Thursday, April 28, 2005

Countdown to race day - 3 Days

Actually less than 3 days. Tomorrow we all leave to go down to Cincinnati so the blog will go quiet until at least Monday or Tuesday unless we find a computer down there.

Last night we picked up our 100% Canadian Bacon Fleece for our trip. They look great.

So Tomorrow we will be driving down. Saturday is the Expo and pasta party. Sunday is a little 42.2K run and then lots of celebrating. Monday we will be traveling back.

This is going to be a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Countdown to race day - 4 Days

Only four more days to Cincinnati. Everyone seems to be getting excited about the trip.

There seems to be a fair amount of interest in the Beginners clinic at Don Mills and Eglinton so if you're on the fence sign up soon. It looks like it will be a great clinic.

Don't forget there are no group runs planned for this weekend as most of us will be at the Flying Pig Marathon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Countdown to race day - 5 Days

Only five days to the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. As a result of most of us going to Cincinnati this weekend, there will be no organized group runs. Next week we'll be back at it, maybe a little sorer, maybe a little slower but we will be there.

For those of you looking for details of our upcoming clinics, click on the clinic you are interested in on the right hand side under 'Upcoming clinics'. Remember if you have any questions you can contact us or post your questions directly on this page and we'll do our best to address any concerns you have.

For those looking for info on the Flying Pig this weekend, I added a link to the official race site in the 'Links' section on the right.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Countdown to race day - 6 Days

The past weekend saw more bad weather but we braved it anyway and went out for a race pace 16K. Actually we dodged the worst of the weather and it poured before and after our run. I looked up the forecast for Cincinnati on Sunday and it is thunderstorms and a high of about 20°C. If it's hot and humid, it won't be much fun.

I'm still looking forward to the weekend though, especially the beer after the race. I think we have all earned it!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Countdown to race day - 9 Days

Only nine more days to the big trip to Cincinnati and I'm now well into taper mode. This weekend's long run will be 16K and I'm looking forward to not having to do extreme mileage.

Plans for our upcoming clinics are coming along nicely. We'll also be posting more details on our organized group runs soon.

Boot Camp

What is it?
The Boot Camp program is going to be an intensive training program designed to improve race times for either the half or full marathon distance. We will be preparing to race in the fall. All aspects necessary for a balanced training program will be incorporated.

Strength training
Core training
Individual specific distance and paces

Where? When?
Monday nights - strength classes, Pickering, beginning May 9 (time, tba)
Tuesday nights - yoga for runners, Pickering, beginning May 10, 8pm
Saturday mornings - trail running, locations tba each week, beginning May 14, 8am
Sunday mornings - long slow runs, locations tba each week, beginning May 15, 8am

Programs will be broken into 2 phases, the first phase focussing on building a strong mileage base, the second phase focussing on building speed and intensity.

strength classes $5/week or $50 for 12 weeks
Yoga for runners $5/week for Boot Camp participants
Individualized running programs $70
Organized group runs saturday and sunday mornings FREE for participants

Jocelyn Briggs - contact me with any questions
905 895-2017

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Countdown to race day - 10 Days

Last night we did some last minute speed work in preparation for Cincinnati. Three 800m repeats on a rather wet track. Luckily the rain had stopped by the time we went out. Jocelyn smoked me on the last repeat but that's what I get for eating too much before the run (I always have an excuse).

We are putting together details for upcoming training and group runs so watch this space for details....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Don Mills & Eglinton Beginners Clinic

What is it?

A gentle ten week program designed for beginner runners who have little or no experience with running. At the end of the program you will be able to complete a 5K fun run.


The clinic will be held at 789 Don Mills Road at Don Mills and Eglinton.


Mondays at 4:30pm starting May 9th, 2005.

What do I get?

Each week we will meet for a 30 minute classroom session on subjects related to running such as stretching, injury prevention, nutrition etc. After which we will go outside and do a 30 minute workout. Don't panic, we start out doing more walking than running and slowly build up the amount of running. The program requires you to run 2 more times per week which you can arrange to do alone or with others in the group whichever is more convenient to you.

As well as the weekly sessions you will receive a free moisture wicking technical T-shirt ($40 retail value) as well as a training schedule, written course materials, e-mail newsletter as well as fitness and lots of fun.

You will also have access to weekly organized group runs with the Hit the Road Run Club.

How much does it cost?

The cost is only $70 per person for the 10 week course including all the items above.

How do I sign up?

Drop us an e-mail at or call (647) 882 9755 (Toronto Number) and we'll get an application form out to you as soon as possible.

Already a runner?

Whether this clinic is your first step towards becoming a runner, you are a seasoned marathoner or anywhere in between, we have organized group club runs available at a different location each week. Many distances and speeds available. Free to clinic members or available on a pay-per-use or club membership basis. Contact us for details. Variety is the spice of life and you'll run stronger too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Countdown to race day - 12 Days

Today's plan was for a 5K recovery run. I love the taper weeks, you just go out there and run. You don't have to go far or fast, just run.

I went down to the trail behind the science centre and decided to do a little off-road running as there's about a 1.5K stretch I could do and make it a 5K loop. I was enjoying it until a crazy squirrel started to chase me. Yes...CHASE. It was on the trail about 10 feet in front of me and I guess the first clue should have been the fact it didn't run away when it saw me. Next thing I know, it's actually chasing me down the trail and those things can move fast.

I had visions of it running up my legs and I was totally freaked. I guess I finally moved far enough away from it's home and it went back to spraying graffiti on the trees (the squirrels around here are tough).

Anyway, after that short sprint the rest of the run was uneventful but I have to remember to start showering with colder water after my lunchtime runs.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Countdown to race day - 13 Days

The Flying Pig is getting closer! Less than 2 weeks and it's taper time. This weekend I ran 24K with the marathon clinic who were out to do 32K. Once I came back I went out on the bike to pace them back in and ended up doing another 16K on the bike.

Today I'm a little sore but I think it's from not being on the bike in a while rather than the actual workload. Next weekend's long run is 16K at race pace and I don't think I'll take the bike out afterwards just to make sure I'm well rested for Cincinnati.

There's a lot going on with clinic preparations for our Don Mills and Eglinton clinic that's coming up as well as some other idea's that I'll fill you all in on when they are a little more final.

Keep watching!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Countdown to race day - 16 Days

Only 16 days to Cincinnati. I'm starting to plan my activities while down there.

Rest today and tomorrow and a relatively short long run on Sunday. The weather is supposed to be great this weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Countdown to race day - 17 Days

The weather is really starting to cooperate with my training. Yesterday it was sunny all day and warm enough last night to do hill work in shorts. I ran a total of 8K with 5 hill repeats and felt pretty good even though I had eaten too much not long before. When will I learn?

Today I went out for a recovery run and added tomorrows miles to today so I ended up doing another 8K up Wilket Creek to Edwards Gardens. There was a school group running up the trial. It was fun to encourage them as I ran past the stragglers. As I entered Edwards gardens their teachers were there with a clipboard and stopwatch so I asked them if I won and one of them said 'You're first in your age group'. My legs are a little sore this afternoon but I have tomorrow and Saturday off so I should be well rested for my shorter long run on Sunday.

Only 17 days 'til the pig. I'm getting excited!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New Logo for Hit The Road

I'm working on a new logo for Hit The Road. Feel free to give me some constructive criticism on the new design. Please keep in mind it is not the final version yet.

This will be the logo on any merchandise and the clinic t-shirts so I need something that is recognizable from a distance.

Recovery run

Today is a bright sunny spring day but when I went out for my 6K recovery run I was surprised to find it was only 6°C.

Apart from being a bit breezy around the knees it was a good run. The forecast for the rest of the week looks warmer and lots of sunshine.

CP article about workplace fitness

Another article about the benefits of Corporate fitness programs......

As waistlines grow, so do corporate benefits in the battle against obesity

Canadian Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A year ago, Ellen Lipschitz was so overweight she couldn't climb three steps without stopping to rest. Now she's 93 pounds lighter and her high blood pressure has dropped.
A scientist who tests drug compounds at Hoffmann-La Roche, the 55-year-old Lipschitz credits Weight Watchers meetings and daily exercise - all at her office. "I'm so proud of what I've done," she said. "If we didn't have it at work, I probably wouldn't be doing it."
The pharmaceutical company subsidizes many such programs for employees trying to slim down, and about 60 per cent of its 5,000 U.S. workers participate.
It's part of a growing trend to address a fatter workforce. One employee benefits survey reports that nearly one-third of the U.S. businesses it polled help pay for gym memberships - up 35 per cent in just four years.
"There is a real movement because obesity has increased so much in this country in the last 10 years," said health management consultant Stephanie Pronk of Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
With two-thirds of U.S. adults overweight or obese, many businesses are offering workers weight-loss programs to try to reduce their hefty costs for obesity-related problems, from heart disease and diabetes to arthritis, stroke, certain cancers, depression and lost productivity.
The cost of obesity to American businesses - for health care, sick leave and life and disability insurance - is estimated at $12.7 billion US, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Another study, in the journal Health Affairs, estimated that cost could top $30 billion. Meanwhile, company health insurance premiums jumped an average of 13 per cent last year, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
The most common corporate programs include educational materials, on-site fitness centres and Weight Watchers meetings, reimbursements for gym memberships, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and nutrition counselling.
"The larger, more sophisticated self-insured employers are doing this more than the fully insured ones," said Craig Gunsauley, managing editor of Employee Benefit News. "Even though the payoff may not come for many years, employers know that healthy employees make less health care claims and are more productive."
The trend is more common at companies offering managed care health plans than preferred provider or fee-for-service plans, experts say.
Pronk said some businesses started paying for diet pills several years ago and, in the last two years, some have even begun paying for stomach-shrinking surgery such as gastric bypass - costing up to $40,000 - for those dangerously obese. Drug maker Wyeth has been doing that for years.
The Society for Human Resource Management's annual survey of several hundred employee benefit managers found 31 per cent subsidize or reimburse gym membership fees. That's a 35 per cent jump from 1999 to 2003.
Twenty-two per cent provide on-site fitness centres, up from 20 per cent in 1999; 24 per cent offer a weight-loss program, up from 23 per cent; and 11 per cent provide nutrition counselling, up from eight per cent.
Which benefits are provided varies widely by industry. For example, half the high-tech companies surveyed by the human resource management group subsidize gym memberships, 48 per cent of insurance companies provide weight-loss programs, and 54 per cent of educational services businesses had on-site fitness centres.
In June, the Washington Business Group on Health, which represents large private and public employers, created the Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity. The group's 175 member companies provide health coverage for more than 40 million U.S. workers, dependants and retirees.
Already, 19 major companies - from Ford and IBM to Pepsico, Aetna and Honeywell - have joined the institute's board. Others, including two restaurant companies, are interested, said institute president Helen Darling.
"What we're trying to do is help employers be understanding and be supportive of people who choose healthy lifestyles," she said.
Initial strategies the institute is recommending include encouraging use of stairs in office buildings, creating walking paths nearby, offering health risk appraisals, holding nutrition and exercise classes on-site at lunch and after work, and forcing vendors to include healthy foods in cafeterias and vending machines, as well as better food labelling.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson plans to meet with business leaders in the next few weeks to discuss their efforts to fight obesity among employees, according to a spokesman. In July, Thompson met with insurance executives to urge them to fight obesity by discounting premiums for people with healthy lifestyles.
Innovative health insurance programs and employers have begun offering plans that give workers financial rewards for exercising, dieting and other healthy behaviour, said Dr. Kelly Victory of Whole Health Management, which provides companies with on-site wellness programs and medical care.
Destiny Health of Oakbrook, Ill., has a point system for earning health club discounts and free movie tickets or weekends at hotels. PacifiCare Health System of Cypress, Calif., in October will begin offering reduced co-payments to members of employer-sponsored managed care plans who take part in races, document other exercise or reach their goal weight.
"We have a lot of interest from employers who say (incentive) is the missing piece of the puzzle," said Dr. Sam Ho, PacifiCare's chief medical officer.
Still, plenty of businesses are doing no more than handing out educational leaflets. So far, there's little evidence that costly obesity-related services - other than gastric bypass - work long-term for most people, said Dr. Alan Spiro, head of health care management at human resource consultants Towers Perrin.
"I'm seeing more talk than action," he said.

Monday, April 11, 2005

What a difference a week makes

Last weekend's long run was in snow, sleet, wind and rain. This week was beautiful sunshine and mild temps.

We did 30K with the marathon clinic and went down to the lakefront for the first time this year. Compared to last weeks run it felt easy and I enjoyed it so much more.

From here to the Flying Pig marathon it's taper time so no more really long distance runs. No aches an pains to report so it looks good for Cincinnati.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Another beautiful day for a run

Today's run was great, 13°C and not a cloud in the sky. I ran 5K with my neighbour and there were a lot of runners out there for a Friday.

This weekend is my last long run before Cincinnati. The Marathon clinic is planning 29K and the expected temp is 16°C.

It doesn't get any better than that!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Hills and Blog Changes

Wednesday I went out with the marathon clinic to do some hill repeats. My plan was to take it easy and do 4 or 5 hills but I ended up doing 8 and not taking them too easy either. I felt good though and it was a good workout. The weather was great again and I ran in shorts and t-shirt even though the sun was going down.

Today was a different story with the weather, it's raining and cool. It didn't stop me though and I still managed an easy 5K with a guy from the office. I never figured out though, how my front got soaked yet my back was pretty dry. My theory is that I was running so fast, the rain couldn't catch me.

You may have noticed a couple of changes to this blog. Seeing how Rogers keep changing our web servers and forcing us to re-work the site, and also how this blog gets updated much more often, I've decided to make this site the main point of contact for Hit The Road.

Over the next few weeks you'll notice some more changes like info about our programs and upcoming clinics. Feel free to post your comments or questions or to let us know if you're interested in us hosting a clinic for your organization.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What a difference a couple of days make

After Sunday's wintry run today's was in shorts and t-shirt. Mostly sunny and about 11°C.

I did a fast 4K which seems really short but between now and Cincinnati I'll be doing more short fast runs. The idea is to keep the intensity and start lowering the mileage. The weather has effectively killed most of my speed workouts for this marathon but so far I'm injury and ache free (touch wood).

He He.

Monday, April 04, 2005

It was a cold and blustery day

The weather over the weekend turned very wintry and VERY windy. Originally I had heard forecasts of 10° and sunny on Sunday but it never materialized.

So with the clocks springing forward and the marathon group wanting to start an hour earlier and over 24 hours already of rain, snow, sleet and wind, I set out to do a 29K run with the clinic.

The first 9-10K was directly into the 40-60Km/h winds with the rain and sometimes snow pelting us in the face. I had the foresight to wear a hat with a peak to keep some of it off my face but it was still very unpleasant. We then turned west and had to lean to the side at times to stay upright. Once we turned south we were zipping along at around 5 minute kilometers but nobody seemed to care, they all just wanted it to be over.

I must say that after drying off a little, breakfast was very welcome. Hopefully that's the end of the wintry weather for our long runs but you never know...This is Canada after all.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Pictures from my run on Vacation in Mexico

Although it was about 8am, it was already about 25C. The place was deserted. The only thing you could hear was the wind and the birds.

Pictures from my run on Vacation in Mexico

Pictures from my run on Vacation in Mexico

The tiny blip in the distance in the middle of this picture is the resort I started from. It was the only sign of civilization.

Pictures from my run on Vacation in Mexico

This is what I saw when I entered the site.

Pictures from my run on Vacation in Mexico

I promised to put up some pictures from my running in Mexico so here goes...

From our resort it was a 6K run to these ruins at Xcambo. There were two main pyramids, this is the view from the top of one to the other.