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Dude you're running 10k...

have ran 10K before. Last year, I ran the Terry Fox 10K run. I decided to run because my friend runs it every year and he seems to have fun doing it.

Fun? It sounds painful, and it is. But, it is fun. Running is actually fun. Ok, so it's not fun in the sense that you rejoice and enjoy every second of that one 1 hour (That's how long it took us). On the contrary, 45 minutes into the ordeal, your body hurts, your legs feel weak, it's hard to breath, and you want to stop, but, you don't. At that point, we professionals say, it's mental.

My friend calls it "mind over matter." I call it senseless torture and egotistical gratification.

There is no reason for anyone to run for that long. You're going no where. And I didn't run because of the cause that is being ran for (I think the Terry Fox Run is called the run for Cancer). It's pure self gratification and the fact that you know you can run for that long. Nothing else.

So this year, I bought into the Nike promotional run called runTO - Get it? Run Toronto?

Anyway, I'm sure there is a "just cause" behind it and part of my $45.00 inscription fee is going towards helping something/some one needy. The reason for the run really, we all know, is because of free enterprise capitalism. The more shoes/apparel Nike sells, the better for all, I say.

So, I've registered and a few friends have registered. We've get the promotional Nike DRI-FIT official T-Shirt and a Ferry pass. The race is in the Toronto Center Island. I think the event is well organized and I'm looking forward to the race.

Oh, yes. It is a race. There will be loosers. Around 9,999 of them. In this events there is only one winner. The guy that runs faster.

They say "there are no looser." Right...

Anyway, why am I writing about it here? Because of the technology behind the whole event.

The Technology

  • You can only register on-line:
  • You pay your registration fee with a credit card on-line (Read this, if you have concerns).
  • Your time will be recorded via wireless receiver, which knows when you start the race and when you finish the race. To the milisecond, I believe. Note, if you loose the transiver you pay $50.00. Ok, so technology is not cheap.
  • After the race, you will see the results and, get this, a picture of you crossing the finish line.
I think it's so cool. I haven't decided if I want put a link of my picture and my time from this site. I may, it all depends how well I run and if my face doesn't look too distorted from the pain of running 10 senselles kilometers.

The training
10 Kilometers is actually a long way to go running. Anyone can run it without proper training. I don't recomend it, but, it can be done.

So, I say I train. I've been running around 3-4K every other day for the last 3 weeks and I do a longer run on Sundays: around 6 kilometers. I also do some weight tranning on Tuesday and Thursday (I do something called HIT)

I'm sure there are more scientific ways to train for a 10K run, but, I've ignored them. It takes too much inventment, timewise.

July 12, 2003
Today, I had to run 6K. I didn't feel like it, but I made the effort.

I put on my shorts, an old T-Shirt my Adidas running shoes (I wonder if Nike will make me buy Nike shoes for the run?) and hit the pavement.

The run started with no complaints, everything going well and around the 30 minute mark, I got something they call "shin splints":
    Shin Splints: Pain in the front of the shin bone, usually the result of overtraining, hard running surfaces and poor fitting shoes, is caused by a stress fracture called shin splints. The tendons that hold the muscle to the bone pull away from the bone causing this pain. There is normally no swelling associated with shin splints, but anti-inflammatory medication may be taken to relieve pain. To prevent shin splints, you should stretch before running or any physical activity. You should also avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete.

Let me tell you it hurts. It says not to run in hard surfaces. I guess it will keep hurting. Where else am I going to run?

I haven't figured out if it is my shoes that are not helping. I've ran with them before and I didn't have that problem.

I may try a different pair of shoes and see if it helps my shin splints.

July 16, 2003
I humbly entered a store called the running room, in the Commerce Courts in Downtown TO, to enquire about my beat up Adidas "running" shoes. I wanted to get an objective opinion on my shoes and to inquire if the shoes were the cause of my shin splints.

The guy behind the counter immediately pointed out that my shoes "sucked."

They are not running shoes per se, but are called "cross trainners." I asked about my shin splints and he said he wasn't qualified to comment on the matter, but that the shoes may have something to do with it. I agreed with him and he proceded to do their test: walk/run around the store floor in your socks and pants rolled up to the knees (funny sight) so he can see your feet in action. I found out that my feet are almost plannar on the bottom and I need a type of shoe with a lot of "support." Shoe guys know what this is. Of course, he proceeded to show me the line of the "proper" shoe I should be wearing. Biast, maybe. I haven't decided if I want to actually buy new running shoes for the race.

Anyway, today is Nike training day. Like I said, this event is really well prepared and in mind is to sell more Nike apparel. So, at the training session they have a whole bunch of athletics guys and girls dressed in Nike swag. Needless to say that most of the people training for the race, are wearing Nike apparel. Again, what a great idea.

There are around 200 bodies (of all shapes and makes) in this little corner of town and of course, being an sports event, there happens to be a few sports semi-celebrities. I said semi, for I didn't know one of them. I'm not a good indication of what's popular in professional sports, really. Of course, they made introductions and they re-lived the old years of winning something (boxing or cycling, curling, or something). Empty claps were heard, a past city mayor was introduced (Politicians don't miss a beat - I think this 65 year old lady is running for the mayor's office again) and I was getting antsy for the thing to start. I had to really go #1 and there was no porta-potty in sight and it looked like it was going to rain. It was going to be fun. Running is fun...

They have a truck full of new (and not so new shoes) for anyone to test drive them. They (the Nike models) give you a pair of shoes, and you give yours in exchange. Of course, you are to return the shoes, but I wondered if anyone leaves their old shoes in there and take the new ones home. Shame on them if they do, though.

I give my not so hot "running" shoes to the girl in the truck and she gives me a new pair of shoes with "support" a plenty on them. I put them on and, voila, I'm thinking my shin splints are gone. Of course, I'm only walking so I feel nothing of the like, but, once I started running, OUCH!!!

I had ran for about a kilometer ro so and my shins were killing me. I was running with my sister (She's also running the race) and I said I was going to stop cause it really hurt. My sister is not the athletic type, but, she's amazing in the sense that she runs the 10K every other year and she bearly breaks a sweat. I keep running beside her, but, around 3K into the training session (It was 6k), I slowed down a bit, for my legs were really hurting.

Of course while running I have time to analyze the situation and realized that because of the shin splints, I can't flex my ankle the way it should be flexed while running. As in "heal first, rotate around the feet and end with the toe of the foot." I can't do that. So, I'm thinking that my form really suffers and I need to work more to run the same distance. I can see that the shin splints affects my form and running mechanincs hence children, old ladies (Even the ex-mayor past me - I won't vote for her now), small dogs are flying by me. Or is it an excuse? Well, after the 6k, I wasn't tired, but I could barely walk. So that means that the lung department is fine, but somehow, my knees and the rest of my body is taking a pounding.

Now, I could just stop and not run anymore. However, I can't. It's an ego thing. It's mind over matter. Of course, at one point I have to double check everything and make sure I'm not actually hurting myself. I mean, I'm tired and my legs hurt the next day, but, I've just been running for christ sake. It's no walk in the park (pun intended).

Nedlees to say, I'm dead tired and we go celebrate the training session with a good steak, pasta and a cold beer. I may do the next training session - We'll see how I feel.

July 21, 2003
There was another training run tonight in Toronto. I skipped it and opted to run at home instead. I had to do a long run.

It was raining, but I decided to go anyway. I ran for 1 hr and 3 mins. That's around 10k, give or take.

I run around my house, but I haven't measure the actual distance. So I base all my runs on time and figure I can do one kilometer per 7 minutes.

I'm sure I will be hurting tomorrow all day.

July 23, 2003
I'm still sore from the run on Monday. I have decided to take it easy and only run for about 30 minutes - That should be around 5 kilometers.

My shins still hurt when I run, but at this point I'm commited to run the 10K on Sunday. I plan to run it around the 1 hour mark.

BTW, this should be my last training run. It's Wednesday and I won't go to the gym nor run until Sunday. I guess I'm as ready as I will be.

July 27, 2003
The big day arrived.

My time: 1:10:00 (According the amazing tracking chip).

I placed: 5,727 out of 10,000 (Maybe more than 10,000) and 643rd in my division (I don't know out of how many).

There are many stories to tell. I may get around to it, eventually. For example:
"What happens when 10,000 people try to use 3 washrooms at the same time?"
"What happens when 10,000 people try to get their belonging at the same time?" - Each person got a number in the shirt, and this number was used to put our belongings in a plastic bag. The bag was left in a tent to be watched by volunteers. Of course, at the end of the race everyone rushed to the tent to get the bags. 10,000 people, 10,000 bags, around 50 volunteers. You do the math.
"I got a medal, but I didn't win. How does that make me feel?"
"The last 1.5k of the race, was really, really long. Why?"

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