I am really excited for summer. Like really, really excited for summer. And most of all, or most surprising, I’m excited to run! This summer I’ve decided running will be for me. 2012 will forever be remembered as my summer of hell! Okay, I’m being very dramatic here, but fundraising is not easy, and Cecilley and I did nothing but train and fundraise. Not that that was a bad thing, I did spend pretty much my whole summer with Cecilley! And met some great people along the way. Then we celebrated our hard work in California. Okay, so 2012 was not the summer of hell at all.
My goal this year is to work hard, get faster, run farther. I want to become an all round better runner. I think it’s time. The Blue Nose and Around the Bay taught me that the human body is physically capable of doing many things under pressure or stress (and with little training, I may add). Not that I want to promote this fact! If you’re running longer distances do yourself a favour and prepare. Join a clinic (like me!), hire a running coach, find a running group, or get together a group of friends to run with. It’s easier than you may think. Toronto is full of great organizations and people doing great things. Or just ask me! I’ll do the research for you!
With my new goal on the horizon of running faster and running properly, I signed up for a running workshop hosted at Moksha Yoga Danforth with Alice Toyonaga. This was an excellent place to start my summer of running. Alice (aka ChatterRunGirl) is a marathon runner, Moksha teacher, and a big inspiration and mentor of mine. Alice is so great!
Alice has been traveling from coast to coast hosting running and yoga workshops at Moksha studios all over Canada. See. This is why Alice is great! Lucky for me, and the Toronto community, Alice partnered with Dr. Kris Sheppard, a chiropractor at Absolute Endurance Training and Therapy and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, to host a yoga & biomechanics for runners. My love for Alice and my goal of running a marathon compelled me to go. Obviously.
We met at the studio strapped on our sneakers and away we went for a light 2k run to get us started. During the run Kris and Alice broke down the components of the workshop and addressed the importance of proper active recovery, which yoga can do for all athletes!
Back at the studio Kris took us through a series of exercises — lunges, squats, high knee running — to demonstrate proper running technique. Just from observation Kris can tell the type of pain you may experience, he can tell your range of motion, where you carry your weight when you run, as well as knows your foot strike. Apparently I’m a quad dominate runner with weak ankles. Kris has worked with many different clients from sprinters to long distant runners, to the everyday runner, like most of us attending the workshop. Kris, we may have to talk. But watching myself run, I can think of anything worse…
Afterward was Alice’s turn. She lead a beautiful sequence focusing on strengthening our quads and our butt muscles — something we runners really need — then we stretched everything out. Our hips, our hip flexors, this was a treat. Also in attendance was Vanessa Montenegro from Flipswitch Studio who happened to be assisting during Alice’s class. And for the first time in my life she got me to engage my glutes! I actually felt the sensation of firing up my butt. Ha! Thanks, Vanessa! After all this time you think I would have learned.
What a perfect day. The weather was incredible, but better yet the information I took in, along with the great company, made this workshop one of a kind. Thank you Alice, Kris, and Vanessa! And thanks to you too, Brent and Michelle from Moksha Yoga Danforth. I telling everyone right now to attend the next one. Keep your eye on Alice she is going great things.