Tuesday, May 7, 2024 – Running for resilience (Cheryl Whittam)

Hi Everyone!


Wow, what a weekend. In races we had Erin (5th in AG) and Graeme (2nd in AG) both in the Georgina Half marathon. Here in Toronto we had Shauna and Cindy run the full both getting official BQ’s and Cindy a PB and 3rd in her AG! As I always say and would like to reiterate: just getting through marathon training and to the start line is a success. Then finishing the marathon is a second success. A strong race with a time you’re happy with is not owed or delivered to many people. This is part of what keeps us trying again and again. And it IS the journey!

Also in the Toronto half we had Lyndsay with a fantastic time (close to PB) despite many training setbacks. Sometimes you just have to say “eff it” and throw yourself in the ring anyway. Way to go.


This week we have a guest post from our newest member Cheryl! Thank-you Cheryl. I think it helps for us to sometimes step back and remember the bigger picture and our “why”. It’s not all about times and egos. Cheryl’s words really bring that home.


Running for Resilience


“I didn’t know what to do, so I went out and ran because it was the only thing to do”. ~ Terry Fox


Running has helped me navigate so many personal and professional challenges in my life.  It’s helped me though stressful jobs, heartbreak, fertility challenges, and most recently the passing of my Dad. 


My Dad was a long distance runner completing numerous marathons and half marathons throughout his lifetime.  However in September 2020 at the age of 67 he passed away very suddenly from a rare and aggressive form of cancer. 


His love for the sport sparked my own interest at a very young age and he was my running buddy throughout my life.  After his passing, I felt a bit like Forest Gump and went on a 100+ day running streak to try and process some of the grief I was feeling.


In 2023 and 2024 I had the privilege of running the NYC half marathon in his honour and raised over $7,000 in support of the Terry Fox Foundation.  In addition, I was also recently accepted to run the 2024 Berlin Marathon. After 16 half marathons, I am finally attempting a full marathon! 


I am looking forward to training with all of you in the LES Crew in preparation for Berlin.  I will also be running it in honour of my Dad and in support of the Terry Fox Foundation.  Berlin has always been a dream race for my Dad and I.  We actually applied for it in 2020, and my Dad was learning German in preparation for the event. However unfortunately COVID and cancer had other plans.


Running various half marathons around the world with my Dad has brought me so much joy.  After his passing I was worried I would lose my love for running, however I was pleasantly surprised how it helped me keep part of my connection with him.  It also allowed me to turn some of my pain into purpose.  In addition, I have two young boys (5 and 2 years old) and hope that they will inherit my love for running and one day, run with me, the way I ran with my Dad.


I will always be grateful for running and how it has encouraged me to keep moving forward. As Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently said: ‘if you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”.


Long may you run!



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


  1. 4-6 x 800 w 1:30 rest – these can be a little cut-down. Start at 10K-ish pace and work your way down. A little longer rest than usual should mean we can get a bit more pace out of them. Then 3 min rest. Then 4 x 400 w 1:15 rest – a lil quicker
  2. If running Sporting Life: 3-4 x 800 w 1:30 (race pace and down) and 2-4 x 400 w 1:15 a lil quicker. I’m giving a range based on how fatigued you are going in and how hard it feels. We don’t want this one to be extremely taxing even though the race isn’t till Sunday.
  3. If you ran Boston, you can start to come back, but keep everything tempo paced.
  4. If you ran London, you can come out and run. Workouts can start back next week.
  5. If you ran Toronto or Georgina, stay in bed.


That is all – see you in the am!





Tuesday, April 30, 2024 – What if I try? (Steph Bannan)

Hi Everyone!


Massive congrats to our marathoners this weekend at Mississauga!!! Lori and Colette both braved the heat and ran very respectable marathons with Lori qualifying for Boston! In the Bum Run 5K we had Sean, Zoë and Jeff running very fast times on what I believe is not a “fast” course. Way to go everyone – feeling inspired! Coming up this weekend in the Toronto Marathon we have Shauna and Cindy (and maybe Roz S? tbd…)  running the full and Lyndsay running the half! We are welcome to join the Culture Cheer station at Underpass Park again – let’s rally with our LES gear!


This week’s guest post is by Steph Bannan. Thank-you Steph!!!


What if I try?




Omg. A chance to write a Seanna-esque email?! I both jump and cower at the chance. She does them so well. How could I hold a candle to such thought-provoking wisdom, and her seemingly psychic ability to put her finger on exactly what many of us are feeling at any given moment. I wouldn’t dare. I couldn’t.

But then again…what if I just tried?

Once upon a time I said “I couldn’t do that” to the idea of racing. Years prior, I even said it about “running outside.” It just wasn’t a thing I thought I could do. A marathon? No way.

Enter the Lower East Siders.

In an “as fate would have it” moment, a predestined friend of a friend introduction, I found this group. It was an amazing workout, a fun group of people, and the perfect time slot for a new mom.

But it was more than that. It was inspiration, teamwork, camaraderie. It was connection on a deeper, more intrinsic level. It was incredible people who didn’t know my last name or anything about me, but who seemed to care as much about my progress as they did their own. It was the thing that got me thinking, “maybe I could try that too?”

And so, just like all of you, I gave it a try. And over time, I became a member of the club. I became “a runner.”

This identity has brought me the highest highs. It’s taught me more about hard work (and grunt work) than I ever thought I’d learn. It has convinced me that the body should be nourished, cared for, and celebrated. It’s made me feel truly proud of myself, and deeply invested in the success of others. It’s brought some lows, too, but nothing pulls you out with more force than a team of people who get it, and who want to see you back out there.  

We’ve all had these experiences – where running has helped us, encouraged us, kept us going, or even saved us. And I’m sure we all have theories as to how and why this sport has gripped us in the way it has. For me, I believe it is because the whole of the group is greater than the sum of its parts. Together, we can see what is possible, and the magic that can happen if you just give it a try.



On to tomorrow’s workout – Riverdale Hills! (or a beach option – tbd) – let’s meet at the clubhouse at the top of the hill at 6:05 for drills, 6:15 GO.


  1. If coming back from Boston or London, or just wanna jog, come out and jog and have a Rooster coffee and tell us your stories.
  2. If you ran Mississauga, come for the coffee – can walk if feeling ok. (or sleep in – you deserve it)
  3. Toronto Marathoners and half marathoners: 2 laps of Riverdale track @ race pace. 2-4 x 1 lap a lil faster (marathoners 2, half marathoners up to 4). 2 min bw all.
  4. Everyone else: 2 x Riverdale hill followed by 2 laps of the track. Rest = slow jog/shuffle between each. I think the range here is 3-5 sets.
  5. If doing hills in the Beach, coordinate w Tanis!


That is all – see you in the am!





Tuesday, April 23, 2024 – How was your race? (Carol McFarlane)

Hi Everyone!


Huge congrats to everyone who raced this weekend! Chris Fortin ran the Half Marathon in Montreal in a PB of 1:25! And over in London in the marathon we had a very stellar crew. Amanda (BQ!), Fran (BQ!), Annick (PB and BQ!) and Meagan (fought through an injury and gets the toughy tough award). This weekend we have Colette and Lori running Mississauga! (am I missing anyone? )


Today we have a guest post by Carol McFarlane. Thank-you!


How was your race?”


I love this question, and I love it for many reasons. To start, there is beauty in the openness of it guaranteeing no wrong answer. Those who ask, and why they ask, are seeking an answer that ranges in depth and detail. Let’s be honest, the majority out there despite their love for you, don’t really care about your ‘time’, and if you say in the most matter a fact way, “it was good’, you both ticked some weird social grace box. I also love this question because you control the narrative. It can present itself as being a) a short response like an ‘elevator pitch’ of the race blurted out in fifteen seconds, b) a thirty-minute blow by blow ridiculously detailed novel; or c) something, & anything in between.


Finally, and probably most importantly, I love this question because of how my answer has changed. Not for good or bad, just different. Years ago, I instinctively answered by sharing details of the ‘race’ experience. The number of KMs I traveled; my emotions at the starting line; my race day gear; planned and actual pace; and the ‘do you avert/ not avert’ response to ‘what was your time?’ These days, the race is important, BUT it plays one small piece in the complex, colourful, rewarding when done, beautiful puzzle.  All the pieces that make up the experience are part of my response. 


Reflecting upon my recent race, when asked, I share the fun in making new connections, the aliveness of a city, the random conversations with strangers all sorting out pre-race nerves, smiling at kindness & compassion along the course, sheer happiness and girl like giggling with unplanned post race meet ups; and post race ‘blips’ that needed to be figured out in the most adult/pragmatic manner. So today, my personal response to ‘how was your race?’ describes, like it or not to the naïve sucker who may ask, and indulge me, the unabridged Soup 2 Nuts adventure.  



On to tomorrow’s workout: Let’s do a Fartlek on the spit! (warning, bring your midge goggles). 6:05 meet at Lakeshore and Leslie, usual spot for drills. 6:15 we’ll head down to the spit.


If you’re coming back from Boston or Montreal half or just feel like a social, come and run.


If you’re doing a regular workout: 2 x 5 min w 2 min easy, 5 x 2 min ON, 1 min OFF, 2 min easy, 5 x 1 min ON, 1 min OFF. Start at HM to 10K pace for the 5 minuters. Then see if you can get to 5K pace for the 2 minuters, and a lil faster for the 1 minuters.


If you’re racing Mississauga this weekend: 5 min @ marathon pace, 2-3 min easy, 2-3 x 2 min a lil quicker (w 1-2 min easy).



That is all – see you in the am!






Tuesday, April 16, 2024 – Aspiring to average (Adam Nicklin)

Hi Everyone!


Huge congrats to all our Boston Marathoners yesterday! It was a sudden hot day which took a lot of adjusting and cost a fair bit of time for most. That’s how it is. So proud of everyone who persevered! Boston is one to celebrate being in the top percent of people who grow through doing hard things – it is not a PB course. Congrats to Jason Jacobs, Amy Hayes, Roz Salter, Carol McFarlane, Carolyn Steele Gray, Jordan Stewart. Y’all are incredible.


Guest post this week by Adam Nicklin: (thank-you and others please follow suit!)


What I’ve been thinking about recently is aspiring to average; a concept that used to feel alien to me but is becoming, if not entirely comfortable, somewhat inevitable.


I can recall times in my own life where I had the luxury to ‘lean in’ on a particular passion, usually vocational, artistic, or both. When I was younger, many hours were dedicated to work with little regard for matters not central to my own specific goals. We’ve all been there I’m sure. This was of little consequence – I mean, no-one cared except me or those that stood to benefit – and I really didn’t need to be that accountable to anyone else. Into my late thirties this ramped up as I took on the challenge of starting my own firm from scratch. The accompanying uncertainty had me focusing intensely on the success of the studio, with the alternative – failure – looking like a long, long way to fall. So this increasingly narrow focus was justified as a survival tactic, as an increasingly shaky balance was struck with life’s other responsibilities and commitments.


I started running in my late forties, enjoying the expanded sense of community it offered, all sharing a humble, common purpose. In time, I started to consider being able to tackle an occasional triathlon. Not being a triathlete you understand – but doing a triathlon. One morning during a Wednesday run, I was opining to a fellow LES’er that while I was a decent runner, I was also a pretty so-so biker, and a pretty bad swimmer, and therefore potentially a pretty crappy triathlete. Not so, he said. If you can be an average runner, mediocre biker and so-so swimmer then you are an awesome triathlete. The trick is just not failing too badly at any one thing, and resisting the temptation to get too concerned about any one of them. Armed with his new insight, I set out with the goal of being average! No huge problem with running, but biking took some work. And swimming – wow! Average took some serious effort. And along the way, I think I had more fun training to be average than in anything in life I may have felt I could truly excel in. In fact, the most rewarding time I can recall of any activity I have pursued has been that steep learning curve, reaching for the ‘anonymity of average’, finding that everyone will genuinely want to help you along the way. Something I must remember to reciprocate whenever I can…


So, this truism in sport comes back to haunt us in life. Fast forward, and here we all are with multiple things to balance and never enough bandwidth to cope. Suddenly, average across all of life’s ‘disciplines’ seems like the crest of a hill you will never reach, with the sleep you lose worrying you will never attain it making your chances ever more diminished. Therefore, instead of training to achieve average, we train ourselves to accept it. To be clear, this doesn’t mean submission – quite the opposite. Rather, a distinct and thoughtful process of editing your life to only those things that can support your goal of being (at least) average in everything that counts, and for everyone that needs you to be. And, as Seanna will remind us, keeping something in there for our own peace of mind, which will ultimately benefit those around us. Besides, I’d say these days we’re harder on ourselves than we ever were, and frankly average to us is likely more than adequate to those around us. And maybe that is success or, at least, a comfortable margin above failure we should all feel at peace with.



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


  1. 6 x 600 w 1 min rest. Starting tempo-ish – the 1 min rest should keep these not too hot. We did 10 of these in early Dec, so reference the pace you did there. 2-3 min set rest, then 2-4 x 600 faster w 2 min. These can get close to 5K pace. Learning to find that extra gear with some volume already on our legs.


  1. London Marathoners: GOOD LUCK!!! (Amanda, Annick, Meagan, Fran) And taper workout: 1 mile @ MP, 2 min rest, 2 x 600m a lil quicker w 2 min.


That is all – see you in the am!





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!





Tuesday, March 26, 2024 – Passion

Hi Everyone!


Some really great runs over the weekend: at Around the Bay we had Colette, Carol and Brianna who all ran solid 35.4K PB’s! As I said to some of them – awesome resilience and attitude with being able to “go with the flow and a positive attitude” with the ever changing (increasing!) distance on a very challenging course. I know we had other teammates out there supporting our runners – love that too. Also, in international news, Jasmin Paris became the first woman ever to complete the Barkley Marathon (an insane event which I won’t explain here but you have to look up). The race director had said that no woman would ever complete it because they were not strong enough. Way to go and thank-you Jasmin. You have forged a path so other women can believe in themselves and can achieve great things when others are telling them they don’t and they can’t.


What I’ve been thinking about this week is what does drive us to do very hard things, and keeps us going despite challenges and difficulties. I see some people living their lives this way – undertaking big challenges and thriving in circumstances which I feel would make me crumble. And I myself have times when I’m invigorated by hard things and have felt most alive when pursuing them. What I think marks the difference between these things making us stronger and happier vs battled and defeated, is the passion and purpose we bring to them. If I were asked tomorrow whether I wanted to try the Barkley Marathon for ‘fun’, I would probably say – sure! Great experience. And then quickly decide after a lap (if I made it that far) that it wasn’t worth it and drop out. What allowed Jasmin to dig through her deepest pain and remain engaged and motivated and feeling like it was something she wanted to do? It was her deep passion and belief in the personal value of reaching her goal. This type of passion doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere, and it’s not an endless resource. My guess is that in a year, Jasmin won’t have the same passion and drive to complete it again. She also probably didn’t wake up one day with the courage and belief she could do it. She probably fostered the passion through training and dreaming and investing and building towards it. Passion doesn’t just land on you and strike out of the blue. Sometimes we have to work towards it.


I can think back to times in my life when I’ve had that energy – the belief in the pursuit. I’ve gone to bed excited about waking up early the next morning to train. I’ve taken on work roles where I’ve gladly driven hundreds of kilometers, stayed up late, woken up early, been on the road for days in a row, given presentations which scared me. I look back at some of these things and think “I could never do that now”. But the thing is, it’s only hard if you don’t care about the pursuit or the outcome. If you have a passion for what you’re doing, nothing feels all that hard. Or at least, the hard feels good. It’s the same with training. When you’re running with no passion, it is very hard to call up the same effort levels and enjoyment in the work as when you’re running with a dream and purpose. This is not to say you always have to have that passion – we all go through times when we’re just putting one foot in front of the other while other areas of life take precedence. Just don’t undermine the mental and emotional components. If you’re not feeling the passion, don’t measure yourself against people who do, or even yourself when you have it. It’s very different. 


I’ll be honest – I’ve found myself a little drained of passion the past few months. I’ve been in survival mode in various areas, and that’s taken most of my mental and emotional resources. And running has felt hard and a bit directionless. But I’m feeling myself coming out of it. Things are settling down, and I’m starting to feel the glimmer of excitement about certain challenges. Now it’s up to me to foster that feeling and nurture the passion and make it grow. My ability to do hard physical things is not at all about training my body to do them – it’s about convincing my mind that it’s worth it. Just something to think about.


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


Many of us are in the phase of a marathon build where we could use some meat ‘n potatoes 800’s. So let’s do those.


  1. 6-8 x 800 w 1:30 rest. The first couple can be HM pace, then let’s see if we can work our way down to 10K pace.
  2. If coming back from ATB, listen to your body. Do the lower end, and keep them at tempo. That is if the aches and pains are mostly quiet.
  3. If doing this by time: 6-8 x 3 min Hard w 1:30 Easy.


That is all – see you in the am!







Tuesday, March 19, 2024 – Boundaries

Hey Gang!


First up, huge congrats to Cindy who ran the NYC Half on the weekend with a PB and breaking the 1:30 barrier! Great job. I’m loving the momentum of spring races. Keep ‘em coming – I might even jump into one soon! Coming up this weekend we have Around The Bay with Brianna and Colette running the very random 34K distance. Wohoo!!!


Last night I took a yoga class for a little stretch before bed. It was a very chill class – not one flex of a muscle – all stretch. But at one point I looked over and there was a guy just lying on his mat with a towel as a pillow and sleeping. Or meditating – I don’t know. And I thought “good for you. You know what you do and don’t want to do and you’re owning it”. I already take that approach myself in yoga since I can’t get anywhere close to what the instructor is doing and many moves are completely off the table for me. Neither myself or the guy were trying to achieve anyone else’s standards or results. (Well, me a little more than the guy). We knew what we needed and just did that.


I’ve embraced this perspective more as I’ve gotten older and trust myself more. I also appreciate it in others when they push back and say “I’m not doing this” or “I’m only running this much”. I believe they know what they need. It’s hard to maintain these boundaries in this era of optimization. With everyone telling us the perfect amount of protein we need in every meal, the ideal number of miles to run in a week, how much water we need to be drinking with which supplements, how many days a week we need to be lifting heavy weights, how many hours of sleep we should get, how present and attentive we need to be to our relationships … There is always more we could be doing and things we could be doing “better”. In the optimization world, there are no boundaries. So I find there is actually a freedom in rebelling against that and saying “I’m not doing that”. I like it when I hear this from athletes I coach. Sure, there are ALWAYS more things they can be doing to help make them faster/stronger/more resilient. But I first need to know the boundaries they have that they will work around. If they don’t have any, I know something will probably pop up mid-cycle that makes the training untenable. I think it is fine to push back and rebel against a world that will keep asking us to give more and more with no end. In fact, it’s a true act of confidence which others can choose to follow. So go take a nap in your yoga class. I will admire your self-belief and ability to rebel against optimization and judgement.


Why rebel if there is nothing permanent in oneself worth preserving? – Albert Camus


Rebellion, though apparently negative, since it creates nothing, is profoundly positive in that it reveals the part of man which must always be defended. – Albert Camus


On to tomorrow’s workout. We’re back to HILLZZZZ! Let’s change it up though with half hills + tempo. Or 200m hills for those in the beach. These give you a little more pep because we can run up them with a bit more gusto. Pottery crew will stay at Pottery, but we’ll do our hills starting at the stairs vs at the bottom.


Let’s do sets of 3 x half hill, followed by 6 min tempo (yes, a bit longer than the previous 4 min). The longer tempo pieces are getting more specific to ppl racing a spring marathon. 2 to 3 sets. 1 minute-ish (or walk to and from your tempo spot) between hills and tempo.


I’ll aim to be at Pottery at around 6:20-ish. Come when it works and start when you get there.


That is all – see you in the am!





Tuesday, March 12, 2024 – Taking a break!

Hey Gang!


Happy March Break to all! As such, I am on holiday so won’t be there for workout and not writing much of a post. Except to say, I am truly relishing the full detachment and break from my everyday routine and responsibilities, and am already feeling refreshed and ready to get back at it when I return. Even if you’re not “training” for anything, I think it’s still a good idea to disengage and take a break from your routine every now and then. Sometimes with space comes a different perspective: maybe you realize how much you love the routine you have and you can’t wait to get back. Maybe there are a few things you can change or let go of, or some things you want to bring back with you or add. It often takes a bit of distance to see and appreciate things more clearly. So whether you are physically getting away or not, try to create some space for yourself. Breaks can really help. And I don’t mean a day or two. This is different from a “down week”. Give yourself a week of completely different activities and routines. Step away from what you normally fall into and force yourself to do something different for a week. If you’re at home, maybe that’s a routine of jumping in the lake with the sunrise swimmers instead of a run. Or making the drive somewhere with trails for a hike. Or radically sleeping in and taking yourself out for breakfast. But do this every day for a week – it has to be a mental break as well. No guilt, no “should be doing”. You shouldn’t have to spend money to be able to transport yourself away and get some perspective. We all deserve a break – you may not need it right now, but if you’re putting it off, make sure to take it at some point soon. It will help.


For tomorrow! Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 Drills, 6:15 GO!


I won’t be there and I think a few people will be away. If someone knows where the 400m mark is and can signal it with something that would be awesome. If it’s warm you can drop a toque or jacket – anything will work.


  1. Start with 1 mile tempo. 2 min rest. Then 3 sets of 4 x 400m. First set @ 5K pace w 1:00 rest. 3 min bw sets. Next 2 setw with 1:15, couple seconds faster.
  2. If doing this by time, 6-8 min tempo, 2 min easy, 4 x 90 seconds ON, 60 seconds easy, 3 min easy, 4 x 90 ON, 1:15 easy, 3 min easy, 4 x 90 seconds ON, 1:15 easy. OR if it’s easier, 6-8 min tempo, 2 min easy, 3 sets of 5 x 1 min ON, 1 min Off, 3 min bw sets. I’ll prob do that one bc more simple.


That is all – I won’t see you but have a great one!





Tuesday, March 5, 2024 – re-Prioritization

Hi Everyone!


First up, huge congrats to everyone who ran the Chilly Half!!! Sam F who PB’d! Ingrid who crushed it in a new age group! Bob who negative split! Amy, Shauna, Jason who executed smart, tough and solid training runs. And with that, the seal to spring races has been broken – bring ‘em on!!!


What I’ve been thinking about this week is about prioritization. Or rather, re-prioritization. It’s true that most of us aren’t looking for things to fill up our time. Almost everything we undertake takes us away from something else. So we have to be intentional about where we’re directing our time and energy. For me, running is always on the list of priorities. It always has been. I don’t consider that to be selfish because it’s what supports my ability to address my many other priorities. But also, my running as a priority is very flexible. It moves up and down the priority ladder as needed. I think many in this group can relate. We’re cooking along just fine and then suddenly life shifts, and something zooms right to the top of our priority ladder, shuffling everything else down a rung. That doesn’t mean the other things fall off or get neglected completely – it just means they don’t come very first when deciding where to direct time and energy.


Personally, I have had times when running has enjoyed a very high position, if not top rung. That’s when I have the time and energy to focus on myself and my training and my recovery and my mental and emotional engagement in the sport. That’s satisfying and fun. I have also had times where running has moved down to fourth or fifth on the list of priorities. During those times I like to say “I’m just staying in good enough shape so that I can get into shape again when I want to”. I keep my foot in the door. And I know when life has shifted and opened up space for me to bring running back into focus. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been through this cycle of running shifting up and down the priority ladder. This is often not something we plan. Sometimes someone in our life suddenly needs more attention, or our career demands more, or we have to put some aspect of our own physical or mental health in the top spot. That is life and to be expected. Just don’t make running so rigid that it is all or nothing. We can simply shift it down a few notches. Then, when things open up again, we can juggle it back up and reprioritize it. The key is acknowledging and accepting that not everything can be a top priority. That defeats the definition of the word. But also, if things aren’t a top priority, don’t neglect them completely. Because sooner or later they’ll demand their spot on the top rung.


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


Speaking of ladders, let’s do one! Down and back up.

Except people who RACED Chilly. If you RACED it (not training through), take a break or come out and jog. If you were training through, well, as it sounds, you keep training.


  1. Mile-800-600-400-600-800-mile (option for this last one to be any distance from mile to 400). Paces: Half marathon – 10K – 5K – faster – 5K – 10K – Half marathon. Let’s take 2 mins after the miles and 800’s and 1:30 after the 600’s and 400’s.


That is all – see you in the am!