tag:quandyfactory.com,2018-12-2:/2018122 2018-12-2T12:00:00Z Quandy Factory Newsfeed - All Quandy Factory is the personal website of Ryan McGreal in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.. http://quandyfactory.com/blog/206/ask_attorney_general_to_defend_rule_of_law 2018-10-13T12:00:00Z Ask Attorney General to Defend Rule of Law <p>Please consider <a href="mailto:caroline.mulroney@pc.ola.org">sending a letter to Caroline Mulroney</a>, Attorney General of Ontario, calling on her to defend the rule of law against the abuse of the premier. </p> <p>Here's the letter I just sent:</p> <hr /> <p>The Honourable Caroline Mulroney <br /> Attorney General <br /> Ministry of the Attorney General 720 Bay Street, 11th Floor <br /> Toronto, Ontario <br /> M7A 2S9</p> <p>Dear Minister:</p> <p>It is wholly inappropriate for Ontario Premier Doug Ford to invoke Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in order to ram through an unconstitutional ward redistricting in the midst of an ongoing municipal election campaign. </p> <p>Section 33 has never been invoked in Ontario's history, and this is an extraordinarily trifling and superficial pretext to wield the most severe and controversial tool our constitution allows. The fact that Premier Ford threatens to invoke S. 33 every time a judge overturns a piece of legislation that is found to be unconstitutional should alarm every Ontarian, and especially principled Progressive Conservatives.</p> <p>In addition, I urge you, as the Attorney General of Ontario, to defend vigorously the rule of law against political undermining. Premier Ford did your office a great insult and disservice when he falsely and slanderously accused the distinguished Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba of putting partisanship ahead of his sworn duty to uphold the rights of Ontarians. </p> <p>You have a unique opportunity to do the right thing and defend the rule of law against this abuse. Please take the opportunity to distinguish yourself among the enablers of a Premier openly states his belief that his power should not be constrained by the fundamental legal rights of all Ontarians.</p> <p>Yours Very Truly,</p> <p>Ryan McGreal</p> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/202/jordan_peterson_conspiracy_theory_generator 2018-06-15T12:00:00Z Jordan Peterson Conspiracy Theory Generator <p>Jordan Peterson is tedious. Like, really insufferably tedious. And yet his followers still somehow manage to make him seem reasonable by comparison. But stuff like this helps. Enjoy!</p> <script type="text/javascript"> var villains = [ 'Postmodern Neomarxists', 'Feminists (who secretly crave domination)', 'Leftist academics', 'Dangerous ideologues', 'Derrida and Foucault', 'Indoctrinated students', 'Social justice types', 'Radical trans activists', 'Politically correct PR departmnets', 'Actual Communists', 'The left', 'Millennials with a victimhood mentality' ]; var verb_phrases = [ 'are totally corrupting', 'have zero respect for', 'want to annihilate', 'assault the archetype of', 'don\'t bloody believe in', 'will quickly infect', 'unleash the Chaos Dragon of', 'dismiss and transgress', 'must be stopped from attacking', 'will make Gulags out of', 'feminize and weaken' ]; var favourite_things = [ 'the dominance hierarchy', 'the metaphorical substrate', 'Western values', 'the classical humanities', 'the individual', 'the Hero\'s journey', 'the fabric of Being', 'Solzhenitsyn\'s genius', 'Carl Jung\'s legacy', 'IQ testing\'s ability to determine achievement', 'the divine Logos', 'the inescapable tragedy and suffering of life', 'the humble lobster\'s quest' ]; var evil_weapons = [ 'murderous equity doctrine', 'dangerous egalitarian utopia', 'hatred of Objective Truth', 'compelled speech', 'group identity', 'Maoist pronouns', 'propaganda from "Frozen"', 'radical collectivism', 'lens of power for everything', 'disdain for Being', 'ideological bill C-16', 'low serotonin levels and poor posture', 'totalitarian ideology which I\'ve been studying for decades' ]; var ominous_conclusions = [ 'and we can\'t even have a conversation about it!', 'so just ask the Kulaks how that worked out.', 'and no one is talking about it!', 'as you can bloody well imagine!', 'just like Nietzsche prophesized.', 'so you should sign up for the Self Authoring site.', '[while still ignoring original question] so let me ask you this...', 'and you can be damn sure about that!' ]; function generate_sentence() { var sentence = villains[Math.floor(Math.random() * villains.length)] + ' ' + verb_phrases[Math.floor(Math.random() * verb_phrases.length)] + ' ' + favourite_things[Math.floor(Math.random() * favourite_things.length)] + ' ' + 'because of their ' + evil_weapons[Math.floor(Math.random() * evil_weapons.length)] + ', ' + ominous_conclusions[Math.floor(Math.random() * ominous_conclusions.length)]; document.getElementById('petersentence').innerText = sentence; return false; } </script> <p>Based on <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/enoughpetersonspam/comments/8k3ld9/jordan_peterson_conspiracy_theory_starterpack/">this starterpack</a>.</p> <div style="text-align: center; margin: 1em;"><button type="button" id="generate" onclick="generate_sentence()" style="padding: .8em 1em; colour: darkgreen; background: #BCFEB4; font-size: 140%; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;">Generate Conspiracy!</button></p> <div id="petersentence" style="font-family: garamond, times new roman, serif; font-size: 240%; line-height: 140%; border: 2px solid #900C3F; padding: 1em; margin: 1em; color: #900C3F; background: #F6FFC1; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;"></div> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/201/unofficial_ontario_2018_election_riding-by-riding_summary_table 2018-06-08T12:00:00Z Unofficial Ontario 2018 Election Riding-By-Riding Summary Table <table> <caption>Riding-by-Riding Summary</caption> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>Liberal</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</tdh> <th>Other</th> <th>1st</th> <th>2nd</th> <th>Margin</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Ajax</td> <td>25.80%</td> <td>39.05%</td> <td>30.97%</td> <td>2.51%</td> <td>1.68%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>8.08%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Algoma-Manitoulin</td> <td>8.27%</td> <td>24.58%</td> <td>58.25%</td> <td>3.60%</td> <td>5.29%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>33.67%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill</td> <td>21.60%</td> <td>56.03%</td> <td>18.04%</td> <td>2.66%</td> <td>1.68%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>34.44%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Barrie-Innisfil</td> <td>12.52%</td> <td>49.99%</td> <td>28.59%</td> <td>7.19%</td> <td>1.71%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>21.41%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte</td> <td>13.59%</td> <td>44.75%</td> <td>28.21%</td> <td>11.72%</td> <td>1.73%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>16.53%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bay of Quinte</td> <td>14.88%</td> <td>48.05%</td> <td>31.83%</td> <td>3.43%</td> <td>1.82%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>16.22%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Beaches-East York</td> <td>27.01%</td> <td>18.44%</td> <td>48.21%</td> <td>4.26%</td> <td>2.08%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>21.20%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton Centre</td> <td>17.34%</td> <td>38.11%</td> <td>38.37%</td> <td>3.13%</td> <td>3.05%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>0.26%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton East</td> <td>16.62%</td> <td>33.61%</td> <td>46.85%</td> <td>1.33%</td> <td>1.59%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>13.24%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton North</td> <td>21.22%</td> <td>36.29%</td> <td>37.55%</td> <td>3.45%</td> <td>1.49%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>1.25%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton South</td> <td>18.89%</td> <td>41.01%</td> <td>33.85%</td> <td>3.86%</td> <td>2.39%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>7.16%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton West</td> <td>18.47%</td> <td>39.39%</td> <td>38.09%</td> <td>2.63%</td> <td>1.41%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>1.29%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brantford-Brant</td> <td>9.49%</td> <td>42.02%</td> <td>40.93%</td> <td>4.72%</td> <td>2.84%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>1.08%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound</td> <td>12.30%</td> <td>54.67%</td> <td>24.06%</td> <td>5.95%</td> <td>3.02%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>30.60%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Burlington</td> <td>24.60%</td> <td>40.44%</td> <td>28.64%</td> <td>4.48%</td> <td>1.83%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>11.80%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cambridge</td> <td>23.25%</td> <td>36.97%</td> <td>32.49%</td> <td>6.27%</td> <td>1.02%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>4.48%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Carleton</td> <td>19.44%</td> <td>51.33%</td> <td>22.50%</td> <td>3.95%</td> <td>2.78%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>28.83%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chatham-Kent-Leamington</td> <td>8.06%</td> <td>51.92%</td> <td>35.72%</td> <td>3.53%</td> <td>0.77%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>16.20%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Davenport</td> <td>18.67%</td> <td>16.09%</td> <td>60.26%</td> <td>3.55%</td> <td>1.43%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>41.59%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Don Valley East</td> <td>35.94%</td> <td>33.10%</td> <td>27.42%</td> <td>2.53%</td> <td>1.01%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>PC</td> <td>2.84%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Don Valley North</td> <td>30.93%</td> <td>44.44%</td> <td>20.91%</td> <td>2.52%</td> <td>1.20%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>13.50%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Don Valley West</td> <td>38.89%</td> <td>38.49%</td> <td>18.83%</td> <td>2.77%</td> <td>1.02%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>PC</td> <td>0.40%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Dufferin-Caledon</td> <td>12.46%</td> <td>53.08%</td> <td>20.34%</td> <td>12.53%</td> <td>1.60%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>32.74%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Durham</td> <td>16.84%</td> <td>46.99%</td> <td>31.66%</td> <td>3.88%</td> <td>0.63%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>15.33%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Eglinton-Lawrence</td> <td>38.67%</td> <td>40.15%</td> <td>18.12%</td> <td>2.43%</td> <td>0.63%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>1.49%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Elgin-Middlesex-London</td> <td>7.30%</td> <td>55.40%</td> <td>32.04%</td> <td>3.88%</td> <td>1.38%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>23.36%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Essex</td> <td>5.69%</td> <td>42.34%</td> <td>48.53%</td> <td>3.45%</td> <td>0.00%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>6.19%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Etobicoke Centre</td> <td>34.42%</td> <td>42.67%</td> <td>18.01%</td> <td>2.32%</td> <td>2.57%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>8.25%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Etobicoke North</td> <td>18.20%</td> <td>52.54%</td> <td>25.39%</td> <td>2.73%</td> <td>1.14%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>27.14%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Etobicoke-Lakeshore</td> <td>24.28%</td> <td>38.37%</td> <td>32.84%</td> <td>3.63%</td> <td>0.87%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>5.53%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Flamborough-Glanbrook</td> <td>15.44%</td> <td>43.53%</td> <td>34.17%</td> <td>4.47%</td> <td>2.38%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>9.35%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Glengarry-Prescott-Russell</td> <td>31.68%</td> <td>40.96%</td> <td>21.78%</td> <td>2.93%</td> <td>2.66%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>9.28%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Guelph</td> <td>10.12%</td> <td>21.81%</td> <td>21.57%</td> <td>45.04%</td> <td>1.46%</td> <td>Green</td> <td>PC</td> <td>23.23%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Haldimand-Norfolk</td> <td>9.20%</td> <td>57.10%</td> <td>26.90%</td> <td>4.14%</td> <td>2.66%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>30.20%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock</td> <td>9.90%</td> <td>56.73%</td> <td>26.46%</td> <td>4.50%</td> <td>2.42%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>30.27%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton Centre</td> <td>10.88%</td> <td>15.67%</td> <td>65.25%</td> <td>5.75%</td> <td>2.46%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>49.59%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton East-Stoney Creek</td> <td>12.10%</td> <td>28.74%</td> <td>51.23%</td> <td>4.26%</td> <td>3.67%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>22.48%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton Mountain</td> <td>9.24%</td> <td>28.83%</td> <td>54.58%</td> <td>5.14%</td> <td>2.20%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>25.75%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas</td> <td>19.79%</td> <td>31.03%</td> <td>43.18%</td> <td>4.16%</td> <td>1.84%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>12.15%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hastings-Lennox and Addington</td> <td>11.49%</td> <td>50.30%</td> <td>32.12%</td> <td>4.24%</td> <td>1.84%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>18.17%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Humber River-Black Creek</td> <td>27.93%</td> <td>30.28%</td> <td>37.41%</td> <td>1.57%</td> <td>2.81%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>7.13%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Huron-Bruce</td> <td>13.93%</td> <td>52.36%</td> <td>29.03%</td> <td>3.42%</td> <td>1.27%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>23.33%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kanata-Carleton</td> <td>17.19%</td> <td>43.57%</td> <td>28.61%</td> <td>5.33%</td> <td>5.30%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>14.96%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kenora-Rainy River</td> <td>10.57%</td> <td>48.38%</td> <td>37.45%</td> <td>3.60%</td> <td>0.00%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>10.93%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kiiwetinoong</td> <td>15.21%</td> <td>26.99%</td> <td>50.11%</td> <td>6.28%</td> <td>1.41%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>23.12%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>King-Vaughan</td> <td>23.34%</td> <td>56.62%</td> <td>15.39%</td> <td>3.41%</td> <td>1.24%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>33.28%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kingston and the Islands</td> <td>27.48%</td> <td>25.95%</td> <td>39.28%</td> <td>6.48%</td> <td>0.82%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>11.80%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kitchener Centre</td> <td>20.10%</td> <td>27.65%</td> <td>43.39%</td> <td>6.84%</td> <td>2.02%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>15.74%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kitchener South-Hespeler</td> <td>14.91%</td> <td>38.86%</td> <td>37.05%</td> <td>7.53%</td> <td>1.64%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>1.81%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kitchener-Conestoga</td> <td>14.06%</td> <td>39.63%</td> <td>38.03%</td> <td>6.51%</td> <td>1.78%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>1.60%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Lambton-Kent-Middlesex</td> <td>6.23%</td> <td>55.34%</td> <td>33.33%</td> <td>3.29%</td> <td>1.81%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>22.01%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston</td> <td>10.64%</td> <td>52.02%</td> <td>30.48%</td> <td>4.79%</td> <td>2.07%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>21.54%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes</td> <td>13.37%</td> <td>61.29%</td> <td>19.76%</td> <td>4.80%</td> <td>0.79%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>41.53%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>London North Centre</td> <td>15.71%</td> <td>30.86%</td> <td>47.60%</td> <td>4.61%</td> <td>1.22%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>16.74%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>London West</td> <td>9.91%</td> <td>29.04%</td> <td>55.33%</td> <td>3.75%</td> <td>1.97%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>26.29%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>London-Fanshawe</td> <td>8.37%</td> <td>29.78%</td> <td>55.68%</td> <td>4.52%</td> <td>1.66%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>25.89%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Markham-Stouffville</td> <td>26.01%</td> <td>48.12%</td> <td>20.42%</td> <td>4.00%</td> <td>1.44%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>22.11%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Markham-Thornhill</td> <td>24.40%</td> <td>50.45%</td> <td>21.33%</td> <td>2.29%</td> <td>1.53%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>26.05%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Markham-Unionville</td> <td>18.01%</td> <td>62.44%</td> <td>16.57%</td> <td>2.12%</td> <td>0.86%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>44.42%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Milton</td> <td>29.82%</td> <td>41.65%</td> <td>22.23%</td> <td>5.04%</td> <td>1.26%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>11.82%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga Centre</td> <td>25.40%</td> <td>40.86%</td> <td>27.56%</td> <td>2.63%</td> <td>3.55%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>13.30%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga East-Cooksville</td> <td>30.23%</td> <td>41.15%</td> <td>22.74%</td> <td>3.45%</td> <td>2.42%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>10.93%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Erin Mills</td> <td>25.30%</td> <td>41.70%</td> <td>27.59%</td> <td>2.74%</td> <td>2.67%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>14.11%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Lakeshore</td> <td>35.01%</td> <td>42.31%</td> <td>18.34%</td> <td>2.95%</td> <td>1.39%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>7.30%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Malton</td> <td>20.78%</td> <td>39.14%</td> <td>32.85%</td> <td>1.79%</td> <td>5.43%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>6.28%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Streetsville</td> <td>25.74%</td> <td>43.53%</td> <td>25.84%</td> <td>2.81%</td> <td>2.08%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>17.69%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mushkegowuk-James Bay</td> <td>14.14%</td> <td>30.16%</td> <td>51.76%</td> <td>1.78%</td> <td>2.16%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>21.61%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nepean</td> <td>19.62%</td> <td>45.20%</td> <td>28.55%</td> <td>5.06%</td> <td>1.56%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>16.65%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Newmarket-Aurora</td> <td>23.00%</td> <td>47.34%</td> <td>23.88%</td> <td>3.63%</td> <td>2.14%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>23.46%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Niagara Centre</td> <td>11.79%</td> <td>37.53%</td> <td>44.25%</td> <td>3.69%</td> <td>2.74%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>6.72%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Niagara Falls</td> <td>9.35%</td> <td>35.58%</td> <td>50.79%</td> <td>3.46%</td> <td>0.81%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>15.22%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Niagara West</td> <td>10.68%</td> <td>52.74%</td> <td>29.75%</td> <td>5.58%</td> <td>1.25%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>22.98%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nickel Belt</td> <td>8.73%</td> <td>21.99%</td> <td>63.50%</td> <td>3.12%</td> <td>2.67%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>41.51%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nipissing</td> <td>7.93%</td> <td>49.93%</td> <td>36.87%</td> <td>2.83%</td> <td>2.44%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>13.06%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Northumberland-Peterborough South</td> <td>24.17%</td> <td>45.33%</td> <td>24.50%</td> <td>4.52%</td> <td>1.47%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>20.83%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oakville</td> <td>35.76%</td> <td>43.72%</td> <td>16.49%</td> <td>3.51%</td> <td>0.52%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>7.95%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oakville North-Burlington</td> <td>24.40%</td> <td>46.40%</td> <td>24.38%</td> <td>3.69%</td> <td>1.12%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>22.01%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Orleans</td> <td>39.05%</td> <td>35.20%</td> <td>21.94%</td> <td>2.51%</td> <td>1.30%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>PC</td> <td>3.85%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oshawa</td> <td>7.89%</td> <td>41.84%</td> <td>44.80%</td> <td>3.61%</td> <td>1.87%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>2.96%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa Centre</td> <td>32.77%</td> <td>16.05%</td> <td>46.07%</td> <td>3.52%</td> <td>1.59%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>13.30%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa South</td> <td>39.64%</td> <td>29.22%</td> <td>27.18%</td> <td>3.09%</td> <td>0.87%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>PC</td> <td>10.42%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa West-Nepean</td> <td>29.30%</td> <td>32.82%</td> <td>32.48%</td> <td>3.83%</td> <td>1.57%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>0.35%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa-Vanier</td> <td>42.86%</td> <td>21.38%</td> <td>29.68%</td> <td>4.07%</td> <td>2.01%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>13.19%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oxford</td> <td>6.92%</td> <td>55.74%</td> <td>30.43%</td> <td>4.30%</td> <td>2.62%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>25.30%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Parkdale-High Park</td> <td>16.98%</td> <td>18.01%</td> <td>59.42%</td> <td>4.66%</td> <td>0.93%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>41.41%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Parry Sound-Muskoka</td> <td>8.63%</td> <td>48.06%</td> <td>22.04%</td> <td>20.02%</td> <td>1.24%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>26.02%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Perth-Wellington</td> <td>10.81%</td> <td>50.67%</td> <td>30.71%</td> <td>5.86%</td> <td>1.95%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>19.96%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Peterborough-Kawartha</td> <td>24.57%</td> <td>37.50%</td> <td>33.92%</td> <td>3.36%</td> <td>0.65%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>3.59%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Pickering-Uxbridge</td> <td>20.40%</td> <td>42.20%</td> <td>32.01%</td> <td>3.96%</td> <td>1.43%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>10.19%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke</td> <td>9.75%</td> <td>69.19%</td> <td>16.73%</td> <td>2.98%</td> <td>1.34%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>52.46%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Richmond Hill</td> <td>27.92%</td> <td>51.24%</td> <td>17.27%</td> <td>2.88%</td> <td>0.69%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>23.32%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sarnia-Lambton</td> <td>4.38%</td> <td>52.76%</td> <td>37.40%</td> <td>3.65%</td> <td>1.81%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>15.36%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sault Ste. Marie</td> <td>9.96%</td> <td>42.03%</td> <td>40.74%</td> <td>3.25%</td> <td>4.02%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>1.29%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough Centre</td> <td>22.21%</td> <td>38.42%</td> <td>33.33%</td> <td>2.31%</td> <td>3.73%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>5.09%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough North</td> <td>22.44%</td> <td>50.17%</td> <td>24.83%</td> <td>1.62%</td> <td>0.95%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>25.34%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough Southwest</td> <td>18.93%</td> <td>31.32%</td> <td>45.51%</td> <td>2.64%</td> <td>1.60%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>14.19%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough-Agincourt</td> <td>28.32%</td> <td>50.37%</td> <td>17.44%</td> <td>1.72%</td> <td>2.14%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>22.05%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough-Guildwood</td> <td>33.35%</td> <td>33.12%</td> <td>27.62%</td> <td>2.44%</td> <td>3.46%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>PC</td> <td>0.23%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough-Rouge Park</td> <td>20.91%</td> <td>38.61%</td> <td>36.32%</td> <td>2.41%</td> <td>1.74%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>2.29%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Simcoe North</td> <td>17.73%</td> <td>46.95%</td> <td>28.09%</td> <td>6.65%</td> <td>0.58%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>18.86%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Simcoe-Grey</td> <td>14.39%</td> <td>55.93%</td> <td>22.06%</td> <td>6.88%</td> <td>0.74%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>33.88%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Spadina-Fort York</td> <td>23.69%</td> <td>21.71%</td> <td>49.67%</td> <td>3.66%</td> <td>1.28%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>25.98%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>St. Catharines</td> <td>24.53%</td> <td>33.60%</td> <td>36.61%</td> <td>3.72%</td> <td>1.53%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>3.02%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry</td> <td>12.37%</td> <td>61.51%</td> <td>21.63%</td> <td>3.67%</td> <td>0.83%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>39.88%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sudbury</td> <td>22.43%</td> <td>23.20%</td> <td>48.09%</td> <td>4.16%</td> <td>2.12%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>24.88%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Thornhill</td> <td>14.78%</td> <td>61.13%</td> <td>19.33%</td> <td>2.21%</td> <td>2.56%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>41.80%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Thunder Bay-Atikokan</td> <td>36.01%</td> <td>23.22%</td> <td>36.26%</td> <td>2.71%</td> <td>1.80%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>0.25%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Thunder Bay-Superior North</td> <td>39.86%</td> <td>17.96%</td> <td>37.14%</td> <td>2.79%</td> <td>2.25%</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>2.73%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Timiskaming-Cochrane</td> <td>8.95%</td> <td>22.45%</td> <td>61.24%</td> <td>2.63%</td> <td>4.72%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>38.79%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Timmins</td> <td>8.81%</td> <td>29.64%</td> <td>57.43%</td> <td>1.75%</td> <td>2.37%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>27.79%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Toronto Centre</td> <td>27.15%</td> <td>14.12%</td> <td>53.66%</td> <td>3.12%</td> <td>1.94%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>26.51%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Toronto-Danforth</td> <td>14.07%</td> <td>15.86%</td> <td>64.25%</td> <td>4.38%</td> <td>1.44%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>48.39%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Toronto-St. Paul's</td> <td>33.39%</td> <td>26.30%</td> <td>35.96%</td> <td>3.23%</td> <td>1.13%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>2.57%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>University-Rosedale</td> <td>22.06%</td> <td>21.11%</td> <td>49.66%</td> <td>5.37%</td> <td>1.81%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>27.60%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Vaughan-Woodbridge</td> <td>32.00%</td> <td>50.50%</td> <td>14.56%</td> <td>2.26%</td> <td>0.68%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>18.50%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Waterloo</td> <td>12.16%</td> <td>31.38%</td> <td>50.49%</td> <td>4.83%</td> <td>1.14%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>19.12%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Wellington-Halton Hills</td> <td>12.78%</td> <td>54.00%</td> <td>24.03%</td> <td>8.64%</td> <td>0.55%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>29.97%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Whitby</td> <td>12.99%</td> <td>46.29%</td> <td>35.96%</td> <td>3.42%</td> <td>1.34%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>10.33%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Willowdale</td> <td>26.65%</td> <td>43.69%</td> <td>25.68%</td> <td>2.30%</td> <td>1.69%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>Liberal</td> <td>17.04%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Windsor West</td> <td>14.80%</td> <td>28.44%</td> <td>52.07%</td> <td>3.58%</td> <td>1.12%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>23.63%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Windsor-Tecumseh</td> <td>8.14%</td> <td>27.04%</td> <td>58.41%</td> <td>4.42%</td> <td>2.00%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>31.37%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>York Centre</td> <td>21.39%</td> <td>50.15%</td> <td>23.44%</td> <td>2.29%</td> <td>2.73%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>26.70%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>York South-Weston</td> <td>27.83%</td> <td>32.95%</td> <td>36.08%</td> <td>2.53%</td> <td>0.62%</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>PC</td> <td>3.13%</td> </tr> <tr> <td>York-Simcoe</td> <td>13.59%</td> <td>57.26%</td> <td>23.42%</td> <td>4.82%</td> <td>0.91%</td> <td>PC</td> <td>NDP</td> <td>33.84%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/200/ontario_election_2018:_winnable_ridings_via_strategic_voting 2018-06-05T12:00:00Z Ontario Election 2018: Winnable Ridings via Strategic Voting <p>I downloaded the latest dataset from <a href="http://www.tooclosetocall.ca/">tooclosetocall.ca</a> and added some flags to the rows to indicate which ridings are winnable through strategic voting.</p> <p>How to read this table:</p> <p>Each row is an Ontario riding. The four columns after the riding name are the riding-level support for each party. The next column, "NDP Lead", indicates whether the NDP is leading (1) or not (0). The "PC Lead" column indicates whether the PC Party is leading. the "NDP 2nd" column indicates whether the NDP is in second place. </p> <p>The last column, "Winnable", indicates either that the NDP is leading or that the combined NDP + Liberal + Green support is higher than the PC support.</p> <p>If you are considering voting strategically, look up your riding. If the PC Lead is 1 and the Winnable column is 1, this is a riding where strategic voting makes sense. Check which party is in second place and consider casting your vote for that party's candidate as the best option to defeat the PC candidate.</p> <p>Examples:</p> <p><strong>Bay of Quinte</strong>: the PC candidate is in the lead with 44.8% support. The NDP candidate has 32.6% and the Liberal candidate has 17.2%. Liberal- and Green-leaning voters in this riding who want to defeat the PC candidate should consider voting NDP.</p> <p><strong>Don Valley West</strong>: the PC candidate is in the lead with 40.3% support. The Liberal candidate has 32.6% and the NDP candidate has 23.4%. NDP- and Green-leaning voters in this riding who want to defeat the PC candidate should consider voting Liberal.</p> <p><em>Last Updated June 6, 2018.</em></p> <table> <caption>Winnable Ridings</caption> <tr> <th></th> <th></th> <th></th> <th></th> <th></th> <th>50</th> <th>68</th> <th>53</th> <th>110</th> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Ajax</td> <td>30.3%</td> <td>36.3%</td> <td>30.2%</td> <td>3.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Algoma-Manitoulin</td> <td>10.3%</td> <td>23.0%</td> <td>63.5%</td> <td>3.3%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill</td> <td>26.0%</td> <td>45.7%</td> <td>24.6%</td> <td>3.7%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Barrie-Innisfil</td> <td>20.3%</td> <td>44.0%</td> <td>29.7%</td> <td>6.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte</td> <td>19.6%</td> <td>45.0%</td> <td>28.3%</td> <td>7.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bay of Quinte</td> <td>20.0%</td> <td>44.4%</td> <td>30.3%</td> <td>5.3%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Beaches-East York</td> <td>21.6%</td> <td>20.3%</td> <td>52.4%</td> <td>5.6%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton Centre</td> <td>20.4%</td> <td>32.2%</td> <td>41.3%</td> <td>6.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton East</td> <td>14.9%</td> <td>19.6%</td> <td>63.4%</td> <td>2.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton North</td> <td>21.6%</td> <td>31.1%</td> <td>43.7%</td> <td>3.6%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton South</td> <td>25.8%</td> <td>34.4%</td> <td>36.3%</td> <td>3.4%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brampton West</td> <td>26.7%</td> <td>30.2%</td> <td>40.5%</td> <td>2.6%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Brantford-Brant</td> <td>16.5%</td> <td>38.5%</td> <td>40.7%</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound</td> <td>9.8%</td> <td>52.6%</td> <td>28.7%</td> <td>8.8%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Burlington</td> <td>23.9%</td> <td>43.8%</td> <td>28.1%</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cambridge</td> <td>22.0%</td> <td>39.1%</td> <td>33.0%</td> <td>5.9%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Carleton</td> <td>16.0%</td> <td>54.3%</td> <td>23.8%</td> <td>5.9%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chatham-Kent-Leamington</td> <td>4.8%</td> <td>42.0%</td> <td>47.8%</td> <td>5.4%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Davenport</td> <td>25.7%</td> <td>14.2%</td> <td>54.8%</td> <td>5.3%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Don Valley East</td> <td>35.6%</td> <td>32.7%</td> <td>28.0%</td> <td>3.8%</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Don Valley North</td> <td>30.3%</td> <td>40.0%</td> <td>26.0%</td> <td>3.7%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Don Valley West</td> <td>33.3%</td> <td>40.4%</td> <td>22.7%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Dufferin-Caledon</td> <td>15.0%</td> <td>44.2%</td> <td>24.6%</td> <td>16.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Durham</td> <td>16.4%</td> <td>39.1%</td> <td>40.4%</td> <td>4.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Eglinton-Lawrence</td> <td>32.0%</td> <td>41.6%</td> <td>23.0%</td> <td>3.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Elgin-Middlesex-London</td> <td>1.0%</td> <td>52.5%</td> <td>41.4%</td> <td>5.1%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Essex</td> <td>0.0%</td> <td>25.5%</td> <td>71.0%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Etobicoke Centre</td> <td>28.6%</td> <td>41.0%</td> <td>27.4%</td> <td>3.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Etobicoke-Lakeshore</td> <td>26.9%</td> <td>41.4%</td> <td>27.4%</td> <td>4.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Etobicoke North</td> <td>22.7%</td> <td>39.8%</td> <td>35.1%</td> <td>2.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Flamborough-Glanbrook</td> <td>16.3%</td> <td>41.6%</td> <td>37.1%</td> <td>5.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Glengarry-Prescott-Russell</td> <td>32.3%</td> <td>37.9%</td> <td>26.2%</td> <td>3.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Guelph</td> <td>10.1%</td> <td>28.5%</td> <td>29.3%</td> <td>32.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Haldimand-Norfolk</td> <td>5.4%</td> <td>56.4%</td> <td>33.1%</td> <td>5.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock</td> <td>18.0%</td> <td>45.2%</td> <td>32.4%</td> <td>4.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton Centre</td> <td>4.5%</td> <td>16.8%</td> <td>69.2%</td> <td>9.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton East-Stoney Creek</td> <td>12.6%</td> <td>22.4%</td> <td>60.8%</td> <td>4.2%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton Mountain</td> <td>10.7%</td> <td>21.7%</td> <td>63.1%</td> <td>4.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas</td> <td>23.7%</td> <td>31.5%</td> <td>39.4%</td> <td>5.4%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Hastings-Lennox and Addington</td> <td>12.7%</td> <td>45.3%</td> <td>35.9%</td> <td>6.1%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Humber River-Black Creek</td> <td>23.0%</td> <td>19.7%</td> <td>55.5%</td> <td>1.8%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Huron-Bruce</td> <td>12.2%</td> <td>45.2%</td> <td>38.8%</td> <td>3.7%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kanata-Carleton</td> <td>21.0%</td> <td>46.7%</td> <td>25.2%</td> <td>7.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kenora-Rainy River</td> <td>8.6%</td> <td>38.6%</td> <td>49.7%</td> <td>3.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kiiwetinoong</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>17.3%</td> <td>74.5%</td> <td>3.8%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kingston and the Islands</td> <td>21.8%</td> <td>26.9%</td> <td>43.4%</td> <td>7.9%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>King-Vaughan</td> <td>30.2%</td> <td>40.5%</td> <td>26.1%</td> <td>3.3%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kitchener Centre</td> <td>23.3%</td> <td>32.0%</td> <td>38.1%</td> <td>6.7%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kitchener-Conestoga</td> <td>20.1%</td> <td>41.7%</td> <td>31.5%</td> <td>6.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Kitchener South-Hespeler</td> <td>20.1%</td> <td>38.8%</td> <td>34.5%</td> <td>6.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Lambton-Kent-Middlesex</td> <td>1.2%</td> <td>51.6%</td> <td>42.4%</td> <td>4.9%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston</td> <td>9.2%</td> <td>52.4%</td> <td>31.1%</td> <td>7.3%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Leeds-Grenville-1000 Islands & Rideau Lakes</td> <td>3.3%</td> <td>61.4%</td> <td>30.1%</td> <td>5.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>London-Fanshawe</td> <td>1.2%</td> <td>28.4%</td> <td>66.1%</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>London North Centre</td> <td>10.1%</td> <td>35.6%</td> <td>48.6%</td> <td>5.6%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>London West</td> <td>4.6%</td> <td>35.2%</td> <td>55.9%</td> <td>4.2%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Markham-Stouffville</td> <td>28.0%</td> <td>41.9%</td> <td>26.2%</td> <td>3.9%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Markham-Thornhill</td> <td>30.0%</td> <td>42.9%</td> <td>24.5%</td> <td>2.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Markham-Unionville</td> <td>21.1%</td> <td>49.5%</td> <td>25.3%</td> <td>4.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Milton</td> <td>23.7%</td> <td>44.5%</td> <td>28.1%</td> <td>3.8%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga Centre</td> <td>30.7%</td> <td>34.8%</td> <td>31.2%</td> <td>3.3%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga East-Cooksville</td> <td>29.6%</td> <td>36.5%</td> <td>29.9%</td> <td>4.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Erin Mills</td> <td>29.0%</td> <td>38.1%</td> <td>30.2%</td> <td>2.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Lakeshore</td> <td>29.3%</td> <td>41.7%</td> <td>25.6%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Malton</td> <td>29.9%</td> <td>32.5%</td> <td>34.4%</td> <td>3.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mississauga-Streetsville</td> <td>29.9%</td> <td>37.5%</td> <td>28.3%</td> <td>4.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mushkegowuk-James Bay</td> <td>16.0%</td> <td>13.1%</td> <td>69.5%</td> <td>1.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nepean</td> <td>23.4%</td> <td>45.5%</td> <td>25.4%</td> <td>5.7%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Newmarket-Aurora</td> <td>25.1%</td> <td>44.5%</td> <td>26.0%</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Niagara Centre</td> <td>2.9%</td> <td>30.7%</td> <td>62.1%</td> <td>4.2%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Niagara Falls</td> <td>0.0%</td> <td>36.2%</td> <td>60.3%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Niagara West</td> <td>7.7%</td> <td>52.8%</td> <td>33.4%</td> <td>6.1%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nickel Belt</td> <td>7.5%</td> <td>17.2%</td> <td>71.6%</td> <td>3.7%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nipissing</td> <td>9.7%</td> <td>47.8%</td> <td>38.4%</td> <td>4.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Northumberland-Peterborough South</td> <td>21.7%</td> <td>42.2%</td> <td>31.6%</td> <td>4.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oakville</td> <td>28.1%</td> <td>45.3%</td> <td>22.7%</td> <td>4.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oakville North-Burlington</td> <td>26.0%</td> <td>44.3%</td> <td>26.1%</td> <td>3.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Orleans</td> <td>34.5%</td> <td>38.7%</td> <td>22.8%</td> <td>4.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oshawa</td> <td>4.1%</td> <td>36.2%</td> <td>55.8%</td> <td>3.9%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa Centre</td> <td>34.3%</td> <td>22.8%</td> <td>34.2%</td> <td>8.7%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa South</td> <td>32.2%</td> <td>37.2%</td> <td>25.8%</td> <td>4.8%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa-Vanier</td> <td>38.2%</td> <td>27.3%</td> <td>28.7%</td> <td>5.8%</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ottawa West-Nepean</td> <td>28.1%</td> <td>38.1%</td> <td>27.1%</td> <td>6.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Oxford</td> <td>7.2%</td> <td>51.6%</td> <td>36.1%</td> <td>5.1%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Parkdale-High Park</td> <td>22.2%</td> <td>18.6%</td> <td>53.8%</td> <td>5.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Parry Sound-Muskoka</td> <td>9.0%</td> <td>45.6%</td> <td>26.0%</td> <td>19.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Perth-Wellington</td> <td>19.3%</td> <td>45.0%</td> <td>30.5%</td> <td>5.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Peterborough-Kawartha</td> <td>25.0%</td> <td>38.2%</td> <td>32.1%</td> <td>4.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Pickering-Uxbridge</td> <td>26.9%</td> <td>40.0%</td> <td>28.5%</td> <td>4.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke</td> <td>3.3%</td> <td>66.0%</td> <td>27.2%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Richmond Hill</td> <td>27.7%</td> <td>43.4%</td> <td>25.4%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sarnia-Lambton</td> <td>0.0%</td> <td>45.3%</td> <td>50.0%</td> <td>4.7%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sault Ste. Marie</td> <td>24.4%</td> <td>36.2%</td> <td>36.7%</td> <td>2.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough-Agincourt</td> <td>28.4%</td> <td>42.0%</td> <td>26.8%</td> <td>2.9%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough Centre</td> <td>29.0%</td> <td>30.4%</td> <td>37.1%</td> <td>3.4%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough-Guildwood</td> <td>29.2%</td> <td>35.7%</td> <td>32.0%</td> <td>3.1%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough North</td> <td>21.5%</td> <td>37.5%</td> <td>39.2%</td> <td>1.8%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough-Rouge Park</td> <td>27.4%</td> <td>31.9%</td> <td>38.2%</td> <td>2.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Scarborough Southwest</td> <td>28.9%</td> <td>28.4%</td> <td>38.2%</td> <td>4.4%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Simcoe-Grey</td> <td>13.0%</td> <td>51.9%</td> <td>27.1%</td> <td>8.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Simcoe North</td> <td>17.2%</td> <td>43.4%</td> <td>31.2%</td> <td>8.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Spadina-Fort York</td> <td>27.9%</td> <td>24.8%</td> <td>41.5%</td> <td>5.8%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>St. Catharines</td> <td>22.1%</td> <td>35.0%</td> <td>38.7%</td> <td>4.2%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>58.5%</td> <td>34.3%</td> <td>3.0%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sudbury</td> <td>24.1%</td> <td>25.1%</td> <td>46.9%</td> <td>3.8%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Thornhill</td> <td>25.5%</td> <td>50.3%</td> <td>21.7%</td> <td>2.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Thunder Bay-Atikokan</td> <td>34.5%</td> <td>21.0%</td> <td>40.5%</td> <td>4.0%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Thunder Bay-Superior North</td> <td>37.7%</td> <td>14.7%</td> <td>43.3%</td> <td>4.3%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Timiskaming-Cochrane</td> <td>9.0%</td> <td>22.9%</td> <td>66.0%</td> <td>2.0%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Timmins</td> <td>6.1%</td> <td>36.7%</td> <td>55.1%</td> <td>2.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Toronto Centre</td> <td>37.9%</td> <td>20.4%</td> <td>36.3%</td> <td>5.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Toronto-Danforth</td> <td>20.8%</td> <td>15.9%</td> <td>57.8%</td> <td>5.5%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Toronto-St. Paul's</td> <td>35.7%</td> <td>32.2%</td> <td>26.4%</td> <td>5.7%</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>University-Rosedale</td> <td>27.7%</td> <td>25.8%</td> <td>38.9%</td> <td>7.6%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Vaughan-Woodbridge</td> <td>35.5%</td> <td>35.9%</td> <td>26.1%</td> <td>2.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Waterloo</td> <td>15.5%</td> <td>32.2%</td> <td>47.2%</td> <td>5.1%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Wellington-Halton Hills</td> <td>15.1%</td> <td>51.7%</td> <td>25.6%</td> <td>7.6%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Whitby</td> <td>17.2%</td> <td>45.9%</td> <td>32.5%</td> <td>4.4%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Willowdale</td> <td>30.4%</td> <td>39.3%</td> <td>26.1%</td> <td>4.2%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Windsor-Tecumseh</td> <td>0.0%</td> <td>19.7%</td> <td>74.6%</td> <td>5.6%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Riding</th> <th>OLP</th> <th>PC</th> <th>NDP</th> <th>Green</th> <th>NDP Lead</th> <th>PC Lead</th> <th>NDP 2nd</th> <th>Winnable</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Windsor West</td> <td>19.4%</td> <td>20.0%</td> <td>57.3%</td> <td>3.4%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>York Centre</td> <td>23.9%</td> <td>40.0%</td> <td>32.6%</td> <td>3.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>York South-Weston</td> <td>27.3%</td> <td>18.1%</td> <td>52.0%</td> <td>2.7%</td> <td>1</td> <td>0</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> </tr> <tr> <td>York-Simcoe</td> <td>20.5%</td> <td>40.2%</td> <td>32.8%</td> <td>6.5%</td> <td>0</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> <td>1</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/185/a_fourth_year_of_running:_the_victory_lap_that_wasnt 2017-11-06T12:00:00Z A Fourth Year of Running: The Victory Lap that Wasn't <h3>Reaching a Milestone</h3> <blockquote> <p>Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. <br /> -- John Dewey</p> </blockquote> <p>Except when it's not.</p> <p>I began my fourth year of running feeling self-congratulatory (never a good sign). I had gone through <a href="/blog/170/a_third_year_of_running_plus_various_other_experiments">an entire year without any debilitating injuries</a>, and it felt like I finally understood my body well enough to train effectively within its operational tolerances. I was going from strength to strength and had embarked on an ambitious four-month training schedule to complete <a href="/blog/183/my_first_marathon_or_a_supposedly_fun_thing_i_wont_do_again_until_ive_had_time_to_forget_how_gruelling_it_was">my first full marathon</a>. I even managed to course-correct and ride out an incipient overtraining rut, but that turned out to be a warning sign of things to come.</p> <p>I've already written about <a href="/blog/183/my_first_marathon_or_a_supposedly_fun_thing_i_wont_do_again_until_ive_had_time_to_forget_how_gruelling_it_was">running my first marathon</a> and won't rehash the entire experience here, but I've been struggling to make sense of its aftermath in the year since then.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_red_hill_valley_parkway.jpg" alt="Running down the Red Hill Valley Parkway" title="Running down the Red Hill Valley Parkway"><br> Running down the Red Hill Valley Parkway</p> <p>Running a marathon is easily the most difficult challenge - physically and mentally - I have ever undertaken, and while I managed to complete it in a respectable time (4:00:50 chip time), the more I think about it the more Pyrrhic that victory feels. </p> <p>From the first time I shuffled out of the house on July 27, 2013 to shamble through a slow, clumsy 2.71 kilometre walk-run, I've always been able to keep my focus on the next goal. That next goal has always been achievable with time and effort: running continuously without a walk break, running five full kilometres, running six kilometres, running eight kilometres, running ten kilometres, averaging six minutes per kilometre (ten kilometres per hour), and so on an so on, all the way up to a marathon. </p> <p>But training for the marathon required so much training that running started to feel like a grind instead of a joy. The marathon itself was unbelievably gruelling. I managed to get through it but just barely. When it was done I could scarcely imagine running another marathon, let alone taking on something even longer. </p> <p>This was a new feeling for me. Each previous milestone had left me excited to turn my sights to the next one. It was after finishing the 2016 Around the Bay race, for example, that I solidified my commitment to tackle a marathon next. I finished the marathon, but it felt more like the marathon finished me!</p> <h3>Unexpected Ennui</h3> <blockquote> <p>Ce sont justement cette repugnance, cet ennui qu'il convient de developper en nous, afin de nous demarquer de l'espece.<br> -- Michel Houellebecq</p> </blockquote> <p>I gradually recovered physically in the weeks that followed the marathon and resumed my usual baseline regimen, but I was caught in the grip of a kind of running ennui that sapped my enthusiasm. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/chedoke_radial_trail_highway_403_overpass_2017_06.jpg" alt="Running across the Chedoke Rail Trail Highway 403 overpass" title="Running across the Chedoke Rail Trail Highway 403 overpass"><br> Running across the Chedoke Rail Trail Highway 403 overpass</p> <p>I was able to maintain my weekday runs, but on the weekends I increasingly found myself succumbing to a myriad of excuses to blow off my long run. The excuses had not gotten any better, I had merely become more susceptible to them.</p> <p>As every distance runner knows, the long run is the foundation of endurance and fitness. It builds up cardiovascular and aerobic capacity, increases cellular mitochondria, trains muscles to burn fat for fuel, and bolsters psychological toughness. It is the essential base on which your entire running program rests.</p> <p>Traditionally, the long run had been one of the physical, emotional and philosophical highlights of my entire week - a glorious extended mindfulness meditation that placed me squarely in the universe and left me feeling euphoric. And yet as often as not, I found myself unable to drag my ass out of bed to do it.</p> <p>It was as if, having at last become free of exogenous challenges, I was finally turning against myself. Or to frame it differently, without an external goal I no longer knew what to run for. (Such is the depth of my funk that this annual review is already three months late.)</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/tiffany_falls_wilson_street_ancaster_2017_06.jpg" alt="Tiffany Falls" title="Tiffany Falls"><br> Tiffany Falls</p> <p>After a winter of half-assing my long runs, I ran the 30 kilometre Around the Bay Road Race on March 26, 2017 and managed to shave <a href="https://www.sportstats.ca/display-results.xhtml?raceid=42134&bib=4296">two and a half minutes</a> off my <a href="https://www.sportstats.ca/display-results.xhtml?raceid=29119&bib=228">finishing time</a> from the previous year - but it was obvious to me that I was freeloading on my residual aerobic base instead of maintaining or building on it.</p> <table> <caption>Around the Bay 2016/2017 Results</caption> <tr> <th></th> <th>2016</th> <th>2017</tdh> </tr> <tr> <th>Bib</th> <td>228</td> <td>4296</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Guntime</th> <td>2:54:45</td> <td>2:53:30</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Chiptime</th> <td>2:52:32</td> <td>2:50:03</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Overall Place</th> <td>2254/5259</td> <td>1836/4244</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Overall Percentile</th> <td>43%</td> <td>43%</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Gender Place (M)</th> <td>1509/2669</td> <td>1247/2224</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Gender Percentile</th> <td>57%</td> <td>56%</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Age Place (M40-44)</th> <td>267/443</td> <td>201/327</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Age Percentile</th> <td>60%</td> <td>61%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Aside from Around the Bay, I suddenly had no motivation to sign up for races. I missed both the Unity Run and the Sulphur Springs Trail Race (it was already sold out when I went to sign up for it). After a summer of futzing around, I was at the point where I wasn't even sure I'd be able to complete the Road2Hope half marathon on Sunday, November 6, 2017.</p> <p>I have not yet figured out how I am going to work through this malaise. Perhaps it will involve setting new goals, or reframing my expectations. Maybe I need to focus on improving my general fitness to the point where I can run a marathon without feeling destroyed at the end. I have to say that just writing this down has helped to improve my mood.</p> <h3>Road2Hope Half Marathon</h3> <p>As it turns out, I had a really strong race in the Road2Hope half marathon. It was one of those races where everything goes well, I had lots of energy, my form felt good and The clocks went back on Saturday night so I got an extra hour of sleep, and I woke up feeling good. I followed my usual race-day legal performance-enhancing regimen: whole grain toast with nut and seed butter for breakfast, a prophylactic ibuprofen and a big mug of coffee.</p> <p>The temperature was mild but rainy, and the half-marathon began with blatting cold rain coming in sideways. It's always a crapshoot trying to figure out what to wear, and I ended up heading out in shorts and a long-sleeve shirt without a windbreaker. It was unpleasant for the first several minutes but once I warmed up it felt fine. By the time I reached around six or seven kilometres in, I had already rolled up my sleeves.</p> <p>The Road2Hope half marathon feels a bit like cheating, especially after last year: it has all of the highlights of the full marathon, including an exhilarating run down the Red Hill Valley Parkway and that delicious bowl of vegetable soup at the end, but over a total distance that you can still pull off after a half-assed training regimen.</p> <p>Once the starting line logjam cleared and we started to spread out, I settled into a fast pace that I assumed I probably would not be able to maintain for the full distance. I made up some additional time on the Red Hill, gambling that I wouldn't be too gassed for the shorter final stretch along the Waterfront Trail. Surprisingly, I didn't run out of energy and was able to sustain the pace right through the end.</p> <table> <caption>Road2Hope 2017 Results</caption> <tr> <th>Bib</th> <td>784</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Guntime</th> <td>1:54:20</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Chiptime</th> <td>1:53:20</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Overall Place</th> <td>496/1326</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Overall Percentile</th> <td>37%</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Gender Place (M)</th> <td>323/613</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Gender Percentile</th> <td>53%</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Age Place (M40-44)</th> <td>48/82</td> </tr> <tr> <th>Age Percentile</th> <td>59%</td> </tr> </table> <p>I <a href="http://chiptimeresults.com/chiptimepublic/do.php?Ni3+5YQ0KqH8VLWEocRaPbJBeU57khuGgVg4naJXBF8qlunIbuJ710PHJtr+hJtXhjH33vZC1dgb7DBt3LuuUhoqmuW2ovrLKz9J2ah5gds=">completed the race</a> with a guntime (from when the gun goes off until I crossed the finish line) of 1:54:20 and a chiptime (from when I crossed the starting line until I crossed the finish line) of 1:53:20. I came in 496th place out of 1,326 total finishers, and in 323rd place out of 613 male finishers. I was in 48th place among 82 males age 40-44. According to Runkeeper, I had an average speed of 11.21 km/h or 5:21 minutes/km.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2017_half_marathon_route_map_runkeeper.jpg" alt="Road2Hope 2017 Half-Marathon route map from Runkeeper" title="Road2Hope 2017 Half-Marathon route map from Runkeeper"><br> Road2Hope 2017 Half-Marathon route map from Runkeeper</p> <p>Of course, it puts things into perspective to finish a half-marathon at your personal best pace, only to have the first-place runner in the *full* marathon finish soon after you. Toronto's Bonsa Gonfa, following a police motorcycle escort through the assorted half-marathoners, finished his 42.195 kilometres in a very impressive 2:23:33. <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2017_marathon_first_place_finisher_bonsa_gonfa.jpg" alt="Road2Hope 2017 Marathon first place finisher Bonsa Gonfa just before the finish line" title="Road2Hope 2017 Marathon first place finisher Bonsa Gonfa just before the finish line"><br> Road2Hope 2017 Marathon first place finisher Bonsa Gonfa just before the finish line</p> <h3>Some More Good News</h3> <blockquote> <p>The bad news is nothing lasts forever.<br> The good news is nothing lasts forever.<br> -- J. Cole</p> </blockquote> <p>So my running situation is not all doom and gloom. When I do manage to eke out a long run, they're in the 18-20 kilometre range, and I'm still maintaining 30-40 kilometres in distance a week, even on weeks when I 'miss' my long run. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/i_wouldnt_say_ive_been_missing_it_bob.jpg" alt="" title=""><br></p> <p>I've also managed to maintain what feels like a good, sustainable running form, even though I'd like to increase my cadence from 170 steps per minute toward 180 steps per minute. I definitely need to get back in the game, but at least I'm not starting from scratch.</p> <p>In addition, this past June I finally took got my act together and committed to joining the <a href="https://mcmasterinnovationpark.ca/fitness-facility">McMaster Innovation Park Fitness Facility</a> to incorporate regular weight lifting into my routine. Notwithstanding illness, I go three times a week and follow a program tailored for runners that was helpfully provided by Maureen, the MIP gym's amazing fitness coordinator.</p> <p>I've long put off joining a gym because I wasn't sure how to fit it into my schedule and I always assumed I would hate everything about it, but my experience has been <em>way</em> better than I expected. The facility is well-appointed and not too busy, the 'culture' is respectful and accepting without any hardbody showoffs, and the weight lifting itself is a lot more rewarding than I thought it would be. There's something pretty awesome about the visceral feeling of growing physically stronger over time.</p> <p>Perhaps most important, I've gone another year and then some without any debilitating injuries. I think I've finally figured out a theory of fitness and injury prevention that works for me. Which is to say, I haven't come up with a new theory, I've just finally gotten my head around how to apply this common sense to my own training.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/footprints_in_fresh_snow_2017_01_10.jpg" alt="Footsteps in the snow" title="Footsteps in the snow"><br> Footsteps in the snow</p> <h3>A Theory of Fitness</h3> <blockquote> <p>What does not kill us makes us stronger. <br /> - Friedrich Nietzsche</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, Nietzsche's famous ode to hormesis is not quite correct. Some things that don't kill us nevertheless manage to make us weaker and more prone to further infirmity. I've learned that mapping the distinction between those trials that strengthen us and those trials that weaken us is at the heart of successful endurance running.</p> <p>We might turn to Nassim Nicholas Taleb to help us think more clearly about the matter. In 2012, Taleb published a brilliant and often unbearably smug masterpiece of trolling-as-high-art called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifragile"><em>Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder</em></a>. (Reading it, my reaction was split almost evenly between rank admiration and a burning desire to hurl the book across the room.)</p> <p>Taleb's genius is in recognizing that the traditional conceptual dichotomy of <em>resilience</em> vs. <em>fragility</em> is actually a truncated view of a broader spectrum. </p> <p>We say something is <em>resilient</em> or <em>robust</em> if it can withstand stress, and <em>fragile</em> or <em>brittle</em> if it cannot withstand stress. Taleb articulated another quality: we can say something is <em>antifragile</em> if it not only withstands stress but also becomes <em>stronger</em> from it.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/bruce_trail_switchback_2017_06.jpg" alt="Running up the Bruce Trail switchback between Filman Road and Wilson Street" title="Running up the Bruce Trail switchback between Filman Road and Wilson Street"><br> Running up the Bruce Trail switchback between Filman Road and Wilson Street</p> <p>The concept of antifragility can help us think more clearly about exercise, stress and fitness. Physical exercise, after all, is a stressor, and a body exercising is a body being subjected to acute stress. </p> <p>The intersection between the state of a body and the intensity of the stress will determine whether the experience is one of fragility, resilience or antifragility.</p> <ul> <li><p>Without physical exercise, the human body gradually becomes <em>fragile</em>. Muscles atrophy, bones weaken, aerobic capacity declines, and the body's capacity to withstand any kind of stress (including emotional) deteriorates. </p> </li> <li><p>A body subjected to a baseline level of exercise to maintains current fitness is experiencing <em>resilience</em>. It can withstand moderate stress and disorder, but does not become stronger as a result of the exercise.</p> </li> <li><p>A body subjected to more vigorous exercise that is intense enough to increase fitness is experiencing <em>antifragiity</em>. A sustained program of progressively more demanding physical exercise that pushes the body slightly beyond its baseline level of performance, followed by adequate rest and recovery, produces chronic adaptations that render the body progressively stronger. These adaptations to a steadily increasing exercise workload are cumulative: your baseline fitness level steps up with each cycle of exercise-and-recovery.</p> </li> <li><p>However, a body subjected to overtraining, i.e. pushing too fast and/or too far without adequate recovery time, once again experiences <em>fragilty</em>. When you exercise, your body tissues undergo damage - torn muscle fibres, microscopic bone fractures, and so on. This is why recovery time is essential: during this time, your body repairs the damage and leaves your muscles and bones slightly thicker and stronger than before. </p> </li> </ul> <p>If you exercise repeatedly without giving your body time to recover, you start accumulating damage. Progressive adaptation stalls, fitness starts to decline, and the risk of injury goes up. Tiny muscle tears can coalesce into a major tear; or microscopic bone damages can coalesce into a stress fracture. </p> <p>Likewise, if you exercise at an intensity that is far higher than that to which your body is accustomed, you may overstress it and cause an injury.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/chart_exercise_intensity.png" alt="Chart: spectrum of exercise intensity and body response" title="Chart: spectrum of exercise intensity and body response"><br> Chart: spectrum of exercise intensity and body response</p> <h3>Breaking the Injury Cycle</h3> <blockquote> <p>The more injuries you get, the smarter you get.<br> -- Mikhail Baryshnikov</p> </blockquote> <p>It was by applying this principle over the past two years - intuitively at first and more formally as the concept has become more clear - that I have managed to break out of the overuse-injury-every-few-months cycle I was in during my first two years of running. </p> <p>This was particularly vital during my marathon training, when I pushed my total weekly running distance into previously uncharted territory. At one point I found myself getting into an incipient overtraining rut where I was feeling constant fatigue, started craving junky carbs and could feel my right knee starting to twinge. </p> <p>I managed to recognize what was going on before it was too late. I immediately backed away from the overtraining threshold, reduced my intensity and focused on cleaning up my form. Once I was back ahead of the curve, I was able to resume my incremental trajectory instead of spiralling into a hole or straight-up injuring something.</p> <p>Indeed, my right knee has somewhat taken on the role of the canary in my body's coal mine. Before I started running, it used to click loudly and sometimes painfully on stairs. After I started running, it quickly stopped bothering me and would only twinge when my shoes would wear out, around 800 kilometres total distance.</p> <p>It started to bug me a bit more persistently during my marathon training, and it has never entirely gone away in the year since then. I've noticed that it twinges in certain specific circumstances: when I'm going too fast, when I have sloppy form, when my cadence gets too low (significantly lower than 170 steps per minute), when I get tired at the end of a long run, and of course when my shoes are worn out.</p> <p>I've tried to focus on strengthening my knees as part of my workouts at the gym, incorporating squats and lunges to build muscle strength so there is less stress on the bones, tendons, ligaments, fascia and other connective tissues. That seems to be helping, and my knee rarely causes problems - but I'm conscious that it's there, waiting quietly to fail if I let my guard down.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/ravine_road_trail_2017_06.jpg" alt="Running on the Ravine Road Trail" title="Running on the Ravine Road Trail"><br> Running on the Ravine Road Trail</p> <h3>Summary</h3> <p class="initial">All in all, the past year can most charitably be considered a maintenance year in my running career. After the high water mark of last November's marathon, I have mostly coasted for the rest of the year, leading to a year-end summary in which my overall distance was down slightly from my third year while my average speed was modestly higher. </p> <p>That said, my annualized distance is down significantly for the first three months of my fifth year, while my average speed is holding steady.</p> <table> <caption>Year-Over-Year Running Summary (Each Year Starting on July 27)</caption> <thead> <tr> <th>Year </th> <th>Distance (km)</th> <th>Calories </th> <th>Speed (km/h)</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td>1</td> <td>1,325.21</td> <td>155,468</td> <td>9.25</td> </tr> <tr> <td>2</td> <td>1,463.20</td> <td>149,437</td> <td>9.50</td> </tr> <tr> <td>3</td> <td>2,528.96</td> <td>243,252</td> <td>10.27</td> </tr> <tr> <td>4</td> <td>2,434.37</td> <td>223,817</td> <td>10.56</td> </tr> <tr> <td>5 YTD</td> <td>475.46</td> <td>43,110</td> <td>10.56</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Total</td> <td>8,227.20</td> <td>815,084</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>It's pretty amazing how the total distance adds up when you keep running week after week. The 8,227 kilometres I've run since July 27, 2013 are enough to take me from St. John's, Newfoundland clear across to Vancouver, British Columbia (by road, not as the crow flies) with another 766 kilometres to spare - enough to turn around and backtrack into Yoho National Park, just outside of Banff. Looked at differently, it's just over one-fifth of the distance around the entire planet. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/deer_in_dundas_valley_2017_10.jpg" alt="Deer in Dundas Valley" title="Deer in Dundas Valley"><br> Deer in Dundas Valley</p> <p>Likewise, I've been tracking my daily steps since October 23, 2014, and in that time I have taken a hard-to-get-my-head-around total of 24,845,396 steps. That works out to an average of 22,485 steps a day over the past three years.</p> <p>Finally, as I proceed through my fifth year of running, I'm conscious of the fact that among North Americans who undertake efforts to lose weight, the chance of succeeding in maintaining weight loss over five years is a dispiriting five percent. The other 95 percent regain all the lost weight and then some. </p> <p>While I continue to struggle with a lingering squishiness around my middle, I have so far managed to stay ahead of some pretty long odds - despite being caught in a bit of a fitness tailspin over the past year. That is something to be grateful for (and probably worth its own article in the future). </p> <p>Running has improved my quality of life immeasurably, and I hope to be able to report in my next dispatch that I have managed to find a way through this extended funk and emerge on the other side with a renewed and sustained passion. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/escarpment_rail_trail_2017_10.jpg" alt="Running on the Escarpment Rail Trail" title="Running on the Escarpment Rail Trail"><br> Running on the Escarpment Rail Trail</p> <p><em>More Reading:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="/blog/135/a_year_of_running">A Year of Running</a></li> <li><a href="/blog/155/a_second_year_of_running_plus_some_not_running_and_other_stuff">A Second Year of Running, Plus Some Not-Running and Other Stuff</a></li> <li><a href="/blog/170/a_third_year_of_running_plus_various_other_experiments">A Third Year of Running, Plus Various Other Experiments</a></li> </ul> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/190/its_past_time_to_remove_civic_artifacts_celebrating_white_supremacists 2017-08-23T12:00:00Z It's Past Time to Remove Civic Artifacts Celebrating White Supremacists <p class="initial">With respect to the Confederate statues, monuments and flags that today's civil rights activists are demanding to be removed from esteemed American public spaces, we must acknowledge that there is, indeed, a widespread erasure of history connected to these artifacts.</p> <p>Specifically, the statues and flags themselves are both a deliberate, targeted reaction to the civil rights movements that pushed for equality and justice; and the product of a revisionist false history that downplayed the central role of slavery in the conflict that led to the American Civil War.</p> <p>As the Southern Poverty Law Center <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/20160421/whose-heritage-public-symbols-confederacy">has carefully documented</a>, the Confederate artifacts were installed in two clusters: the first decade of the 1900s, during the 'Jim Crow' era of retrenchment, segregation and disenfranchisement that followed Reconstruction; and again during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, in which the passage of the <em>Civil Rights Act</em> and <em>Voting Rights Act</em> marked major milestones in the arduous and still-ongoing struggle to overturn that Jim Crow-era segregation. </p> <p class="image"> <img style="max-width: 95%; height: auto" src="/static/images/splc_confederate_monuments_by_year.png" alt="Installation of Confederate monuments by year (Image Credit: Southern Poverty Law Center)" title="Installation of Confederate monuments by year (Image Credit: Southern Poverty Law Center)"><br> Installation of Confederate monuments by year (Image Credit: Southern Poverty Law Center)</p> <p>By and large, these Confederate artifacts were installed explicitly as part of the long rearguard campaign against granting the full rights of citizenship to African-Americans. They were installed precisely because they are a celebration of the white supremacist leaders who fought a civil war against their own country to preserve the horror of slavery.</p> <p>They were installed during the long backlash after the Reconstruction era in order for white supremacists to send an unmistakable message to emancipated slaves: <em>we are still in charge</em>.</p> <p class="initial">In more recent decades, as it has become less acceptable to use overtly white supremacist language (at least until the past year or so), the right-wing narrative on the Civil War has shifted to the argument that it was fought over "states' rights" and southern pride, not slavery. </p> <p>This is revisionist nonsense. If you are not sure what the Civil War was fought over, you need only read the words of Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, in the so-called "<a href="http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/">Cornerstone Speech</a>" he delivered in Savannah, Georgia on March 21, 1861. It is worth quoting at some length:</p> <blockquote> <p>But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. <strong><em>The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.</em></strong> Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the 'rock upon which the old Union would split.' He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact.</p> <p>But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. ...</p> <p><strong><em>Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.</em></strong> This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. ...</p> <p>Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. [emphasis added]</p> </blockquote> <p>Anyone who tries to tell you that the Confederate flag and the statues to Confederate leaders are just non-racist symbols of southern culture is either sadly misinformed or else engaged in a malicious deceit in order to justify continued white supremacism. </p> <p>These artifacts are not a neutral reflection of history, and removing them is by no means an erasure of that history. Rather, removing them is the first step in moving past the reprehensible practice of honouring and celebrating white supremacists, and thereby moving incrementally toward a public realm in which all people can enjoy the full rights and dignities to which everyone has an equal claim - despite the Confederate Constitution's morally repugnant insistence to the contrary.</p> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/189/the_perverse_modern_diet_and_lifestyle 2017-06-27T12:00:00Z The Perverse Modern Diet and Lifestyle <p>There is no question that western civilization - and increasingly the entire planet, as the western economy and culture is exported and promulgated worldwide - is experiencing a slow-motion catastrophe of non-infectious, preventable diseases. </p> <h3>Adapted for Nomadic Lifestyle</h3> <p>Human bodies evolved over millions of years to adapt to an environment in which we had to work moderately hard (but not excessively hard) to obtain enough calories and nutrition. Essential nutrients like glucose, fructose, amino acids and fatty acids were bound up in complete, naturally-occurring foods with lots of fibre and a dense concentration of nutrients. </p> <p>Humans are strongly adapted to seek out and crave sweet, salty, fatty and savoury (umami) flavours because they are relatively scarce in nature and serve as a good proxy for the kind of nutrient-dense food that we need. </p> <p>From the beginning, human diets were highly diverse and varied by the seasons, comprised of a broad mix of whatever edible foods could be foraged, dug up or hunted: leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, nuts, legumes, grasses, roots, tubers, mushrooms, lean game, fish, insects, and so on.</p> <p>At the same time, we also evolved to avoid unnecessary work. Calories are hard to obtain, food is not always available, and it's better to rest and conserve your energy when you can. When there is a surplus of food, we're highly adapted to store that extra energy in fat cells so that we can live on our reserves during times when food becomes scarce. </p> <p>Humans have been processing food in various ways - cooking, grinding, soaking, etc. - to increase nutritional yield for tens of thousands of years, but for the most part we just ate whatever nature provided.</p> <h3>Start of Agriculture</h3> <p>The human diet underwent a dramatic change when people first began to adopt agriculture around 12-10,000 years ago, switching from nomadic foraging and hunting to cultivating a relatively small number of farmed crops. </p> <p>Early farmers traded variety and diversity for the relative stability, yield and caloric density of starchy cereal grains. (Sidenote: growing cereal grains to ferment into alcohol was probably also a significant factor in the introduction of farming.)</p> <p>At first, farming likely provided an advantage in consistent access to food. However, the resulting benefits to those new farmers peaked early and then turned negative after a few generations.</p> <p>The longer-term result was a significant shortening of the average human lifespan, combined with a dramatic increase in the rate of infectious disease outbreaks (caused by pathogens evolving rapidly in the tight circuit between people and farm animals), malnutrition (from lack of dietary diversity), dental disease (bacteria feed on bits of sugary food left in the mouth and release lactic acid that eats the tooth enamel), cardiovascular disease, stress injuries (from hard repetitive farm work), and other illnesses related to a diet based primarily on carbohydrates - and all coupled with a life of relentless physical toil and suffering.</p> <p>On the other hand, agricultural communities had higher reproductive rates than nomadic communities and arguably did a better job of producing and accumulating knowledge and innovation in a durable culture that could be passed down across generations. As a result, farming gradually displaced hunting and gathering almost everywhere on earth. </p> <p>Yet for the next 500 generations or so, humans who had adopted agriculture were still living short, unpleasant lives of relentless labour, horrific diseases and frequent hunger and malnutrition.</p> <h3>Industrial Era</h3> <p>The human diet underwent a second massive transition over course of the industrial revolution, which drove rapid increases in innovation and change to every aspect of food production: drastic increases in crop yields, improved transportation and storage, industrial processing of food into consumer products, labour-saving machinery at every step in the process from tilling soil to plating meals. </p> <p>Some of the changes that accompanied the industrial revolution vastly improved public health, particularly via the dramatic reduction in infectious disease infection due to improved sanitation and hygiene. By the mid-20th century, average life expectancy in most industrialized countries had finally caught back up to and increased beyond the average life expectancy of pre-agriculture nomads (around 60-70 years).</p> <p>We now have industrial methods for extracting the starch, glucose and fructose from plants and mass-producing refined sugar and simple carbohydrates. Likewise, we mass-produce vegetable oils that are shelf-stable but have wildly unbalanced levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. We can mine and evaporate massive quantities of salt (once so rare and valuable that Roman soldiers were paid in salt allowances, called "salaries"). </p> <p>We have bred livestock and established huge operations that produce massive quantities of cheap, fatty meat, in part by force-feeding them processed carbohydrates (i.e. corn) and routinely administering low doses of antibiotics, which prevent infectious disease outbreaks but cause animals to grow faster (likely by inhibiting the gut flora's ability to extract nutrients from the food) and also contribute to antibiotic-resistant pathogens.</p> <p>The result of all these industrial changes in our food system is that for most of the world, a) there is more than enough food to meet people's dietary needs and b) the food has been refined and processed such that the sugar, fat and salt are abundant and extremely easy to digest.</p> <h3>Exploit Evolutionary Adaptations</h3> <p>In modernizing the food system, the food-industrial complex has also discovered several ingenious ways to exploit our evolutionary adaptations in order to maximize their profits at the expense of our long-term health. </p> <p>They aggressively exploit how our bodies are adapted by manufacturing irresistible products specifically designed to trigger fundamental cravings that were laid down over millions of years: sugar, salt, fat and umami. </p> <p>Our bodies were adapted to crave these flavours because natural foods that have the tastes we crave - sweet, salty, fatty and savoury - are complete, complex, nutritionally substances that contain literally thousands of different chemicals and have carbohydrates bound up in complex chains inside cell walls with abundant fibre that slows their absorption into the bloodstream.</p> <p>Industrial food is <strong>nothing</strong> like the food we find in nature. The complex carbohydrate chains have been broken down into simple starches and sugars - and high concentrations of additional refined sugar and salt are added to nearly every product to make them more appealing. </p> <p>Some foods are also manufactured with high amounts of fat - especially vegetable oils with dangerously high levels of omega-6 fatty acids - to make them tastier. Meanwhile, a recent moral panic against fat of all kinds has resulted in a boom of "low fat" foods that have even more sugar added to make up for the removed fat, rendering them even more unhealthy.</p> <p>(And it's not just how we process foods that has changed. 12,000 years of selective breeding has produced a pantheon of fruits and vegetables that are vastly larger, sweeter, more tender and less fibrous than anything found in the wild. Think of the difference between a small, bitter wild crabapple and a soft, juicy ambrosia apple; or between a tough, fibrous Queen Anne's lace root and a big, sweet fleshy orange carrot. Or consider for a moment that broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi and gai lan are all just cultivars of the exact same species of <em>Brassica oleracea</em>.)</p> <h3>Deranged Modern Lifestyle</h3> <p>So modern industrial food has way too much sugar, way too much starch, way too much salt, way too much of a few very specific kinds of fat that are convenient for the food industry but aren't healthy for us, way too much fatty, corn-fed meat, not nearly enough of the various kinds of fat our bodies actually need, not nearly enough fibre to slow the absorption of sugar, and not nearly enough trace minerals and other nutrients. </p> <p>(And that's without even touching the fact that our entire food system is built and runs on vast inputs of non-renewable fossil fuel energy.)</p> <p>On top of our deranged diet, we are now also less physically active than typical people living in any culture at any time in human history. Almost everyone now lives in a way that was once reserved for kings and queens, albeit with machines to do our work for us instead of servants. </p> <p>By structuring our entire society around the understandable human instinct to avoid unnecessary effort, we have succeeded at eliminating <em>every</em> kind of routine physical work - walking, running, climbing, swimming, digging, lifting and carrying, chasing, and so on. </p> <p>The only time we are required to make any effort at all is to walk from one chair to another - say, from your office chair to the chair in your car, and from there to the couch to eat a microwaved frozen dinner (made with lots of added sugar, salt and fat, of course).</p> <h3>Staggeringly Unprepared</h3> <p>Our essentially paleolithic hunter-gatherer bodies are staggeringly unprepared to deal with the novel - indeed, historically unique - environment we have created for ourselves. </p> <p>When we don't engage in enough physical activity, our muscles atrophy and our bones grow thin and porous. Without regular physical exercise, our bodies begin to experience chronic low-grade stress, which damages the cardiovascular system and increases the risk of heart disease. </p> <p>When we continually ingest more simple calories than we need to operate our metabolism, we store excess fat but never get a chance to dip into those reserves. Our fat cells themselves are not dormant: they function as part of the endocrine system, releasing additional inflammatory factors that also encourage the formation of arterial plaque.</p> <p>When we consume large quantities of refined sugar with no fibre to mitigate it, our blood sugar spikes dangerously and our pancreas produces a huge insulin response, which quickly causes the blood sugar to crash again and leads to feelings of fatigue and misery and the craving for more sugar. Decades of this render our cells numb to the effects of insulin, forcing the pancreas to produce more and more insulin to get the same response. That, in turn, gradually exhausts the capacity of the pancreas to produce insulin at all. </p> <p>And these processes all introduce and reinforce pernicious feedback loops that keep people trapped in poor health and illness. </p> <p>Of course, people living in poverty are the hardest hit, since the economics of industrial food mean the unhealthiest foods are the most available and affordable, and the fact of poverty, through various mechanisms, is itself a major stressor that aggravates and reinforces all the feedback loops in effect.</p> <p>The inevitable result is a steadily advancing tsunami of widespread chronic stress and inflammation, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, various cancers, osteoporosis, chronic musculoskeletal pain, auto-immune disease, anxiety and depression, dementia, and so on.</p> <h3>Setting Ourselves Up for Failure</h3> <p>Perhaps the biggest tragedy is that this epidemic of non-infectious diseases is almost entirely preventable. However, we have created and aggressively maintain an environment that makes it almost impossible for a typical person to resist the various social and cultural defaults that produce disease. </p> <p>Humans are made for walking, but most cities and towns are designed in such a way that it is difficult or even impossible to walk from one place to another - and people who try to walk anyway are regarded as aberrant.</p> <p>We have systematically set ourselves up for failure on a mass scale. In addition, there are huge, powerful corporate interests on every side of the crisis - the food industry, the automobile industry, and the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry - that are committed to making sure we don't significantly change the context in which they have grown so large and powerful.</p> <p>One final note: it's not nearly enough merely to "educate" people about this system or encourage "healthier choices" - and it's sheer malpractice to blame people for getting sick in an environment that is designed to make people sick. Most people, most of the time, are just too busy just trying to live our lives to commit to a long uphill slog against the prevailing winds of our civilization. </p> <p>Until we actually change our society so that default behaviours favour routine moderate physical activity and healthy food, this public health crisis will just continue to get worse.</p> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/183/my_first_marathon_or:_a_supposedly_fun_thing_i_wont_do_again_until_ive_had_time_to_forget_how_gruelling_it_was 2016-11-25T12:00:00Z My First Marathon, Or: A Supposedly Fun Thing I Won't Do Again Until I've Had Time to Forget How Gruelling it Was <h3>Getting Ready</h3> <p class="initial">I started running almost three and a half years ago, in the summer of 2013, and have incorporated it into my life as a regular activity. As I have gradually gotten into better shape and become a more decent runner, it has increasingly occurred to me that sooner or later, I would have to try my hand at a marathon. </p> <p>Earlier this year I ran the 30 km Around the Bay Road Race and the 25 km Sulphur Springs Trail Race, so a marathon felt like the next step. An obvious place to start is the <a href="http://hamiltonmarathon.ca/">Road2Hope Hamilton Marathon</a>, held each year in early November.</p> <p>I started training for it around four months ago. I began extending my weekend long run from around 21-22 km up to 32 km, and did three 10 km runs during the week. My weekly distance was ranging from 60-65 km, split over four runs. </p> <p>I also tried to focus on improving my core strength with daily planks and pushups, and rounded things out with cross-training on a bike a couple of times a week.</p> <p>There were a few hiccups, of course. At one point I found myself falling into an overtraining rut where I was feeling fatigued all the time, was craving junky carbs and could feel incipient pain in my right knee. I backed off for a couple of weeks to get ahead of the fatigue and then carefully ramped back up.</p> <p>I also lost a week of training when I wrenched my lower back in the most middle-aged way possible: painting my son's bedroom. </p> <p>But inevitably, the weeks rolled down and I found myself into the final three-week taper. Weeks turned into days, days turned into hours, and I was going to bed on Saturday night filled with trepidation.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_shirt_and_bib.jpg" alt="My Road2Hope shirt and bib, which I picked up on Saturday" title="My Road2Hope shirt and bib, which I picked up on Saturday"><br> My Road2Hope shirt and bib, which I picked up on Saturday</p> <h3>Race Day</h3> <p class="initial">I woke up at 4:30 AM on Sunday, thankful for an extra hour of sleep due to the end of daylight savings time. I drank a glass of water and had whole-grain toast with peanut butter for breakfast. </p> <p>I also brewed a pot of coffee and filled a thermos to take. I don't normally drink coffee in the morning, and I have found it is a significant performance-enhancing legal drug when I do drink it. (I also took a prophylactic anti-inflammatory pill.)</p> <p>I consulted my race-day checklist, which I had posted on the chalkboard in our kitchen.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_chalkboard_checklist.jpg" alt="Marathon race day checklist" title="Marathon race day checklist"><br> Marathon race day checklist</p> <p>I agonized over what to wear to accommodate the temperature spread: from 4C on arriving to 6C at starting time to 12C by the time I reached the finish line. I ended up putting on shorts, a running t-shirt and a running long-sleeved shirt with a windbreaker over top.</p> <p>I pared my other possessions down to the bare minimum: my phone (mainly for tracking the run), a small plastic bag with a couple of cashew-date bars, and another bag with my car key and my health card (you know, just in case). </p> <p>I hydrated extensively the day before and early that morning, but decided in the end not to bring my own water bottle. Instead, I would stop and take a drink at each water station, approximately every three kilometres.</p> <p>I left home around 5:30 AM and headed to Confederation Park, drinking as much coffee as I could before having to leave the thermos behind in my car. A line of shuttle buses was waiting to take runners up to Dofasco Park, where the marathon and half-marathon were to begin.</p> <p>It was on the shuttle that I learned the organizers were offering a bag check - an amazingly convenient service that definitely would have changed how I organized my morning had I known about it. Oh, well - I'll know for next time.</p> <p>I kvetched over what to do about my windbreaker, because it was kind of too cold not to wear it at the start, but it would quickly become too warm and I didn't want to have to tie it around my waist, where the zipper would repeatedly bang against my leg.</p> <p>It got warmer out as the sun rose and the starting time approached, and I decided I'd rather be a bit cold than have to lug a flappy jacket for 42 km. I checked it in, a totally quick and painless activity - the event was extremely well-organized.</p> <p>I met some friends who were also doing the marathon and we chatted while waiting until it was time to head out to the starting line.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_starting_line.jpg" alt="Looking back over the starting line" title="Looking back over the starting line"><br> Looking back over the starting line</p> <h3>The Race Begins</h3> <p class="initial">At 7:30 AM, the race began and I streamed out onto the road with the other marathoners - 900 people were signed up. (The half-marathoners would start 15 minutes later.) </p> <p>The race proceeded north on First Road East to Ridge Road, which runs along the top of the Escarpment, and turned east. At Third Road we turned right and headed south to Green Mountain Road, where we turned left (east) and then left again (north) onto Tapleytown Road.</p> <p>That took us back to Ridge Road for another eastbound turn to Fifth Road East, where we headed south to Highland Road. From there we went 7-8 km west to connect with the top of the Red Hill Valley Parkway at around the halfway point of the trip.</p> <p>Early on, maybe 20 minutes or so into the race, I found the four-hour Pace Bunny, an experienced runner who maintained a steady pace that was timed to complete the race in four hours. He regularly checked his watch to modulate his pace: he had an 11:30 appointment with the finish line and didn't want to be late.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_400_pace_bunny.jpg" alt="4:00 Pace Bunny (with orange bunny ears) surrounded by his flock" title="4:00 Pace Bunny (with orange bunny ears) surrounded by his flock"><br> 4:00 Pace Bunny (with orange bunny ears) surrounded by his flock</p> <p>The Pace Bunny was fantastic, making sure to keep everyone together and even doubling back to help people who were falling behind. He was more of a shepherd than a bunny, and he took very good care of his flock. I was happy to fall in behind him, because it meant I maintained a steady and (hopefully) sustainable pace.</p> <h3>Heading Down the Escarpment</h3> <p class="initial">The section going down the northbound lanes of the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) was a great experience. The sky was bright blue, the fall colours were vibrant and it's always fun to do something that feels subversive, like running on a highway.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_red_hill_valley_parkway.jpg" alt="Red Hill Valley Parkway" title="Red Hill Valley Parkway"><br> Red Hill Valley Parkway</p> <p>The RHVP section is six km at a significant downgrade, and that kind of downhill running is challenging on your legs. Running downhill puts an eccentric load on your leg muscles, meaning they have to contract while they are lengthening instead of shortening.</p> <p>However, the slope means running feels easier on your cardiovascular system, so there's a tendency to forget your pace and just go really fast. Combined with the tendency to take longer strides, this can really mess you up for the last 14 km once you exit the highway at Barton Street.</p> <p>I was especially grateful for the Pace Bunny during this stretch to keep me from going too hard, and I tried to remember to shorten my stride and increase my cadence to make it easier on my leg muscles.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_keeping_pace_with_pace_bunny.jpg" alt="Keeping pace with the Pace Bunny" title="Keeping pace with the Pace Bunny"><br> Keeping pace with the Pace Bunny</p> <p>The course exited the RHVP at Barton Street, turned left, and then joined the Red Hill Valley Trail, which runs parallel to the highway to its west. This was a very short but welcome section of trail running on a route that was otherwise mostly on the road.</p> <p>The Trail connects with the red pedestrian bridge that crosses the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) and then switches to Van Wagner's Beach Road and the Hamilton Beach Trail.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_pedestrian_bridge_over_qew.jpg" alt="Pedestrian bridge over QEW" title="Pedestrian bridge over QEW"><br> Pedestrian bridge over QEW</p> <p>The route then turned left, or westbound, and ran along the Trail for almost two kilometres before jogging left onto Beach Boulevard. </p> <h3>The Agonizing Final Stretch</h3> <p class="initial">My longest training run was a little over 32 km, so when I crossed the 33 km marker, I knew I was entering uncharted territory. It is a common claim that if you can run 32 km, you can run 42 km, and I was about to put this to the test.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_33_km_mark.jpg" alt="33 km and uncharted territory" title="33 km and uncharted territory"><br> 33 km and uncharted territory</p> <p>This is where the hardest, most gruelling part of the entire marathon began for me. My left hip started to hurt and my right knee started feeling really tight. I tried to focus on my running form and just keep moving forward, but it became harder to keep up with the Pace Bunny.</p> <p>It was another three km to the turnaround, but it felt a lot longer. At the 36 km point, the course looped to the right and rejoined the Beach Trail for the final six kilometres. </p> <p>I must have accidentally dropped my bag of cashew-date bar pieces at some point during this stretch, because I went to reach for a piece and realized the bag was gone from my pocket.</p> <p>I felt increasingly exhausted, both physically and mentally, and the Pace Bunny started receding into the distance. During km 39 and 40, my pace flagged. In the last couple of kilometres, I became emotionally despondent. I had a tremendous urge to just give up running and walk the last of it.</p> <p>During this time, the supporters lining the course became my life preservers. Every person who looked me in the eyes and called a word of encouragement - "You can do it!" "Stay strong!" "You're just about there!" - helped propel me forward.</p> <p>One woman was holding a sign that read, "THIS PARADE SUCKS". I burst out laughing, and it was like a mental fog lifted. I rallied for the last kilometre and pulled my pace back up - but it wasn't quite enough to catch up to the Pace Bunny again.</p> <p>Finally, I could hear the energetic noise of the finish line just around the last bend, and I decided to cross the finish line as vigorously as possible. In that moment, I wanted the race to be over more than I wanted to stop running.</p> <h3>The Finish Line</h3> <p class="initial">There was a sensor about 50 metres back from the finish line so the emcee could announce the names of people as they were crossing. I could hear him saying things like, "So and so from Hamilton, looking strong!" and I was eager to hear the announcement that I was done.</p> <p>When you finish a race, the organizers report a gun time and a chip time. The gun time is the duration from when the race begins until you cross the finish line, whereas the chip time is the duration from when you cross the starting line until you cross the finish line. (With 900 runners all starting at the same time, only the people at the very front of the line cross the starting line right as the gun goes off.)</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_selway_finish_line.jpg" alt="Me crossing the finish line (Image Credit: Sheri Selway)" title="Me crossing the finish line (Image Credit: Sheri Selway)"><br> Me crossing the finish line (Image Credit: Sheri Selway)</p> <p>I crossed the finish line with a <a href="http://www.chiptimeresults.com/chiptimepublic/do.php?EHbHWjudfV9OT/CxE+M3zwhD+gXCna05JECNwoYqRHQ+p8v26WvRbXqgFLVSTbWeBGDb4J+0J9PkKLHKK6V4TRFDlpdoeuWLSlKHlZzCE5g=">gun time of 4:01:18 and a chip time of 4:00:50</a>. My gun-time pace was 5:43 min/km (10.5 km/h), ever so slightly shy of the pace I needed to finish the marathon in under 4 hours. </p> <p>That finishing time put me right in the middle of the pack - 445th place out of 900. By gender, I was in 308th place among 564 male entries. Among 97 total men age 40-44, I was in 66th place.</p> <p>For a starker comparison, the first-place finisher, Adam Hortian of Kitchener, completed the marathon in 2:29:55 at a blistering pace of 3:34 minutes/km (16.82 km/h).</p> <p>The bottom line is that I wanted to run it somewhere between 4 hours and 4 hours, 10 minutes or so - an ambitious (for my level of fitness) but achievable goal, and I managed to do it. </p> <p>Yes, I'm a bit chagrined that I fell just 50 seconds short of finishing in 4 hours exactly. I found myself wondering if I would have made it, for example, if I didn't stop to take photographs, or if I had brought my own water instead of stopping at water stations. </p> <p>But when it comes down to it, I have to acknowledge that this kind of rumination is moving the goalposts instead of accepting that I did, in fact, achieve my goal.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_race_map_runkeeper_app.jpg" alt="My run-tracking app's record of the route" title="My run-tracking app's record of the route"><br> My run-tracking app's record of the route (Image Credit: Runkeeper)</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_charts_elevation_speed.png" alt="Charts: elevation change (top) and speed (Image Credit: Runkeeper)" title="Charts: elevation change (top) and speed (Image Credit: Runkeeper)"><br> Charts: elevation change (top) and speed (Image Credit: Runkeeper)</p> <h3>Time to Stop Running Now</h3> <p class="initial">Just past the finish line, an array of volunteers gently helped each runner manage the transition from running to not running. The first volunteer gave me a medal of completion (reminding me ruefully of the "participation" medals I used to receive for my underwhelming athletic accomplishments as a child), and the next gave me a bottle of water. </p> <p>A medical first responder checked in with me to ask if I was feeling okay, and then it was into the tent for a banana, an apple, a slice of doughy grocery store tomato sauce pizza, and a bowl of hot, salty vegetable soup. They were quite possibly the most delicious things I have ever eaten - exactly what I needed.</p> <p>Outside the tent, a great cover band called <a href="http://www.jukeboxjury.ca/">Jukebox Jury</a> were killing it with an awesome cover of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush. (Alas, a missed opportunity to play the more appropriate "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxxgEzVkEjI">Marathon</a>".)</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_jukebox_jury_tom_sawyer.jpg" alt="Jukebox Jury playing 'Tom Sawyer' by Rush outside the finish line" title="Jukebox Jury playing 'Tom Sawyer' by Rush outside the finish line"><br> Jukebox Jury playing 'Tom Sawyer' by Rush outside the finish line</p> <p>After catching up with some friends, I retrieved my windbreaker from the coat check, clambered into the car and headed home. I had to stop about halfway, pull over into a parking lot and walk around a bit to stop my legs from seizing up.</p> <p>When I got home, I had a bath and then went to the grocery store to pick up our weekly groceries. This was probably the best thing I could have done: meandering slowly up and down the aisles was exactly the kind of mild, low-intensity recovery movement my body needed to avoid stiffening too badly.</p> <p>By the end of the day, I had logged just over 50,000 steps on my pedometer. Around 41,000 of those were during the marathon, which means I have an average running stride length of 1.03 metres per step, or 2.06 metres per stride. </p> <p>If we divide my 41,000 steps by the 241 minutes I spent running, we get an average cadence of 170 steps per minute. That's actually a bit slow: serious distance runners tend to maintain a cadence of 180+ steps per minute. (Time to focus on increasing my average cadence!)</p> <h3>The Next Day</h3> <p class="initial">Training for and then running a marathon is a major physical undertaking that puts a huge amount of stress on the body. Every system is traumatized: your muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, bones, and cardiovascular system are subjected to extraordinary strain. </p> <p>Damage occurs from the macro structure level right down to the cellular. Bloodstream markers for this damage and inflammation - creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, uric acid, aminotransferases, creatinine, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and so on - can persist for several days after the race. </p> <p>I woke up the morning after the marathon and evaluated how my body was doing. Other than the kind of general exhaustion, stiffness and achiness that is to be expected, I wasn't doing too badly. </p> <p>My thighs were probably the sorest part of my body, particularly on the front and upper outside. The bottoms of my feet were a bit tender and my ankles felt tired. Surprisingly, my calves felt pretty good, and my hips felt okay too. </p> <p>I also felt rather, well, run-down. All the stress and damage from running a marathon compromises your immune system, and it's common for people to come down with colds in the days after finishing one. I hope I'll be okay, but I can certainly understand how someone is more likely to get sick.</p> <p>All in all, despite feeling a bit like my body had been put through an industrial laundry press, I think I've gotten off fairly easy. The great news is that I don't seem to have sustained any injuries.</p> <p>At lunchtime on Monday, I went for an easy 5.5 km walk along the Escarpment Trail, which is really beautiful this time of year. My thighs ached - especially going down stairs! - but the walk definitely helped to loosen things up.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_2016_recovery_walk_escarpment_trail.png" alt="Recovery walk on Escarpment Trail" title="Recovery walk on Escarpment Trail"><br> Recovery walk on Escarpment Trail</p> <p>I'm going to try and keep moving this week with low-intensity exercise - lots of walking, some casual bicycling, plus daily stretches and core exercises. Toward the end of the week, I'll take stock of how I'm feeling and see if my body feels like going for a short, easy recovery run.</p> <h3>Why a Marathon</h3> <p class="initial">The obvious reason for taking this on is that my running has followed a gradual upward trajectory in terms of weekly distance and speed over the past three and a half years, and a marathon was the next major milestone - indeed, it is <em>the</em> major milestone of endurance running. </p> <p>Of course, there is a whole astonishing world of ultra-running beyond 42.195 km, but the marathon has a deep cultural and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheidippides">historical significance</a>. </p> <p>The marathon also occupies a sweet spot in terms of human achievement: it is a difficult physical and mental feat that requires months of training, dedication and endurance, but it remains accessible to almost anyone who decides they really want to do it. </p> <p>Crossing the finish line is the last step of a process that takes months, not hours. The accomplishment is not so much physically completing the race as it is succeeding in having prepared your body to be able to do it.</p> <p><em>Running is not actually that difficult.</em> Running is nothing more than rhythmically hopping forward from one foot to the other while swinging your arms in a counterbalancing rhythm. Toddlers generally learn to run before they are two years old.</p> <p>Running does not require a lot of coordination or agility or athletic prowess. We humans are natural runners, descended from ancestors who survived to pass their DNA down to us precisely because they were able to run. It is our shared birthright to run far and well.</p> <p>Of course, elite runners are extraordinary, but even us mediocre runners are pretty remarkable. The average human is capable of amazing achievements. It is entirely a matter of commitment and dedication. </p> <p>If you put in the time and effort, listen to your body, manage the risk of injury and keep patient, you <em>will</em> <a href="/blog/167/what_you_need_to_know_to_start_running">become a runner</a>.</p> <h3>Postscript: The Aftermath</h3> <p class="initial">So the crash came after all. I went to bed on Monday and couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned all night and woke up feeling like garbage. Tuesday came with a headache, fever, chills, dizziness, nausea and extreme fatigue. </p> <p>I staggered into bed at 6:00 PM and slept until 7:30 AM on Wednesday. I had a two-hour nap on Wednesday afternoon and went to bed at 7:00 PM. I woke up at my usual time on Thursday, feeling almost normal again. Hey, at least my thighs weren't hurting any more.</p> <p>I found myself reflecting that I had to put so many hours into training for this marathon that running had begun to feel a bit like a chore and a burden rather than an unalloyed pleasure.</p> <p>I <em>love</em> running - up to around 25 km at a time and 55 km in a given week. As my weekly training pushed me farther and farther beyond that, it increasingly started to feel like a grind. Compared to a marathon, the Around the Bay race is a nice distance at 30 km - a bit farther than my normal long run but not a tremendous stretch.</p> <p>Even as I allowed myself to feel proud of having run a marathon once, it occurred to me that I would need a pretty strong reason to sign up for another one.</p> <p>After a five-day break from running - almost an eternity! - I went out for my first post-marathon run on Saturday, November 12, a nice short 5.7 km jaunt on a local trail. The following week, I did three 9-10 km weekday runs, marvelling each time that I could still feel lingering fatigue and stiffness. </p> <p>I did a gentle, low-intensity 21 km long run on the morning of Sunday, November 20 - exactly two weeks after the marathon - and it felt wonderful to go for a long run without any agenda. I wasn't aiming for a particular distance or a particular pace, and running felt straight-up <em>fun</em> again for the first time in a while.</p> <p>Amazingly, it wasn't until my third week after the marathon that I actually felt 100 percent recovered. And God help me, I've already started thinking maybe I'd like to do another marathon after all...</p> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/blog/170/a_third_year_of_running_plus_various_other_experiments 2016-07-28T12:00:00Z A Third Year of Running, Plus Various Other Experiments <p>As of today, I have been running recreationally for three years. My <a href="/blog/135/a_year_of_running">first year of running</a> was a triumphal sequence of milestones with only a couple of minor setbacks along the way. So it was perhaps inevitable that my <a href="/blog/155/a_second_year_of_running_plus_some_not_running_and_other_stuff">second year of running</a> would be a painful introduction to hubris and humility. </p> <p>I think it's fair to say that my third year has been a synthesis of the first two: I have finally internalized and accepted the lessons of my second year, which has allowed me to return to something akin to the accomplishments of my first.</p> <h3>Yet Another Foot Injury</h3> <p>Last summer and fall, I felt injury free and was going from strength to strength. On October 13, 2015, I set a new personal record (PR) for 10 km, maintaining an average speed of 11.31 km/h (5:19 min/km). I figured that was just a fluke, but I averaged 11 km/h on October 20, 11.13 km/h on October 22 and 11.12 km/h on November 3. Even on my slow days I was running in the range of 10.7-10.9 km/h. Through November, I cracked 11 km/h four times and got close to 11 km/h on my other 10 km runs. Yes, the speed monkey was once again perched firmly on my back.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/calvin_hobbes_live_and_dont_learn.jpg" alt="Calvin and Hobbes: Live and don't learn" title="Calvin and Hobbes: Live and don't learn"><br> Calvin and Hobbes: Live and don't learn</p> <p>On December 1, I beat my previous PR with a 10 km averaging 11.37 km/h (5:17 min/km). Then I beat it again two days later with a 10 km at 11.4 km/h (5:16 min/km). My two 10 km runs the following week were both faster than 11 km/h, and the week after that I beat my PR yet again: on December 15, I ran a 10 km at a blazing (for me) average speed of 11.76 km/h (5:06 min/km).</p> <p>Over the next couple of days, I started to notice a nagging soreness on the outside middle of my left foot, in the general area of my fifth metatarsal bone. <p>At first I worried I might have a stress fracture (very bad news!), but my foot passed the "one-legged hop test" - if you have a stress fracture, it hurts too much to hop on it repeatedly. <p>The pain was fairly dull and intermittent, but as time went on I realized it wasn't going to go away quickly by itself. The joy of running in shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas Eve was tempered by the realization that I had definitely done something to my foot. <p>I really, *really* didn't want to take another break from running, especially with the 30 km Around the Bay Road Race just three months away. I absolutely did not want to have to go through a repeat of the previous year's desperate scramble to prepare, when just a week earlier I had been doing 25-26 km long runs back-and-forth along the hardest part of the Bay Race route.</p> <h4>Low Intensity Training</h4> <p>With nothing to lose, I decided to do some experimenting. I discovered that if I ran with really solid form, was careful not to over-pronate and maintained a speed below 9 km/h, my foot didn't feel pain. I decided to see whether I could *train below the threshold of aggravation* and maintain my progress. <p>Knowing that achieving this meant I was going to do most of my running at low speed to achieve this, I did some reading on low-intensity training. The news was encouraging: in fact, elite running coaches generally believe that *most* training should be low intensity. While there is some debate, the general consensus now seems to be that 80 percent of your running should be at low intensity and 20 percent should be at high intensity: tempo runs, intervals, fartleks and so on. <h4>Benefits of Low Intensity</h4> <p>Low intensity training comes with a slew of benefits, including better running form and fewer injuries: <ul> <li>It fosters the creation of new mitochondria, improved heart and cardiovascular efficiency, and faster damage recovery from harder runs. There's a lot of science behind this but your body undergoes some remarkable adaptations when you subject it to lots of slow miles.</li> <li>At lower intensity, you maintain better form, which improves running efficiency and reduces impact strain and the risk of injury. Runners' form inevitably goes to hell when they try to train at high intensity over long distances.</li> <li>Sheer volume of running is one of the most important ways to become a better runner, and low-intensity means you can put in more distance. I peaked at around 64 km a week in March before moving into my final taper.</li> <li>Your body becomes more effective at burning fat for fuel.</li> </ul> <h4>Changing Running Habit</h4> <p>Many coaches define low-intensity running as running below the *ventilatory threshold* - the level of intensity at which you have to start breathing a lot faster and deeper to get enough oxygen. I committed to adopting this approach with my own running. Of course, it takes time to change habits and I spent January mostly still running too fast, though I did cut my long run distance back to 22 km. However, when February began I finally committed to low-intensity running. <p>I forced myself to maintain low intensity by breathing through my nose (mouth closed), inhaling for five or six steps and exhaling for five or six steps. This was frustrating: it meant I could only run at a very slow 8.5 km/h! My foot completely stopped bugging me after I adopted this pace, and the low intensity meant I could increase my number of weekly runs from three to four. With four runs a week, I was running more total distance even though I was doing each run more slowly. <p>Even though I maintained an inhale-for-five-steps, exhale-for-five-steps breathing pattern, my speed at that breathing pattern shot up rapidly. I believe part of this is simply that my running form became more efficient: producing more forward momentum for the same expenditure of energy. By denying myself power, I forced my body to become more mechanically economical. <p>It's quite possible that I also became more efficient at inhaling air through my nose. Previously, I had always run with my mouth open so inhaling exclusively through my nose was new. And of course, there are the other metabolic changes - increased cellular mitochondria, and so on. <p>I was never sure whether I was actually running at the correct intensity. I don't have a heart rate monitor so I'm just guessing that my limited-air intake proxy was getting me into the right ballpark. Still, there is no question I saw a rapid and dramatic improvement in how fast I could run at a given level of intensity. <h4>No Sugar Challenge</h4> <p>Just I was reading this stuff, my son came home from school and announced that he was taking the Two-Week No Sugar Challenge, i.e. eat no processed sugar at all for two weeks. Inspired by his determination, I joined the challenge and eliminated processed sugar, avoided simple carbohydrates (like pasta) and even cut back on fruit. <p>I highly recommend this! Over the two weeks, the challenge reset my taste sensitivity to sugar. By the end, a banana was almost too sweet. To this day I eat less sugar than before. Perhaps more important, the challenge also seems to have reset my metabolism. I gradually stopped experiencing sugar highs and lows. My energy level no longer dips in midafternoon and I feel generally calmer and more balanced. <p>Of course, there were some training implications. I did two 23-25 km long runs during the challenge, and in both cases I set out on an empty stomach early in the morning and brought only mixed nuts to much on. I normally bring a date-and-nut bar, but dates are around 50 percent sugar so it seemed in keeping with the spirit of the challenge to leave them at home. <p>I was also curious about what would happen once I used up my stores of glycogen, which seemed to happen roughly two hours into the runs. Rather abruptly, I found that my energy level dropped, my pace faltered and my hunger turned ravenous. <p>I have a particularly strong memory of returning up Locke Street one Saturday morning and passing the Earth to Table Bread Bar as they were baking croissants. The whole block smelled like fresh buttery pastry and it drove me more insanely hungry than I ever remember feeling. I had to restrain myself from smashing through the front window to grab one! <h4>Intermittent Fasting</h4> <p>Another benefit of that reset was that I was finally successful in adopting intermittent fasting. On weekdays I now eat only between 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM and fast the other 18 hours. (On weekends I eat normally.) <p>There's some interesting science behind intermittent fasting. It: <ul> <li>Reduces blood insulin levels, triglycerides and dangerous LDL cholesterol;</li> <li>Lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes;</li> <li>Dramatically raises human growth hormone, which helps to build lean muscle mass;</li> <li>Switches cells to maintenance mode, repairing cell damage and potentially reducing the risk of some types of cancer.</li> </ul> <p>I have to say, intermittent fasting feels great - I have lots of energy, I don't get food cravings and I generally feel better than I have in years. I even make a point of doing my daily cardio exercise (running, cycling or brisk walking) during the last hour of the fast and following it with my first meal of the day. At no point have I felt weak, dizzy, light-headed or otherwise ill, even during tempo or interval runs. <p>I've been doing it for several months now and have no plans to give it up. Unless something changes, I definitely plan to continuing following this practice. <h4>High-Resistance Injury</h4> <p>So how did all of this affect my intermittent foot injury? The good news is that my theory of training below the threshold of aggravation seems to have worked. As long as I kept most of my training at a low intensity and focused on maintaining good form (i.e. not over-pronating too much), my foot felt fine and I didn't have any symptoms. <p>As time went on, I have been able to go progressively faster before I felt that twinge of pain start to come back. That idea of an intensity threshold of injury symptoms led me to a kind of fuzzy hypothesis. <p>Years ago I worked as a telephone repair technician. A telephone line is very simple, just two wires: one going from the switching office to the phone, and one returning from the phone to the switching office. A small current originates in the switching office along one wire, crosses the phone to provide dial tone, and returns to ground along the other wire. <p>A common fault is a short circuit: the current jumps directly from one wire to the other and never makes it to the telephone. A less-common variant is a <em>high-resistance</em> short circuit. The voltage of a standard phone line jumps from 48 volts to 120 volts to trigger the telephone's ringer when a phone call is coming in. That higher voltage is enough to cause the current to jump across the wires. The short circuit disconnects the call, causing the voltage to drop back to 48 volts. That, in turn, causes the short circuit to disappear again, at which point normal dial tone is restored. <p>This is the analogy that came to mind for my foot. It worked fine at a low intensity level, but pain manifested at higher intensity. In effect, it was a "high-resistance injury". But unlike a high-resistance short circuit, my foot was slowly repairing myself as I kept my training intensity down, and the intensity level at which symptoms reappeared got progressively higher. <p>Combined with the fact that I was becoming progressively more efficient at a given level of intensity, this meant I was able to continue increasing both my distance and speed throughout the period in which I was ostensibly recovering from an injury. <h3>Around the Bay</h3> <p>My winter running schedule may have been constrained by my high-resistance foot injury, but it was framed by my desire to compete in this year's Around the Bay Road Race. <h4>Long Runs</h4> My long run distance was steadily creeping back up after I had backed it off at the end of December. I was training along the hardest part of the Bay Race route - the hilly North Shore Boulevard section - by running it twice: once from my house out toward Joseph Brant Hospital, and again on the way back. <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/runkeeper_map_bay_race_training_route.png" alt="Bay Race training route from southwest Hamilton along North Shore Boulevard and back" title="Bay Race training route from southwest Hamilton along North Shore Boulevard and back"><br> Bay Race training route from southwest Hamilton along North Shore Boulevard and back </p> <p>I also added in the very big, nasty hill on Spring Gardens Road, which has a steep switchback bridge on the west side and a long, punishing climb on the east side. I figured that training on a route harder than the route I would have to do on race day would put me in good shape. </p> <p>The route got to be fairly lonely. My schedule had me going out really early, so I ran alone and hardly encountered anyone else on the road. Also, the section along York from Dundurn to Plains is loaded with big infrastructure - wide lanes, highway overpasses and bridges - that makes a mere human feel especially puny and insignificant in the predawn gloom.</p> <p>My 28 km long run on Sunday, February 14 (Valentine's Day) was the coldest day of winter. The temperature was -20C when I headed out at quarter after six in the morning, and I wore two shirts, a winter shell, a wool hat and scarf, two pairs of gloves and a fleece hoodie on top of everything else.</p> <p>Icicles kept forming on my eyelashes and eyebrows, but otherwise I stayed toasty - a bit too hot, actually, once my body warmed up. I didn't bring any water, since my water bottle would have just frozen at that temperature, so I had to be careful not to sweat too much and get dehydrated.</p> <p>In addition to the warm glow I got from sticking to my running schedule despite the cold, I enjoyed some breathtaking views of Hamilton Harbour from North Shore Boulevard, particularly as the sun rose and steam started pouring off the water.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/bay_and_skyway_bridge_from_bottom_of_francis_2016_02_14.jpg" alt="Hamilton Harbour and Skyway Bridge from the bottom of Francis Street, February 14, 2016" title="Hamilton Harbour and Skyway Bridge from the bottom of Francis Street, February 14, 2016"><br> Hamilton Harbour and Skyway Bridge from the bottom of Francis Street, February 14, 2016</p> <p>The next week I ran 28.4 km at a respectable average speed of 10.29 km/h (5:50 min/km). The week after that, I managed a full 30 km for the first time since I had run the previous Around the Bay a year earlier. My first time running 30 km was just to cover the distance, and I did it at a stately 9.79 km/h (6:08 min/km).</p> <p>I had enough time for two more 30 km training runs before beginning to taper for the big day. My long run on March 6 managed 10.17 km/h (5:54 min/km), but I really felt my energy fade over the last five km. That sense of petering out at the end was fairly discouraging.</p> <p>The following week I took it a bit easier through the run so I'd have some energy left over for the end. My average speed was the same - 10.17 km/h - but it felt a lot better to be able to maintain a pace right through to the end.</p> <p>At this time I picked up a new pair of shoes. I got them a couple of weeks before I really needed to, but I wanted them to be broken-in by the time I wore them on the Bay Race.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/new_shoes_2016_03_15.jpg" alt="New shoes, March 15, 2016" title="New shoes, March 15, 2016"><br> New shoes, March 15, 2016</p> <p>Like the previous several pairs, they were Mizuno Wave Riders, but version 19 had come out since my previous purchase, and they had a new look with a silvery-grey upper and yellow and black soles.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/new_shoes_2016_03_15_compared_to_old_shoes.jpg" alt="Wave Rider 19 sole, compared to worn-out Wave Rider 18" title="Wave Rider 19 sole, compared to worn-out Wave Rider 18"><br> Wave Rider 19 sole, compared to worn-out Wave Rider 18</p> <p>However, they were otherwise of a similar construction and were still extremely comfortable on my feet. Research conducted by the U.S. Military has <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/choosing-the-right-running-shoes/">concluded</a> that the best way to choose the right pair of shoes is to try on a wide variety of brands and types and then pick the ones that feel the most comfortable.</p> <p>After my last 30 km long run, it was time to taper for the big day. My March 20 run was just 26.5 km at a brisker 10.41 km/h (5:46 min/km) and I meant for my final pre-race long run to be just 22-23 km. However, I ended up not able to do it.</p> <h4>Germophobia and the Final Week</h4> <p>As the race approached, I became increasingly paranoid that something would happen to knock me out of the race: an injury, illness or other disaster. As a result, I became increasingly careful about not getting hurt.</p> <p>I also became increasingly germophobic, a practice that caused some consternation with my family - especially when my son caught a cold a week and a half before the race and I insisted on comforting him from a prudent distance.</p> <p>Notwithstanding my best efforts, I woke up on Good Friday feeling sick with some kind of gastrointestinal upset. I managed to get in a low-intensity 10 km run that day, but I felt like garbage all weekend and when I woke up on Sunday, I felt too rotten to head out the door and away from the bathroom.</p> <p>I still felt under the weather on Monday, March 27, but could feel I was on the rebound, and I did a 10 km tempo run while managing to hold everything inside.</p> <p>On Tuesday, I did an easy 7 km jog with a friend who is getting back into running after Achilles tendinitis, and it was great to run with someone who kept me from going too hard. Wednesday was a 9 km at a moderate speed, and Friday was a slightly up-tempo 9.5 km, partially done out of lingering guilt over not having done my long run the previous Sunday.</p> <p>Aside from a few brisk walks on my non-running days, I was out of things to do to prepare.</p> <h4>The Race Morning</h4> <p>I spent the entire week before the race agonizing over what to wear. The weather forecast called for around -3C in the morning, rising to -1 or 0 by the end of the race. </p> <p>That's an awkward temperature for me, because I have a really warm winter shell for when it's -5 or below, and of course you can just wear shorts and a long-sleeve shirt or two if it's above +2 or 3. When it's in the range of -3 to +3, I have a floppy windbreaker I wear that suits the weather but isn't great for going fast in a race. </p> <p>"Luckily" the morning dawned really cold, -6C according to my local Wunderground station. That meant I could safely wear my winter shell, but I was still worried about it getting too warm later, since the thing is just too hot above -4. So I split the difference and wore the shell on top with shorts on bottom. I figured I could radiate excess heat through my legs if it got too warm.</p> <p>It turns out I was dressed more or less spot-on for the race itself. I was able to tune my warmth by zipping and unzipping the shell and rolling my sleeves up and down, and my legs were plenty warm from the exertion of running. However, the 2.2 km walk from home to FirstOntario Centre was quite chilly. </p> <p>I tend to get paranoid about showing up late or somehow having misread the start time, so I arrived an hour before the race started. That meant an hour of wandering around and killing time. I spent a lot of that outside, in part because being inside the arena made me nervous that I might miss the start of the race, and I got pretty cold. I was shivering quite a bit, and I started to tense up. </p> <p>Being cold like that produced one strange and unpleasant outcome: Not long before the race started, I was hopping over a small concrete bench in front of the federal government building on Bay Street and my back spasmed when I landed. I actually tumbled and rolled over, scraping my hands and right leg and landing on my back. </p> <p>After that, my back was tender, sore and twingy for the entire race and the next few days afterwards. (It actually continued to twinge intermittently for the next several weeks and even flared up again in subsequent months, which was pretty frustrating.)</p> <p>Fortunately, running didn't hurt any more than not running, so I was still able to complete the race. If anything, it forced me to maintain a straight posture because it would flare up when I slumped. </p> <h4>The Race Itself</h4> <p>That stumble was the only sour note in an otherwise excellent experience. When the race actually began, I was of course swept up in the enthusiasm of the starting line and poured down the street along with the almost 6,000 people running the full 30 km or the first part of a relay. </p> <p>My mobile running app is set to give me audio updates every five minutes (time, distance, average speed), but there was so much general noise that I didn't actually hear it until the 15-minute update. I was amazed so much time had already passed!</p> <p>I settled into a speed of around 10.5 km/h (5:43 min/km pace), which was a moderate level of intensity I felt I would be able to sustain for at least the first two-thirds of the race. I employed a relatively fast cadence of three steps per second or 180 steps per minute with a mid- to forefoot strike.</p> <p>My breathing pattern was: inhale five steps and exhale five steps for three repetitions, and then inhale five steps and exhale four steps for one repetition. (Dropping a step from every fourth exhalation means the foot I land on while starting to inhale regularly alternates, <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/running-on-air-breathing-technique">reducing the risk of imbalance injuries</a>.)</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/05_thumbs_up_near_high_level_bridge.jpg" alt="Thumbs up near the High Level Bridge (Image Credit: Marathonfoto)" title="Thumbs up near the High Level Bridge (Image Credit: Marathonfoto)"><br> Thumbs up near the High Level Bridge (Image Credit: Marathonfoto)</p> <p>I still felt good by the 19th km, where the rolling hills of North Shore Boulevard begin, so I decided to keep my pace up by switching to an inhale-four-steps, exhale-four-steps pattern (dropping to exhale three steps every four repetitions) to increase my rate of oxygen intake. </p> <p>That breathing pattern sustained me through the hills and up to Plains Road, but I definitely switched from operating reserves to capital expenditures and could feel my energy level start to drop. Between 15 and 23 km, I gradually munched on a peanut-and-date energy bar, so I was able to replenish some glycogen before bonking. However, my muscles were getting straight-up tired.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/atb_2016_km_23_24_bruce_taylor.jpg" alt="More mugging for the camera in the 24th km (Image Credit: Bruce Taylor)" title="More mugging for the camera in the 24th km (Image Credit: Bruce Taylor)"><br> More mugging for the camera in the 24th km (Image Credit: Bruce Taylor)</p> <p>As an aside, this close-up shows just how dramatically I was pronating:</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/atb_2016_pronation_bruce_taylor.jpg" alt="Prontating on the Bay Race (Image Credit: Bruce Taylor)" title="Prontating on the Bay Race (Image Credit: Bruce Taylor)"><br> Prontating on the Bay Race (Image Credit: Bruce Taylor)</p> <p>For the last five km after Plains Road transitioned to York Boulevard, I switched to an inhale for four, exhale for three breathing pattern, and finally an inhale for three, exhale for three pattern down the home stretch. </p> <p>Again, that allowed me to maintain my pace despite increasing fatigue: my km-29 speed was 10.59 km/h and my km-30 speed was 10.79 km/h. I didn't want to leave anything out on the course.</p> <p>I don't know whether these made a significant difference to my overall speed, but as I had learned during my training runs, it feels much better psychologically to finish strong than to peter out.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/08_crossing_the_finish_line.jpg" alt="Just about to cross the finish line (Image Credit: Marathonfoto)" title="Just about to cross the finish line (Image Credit: Marathonfoto)"><br> Just about to cross the finish line (Image Credit: Marathonfoto)</p> <h4>Results</h4> <p>According to Sportstats, my official time (from when the gun went off until I crossed the finish line) was 2:54:44.6. My chip time (from when I crossed the starting line until I crossed the finish line) was 2:52:31.5. Here is how I measured up against the other participants:</p> <table> <caption>Finishing Place by Comparator</caption> <thead> <tr> <th>Comparator</th> <th>Population</th> <th>Place</th> <th>Percentile</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td>Males age 40-44</td> <td>443</td> <td>267</td> <td>40</td> </tr> <tr> <td>All males</td> <td>2,669</td> <td>1,508</td> <td>43</td> </tr> <tr> <td>All participants</td> <td>5,259</td> <td>2,253</td> <td>57</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Among the 443 males age 40-44 in the 30 km, I finished in 267th place, putting me in the 40th percentile (i.e. faster than 40 percent of the runners in this category). Among all 2,669 males, I finished in 1,508th place, putting me in the 43rd percentile (i.e. faster than 43 percent of all male runners). Among all 5,259 30 km participants, I finished in 2,253rd place, putting me in the 57th percentile (i.e. faster than 57 percent of all the runners).</p> <p>I can honestly say I'm completely satisfied with being roughly in the middle of the pack when the pack in question is people who ran a 30 km race!</p> <h3>My First Extended Fast</h3> <p>By this point I had been having really positive experiences with 18:6 intermittent fasting, but I found myself wanting to experiment with something more intensive. </p> <p>So on Sunday, April 24 at around 8:00 PM, I ate a piece of banana bread after dinner. That was the last thing I ate until Wednesday, April 27 at 9:00 PM, when I had a slice of toast to restart my digestive system.</p> <p>For the intervening 73 hours, I ate nothing and drank only water and clear tea.</p> <h4>Day One</h4> <p>The first day, Monday, was pretty easy. I was already accustomed to intermittent fasting on an 18:6 schedule so I didn't really start feeling hungry until mid-afternoon. Monday was a day off from my running schedule, but I took a brisk 7 km walk around lunchtime and felt fine.</p> <p>Monday evening was harder, because the division of labour in my household has me cooking dinner on weekdays and that night's scheduled dinner was latkes. The smell of frying potato, onion and egg was an intoxicating test of my resolve. My family said it felt weird and uncomfortable to have me sitting with them during dinner but not eating. It felt a bit weird for me, too.</p> <p>Mood-wise, I found myself getting crabby and irritable in the evening. I had to hold my tongue when I found myself wanting to get snappy with my family.</p> <p>A common piece of advice for fasting is to drink lots of water, but I think I may have overdone it a bit. On Monday night, I got up three times to pee, when I usually sleep through the night. I also slept rather poorly, but that's pretty common for me.</p> <h4>Day Two</h4> <p>I woke up on Tuesday morning without a feeling of hunger, which was nice. I got up and felt reasonably energetic. I didn't notice anything until I was walking to work, when my hunger level ramped up during the exertion of a moderately brisk walk.</p> <p>Tuesday is a running day for me, and I usually run 10 km during my lunch hour. People who go on extended fasts recommend taking the time to rest and let the body enjoy a break from day after day of exertion. This makes sense, but one of the reasons I wanted to fast in the first place was to learn more about my body, including how my physical performance relates to the food I eat. So I decided to follow my usual running schedule and see what happened.</p> <p>I noticed several things on this particular run, in which I only managed a little over 9 km in the time I usually run 10+ km:</p> <ol> <li><p>My energy level was severely depleted compared to how I usually feel. My normal easy cruising speed is in the 10.5 km/h range, but for this run I could barely maintain 10 km/h at a fairly hard exertion. I found that if I pushed beyond this, I started to feel light-headed, but if I maintained this speed, I felt okay (not good, just okay).</p></li> <li><p>I normally follow the breathing pattern: inhale for five steps and exhale for five steps (5:5), but with this run I almost immediately had to revert to 4:4 - I just wasn't getting enough air on 5:5. During parts of the hill, I had to go to 4:3 and even 3:3. </p></li> <li><p>I had been feeling just a dull, mild hunger that day until I started running, at which point it became an acute, roaring hunger. The intensity of hunger did gradually subside after I stopped running, but it seemed more present for the rest of the day.</p></li> <li><p>For the first time in as long as I can remember, I actually found myself wanting to cut the run short and bail. The whole thing felt like the last exhausted stretch of a long run that extends your distance limit - the part you push yourself through with sheer willpower.</p></li> </ol> <p>On Tuesday evening, I had to run the dinner gauntlet again, and it was even harder than on Monday to abstain from eating. Dinner was breaded chicken and quinoa with roasted root vegetables and toasted pecans, pepitas and sunflower seeds. The smell of roasting carrots, parsnips and beets almost drove me batty. (Interestingly, the chicken did nothing for me.) Instead of sitting with my family for dinner, I kept myself busy in the kitchen cleaning up, which everyone seemed to prefer.</p> <p>Tuesday night I only got up to pee twice, but I slept quite poorly again.</p> <h4>Day Three</h4> <p>Once again, I felt no hunger when I woke up, and once again, the hunger came back during my walk to work. By Wednesday I definitely noticed that I was walking more slowly than usual. I just didn't seem to have it in me to pick up the pace.</p> <p>I continued to work at my standing desk (I like to keep moving when I'm working, and I listen to music to have something to move to), and I didn't particularly feel weak while working, taking the stairs or doing my daily routine of planks, pushups and one-legged calf-raises. </p> <p>Instead, as the morning went on, I began to feel giddy. My energy level seemed to be fine, despite the ever-present gnaw of hunger, and I had no trouble concentrating. In fact, I found my mental clarity became sharper than usual. </p> <p>I was curious to see how my body would perform on my next scheduled run. As it turns out, it performed very much like it did on Tuesday, except that I eased off a bit further on my pace in order to make the experience less dire. I actually felt a bit of a second wind on the back half of the run, though I only managed to run 9 km and my average speed ended up being a stately 9.85 km/h. Once again, a hunger that had been mostly dull and low-intensity roared back into high alert once I started running, and it took a while after the run ended before it settled back to a dull grumble again.</p> <p>On Wednesday afternoon, I felt - there's no other way to put it: I felt <em>low</em>. It was a deep physical, emotional and spiritual low point for me. Walking up a flight of stairs left me feeling fatigued, and I felt more depressed and discouraged than I remember feeling in a while. Dinner was barbecued honey-garlic sausages and a big salad. This was easier to make and not eat, since the smell of cooking sausages was diffused in the outdoor breeze. However, that low, lethargic, depressed feeling continued all evening. My wife kept asking me if I was okay.</p> <p>By the time I went to bed, I felt downright terrible, and I seriously wondered if I might be doing myself harm. In particular, my heartbeat felt strange - a bit fast and heavy, and I could feel it beating throughout my body. I sort of felt the way I feel after a couple of days of illness. I had been intending to continue the fast for five days - unless I became seriously concerned about my health. So I decided with a heavy heart to break my fast on Wednesday night. </p> <p>I made myself a slice of whole-grain toast with a scrape of butter and nibbled on it slowly over 20 minutes, drinking lots of water along the way. My stomach gurgled happily for the next hour or so, and I eventually fell asleep. (And yes, I woke up twice to pee.)</p> <h4>Day Four</h4> <p>I woke up on Thursday morning feeling incredibly revitalized. That one piece of toast completely changed my mood and energy level! I thought I would wake up ravenous after re-engaging my stomach with food, but I didn't actually start to feel hungry until after my walk to work.</p> <p>I took this day to transition from fasting to normal eating again. There's a terrifying thing called <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440847/">refeeding syndrome</a>, and I don't know what the threshold is for triggering it but I was not going to take any chances. I started with a smallish tossed salad of arugula, walnuts and apple slices, which I nibbled very slowly over half an hour with a mug of tea. Then I let that sit for a few hours to see how it went down.</p> <p>Thursday is a cross-training day for me, so I went on a lunchtime bike ride as part of a project I'm working on to analyze GPX data from <a href="https://hamilton.socialbicycles.com/">Hamilton Bike Share</a> trips. My energy level felt great - in fact, I generally felt fantastic all day, from the moment I woke up. After my deep low on Wednesday, I was euphoric. I had a spring in my step again, and seemingly all the energy a person could ask for.</p> <p>For lunch, I ate some of the leftover quinoa and roasted vegetable salad from Tuesday night. Again, I ate very slowly and had it with lots of water.</p> <p>After work, I had a snack and then my wife and I went to an event where they were serving delicious bite-sized appetizers - perfect for someone adjusting back to eating after a multi-day fast.</p> <h4>General Observations</h4> <p>I'm disappointed I wasn't able to go the full five days. From what I've read, fasting usually becomes considerably easier after the third day, and I didn't continue long enough to experience this. On the other hand, I had decided at the outset that I would only stop if I became seriously worried about my health, and this is what I did. I didn't give up because of hunger - in fact, the hunger generally wasn't as bad as I expected - or because of a lack of willpower.</p> <p>I also made a point of not telling people I was fasting. The only people I told were my immediate family, who would otherwise have wondered why I wasn't eating with them, and one friend with whom I share an interest in "life hacking". </p> <p>I'm not religious but I was raised Catholic and have always been struck by the message in Matthew 6:16: "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward." So I tried my best not to "look dismal", mope around and allow myself to feel self-pity, as if I was making some kind of big sacrifice. </p> <p>After all, I was fasting on my own initiative, and I was doing it in order to widen my experience of the human condition, learn about my body and mind, and explore the potential health benefits. That's hardly a basis to feel sorry for oneself!</p> <p>I learned that food contains a lot of water. When you stop eating, you need to dramatically increase the amount of water you drink to avoid getting dehydrated. Even though I was drinking twice as much water as I usually do, my lips still tended to get dry and chapped. On the bright side, I didn't experience any of the headaches that plague lots of people who fast.</p> <p>Overall, I found I had enough energy to do day-to-day tasks, and I experienced a high level of mental clarity. I did get the occasional feeling of dizziness, and I started to feel light-headed a few times during exertion (running or climbing stairs), but my ability to function through day-to-day activities seemed to be unimpaired. </p> <p>But my ability to carry out physical activities of any real intensity - like running - was severely impaired. I went from running 12-14 km at 10.6-7 km/h on an easy pace the week before to being exhausted going 9 km at barely 10 km/h. This was extremely instructive. </p> <p>What really surprised me was the deep pit of depression and lethargy I sank into on Wednesday. Again, I wish I had been able to go an extra day to find out whether that would pass.</p> <h4>Variations</h4> <p>This experience has transformed my relationship with food. I have a new appreciation for what it means to be hungry - <em>really</em> hungry, not just peckish or snackish or cravingish. I don't know whether I will do another extended water-only fast - and if I do, I will commit fully to taking the time to be as restful as possible. But I'm also interested in exploring some variations on fasting, like the periodic fast-mimicking diet, which reduces food intake by two-thirds for five days instead of eliminating it entirely.</p> <p>I like this approach in part because I started to become concerned about not replenishing electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and so on. I was drinking and flushing a huge amount of water, and while I didn't sweat much, I still worried that I might be putting myself in danger. A fast-mimicking diet might provide for the benefits of fasting while avoiding the dangers of an electrolyte imbalance.</p> <h3>Unity Run</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.unityrun.org/">Unity Run</a> (formerly the Blarney Run) is an annual fundraiser for PTSD support for emergency first responders. The first year, the run started at Bayfront Park. Last year it started at Coronation Area in Westdale. This year it was held on Saturday, May 14 and started at Confederation Park in the east end.</p> <p>I had signed up for the 10.4 km run (after 10-4, the radio ten-code for "okay/understood/affirmative") and didn't do any special preparation for it since that's how far I go on my regular weekday runs. </p> <p>Race day dawned cold and miserable. I woke up to steady rainfall and a single-digit temperature. I reluctantly biked the 15 km to Confederation Park and picked up my race kit. The rain had stopped by the time I got there and the temperature crept up a few degrees.</p> <p>The run itself was a lot of fun. I didn't see anyone I knew but there was a nice camaraderie. Not particularly concerned about my finish time, I started nice and easy - around 10.5 km/h - but the run felt good and I steadily ramped up my pace. I did the last two km or so at nearly 12 km/h and ended up finishing with an average speed of 11.45 km/h, which is the second-fastest I've run a 10 km.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/ryan_mcgreal_unity_run_2016_finish_line.jpg" alt="Photo taken at the finish line for the Unity Run" title="Photo taken at the finish line for the Unity Run"><br> Photo taken at the finish line for the Unity Run</p> <p>I have to say, the bike ride home after the race was a bit slower than the bike ride there, but all in all I enjoyed book-ending the run with bike rides. The former was a nice warm-up and the latter was a nice way to stay moving and limber.</p> <h3>Sulphur Springs Trail Race</h3> <p>My next organized run after that was the <a href="http://www.burlingtonrunners.com/races/sulphur-springs-trail-race/">Sulphur Springs Trail Race</a>. I heard about this run from friends who had signed up for the 50 km. That seemed out of my range so I signed up for the 25 km. There's also a 10 km, a 100 km and a 100 mile (160 km) route.</p> <p>I <em>really</em> enjoy trail running. I like to run at an easy pace, take my time and keep relaxed when navigating the variable surface of roots, logs, rocks, mud, dirt, grass, streams and up-and-down hills. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/deer_on_iroquoia_heights_side_trail_2016_04.jpg" alt="Deer on Iroquoia Heights Side Trail" title="Deer on Iroquoia Heights Side Trail"><br> Deer on Iroquoia Heights Side Trail</p> <p>Instead of focusing on speed, I put in as many hours of trail running as I could. For my weekend long runs, I started venturing farther outside the comfort of the Rail Trail, which is generally wide and flat.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/long_run_trails_map_detail.png" alt="Map detail, long run on Saturday, April 30, 2016" title="Map detail, long run on Saturday, April 30, 2016"><br> Map detail, long run on Saturday, April 30, 2016</p> <p>One route I really enjoyed was: up the Radial Trail, the side trails between Scenic and the Highway 403 footbridge, turn right on Filman Road and take the Bruce Trail east of Tiffany Falls and across Wilson Street, past Sherman falls, across Lions Club Road, up Artaban Road to the Monarch Trail, west along the trail to the Main Loop, around the loop past the Hermitage, past the Sulphur Springs Trail Centre to the Spring Creek Trail, and then back to the Rail Trail via Sanctuary Park.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/panorama_bruce_trail_near_tiffany_falls.jpg" alt="Bruce Trail between Filman Road and Wilson Street" title="Bruce Trail between Filman Road and Wilson Street"><br> Bruce Trail between Filman Road and Wilson Street</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/bruce_trail_bridge_near_sherman_falls.jpg" alt="Bruce Trail bridge near Sherman Falls" title="Bruce Trail bridge near Sherman Falls"><br> Bruce Trail bridge near Sherman Falls</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/deer_on_radial_trail_west_of_chedoke_parking_lot.jpg" alt="Deer crossing Radial Trail west of Chedoke Golf Course parking lot" title="Deer crossing Radial Trail west of Chedoke Golf Course parking lot"><br> Deer crossing Radial Trail west of Chedoke Golf Course parking lot</p> <p>Trail running is a fantastic way to encounter local wildlife. Species I've come across include beaver, chipmunk, coyote, deer, fox, garter snake, groundhog, mouse, otter, possum, rabbit, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, vole, and of course a wide variety of birds.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/rabbit_on_rail_trail.jpg" alt="Rabbit on the Rail Trail" title="Rabbit on the Rail Trail"><br> Rabbit on the Rail Trail</p> <p>Through the month of May, it was wonderful watching the forest come back to life after winter's dormancy. It felt like all the trees, plants and ground cover burst into greenery in a matter of days. From one week to the next, the same place looked completely different. I even got lost a couple of times because I could no longer recognize landscape features.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/trail_off_escarpment_trail_covered_in_greenery.jpg" alt="Pathway off Escarpment Trail between Wentworth Stairs and Kenilworth Overpass" title="Pathway off Escarpment Trail between Wentworth Stairs and Kenilworth Overpass"><br> Pathway off Escarpment Trail between Wentworth Stairs and Kenilworth Overpass</p> <h4>Feeling Unprepared</h4> <p>There were a couple of practice runs in the months before the Sulphur Springs Trail Race, but I wasn't able to make it to either of them, so I kind of went into the event blind without a clear sense of just how hard these trails were going to be. I had done some running in the Dundas Valley and had tackled the Main Loop, Heritage Trail and Monarch Trail, so I hoped that the other trails that were part of the 25 km route weren't much harder. </p> <p>The starting/finish line was behind the Ancaster Community Centre at Jerseyville Road and Martin Road, so I decided I would bike the 12 km to and from the event, as I had for the Unity Run. The ride there would make a nice warmup, and I reasoned that the ride home would be mostly downhill.</p> <p>I went to bed early the night before, woke up with lots of time before having to leave, and relaxed with a big glass of water, a few spoonfuls of rice, nuts and legumes and a banana. I brought two bottles of water with me - one slung into my water belt and the other left with my bike for afterwards. </p> <h4>Homemade Food Bars</h4> <p>I also brought a homemade cashew and date bar. I used to buy Larabars to munch on during my long run but at some point it occurred to me that it probably wouldn't be that hard to make an energy bar if it only has two ingredients. </p> <p>Sure enough, I found lots of recipes online, all of them pretty similar: mix roughly equal parts cashews and dates into a food processor, process until fairly smooth, press mixture into wax paper in a brick shape, cool thoroughly in the refrigerator, then slice into individual bars and wrap in a little cellophane. You can <a href="/recipes/41">see the recipe I am using after some trial and error</a>.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/homemade_energy_bar_sliced.jpg" alt="Homemade energy bars" title="Homemade energy bars"><br> Homemade energy bars</p> <p>I switched to homemade bars after ATB and haven't looked back. They're cheaper, taste great, are easy to eat on the run (literally) and do a nice job of supplying energy and protein when I need it.</p> <h4>The Race</h4> <p>So I left in plenty of time and biked to the starting/finish line. Race day itself was extremely hot, well into the 30s and quite humid. It was already hot at 6:30 AM - and as it was early in the year, no one was acclimatized to it yet. </p> <p>I checked in, got my t-shirt (I joke that getting t-shirts is half the reason I sign up for these things), locked it up with my bike and then paced around nervously, worrying that I would be standing in the wrong spot when the race started. </p> <p>I came across my friends who had signed up for the 50 km route, so we started the run together until the point where the two routes diverged.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/sulphur_springs_trail_race_route_map_from_runkeeper.jpg" alt="Sulphur Springs Trail Race 25K route (from Runkeeper)" title="Sulphur Springs Trail Race 25K route (from Runkeeper)"><br> Sulphur Springs Trail Race 25K route (from Runkeeper)</p> <p>The run was lots of fun. It was damned muggy and the hills were brutal, but I didn't feel pressure to race so I just took my time and enjoyed myself. If a hill was long and steep, I walked it and took the opportunity to have a swig of water.</p> <p>It felt very convivial. Aside from the leaders, most people were there to enjoy running in the forest, so there were lots of nice conversations along the way.</p> <p>The route encompassed the Headwaters Trail, Hilltop Trail, Spring Valley Trail, Main Loop, Monarch Trail, Sulphur Creek Trail, Lookout Trail, Reforestation Trail, Old Martin Road Trail, G Donald Trail, and a short segment along Mineral Springs Road. </p> <p>By the end, I was ready not to be running any more. After crossing the finish line and getting my medal and another water bottle, I walked off the run, did some stretches and then biked home, thankful indeed that it was mostly downhill.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/gelder_sulphur_springs_trail_race_2016.jpg" alt="Me near the end of the Sulphur Springs Trail Race (Image Credit: Rich Gelder)" title="Me near the end of the Sulphur Springs Trail Race (Image Credit: Rich Gelder)"><br> Me near the end of the Sulphur Springs Trail Race (Image Credit: Rich Gelder)</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://georesults.racemine.com/Burlington-Runners/events/2016/Sulphur-Springs-Trail-Races/results">race results</a>, I finished in 2:28:52 for a pace of 5:57 min/km (10.08 km/h). That put me in 65th place among the 219 25 km participants and 48th place among the 109 male participants. Once again I was in the middle of the pack, and perfectly happy with that.</p> <h3>Summer Running</h3> <p>After a relatively mild winter, we had a long, dry, not-very-warm spring this year, with only a few hot days (including the day of the Sulphur Springs Trail Race). But by mid-June, temperatures were spiking into the 30s and I remembered how gnarly it is to run in hot, humid weather. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/iroquoia_heights_side_trail_01.jpg" alt="Iroquoia Heights Side Trail" title="Iroquoia Heights Side Trail"><br> Iroquoia Heights Side Trail</p> <p>I tend to shift my running times earlier in the day during summer. Because I start work early, on really hot days I sometimes take my lunch hour as early as 9:00 AM so that I can avoid that blistering noon-hour sun. </p> <p>My long runs tend to be easier to manage because I'm already heading out between 5:00 and 6:00 AM, before things get too hot. For my Saturday run on June 18, for example, it was only 13C when I set out - on a day that would climb into the mid-30s by afternoon. </p> <p>At the end of that run, I reached an arbitrary but symbolically important milestone: I had completed a total of 5,000 km since July 27, 2013. On that inauspicious first outing almost three years ago, I managed just 2.71 km at an average speed of 7.78 km/h or a pace of 7:43 per km. I could not even conceive back then that by this summer, I would be averaging 50-60+ km a week.</p> <h4>Hydration</h4> <p>Since this year's Bay Race, when I avoided drinking before or during the race and managed to cover the full 30 km without having to stop to pee, I've been trying to do my runs less hydrated. Despite common fears, it is arguably <a href="https://runnersconnect.net/running-nutrition-articles/overhydration-dangers-drinking-too-much-water-while-running/">easier and more dangerous to get overhydrated</a> than dehydrated.</p> <p>Instead of trying to drink my way though a hot, humid run, I'd rather reduce intensity and listen to my body. If I'm thirsty, I'll take a drink. If I'm not thirty, I won't drink just because I'm "supposed to". I've learned that I routinely lose 2-3 lbs of sweat during a 10 km and even more during a 20-25 km long run. This is a normal part of exercise and nothing to worry about.</p> <p>I also try to pick my routes so that I spend as much time as possible in the shade. That means a lot of running on forest trails, since they're the most shady - and since I'm already going more slowly from the heat, I'm not as fussed about the slower trail pace. </p> <p>I think I'm finally at the point where my ego is in check enough that I can allow myself to go slowly when it's really hot so I don't end up feeling sick.</p> <h4>New Shoes Again</h4> <p>After the middle of June, my right knee started to feel a bit quirky when I was running. This is the normal way my body tells me it's time to replace my shoes. Likewise, the outsole treads were worn down and the soles themselves had become highly pliable. As usual, this happened once the shoes had reached a total distance of around 800 km. I picked up a new pair - Mizuno Wave Riders, same as usual - on June 27 when my old pair had 815 km in total.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/new_shoes_2016_06_27_top.jpg" alt="Top view, old shoe (left) and new shoe (right) on July 27, 2016" title="Top view, old shoe (left) and new shoe (right) on July 27, 2016"><br> Top view, old shoe (left) and new shoe (right) on July 27, 2016</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/new_shoes_2016_06_27_bottom.jpg" alt="Bottom view, old shoe (left) and new shoe (right) on July 27, 2016" title="Bottom view, old shoe (left) and new shoe (right) on July 27, 2016"><br> Bottom view, old shoe (left) and new shoe (right) on July 27, 2016</p> <p>This is my second pair of 19s. My only complaint is that the silver-white colour doesn't age well. I've got a couple of old pairs of version 18s that I now use for walking, and they still look and feel fine despite having 800 km of running <em>plus</em> several hundred km of walking on them. In contrast, the 19s start to look very grimy after a few months, even with cleaning.</p> <h4>Road to Road2Hope</h4> <p>I'd like to try at least one marathon - the classic long-distance running event, 42.2 km in length, based on the fabled messenger run from Marathon to Athens by Pheidippides in ancient Greek literature. The obvious place to start is the <a href="http://hamiltonmarathon.ca/">Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon</a>, which takes place this year on Sunday, November 6, 2016. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/road2hope_marathon_route.png" alt="Road2Hope Marathon route" title="Road2Hope Marathon route"><br> Road2Hope Marathon route</p> <p>Until now, the longest distance I've run has been 30 km. Since the Bay Race, I've been averaging around 25 km for my long runs. I reckon that gives me a pretty good base for marathon training, but I want to build my distance up gradually so that I don't push my body too hard and cause an injury. I'm not interested in a particular speed, at least for my first marathon. I'll be quite okay if I finish it at around 10 km/h, which would give me a finishing time of around 4 hours and 13 minutes. </p> <p>Most training plans I've reviewed are 16 weeks in duration, so the time to start thinking about a November marathon is in July. The first weekend of July, I ran around 24 km for my Saturday long run, taking it easy because I woke up feeling kind of crummy. I ran up the Radial Trail, then down the Filman Road trail to Wilson Street, back along the Rail Trail to McMaster and north to the RBG trails that connect to Princess Point and the Waterfront Trail to Bayfront Park.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/cootes_paradise.jpg" alt="Cottage country, three hours north on the highway? Nope, it's Cootes Paradise in Hamilton" title="Cottage country, three hours north on the highway? Nope, it's Cootes Paradise in Hamilton"><br> Cottage country, three hours north on the highway? Nope, it's Cootes Paradise in Hamilton</p> <p>Later that day, the friends who had encouraged me to join the Sulphur Springs Trail Race asked me if I wanted to do the Sulphur Springs 20 km loop with them on Sunday morning, easy pace. I had not done back-to-back long runs before, but I thought it would be fun to go running with my friends. I was not wrong. It was a real joy - great weather, lovely conversation, and a nice relaxing pace that didn't leave me feeling spent. </p> <p>As a result, I ran a total of 44 km in a 28-hour period. As my one friend pointed out, this was actually a pretty good way to start building marathon capacity without doing too much all at once.</p> <p>On Monday morning I woke up a bit more tired than usual, but nothing serious. My ride into work, plus a 20 km lunch-hour bike ride, shook out the cobwebs and dispelled the aches. That week, I ran a total of 65 km - the 20 km on Sunday, 10 km each on Tuesday and Thursday, and 25 km on Saturday.</p> <h4>Bruce Peninsula</h4> <p>The following two weeks I was on holiday from work. We spent the first week in a cottage of Colpoy's Bay outside of Wiarton. It was fascinating that we drove for over three hours from our house near the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment, only to end up at a cottage near the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/niagara_escarpment_colpoys_bay.jpg" alt="Niagara Escarpment south of Colpoy's Bay" title="Niagara Escarpment south of Colpoy's Bay"><br> Niagara Escarpment south of Colpoy's Bay</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/looking_across_colpoys_bay_at_sunset.jpg" alt="Looking across Colpoy's Bay at sunset: the Niagara Escarpment also runs along the opposite shore" title="Looking across Colpoy's Bay at sunset: the Niagara Escarpment also runs along the opposite shore"><br> Looking across Colpoy's Bay at sunset: the Niagara Escarpment also runs along the opposite shore</p> <p>Of course, the Bruce Trail also runs along the Niagara Escarpment on its meandering course between Niagara Falls and Tobermory. I went for a few early-morning runs during our week there, and I got to experience the novelty of running along the Bruce Trail several hundred kilometres from the Bruce Trail sections I normally run.</p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/bruce_trail_near_wiarton.jpg" alt="Bruce Trail around 15 km east of Wiarton" title="Bruce Trail around 15 km east of Wiarton"><br> Bruce Trail around 15 km east of Wiarton</p> <p>The trail was nice (notwithstanding the ravenous deerflies), but I have to say that a rural roadway is pretty much my least-favourite surface for running. You have to run on the road because there's no sidewalk or shoulder, and you have to stay on the left side so you can see oncoming traffic. However, the road is cambered (lower on the sides than the centre) for drainage, so your left foot has to come down just a bit lower than your right foot. </p> <p>Over a 12-15 km distance and 12,000-15,000 steps, that imbalance really starts to add up and can lead to injury. Paved paths are also cambered, but it's much safer to mix things up and run on different sides of the path.</p> <h4>Ramping Up, Carefully</h4> <p>The past three weeks I have run over 60 km a week. On the Friday of my second vacation week, my right knee was feeling tweaky, with tightness up and down the outside. (I also noticed a lot of tightness in this leg during the drive to and from the cottage the previous week. Yay middle age.) </p> <p>Not wanting to get caught with patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee), I realized this was my body's way of telling me to back off a bit on the distance, spend more time massaging my legs with the foam roller, and get more proactive about strengthening and balancing my muscles so my kneecap stays where it's supposed to be. </p> <p>Like most running injuries, runner's knee is not a problem with the knee itself but rather a weakness in the kinetic chain that works together to produce running. The way to prevent and treat runner's knee is with exercises that strengthen hip abductors, glutes and quads - exercises I haven't really been doing up to now. </p> <p>I iced my knee and gave it a thorough massage on Friday night, and it felt fine on my long run the following morning. I've been massaging my legs every night since then, and aside from a very occasional twinge, it has not troubled me since. However, it's definitely something to keep an eye on. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/small_ruin_filman_road_trail.jpg" alt="Small ruin on the side of the Filman Road trail" title="Small ruin on the side of the Filman Road trail"><br> Small ruin on the side of the Filman Road trail</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The following table summarizes the total distance run and calories burned by year for my first three years of <a href="/running">running</a>:</p> <table> <caption>Total Distance and Calories by Year</caption> <thead> <tr> <th>Year</th> <th>Distance (km)</th> <th>Calories</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td>1</td> <td>1,325.21</td> <td>155,468</td> </tr> <tr> <td>2</td> <td>1,463.20</td> <td>149,437</td> </tr> <tr> <td>3</td> <td>2,539.66</td> <td>244,302</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Total</td> <td>5,328.07</td> <td>549,207</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Year three is the first time I have managed to avoid getting sidelined by injury, and I've been able to ramp up my total distance in a sustainable manner, mainly by doing most of my running at a lower intensity. In fact, early in 2016 I increased the number of weekly runs from three to four.</p> <p>On the other hand, I'm <a href="/biking">biking</a> rather a lot less than I was last year. When I was injured in late 2014 and again in mid-2015, I switched to biking as an alternative aerobic exercise that would allow me to maintain fitness and keep burning calories while I was unable to run, or only able to run short distances. </p> <p>Last summer, I was averaging around 133 km a week on my bike, enjoying some long weekend rides of 50-65 km. This summer, in contrast, I'm putting most of my energy into running and only biking for an hour or so, two or three times a week. </p> <p>Still, it all adds up. In the past 12 months, I've biked 3,789 km and burned a total of 129,614 calories on rides that were long enough to bother tracking. (I don't bother tracking rides shorter than around five km.)</p> <p>Meanwhile, the <a href="/blog/161/a_year_of_walking">pedometer I received in October 2014</a> is still working, and I've been <a href="/stepcounts">recording my total steps each day</a> ever since. Between walking, running, pedalling a bike, marching in place and boogeying at my standing desk, I've logged a total of almost 14 million steps in the past 21 months, for an overall average of 21,500 steps a day and a rolling past-90-days average of 28,408 steps a day.</p> <p>This is an excellent case in the power of incremental growth over time: when I first started wearing the pedometer, I was averaging less than 10,000 steps a day, which means I have almost tripled my average number of daily steps over a period of less than two years.</p> <h4>Weighing Weight</h4> <p>One other thing I have recently started tracking is my weight. When I first started trying to get into shape, I decided not to get a scale because I didn't want to obsess about my weight. Instead, I wanted to focus on gradually and incrementally changing my daily habits of activity and to trust that changes to my weight and body shape would follow.</p> <p>I went into this knowing that most attempts to get in shape, lose weight, change habits and so on fail - but some succeed. I wanted to understand why that is, and what is different about the attempts that are successful. Some core principles emerged, and they became my touchstones:</p> <ul> <li><p>Most behaviour is habitual, not deliberate. Changing a particular behaviour entails establishing a new habit - and doing so in such a way that the old habit you want to stop is pre-empted.</p></li> <li><p>Attempts to change behaviour through willpower will fail. People just don't have a lot of willpower. Instead, create an environmental context that provides cues to do the new behaviour.</p></li> <li><p>Building a new habit requires lots of consistent repetition over a period of months before it becomes established.</p></li> <li><p>Implementing a small change is more likely to succeed than implementing a big change. But a small change, implemented consistently and then gradually increased, adds up to a big change.</p></li> <li><p>Making one change at a time is more likely to succeed than making several changes at once. Start a new habit, repeat it consistently until it is established, and <em>then</em> start on the next change. This is a long-term project!</p></li> </ul> <p>Over time, as you run up against the limits of a particular change, you have an opportunity to incorporate other, complementary changes in the same manner. In addition to running, I gradually added cross-training, stretching, strengthening exercises, more walking, standing at work, and a series of changes to my diet - both what I eat and when I eat it.</p> <p>In early 2013, I was in the vicinity of 260 lbs - dangerously obese. I believe regularly weighing myself at that time would have been more discouraging than anything else, since the small changes I was making early in the process of changing my lifestyle had only a small proximal impact on my weight, and I wanted to focus on the long term.</p> <p>Three-plus years later, I'm in a different situation. My lifestyle and diet are dramatically different than they were when I started, I'm burning 6-8,000 calories a week in exercise, and the accumulated effects of all these changes have had a major impact on my body shape. I believe that if you want to manage something, you need to measure it, and I'm at the point where the benefits of managing my weight outweigh (pun intended) the risk of discouragement.</p> <p>I've been weighing myself once or twice a week since late April, and aside from the days immediately following my fast, my weight has fluctuated in a range 3-4 pounds around 180 lb. </p> <p class="image"> <img src="/static/images/weight_2016_04_28_2016_07_25.png" alt="Chart: weight measurements between 2016-04-28 and 2016-07-25" title="Chart: weight measurements between 2016-04-28 and 2016-07-25"><br> Chart: weight measurements between 2016-04-28 and 2016-07-25</p> <p>For my height and gender, the Body-Mass Index (BMI) chart says my healthy weight range is between 140 and 189 lbs. I shudder to think of how emaciated I would look at 140 lbs, but I feel that a healthy weight for me is in the 170-180 lb range, so I'm on the high end of where I want to be. </p> <p>I've still got a bit of a paunch that I'd like to reduce over time, and I believe I can get there my maintaining a healthy diet (I ate a lot of junk during my two weeks' vacation) and incorporating more strength-building exercises. My next significant change is going to be adding a program of weight-lifting, and as usual I'm going to start small and gradually build up.</p> Ryan McGreal 2 http://quandyfactory.com/site/24/home 2016-05-11T12:00:00Z Home <p style="float: right; margin-left: 5px;"><img style="border: 1px solid black;" src="/static/images/ryan_mcgreal_headshot_2016_05_11_sm.jpg" alt="Ryan McGreal" title="Ryan McGreal"></p> <p>This is the personal website of Ryan McGreal in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. </p> <p>I live with my family and work as a programmer and writer. I am the editor of <a href="http://raisethehammer.org">Raise the Hammer</a> and volunteer with <a href="http://hamiltonlightrail.ca/" target="_blank">Hamilton Light Rail</a>, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. </p> <p>Several of my <a href="/essays/">essays</a> have been published in the <cite>Hamilton Spectator</cite>.</p> <p>This website serves mainly as a handy repository of <a href="/essays/">published essays</a>, <a href="/projects/">active projects</a>, <a href="/blog/">random musings</a> and <a href="/links/">links</a> that I work on on or use frequently. It's also an online playground where I can try out new ideas.</p> <p>For a much more detailed introduction to the site and its subject matter, check out the <a href="/about/">About</a> page.</p> <p>Otherwise, feel free to contact me via email: <a href="mailto:ryan@quandyfactory.com">ryan@quandyfactory.com</a>.</p> Ryan McGreal 2