Search This Blog


Looking north over Toronto
My right Achilles tendon was very sore when I woke this morning and still sore when I went for a gentle 5km walk a few hours later, despite adding an old heel raise to my shoes to lessen the stretch pressure on the tendon.  Much of the walk was spent pondering how to get past the Achilles injury and start running well again.  The starting point was asking myself what has changed since earlier in the year when I had some good fitness.  I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow about my exercise-induced asthma, but maybe it results from a change in my training pattern.  Perhaps running the Six at Six race on Wednesday nights and following up with a Thursday morning run is an issue.  I need more than 12 hours between runs these days and running only in the evenings is neither practical for me, nor desirable.

My course headed north out of the CBD along Yonge Street
The Achilles loosened up a bit during the walk and I decided I might be better to concentrate on improving my base fitness ahead of speed for the next month and revert to two longish runs per week plus a tempo run at Terrigal Trotters on Saturday mornings.  If I can get round 10km tomorrow morning without too much pain, I'll try something longer on Wednesday morning.  It was another beautiful warm morning in Copa and the icing on the cake was watching a large pod of dolphins surfing just offshore in the sizeable swell.

The last part of the course passed by Queens Park near
the University
Dolphins and surf seem a long way from Toronto in Canada, where I worked frequently during the six years from 1997 to 2003 when I was based in New York.  I had responsibility for a group there and generally tried to spend two or three days working out of the Toronto office every two weeks.  Although I enjoyed working with the Canadians, I have to say I found Toronto a bit bland from a runner's perspective.  As a large city on a relatively boring piece of water, Toronto is similar to Melbourne and Chicago, but lacks the near downtown parks and waterfront paths of the latter two.  My usual hotel was in the downtown area and I tried a number of different routes in various directions before settling on a favourite Toronto 14km, for my early morning runs.

Basically it was just a long rectangle stretching north of the business district into the suburbs, and given that Toronto is located on a long slope with Lake Erie at its base, the course was mostly uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back.  It wasn't that interesting, but there's something that appeals to me about long straight stretches along street-lit roads in the early morning as the city awakes.  Another aspect of this course I liked was that, by the time I had worked hard on the uphill outwards leg, I was well warmed up, and then the return downhill trip, with the last part through the University precinct, was often run at a fast and enjoyable pace.