Runner Interview – Edith Price

Edith Price levitates over the finish line of the 2016 Cedar 12K in first place in her age division (photo by West Coast Endurance)

Edith Price levitates over the finish line of the 2016 Cedar 12K in first place in her age division (photo by West Coast Endurance)

Being active is in my opinion the key to longevity and good health.

A New Brunswicker has taken the Vancouver Island Race Series by storm. Edith Price recently moved to Victoria to be closer to her daughter and to enjoy the warmer winters. She ran 6 of the 7 races in the 2016 Race Series and placed first in each race in her age division of 65-69, with a new course record in the Bazan Bay 5K.

As any keen runner would, Edith found a common connection with a local running club. It wasn’t long after moving to Victoria that she became a member of the Victoria Prairie Inn Harriers, who must be thrilled to have such a speedster on board – especially in the racing department. In addition, she wrote that the social aspect of running very much appeals to her and that the runners she met from Victoria and Salt Spring Island made her feel immediately welcome and part of the community.

Edith is a pretty dedicated runner, trying to go for a run at least 4 times per week. As we were doing the back and forth on this interview, there was one day that she was stuck in Halifax in the middle of a snow/ice storm, so there was no running that day. I sensed frustration. I expect she will not experience the same situation in future west coast winters.

We share a common love of the balance between yoga and running; or as Edith puts it, “Yoga… is the perfect antidote for running, it stretches and flexes muscles and complements the competitive mindset of racing”. I could not have said it better. In her efforts to try to stay injury free, which becomes all so critical as we get up there in age, she also bikes, golfs, walks, and respects rest days, between runs.

Keep on reading to find out more about this east coast transplant.

What is your running history?
I grew up in a small rural community in New Brunswick, it was a time when organized sport was rare however, in my 8th grade an enlightened principal had a track prepared and began a competitive process that involved other school districts. My first love however, was racquet sports such as badminton, squash and tennis. Running came back to me after my daughter was born (she’s 28) and it was a convenient way of staying fit, I could just open the door and run. Serious running began when I moved to Fredericton and met a group of women who were keen to train and compete in road races in the Maritimes. A friend convinced me to train for a marathon in Dublin in 2000. I loved the experience but found that marathon training was all consuming so I opted for the more manageable but no less challenging half marathon and have run several in the New England States and throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Running is multifaceted for me; it is not just about fitness, it has social and psychological components.

Why do you run?
I ran initially as it was a convenient and easy way to stay fit given that I worked full time and had a family. Going to classes or arranging court time for racquet sports became cumbersome. But as every runner knows the miles start to build up and I became addicted to pushing yourself just a bit further and a little bit harder. Running is multifaceted for me; it is not just about fitness, it has social and psychological components. When I feel stressed or overwhelmed by some impending decision I find a run will often bring clarity to my thinking. When I talk to people who want to start running I always recommend that they invest in good footwear to avoid any discomfort or injuries also I suggest that they start out slowly and do not worry about what someone else is doing. The important thing is to have fun and keep those legs moving forward.


What was your last best/favorite race?

I moved to Victoria in December 2015 and immediately registered for the first race in the Vancouver Island Series, winning in my age category motivated me to register for more. My last best race was the 5K at Bazan Bay, I broke a course record in my age group although, running a 5K is not my favourite distance, it is so intense and one has to give one’s all from the very start. I am not a particularly good strategist when I race and need more work on pacing and having an overall plan before the gun goes off.

I try to get out for a run at least 4 times per week.

What is your next race?
I just registered for the Oak Bay Half Marathon. When I came to Victoria my real estate agent suggested that I join the Prairie Inn Harriers Thursday Morning Gang. They convinced me to join them for Monday morning track work which was a first for me and something that I believe has made a difference to my outcomes. My plan for Oak Bay is to get some good distance runs in and work some hills and stay with the speed work on the track. I have been travelling from coast to coast finalizing my move so the plan has been compromised but I try to get out for a run at least 4 times per week.

What type of training do you do?
On average I try to get 25-30 miles (about 40-50K) in a week but as I said that has been compromised with travelling. I don’t feel that I need to do more. At my age it is best to let the joints and knees have some time to recoup and rest. I try for some track work or interval running; one long run and one race pace short run per week but I wouldn’t say that I am totally disciplined. I do what I can and hope to stay healthy, fit and uninjured. Most summers I try to get out and golf a few rounds per week. Yoga for me is the perfect antidote for running, it stretches and flexes muscles and complements the competitive mindset of racing.

What kind of food philosophy do you follow?
I do not have a particular food philosophy. I enjoy cooking and preparing meals from healthy, natural ingredients. I don’t like processed meats or overly salted and fatty foods so I think that I am just naturally drawn to fruit and vegetables. I do not restrict my diet apart from the preferences of my palate and love a glass of wine at the end of the day so I would say that I have a fairly relaxed approach to nutrition. Before a race, depending on the distance, I typically have a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana and a cup of coffee.

Do you have a running hero/ role model?
My running hero is a women I met running in NB, Eunice Phillips, she ran 31 marathons in 15 years, broke records in NB and represented the province internationally. She is a Hall of Famer but more than that she is a good friend who encouraged me as well as many others to run, to have fun and try their best. Injury took her off the marathon circuit but she still runs half marathons and wins. She has fought back from injuries and a cancer diagnosis and is still the most enthusiastic runner I know. She knows how to motivate and give support always with a smile and positive words. I would be happy if I could follow her example and pass on that love of running with its many social, emotional and physical benefits.

…it is important to have a variety of interests and it gives me something to think about on those long solo runs.

How do you relax, when you are not running?
When I am not running or golfing or going to yoga classes I like nothing more than spending time with a good book or taking pen in hand and getting my thoughts on paper. I have always written poetry and recently, began a course of study to try and improve that form of creative expression. I certainly feel that it is important to have a variety of interests and it gives me something to think about on those long solo runs.

I think that it is important to make what I call age related concessions.

Have you had any running setbacks?
Like every runner, especially those who have been running as long as I have, there have been a litany of injuries. Some minor setbacks; some more long term. Two years ago I developed a bone spur on my left heel and could not run for 8 months. I could go to Spin Classes but running and walking were limited to essential daily routines. It is so much more difficult to recover as you get older so I focus now on staying injury free by listening intensely to my body, slowing down when I have to and naturally, cross training on a bike or going to yoga classes. I think that it is important to make what I call age related concessions.

Do you have a coach?
I do not have a coach although, since I moved to Victoria I do meet up with a group on Monday morning and they have a volunteer coach who puts everyone through the paces. I find that there are good online training programs and with the support of friends who run I keep up a routine that involves the essential elements of training.

What is your career/job?
I am retired now so I have the time to run and train as I wish. I have not convinced any of my immediate family members to become runners; one prefers golfing and the other is a adamant sports climber and that is fine with me. Being active is in my opinion the key to longevity and good health.

Do you listen to music when you run?
I rarely listen to music when I run preferring the early morning sounds of a city awakening however, occasionally when I have a long run and I am alone I do enjoy a mixed tape my daughter made for me with tunes ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Vivaldi, it all makes for a welcome distraction when the body is balking at the endurance element of training.

Both my sister and I credit the ability to complete such challenges to our years of running and staying fit.

Do you have anything else to add that you were not asked?
Three years ago my sister and I walked the Coast to Coast Path in northern England, from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, through the Lake District and across the Yorkshire Moors; 192 miles in 12 days. Both my sister and I credit the ability to complete such challenges to our years of running and staying fit. This year we are headed to Ireland to celebrate her 70th birthday by walking the Wicklow Way from Dublin, just one of the benefits of staying fit as you age.

Welcome to the West Coast, Edith and specifically to Vancouver Island. I hope to meet you in person some day and to hopefully enjoy a nice leisurely run in one of our communities, soon. I can see that we have so much in common. In addition, you are an inspiration to other women runners who want to keep on running, well past their 50s and into their 60s. Keep on running! And keep on walking those fabulous trails with your equally impressive sister!

Posted in Cross training, Life lessons, Racing, Runner Interview, Running, Yoga Tagged with: , ,

Runner Interview – Yana Hempler

Yana Track Running (Photo by Ian Simpson)

Yana Track Running (Photo by Ian Simpson)

When you love and trust the process, progress will be inevitable.

I’ve run several races with Yana, but we’ve never formally met. Still, the Vancouver Island running community is small enough and if you run enough races, you soon get to know who’s who.  After seeing her in a few races, I not only became familiar with Yana’s running prowess on the road, but being a running nerd, gravitating to running blogs, websites, magazines, etc., and I eventually found Yana’s website.  Once I did, I read through it enthusiastically and submitted my email address so I could subscribe to future posts and receive her document Strength Training for Runners (still available… go get it!). Yana is generous with her knowledge and delights in sharing, motivating and inspiring with her blog and numerous magazine articles.

Yana is not only a fabulous runner, winning or most often placing in the top 5 of just about any race she enters (not always the case, which is nice to know, for those who aspire to be there), but she is also fitness model and has competed in the body builder arena as well. Only in her mid 20’s, she has accomplished so much, including becoming a certified personal trainer and a running coach; completing a bachelor of commerce degree with complimentary courses in health, wellness, and nutrition; running the Boston Marathon (after qualifying multiple times in both Vancouver and in Victoria); writing a book and often running to raise money for various charities.

Immigrating from Russia when she was 11, it was a tough journey, with language, culture, and fitness barriers, yet she has managed to excel in all these areas.  Did I mention that Yana was inspirational?  Oh, yeah, she is that!  Just read the testimonials from her many clients.  And you can see her confidence in the Shaw TV interview before she headed to Boston earlier this year.  Plus there was Yana’s generosity again during that interview providing lots of running and fitness tips for both the audience and to interviewer, James Green.  To find out more about Yana keep reading.

What is your running history?
Up until about the age of 11, I hated running. I would always end up getting very tired very quickly, not to mention getting side stitches every time I tried to run in gym class. I was pretty much the slowest kid in my gym class in Russia. When I came to Canada in grade 5, it was Track & Field day and I dreaded the fact that I had to participate. However, after trying it, I realized that I was actually not as bad as I thought.

Then, I didn’t run at all until Grade 7. The only reason I started running in Grade 7 was because I got cut from the volleyball and basketball team, so I figured that if I want to get “points” for extra-curricular activities, then I should join the running team. Needless to say, I wasn’t very good in grades 7 and 8, often finishing towards the back of the pack, but I began to enjoy it. For some unknown reason, I developed a passion for running in Grade 9 and made it to Zone Championships. Then, got really good in grades 10 and 11, winning the Zone Championship in the 1500m and 3000m in Northern Alberta, where I used to live. That’s when I got to represent my school at provincials and enjoyed the experience.

I got injured in Grade 12 (2008) and had to take a few years off running, which was a very sad experience for me. I felt like something was missing from my life even though I knew that one day I would be re-united with my love for running. I spent nearly 3 years taking personal training courses in order to learn what I needed to do in order to rehab myself so that I could run again. I started running again probably in 2011, but nothing too fast, as I ran 10k in 1:30. Then, in 2012, I ran the TC10k in 43:35 and that sparked my interest to run more seriously again, knowing that I successfully rehabilitated myself. I started to run again because I wanted to prove to myself that I’m able to bounce back, improve and come back stronger and faster than before my injury. The injury taught me a lot and most importantly, it made me better at my job, giving me a purpose in life.

I run because I genuinely love it.

Why do you run?
I run because I genuinely love it. It allows me to clear my head, come up with creative business ideas, stay fit and compete in a sport that I’m passionate about.
My biggest piece of advice to aspiring runners is to do it only to enjoy it, first and foremost. Not every race will be a personal best and you can’t keep on dwelling on it. Take your time to develop a solid aerobic bace, do your stretches and strength training exercises alongside your running, learn proper form and do your best. When you love and trust the process, progress will be inevitable.

What was your last best/favorite race?
My best race was the Comox Half Marathon in 2015. I felt great during the entire race and I genuinely had fun. Not once did I worry about my time and it just so happened that it was my best time (1:28:15) and I came in 3rd out of all the women. I would say that my favorite distance is the Half Marathon. It’s just perfect.
For a completely different reason, I also enjoyed the Boston Marathon in 2015. It gave me a big sense of accomplishment when I finished it. It’s one of those races that I’ve been wanting to do since I first saw it on TV when I was 15. It was a race that had to be experienced because it’s a memory that will stay with me for a lifetime.

My ultimate goal for next year is to get personal bests in the 10k and half marathon.

What is your next race?
My next big race is the Puerto Rico Half Marathon in March 2016. My plan is to enjoy the race and to shoot for a personal best. However, the number one thing would be to have fun. I hope to finish under 1:28, but we will see how I feel on race day and how I will respond to the heat. My ultimate goal for next year is to get personal bests in the 10k and half marathon.

I believe in a balanced, integrated running program.

What type of training do you do?
My training program includes a lot of variety. In addition to running between 60-85km a week, I do weight training, hill repeats, core stability training, and speed work. My cross training is usually done in the weightroom or on the elliptical. The majority of my runs are easy runs because I found that if I make my easy days as easy as possible and my hard days as hard as possible then I will be able to recover properly between the workouts, thus minimizing the risk of injury. I believe in a balanced, integrated running program.

Before a race, I definitely love my carbs.

What kind of food philosophy do you follow?
Moderation is the key. I don’t obsess over food or the contents and I occasionally allow myself to enjoy junk food or a drink. I encourage everyone to not view food as an enemy, but rather as something to be enjoyed. Before a race, I definitely love my carbs.

Do you have a running hero/ role model?
My running role model is Lanni Marchant. She is very dedicated and she made Canada proud. I’m the only runner in my family though.

…whenever I travel anywhere in the world, I try to plan the trip around a race in some wonderful place.

How do you relax, when you are not running?
When I’m not running, I’m usually reading about it or writing about it on my blog www.ybfat.co.  I also enjoy visiting the Float House, hanging out with friends, traveling to races abroad and going to the gym. I don’t go on holidays for the sake of going on holidays. In general, whenever I travel anywhere in the world, I try to plan the trip around a race in some wonderful place.

Have you had any running setbacks?
Yes, back in 2008, I was injured. I had plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, patellofemoral syndrome, hip pain and low back pain more or less all at once. Not only did it make running impossible, but it made the rest of working out difficult as well. I took 2 years off exercise and decided to take personal training courses so that I could learn what was wrong with me and how to fix it. I was in university at the time, so I didn’t have any money to see a physiotherapist or any other professional that would have been able to help me with my injuries. However, figuring it out myself allowed me to not only come back stronger and faster than before but also help other people avoid going through what I went through. As a result of my past experience and education, I’m able to prevent this from happening again because I learned how to train properly without overdoing it. Not only that, but I’ve also learned how to choose proper running shoes, proper running form, what my injury threshold is, how to create muscle balance around the joints and when to back off. All of the aforementioned decrease my likelihood of re-injuring myself.

What is your career/job?
I’m a self-employed personal trainer and running coach. I feel like I must make training a priority in order to inspire my clients. Often times, I will run with my clients to help encourage them. I truly feel blessed to have created myself a job that allows me to live out my passion.

***

At the next race that we are both run, I will be sure to seek out Yana for a face-to-face meet-up and to share running stories. Despite our age difference, we apparently have a lot in common as we both like to inspire and motivate people to get up and move.  So get your gear on…

Yana runs her business out of Studio 4 Athletics in Victoria, but you can contact and follow her on many of her social media sites:

Website: http://www.yanahempler.com/

Blog: http://www.ybfat.co/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YanaHemplerFitness/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/yhempler

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yhempler/

Posted in Cross training, Marathon, Runner Interview, Running

Review: LIKE THE WIND magazine

Like The Wind Magazine Covers

Like The Wind Magazine Covers

“It’s about why we run, not how we run”

I love this tag line on the cover of issue #6 of LIKE THE WIND magazine. This is so different from talk of paces, warm-up exercises or gear. A friend recently sent me a link to the magazine website with the  note: “Sounds like something made for you!!” JW, you know me so well! I’d never heard of it, but I was inspired enough after I scoured their website to order the latest two issues (#5 and #6), plus a free supplement from them.

The issues are amazing! First you notice that the paper is thick. Really substantially thick, on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (this link is to the UK branch, but there are other FSCs worldwide), i.e. from responsible sources. Given the thickness of the paper and the over all, non-magazine feel I would say that the issues are more like paperback books rather than flimsy magazine issues.  Meaning that they will sit on the bookshelf for a lot longer than most other running magazines.

The next thing you notice is the lack of advertising. But, wait there is some, inside the front cover, but they look just like the articles in the rest of the issue, i.e. with a great photo, sometimes with the addition of a story or just a phrase with the sponsor name. WOW so different from other running magazines that I read. Although, I confess, that I do read those other magazines for the ads too.

Now the content… stories, sometimes poems, one, two or three pages, with lots of white (or coloured) space around the text and always a photo or an illustration with each article. In fact, if it weren’t for the stories about running, it might be considered an art magazine.  The photos are always to my liking, it seems, but some of the drawings, not so much: what do they say… art is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve selected a few of the illustrations that I like from those 2 issues and included them in a little slide show*.

The stories are as diverse as tales about someone’s first race or someone’s 10th ultra; about trail, road and track running. There are stories about pain, sorrow, joy and delight in each issue. A wee bit of everything that a runner would want to read about.  I especially like the photo essays (more photos, less words, but always a narrative to go with the photos).

I think that most of the illustrators are runners too, which makes each issue so juicy – like you want to curl up with your cat or near the fire (I’m in winter mode) and dream about your next race, your next travel adventure or just live vicariously through others.  The magazine is published in the UK, but the stories and illustrations are from around the world.

*I apologize and ask for forgiveness in advance for not asking for permission to share these illustrations here. I deliberately did not photograph them for further reproduction. I just want to get the word out about this awesome magazine! The magazine launched in February 2014 and is published quarterly. Go to their website for more information on cost and subscriptions.

Posted in Books, Life lessons, Review, Running

On your feet

Comfy shoe options

Comfy shoe options


Do your feet hurt? If you are in a running training program, especially a half or a full marathon program, you are on your feet a lot! This can go on for months. And it can be hard on your legs, but especially hard on your feet. Your feet really do take a beating!

At the moment I have sore feet (see flip-flip photo above), but I have been trying hard to mitigate the situation. If you’ve been following me on Facebook (here or here) or Instagram, you will see that I was “running” for the Canadian Federal Election. I vowed to run everyday of the election period with the goal of encouraging people to become aware of the big issues and to ultimately vote on Election Day. I ran for all 79 days: from Aug 2 to Oct 19. And probably to no one’s surprise, I’ll keep running ’cause I love it.

Some days I ran over 20K (sometimes for 3 plus hours) but other “rest” days I just covered 1 or 2K. I did have some ulterior motives: I was training for the GoodLife Fitness 8K race in Victoria on Oct 11 and for the Cowichan Autumn Classic Half Marathon in Duncan on Oct 25, (with wine tasting from Zanata Vineyards – more on that in another post, I’m sure). Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention that I went on a 4 day hike of the Juan de Fuca Trail in September with my son, which was 6-8 hours each day, with a heavy backpack, up and down ravines and over and under logs and roots and rocks (it was awesome). All of which, to say the least, meant a lot of time on my feet!

As a result, I have blisters, one blue toe, some calluses, and general foot soreness. I have therefore found myself not walking around in barefeet, like I have been doing most of the summer. Fortunately, with the cooler weather I do not look quite so silly walking around in big fluffy slippers in the house or in nice spongy Sanuk flip-flops on the occasional warm day. I also bought myself some Sketcher shoes with memory foam in the bottom with a wide toe area… best runner friend, ever! On rainy days, my nice-soft-inner-sole Hunter boots are my friends. Now walking around when I’m not running is not so painful (see photo). But during the runs, I use some new much thicker socks or I double up on thinner socks.

Luckily, I have none of the most common foot problems: plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma (I actually did have this, but the following exercises completely cured it), achilles tendinitis (had this once, too), or metatarsalgia. If you suspect that you are affected by any of these painful conditions, I encourage you read about them, at the links provided, and check with a health professional if further help is required. Many of the problems listed above can be prevented or mitigated with some good foot stretching and strengthening exercises.

The number one way to prevent many of these conditions is proper running shoe fit. Get thee to a running store to buy a good pair of running shoes that really feel good on your feet, help with support, and are wide enough or narrow enough for you your tender tootsies. Do this before you start on a running program or at some point during a program if you start to feel feet or any leg discomfort creeping in. I definitely favour a nicely padded-foot shoe (Saucony Triumph), which works for me both on trails and on paved roads.

Here are some specific foot exercises to strengthen your feet and help prevent some of these painful conditions from even starting. Choose one or more to implement regularly – daily is good – and they will help keep your feet healthy and happy. In no particular order:

  • Toe Pick-ups: I found this great foot exercise at Runner’s World. It made me laugh just watching it, but it is so good for your feet. If you don’t have dice, use small rocks.
  • Toe Curls: Another one, also from Runner’s World: toe curls. Use one of those great little “Find Your Strong” towels from Saucony to do this, for both inspiration and exercise.
  • Cat and Cow yoga poses: When you are doing pronate yoga moves try to place your feet in a flexion position rather than with the top of your foot or your instep on the mat. These will really stretch the bottom of your foot.
  • Planks are not only good for your core, but doing planks (full, upright or from your knees) with your feet flexed also help your feet.
  • Walking your dog is not about walking Rover and so much more than down dog. This video shows you how to strengthening multiple body parts, specifically the toes.
  • Sitting back on your heels with your feet flexed and your toes tucked under is one very simple and fabulous foot stretch.
  • Juicy yoga poses for feet: There are also lots of additional yoga moves that specifically target feet, including these more advanced ones.
  • Whole leg strengthening (too many videos and websites to chose from here) – ankles, calves, shins, quads, hamstrings and glutes – this is kinetic strength, can help greatly in foot injury prevention and overall running improvement.
  • Walk around with barefeet or just with socks if you can (weather and terrain dependent) between runs or at least wear shoes with less support, e.g. flipflops, to help strengthen the midfoot.
  • During your run try to shorten your stride and increase your cadence. This will lessen the load on your feet with each foot strike.

Try some of all of the above foot strengthening exercises to help prevent foot injuries. Do them daily. Do them while you are watching TV. Do them with your kids or cats or dogs. Do them indoor or outdoors. So many options!

However, every once in awhile, perhaps following a big race, treat yourself to a pedicure or a foot massage. You so deserve it and so do your feet.

Posted in Cross training, Feet, Life lessons, Racing, Running, Yoga Tagged with: , , , , ,

Runner Interview – Maurice Tarrant

Maurice Tarrant on his way to 5k Canadian 85+ record at 2015 BC 55+ Games (photo by Claire Tarrant-Rowley)

Maurice Tarrant on his way to 5k Canadian 85+ record at 2015 BC 55+ Games (photo by Claire Tarrant-Rowley)

I have always been competitive with running and hope for a few more years, still looking for the finish line!

I first noticed Maurice during the Vancouver Island Race Series two years ago, when I first ran in it. He was one of three or four men who were always winning in their age category – 80 to 84. When these men were presented with their winning medals and ribbons, the entire gymnasium of runners rose to give them a standing ovation. This happened every time! Earlier this year Maurice moved up to an elite category all on his own: 85+. The standing ovations were still there, but they were even louder and yes, Maurice, blushed. And for some reason, a tear always welled up in my eye. Would I ever still be running at that age? I sure hope so and what a great role model to follow.

I soon learned from a fellow runner/racer that Maurice has been winning these races and setting course age-group records for years. What an athlete! Maurice and I connected through Craig Odermatt, both members of the Prairie Inn Harriers and both winners! We were soon friends on Facebook and I followed his comings and goings. I recently thought it was time to feature him in my Runner Interview series.

Maurice is a man of few words, but his continued endurance speaks for itself. [Update: I heard from his daughter, Claire, who supplied the above photo, that he broke the Canadian 5k record in the 85+ age group in the 2015 BC 55+ Games, today! She is also a runner and has trained with him the last couple of years as well as participated in a few of the same races. It appears that it runs in the family!]

What is your running history?
My first competitive race was at the age of 21 in 1951. As a child at the age of 10, I would run home from school every day to deliver newspapers! From the age of 30 to 55, I was involved with different sports.

Why do you run?
I have always been competitive with running and hope for a few more years, still looking for the finish line! Running to me is a lifestyle, enjoying all that life can offer and making friends with others of similar minds and goals.

What was your last best/favorite race?
My last race was the Times Colonist 10k in April this year. I enjoyed the excitement of the runners, especially first time competitors. Unfortunately I had broken 3 ribs in February and was not at my best for the run. My favourite distance now is the 8k. As I have aged I find the shorter distances easier to handle.

What is your next race?
Later this month I plan to compete in the Plus55 (Senior) games at Swanguard stadium. The 5000m, 800m and 1500m.

I hit the track once a week and put in a couple of road or trail runs each week.

What type of training do you do?
I hit the track once a week and put in a couple of road or trail runs each week. On the track I concentrate on even pace laps with the next road race in mind. Due to a hamstring injury my program has been set back a couple of months. My favourite trail is the Lochside Trail in Saanich from Matticks out into the country side and back. I prefer to run in the mornings, it sets me up nice for my post-lunch time nap.

What kind of food philosophy do you follow?
I do not eat meat but am not a complete vegetarian. I also enjoy a glass of wine every day of the week at 4:00 p.m.! Mornings prior to training or racing I eat a slice of toast with honey on, and in the winter a bowl of porridge oats.

Do you have a running hero/ role model?
I have been a member of the Prairie Inn Harriers since 1985. Bob Reid has always been my mentor especially for trail running. I have drawn advice from Bruce Deacon, Arthur Taylor when he was alive, and other members of the club including Mike Creery who led us in many track sessions.
PIH welcomes runners of all abilities with group sessions most of the days of the week.

How do you relax, when you are not running?
I like to read a good mystery, I am a jack of all trades with my tool box, but with cooking, I’m quite limited.

Have you had any running setbacks?
Yes, several physical setbacks after the age of 80. A new heart valve, for example, in 2012. Broken ribs this year, now the hamstring… that was preventable.

Do you listen to music when you run?
No never, I prefer to listen to the sounds of nature in the countryside.

Posted in Life lessons, Racing, Runner Interview, Running