 10 minutes in, the instructor had to bow out because something felt weird in his leg, and I was nominated to be backup group leader, again! Locum tenents indeed!

Well, we kept moving pretty fast. I was impressed that the group stayed together.

Graph of pace
My pace according to Garmin Connect

Near the end, one guy was pulling away pretty quickly. He’s engaged to someone in the group, and someone joked that he was practicing for the wedding. We got split up at a stoplight and I thought to myself I wanna try to catch him. This was kinda ridiculous: He was about 200 meters ahead and moving at about 5:30 min/km. But the light turned green and I took off in a crazy sprint. Not only did I catch him, but we stayed at his pace for the last bit.

I checked my Garmin Connect data after the run and discovered that I was moving sustainably faster than 4:00 min/km for about 30 seconds to catch him. What?!

Detail of the data showing my sprint followed by sustained race pace
Detail of the data showing my sprint followed by sustained race pace

The first thing that sticks in my mind is that I was able to move that fast at all! I was all knees up full gazelle form kinda deal. Then holding 5:30 min/km was an experience I haven’t felt in a while. I had to re-learn how to breathe at that pace. And it felt good. That’s the kinda pace I’ll need to set a new personal best, so I better get used to it. I seldom hold that pace when I run by myself, but this little ‘chase’ got me out of my comfort zone.

I’d been so wrapped up in the idea of slow, aerobic, comfortable, long distance, that I’d kinda forgotten how good the intense, anaerobic sprint feels. I needed that reminder, and I’ll be sure to incorporate that into my future runs, somehow.

After I made sure all of the group got back, I did another 3k. I might have gone even more but it was getting dark and I wasn’t equipped properly for a night run. I expect there will be more sunlight next week.

My Garmin Connect stats from Wednesday's run
My Garmin Connect stats from Wednesday’s run


And can we talk about how awesome the weather was?! We’ve suffered through a long, crappy, cold, icy winter, and now we have almost ideal running weather!

Post-run selfie. I regret nothing!

The weather made me feel happy. I decided to wear a yellow shirt. After all, yellow is probably my favourite colour now!

April Plans

Categories: General Running
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Published on: April 9, 2014

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve felt like the March had unfun winter weather. But it’s a new month, the snow is finally melting, and it’s time for a new start!

Around The Bay this year was a fun but humbling experience. I knew going in that I wasn’t properly prepared, but that didn’t prepare me for how much it would hurt! It reminded me of a saying: “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” I feel like I bled during Around The Bay. I intend to sweat a lot in April to bleed less at the Mississauga Half-Marathon.

I’ve put together an aggressive plan for the month of April. I think it’s very doable and I hope it gets me some good results at the Mississauga Half-Marathon. Another side-benefit of this is that I want to have a superhero-worthy body when I run the Mississauga Half-Marathon as a fundraiser for the Trillium Health Partners Foundation.

Some features of this plan:

  • Running at track and doing proper speed intervals. If the track is unavailable, a ton of hill repeats would make a nice substitution. 
  • Morning runs on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Monday ones may involve waking up at 5am… It worked once already!
  • Not worrying about slipping on ice!
  • 3 strength training workouts per week: Two by myself in my home gym, and one with my trainer
  • Tai Chi Class starting Monday, April 21. Anyone in Mississauga want to join too?
  • ‘Active rest days’ where I do at least 30 minutes of spinning. I think this will be better than just resting
  • Working on getting to the splits by stretching EVERY DAY!

I’ve already missed a few days from early this month, and I blame that on continuing to recover from Around The Bay. I’m acutely aware that I probably won’t get to my goal speed by Mississauga, but I’m gonna go for broke.


Calendar of April Training Plan
April Training Plan

Another big change I’ve made is that I’m walking A LOT more. I felt so trapped by the cold and ice this winter. I feel compelled to move on my own two feet. I’ve been walking to and from the station to work a lot instead of taking the bus. And I will make it a point to walk more at lunch too. I won’t be tracking these walking miles on dailymile, but I hope they have some nice effects.

I updated my motivation board too. There are quite a few on here that I like. It’s much more about discipline and training hard. I need those kinda reminders to get my butt in gear.

Motivation Board, April 2014


I’m accepting that I may not have much weight loss this month. With a race coming up, I’d rather not drastically cut my calories. After Mississauga I’ll have a whole summer season to train up for half-marathons, and I’ll focus on calorie reduction then.


Fundraising for Trillium Health Partners

As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m fundraising for the Trillium Health Partners Foundation. At this point I’m up to $300 of my $500 goal.

I really, really appreciate all donations.

Click here to donate now!



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There was still frost on the grass when we started the run, but turned into a lovely day. I was glad to get this mileage in to mentally... posted 22 hours ago

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