Live from the Middle of the Pack – Pace Bunnies…Not Just For Show!

Back in January, Brandon Laan wrote an informative article about what exactly pace bunnies (or rabbits) are. You often see them on the track and on the road, pacing some of the world’s most elite running athletes to new meet/course records, Olympic qualification standards and in some cases, new world records. But luckily for the rest of us, many organized road races include them for everyone from intermediate to beginner runners. Continue reading “Live from the Middle of the Pack – Pace Bunnies…Not Just For Show!”

Live from the Middle of the Pack/Hometown Hero

For me, running isn’t always about competing in races, running your hardest or even obtaining PBs.  It is certainly part of it, but I think what attracts me most to the sport is its accessibility.  Anyone with a pair of running shoes, a bit of energy, and a sense of adventure can get out the door and get going!  Then I hear some pretty inspirational stories that stem from the simple act of running.  My nomination for a hometown hero is actually shared between two people I’ve recently met, Mike and Braden Anderson. Continue reading “Live from the Middle of the Pack/Hometown Hero”

Live From the Middle of the Pack – Awkward Running Moments

Awkward moments.  We’ve all been witness to them, and we’ve all definitely experienced them.  Continue reading “Live From the Middle of the Pack – Awkward Running Moments”

Live from the Middle of the Pack – Changing Years and Changing Gears

On Sunday, October 2nd, I officially turned 30.  Yep, the dirty, flirty, thirty.  – F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Thirty – the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair.” Older people tell me life really begins at this age, and younger people tell me they’re glad it’s not them!  After all of the words of advice, bits of encouragement, and sharing of wisdom, I really can only think of one thing when it comes to turning thirty: Continue reading “Live from the Middle of the Pack – Changing Years and Changing Gears”

Live From the Middle of the Pack – Scoring Goals!

I seem to be a person that always struggles to make a big decision and commit to it.  If there is a household item that I definitely need, I will take forever looking around and researching all about it before I decide to get it.  I’ve been to five countries so far this year, and this comes after almost six years of stay-cations and thoughts of “I can’t afford it” popping into my head.  The same goes for my road races.  I will sit and dwell upon it until I literally have to force myself on the computer and register within the last few weeks before the race.  I don’t think I’m alone with this either.  In conversations with my fellow middle-packers (and back-of-packers), it seems that most of us will put off registering for a race for a variety of reasons–fear of not being ready, nerves, money, and work to name a few.

While these are all valid reasons, I have discovered that I’ve been doing things backwards.  One should register for a race first, and then work backwards from their race date while planning their training.  This will allow you to prepare appropriately, which naturally lessens your nerves.  Furthermore, by registering early you can give you boss a heads up and save money by getting in on the early bird discounts. Giving yourself ample time to plan your schedule, do the drills, stretches, and runs with your goal race in mind will give you direction and purpose in your training.  From reading various running blogs of everyone from everyday runners like us to the elites, one thing they seem to have in common (apart from Seinfeldian observations about the sport) is talking about their goal race that is sometimes over 2 or 3 months away.  Every entry counts down the weeks and days until race day.  I’ve done this many times in my head and on facebook status updates, but I never thought to do it for the purposes of reestablishing my ultimate goal.

Continue reading “Live From the Middle of the Pack – Scoring Goals!”

Live From the Middle of the Pack – No Shoes? No Shirt? I’m Nervous!

Have you ever heard your non-runner friends commenting on the clothes and other gear runners wear? They ask questions like…

“Why do you have to wear tights?”

“Don’t you freeze wearing short sleeves in this cold?”

“Why are you wearing Batman’s utility belt with water strapped to it?”

I often get the classic, “how can you run with your long legs in those tiny shorts?!”

Escape Crew Tee from the Running Room

We usually suck it up and explain them the benefits of moisture wicking polyester tops or extra cushioned training shoes, all while bragging about the mileage (or kilometerage, in Canadianese) we ran last week.  In spite of all the information, I still see people running in their old retro gym class outfits and everyday sneakers.  The truth be told; this does work for some people.  I once saw a guy finish a sub-35 minute 10 km race while sporting an AC/DC t-shirt and baggy camouflage shorts!  Pretty impressive stuff, but there are definitely benefits to investing in some proper attire. Continue reading “Live From the Middle of the Pack – No Shoes? No Shirt? I’m Nervous!”

Live from the Middle of the Pack – Hurry Up and Slow Down!

Okay, I admit it. I dislike losing. I used to cry every time I’d “lose a life” playing Super Mario Brothers. When stopped at a red light on the right side of a two-lane roadway and a car is parked 100 meters ahead of me, I will Vin Diesel my way past the driver to the left to be the first one down the road. I seem to be competitive by nature… or is it by design? The same idea tends to happen with running, and it affects everyone–from beginners to elites. Have you ever felt the need to push the pace way beyond your goal on runs that are designed more for steady pacing? Consider this following scenario.

pace yourselfYou’re on your weekly long run, enjoying the fact that you made it out of that front door and onto the roads. You’re creeping up to kilometer 3, when your tingling spidey sense causes you to look behind you. Sure enough, another runner is gaining ground on you and it becomes quite evident that they will likely pass you. Your sense of competition Continue reading “Live from the Middle of the Pack – Hurry Up and Slow Down!”

Live from The Middle of the Pack with Olivier Dyason

Reid Coolsaet, Malindi Elmore, Dylan Wykes, Simon Bairu… Olivier Dyason?  You all know the classic Sesame Street song, “one of these things is not like the other”.  Which is it in this example?  You guessed it!  The last person’s name in that eclectic list of top Canadian runners is mine, but I am by no means a top runner.  While I would love to be an elite athlete like the aforementioned and finish up at the front, the reality is that I don’t.  I am a middle-of-the-packer, and I am proud of it!

Olivier Dyason

I first began to run in elementary school in my hometown of Oakville, Ontario on the track and cross country teams.  I performed moderately well, so I continued my running efforts into my first year of high school.  It was then that I discovered football and basketball, and running ultimately took a back seat.  Flashing forward to my university graduation, I was finally free from the grips of academia and ready to pour my newfound knowledge into the workforce!  I moved to Toronto where I landed a great job, found myself a nice home next to Lake Ontario, and began my life as a working professional. Continue reading “Live from The Middle of the Pack with Olivier Dyason”