I feel crispy and sun baked. Let’s work with this hazy day’s daze.
I finally joined in my first ever Run TO Beer. If you’re too lazy to click the link, I’ve got you. It’s a local Toronto running group that does weekly planned routes to breweries across Toronto. You run, then head to a brewery and get a free beer in exchange for an instagram photo or equivalent social media promotion. They do 10km, 5km and 3km runs that go in waves. The neat part is, they run as a homogeneous blob of activity. Like a Katamari of athletic folk, the 10km loops around to pick up the 5km runners, then the 3km runners join in the fun. There are pacekeepers who ensure nobody gets left behind (Ohana, etc) and it’s open to enthusiasts irrespective of speed or skill level. Also “skill level” sounds like an odd combination of words when you’re talking about moving forward at an advanced pace. I guess there’s a lot of technique when it comes to high level running, but the more skilled you are, I’m sure the more effortless it all looks. I still don’t really consider myself a runner. It’s just something I do for fitness sake, without being a hobbyist. I know that posture and knee driving helps with speed. Beyond that, I swing my arms and move my legs like everyone else.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I often have trouble meeting active friends. It just so happens that a lot of the people I gravitate towards don’t necessarily care much for running, lifting or climbing things. At least, not to the same extent that I do. I never hold this against people, because imagine that being a dealbreaker in your life. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like more of it in my social circles. I tried to put together a summer activity/open source fitness group on Facebook, but it never really took off. I think people had the best of intentions, but when I fractured my wrist and spiralled out of commission, I think I took their incentive with me. I get it. Motivation is hard to find and harder still when it comes bundled with buckets of sweat.
I didn’t socialise a whole lot today, but it was neat to meet habitual runners and hear about what it meant to them. Over our beers (and as today was a huge run, 250 odd people in comparison to the usual 30-40), we chatted about distances, times, wear and tear and whatnot. Marathon runners discussed the differences between race lengths. Apparently a full marathon feels around four times harder than a half. A few of them mentioned just how challenging it gets close to the 30km mark. Your body shuts down in a big way and motivation is difficult to come by. They said 37km is where it tends to pick back up. With the end in sight you think it’s only 5km. I can run 5km. Then they run 5km to the finish. C’est tout.
I thought about running some more. Aside from Tough Mudder, I’ve never really trained for a big event. Most years I tend to overdo the Mudder training, then end up in a group with people who didn’t train. It’s meant previously that I find the course pretty easy, since I don’t have to push the pace. This year because of my wrist I’ve undertrained. I also purposefully wanted to let myself have patio beers, etc, this time around. I’m doing it with friends who’re Mudder veterans and we’re planning on trying to jog most of it. I’m hopefully gonna find the challenge level this year that I’ve been searching for. If that’s too easy, what’s next? Do I finally do a half marathon and train incrementally? Do I consider a mini triathlon for something all new? Or is there something else out there that could take my fancy? Circus? Rock climbing? Finally learning how to swim Butterfly?
If they involve more sweet ass beer, sign me up.