Tuesday, April 9 2024 – Hard Mode and Easy Mode

Hey Gang!


Hope y’all enjoyed the sun this weekend – and that if you were out yesterday you got to catch some eclipse action – even if it was just the eerily darkening sky. There is something powerful about communally sharing an awe-inspiring experience. I enjoyed that sensation – even through the clouds!


Lately I’ve been thinking about making things harder vs. making things easier. We often shift back and forth in life between Hard Mode and Easy Mode, sometimes with less intention than we should. I was listening to Shane Parrish on The Knowledge Project, and he views certain habits as setting yourself up to play on Hard Mode. For instance he tells his kids: if you stay up late playing video games, don’t give yourself enough time to study for your test and then don’t eat a good breakfast, you’ll be playing on Hard Mode all day. Wouldn’t it be better to cruise along on Easy Mode by getting good sleep, eating well and being prepared? I’ve been mulling this over as I move through my days. Am I playing on Hard Mode? Obviously I want the hard things I choose to do to come more easily – but I think it’s ok to intentionally switch modes.


Last weekend my group tempo took place just before the Spring Run Off on the same course, so our usual loop was off limits. We had to choose a bigger, MUCH hillier loop. Tempos are hard enough flat. When entering the last 3 minutes of a section up a 2 minute steep climb, it can feel very defeating. Our tempo pace averaged 10 seconds per kilometer slower than when we run them on flatter ground. That was definitely Hard Mode. But here’s the thing: every now and then, when you shift to Hard Mode and still complete the task, it gives you that much more confidence and ability when you go back to Easy Mode. You can’t live your whole life on Easy Mode. Nor should you constantly be on Hard Mode. You have to switch back and forth. The key is to be aware of which mode you’re on.


I like to embrace Hard Mode sometimes. I’ve been playing Sodoku again lately. I can choose between Easy, Moderate, Hard, Expert and Extreme. I choose the level that is not easy for me (currently Expert). I make mistakes and I don’t always win. But playing on Easy Mode is not fun or satisfying. I just need to know which setting I’m on. This applies everywhere. If you were up all night with work or a kid and you’re in the middle of a hectic week and maybe haven’t been eating great: your runs will be on the Hard Mode setting. That doesn’t mean don’t get out there. It just means you have to evaluate them differently. Your wins will come with more effort but perhaps they’ll feel more rewarding. And then when you go back to Easy Mode, you’ll be sailing! That’s fun too.


On to tomorrow’s workout! We’re back to hills, but Boston and London marathoners will have something slightly different.


Hills people – Riverdale/Leslieville peeps meet at Pottery, Beach peeps meet at Glen Manor. Pottery crew arrives anytime between 6:10-6:30 (ish) and just gets into it. Beach crew meet at the bottom of Glen Manor at (?? Message Tanis).


The workout: 1 full Pottery (400m), 1 Half Pottery (200m), 5 min tempo. Repeat 3-4 times.


Boston Marathoners: 1 mile @ Marathon pace, 90 sec rest, 2 x 400 @ faster and smooth w 90 seconds, 800m @ Marathon pace


London Marathoners:

1 mile @ Marathon pace, 90 sec rest,

400-600-800-600-400 w either 1:15 rest or 200m jog if you need to get to the next start spot – ranging from 5K to 10K pace

90 sec rest, finish w 1 mile @ MP


I will be at Pottery sometime around 6:20-ish!


See you in the am 🙂







April 2, 2024 – Community

Hey Gang!


Hope everyone had a great long Easter Weekend and enjoyed the great weather and hopefully some time with family and friends. And maybe a tiny bit of chocolate.


 Many people on this list are ramping up for Spring marathons along with getting in shape for races of other distances. When training for individual events, there is an element of specificity in terms of what people need with regards to pacing and support. What I am loving about the people who have found themselves within the gravitational sphere of the Lower East Siders, is that we are able to understand our needs and ask for support from those around us, and offer it back up when and where we can. I’ve noticed different groups of people banding up for parts or all of their long runs. I’ve noticed teammates driving to races to cheer others on or even run parts of the race with them. I’ve seen friends making plans to travel and stay with their teammates to support them on race day. I hear many conversations between people sharing their tips and strategies for various things (nutrition, injury management, favourite gear, …) I see people sharing their expertise and energy to help others improve (looking at you Kerry K!) I see sub-groups popping up with people who are like-minded in their non-running sports and want to support each other in that (Triathletes!!!) I am definitely not a part of many or even most of these little support bubbles. That would be impossible. But just being part of the web of support means we’re all contributing to everyone’s success. This community we’ve created together makes me so happy.


On that note, I want to share this space with people. Starting next week, I’m taking submissions for the newsletter from anyone on this list. Topics can be anything. Bring us into your experience and perspective. Does not have to be all sunshine and rainbows! I’d love to hear other voices on here. Just submit to me by Monday and I’ll send it out on Tuesday with the workout on the bottom. Doesn’t have to be long. Can even be a poem. No pressure at all! (but if no one raises their hand I might have to start picking people … lol) I’m looking forward to hearing from you 


On to tomorrow’s workout – Lakeshore and Leslie! 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO!


  1. Sets of 1 mile, 90 sec rest, 2 x 400 w 1 min. 2 min bw sets. Up to 3 sets. Miles at HM pace, 400’s at 5K pace.


The idea is to get some good threshold/HM pace work while learning how to deal with and use lactic acid from the speedier stuff. The more efficient we are at clearing and utilizing lactate, the faster we can run “comfortably”.


That is all – see you in the am!