Week Two: STWM Training

Well for the most part, with the exception of running a few too many k’s, I followed my training plan to the letter this week. Monday and Friday were rest days for me so the week started with a 6k (tempo) run on my own Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday I was with the Running Room marathon clinic for a 10k (tempo) and 6k turned into 8k (steady run) respectively. Saturday I ran another 7.5k on my own and Sunday I was back with the group for a 16k LSD. Thanks to the clinic this was my first solid week of group runs….

I have recently come to the realization that years of running solo has deprived me from the social aspect that comes with running in a group. This was something I wasn’t even aware I was missing until now. This past week offered up opportunities to meet many new friends and have lots of great conversations. As you are all aware, LSD runs are the perfect time to get to know someone new (seeing as you have a couple hours to kill pounding the pavement beside each other). Just such an occasion presented itself to me yesterday on my long group run….

I had planned and prepped but I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the heat yesterday. I spent all day Saturday being really smart about fuelling and hydrating. I also went to bed insanely early to ensure plenty of rest (us runners sure know how to party on a Saturday night when we have longs runs planned for Sunday). At this point, my one downfall was likely running 7.5k on Saturday. Or maybe it was just the humidity. Regardless, Sunday was a bust! I put the slow in LSD!

I’ve asked myself a hundred times what went wrong? Who the hell knows! Maybe I need to learn the etiquette rules when running in groups (any advice here would be appreciated). I spent time with a few people at the back of the pack right off the bat. We chatted and enjoyed the sites along the Barrie lakeshore. Slowly but surely a few started to pull away and I continued to stay back despite feeling pretty good at this point (my coach Roger would have had a few choice words for me here but he was long gone). Then a few more pulled away. I was speaking with a gentleman who stopped a few times to take a pull off a puffer. Uh oh! He was apparently recovering from a head cold. He was really struggling and I stuck with him but the next few k’s proved too much and he turned around. It wasn’t long before I caught up to the the woman in front of me. Lisa. I ran with her for the next little bit who was also struggling in the heat and had run out of water. I also stuck with her. All the supportive stopping and starting may have been what did me in. But running with Lisa gave me an opportunity to talk to her about many things but in particular her experience with marathon running. She said something that allowed me to reflect differently on my week of marathon training…..

“It’s not crossing that finish line that’s hard…that’s the easy part. It’s the training! But you will never regret it”

Interesting. For some reason, may have been dehydration setting in, this had a profound impact on my thoughts for the rest of my run. Here I’ve been perseverating on the thought of my upcoming marathon and intimidated by how hard it is going to be. Second guessing whether this is really something that I can do. My conversation with Lisa was an epiphany moment because I realized that I’m already doing it. I am right smack dab in the hardest part of marathoning and I am doing it!

Unfortunately, Lisa couldn’t finish our LSD either and turned back. Again, I was left on my own…with my map and my new perspective. It certainly wasn’t pretty and wasn’t my best run by any means. But I finished (with no regrets) and learned a hell of a lot in the meantime! Week two was a resounding success!

Thanks Lisa!

Week One: STWM Training

The past few years I have become increasingly more serious about the time I devout to running. But its also been something I’ve done solo. I guess I’ve never really felt the need to seek support from a professional. All this to say that maybe I’ve somewhat become complacent with my goals and its probably time I push myself out of my comfort zone.

So I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a coach/training plan that would help get me to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October prepared and confident. This proved to be a somewhat difficult task as I just couldn’t seem to find anything that seemed like the right fit. Begin panic mode! But when all else fails, your local running store is always there. Enter Roger at the Running Room. Its been one week of training in his marathon clinic and I already know he will get me to my goal (it’s clear that anything else is just not an option). Panic mode averted!

I wasn’t able to follow week 1 of my training plan to the letter. I had previously committed to run the Barrie Half Marathon and scheduled an “easy” week to prepare. Saturday was my last LSD at 10 miles, with some cross training Sunday and Monday for “rest” and a 3.5 mile tempo run on Tuesday. Wednesday was an actual rest day (these are always hard but I knew I needed it). Thursday was my first night with Roger and I soon learned that he means business! We worked on some speed testing to gauge my pace and I ran some of my fastest times ever. I left feeling highly motivated that this is exactly what I needed…someone to push me out of my comfort zone in a safe and supportive environment. Also left not being able to feel my legs but whatever! This made Friday another true rest day to recover and hydrate for Saturday’s half. Saturday was the first day of summer and I can’t think of a better way to spend the morning. The weather was beautiful and the course was awesome (race review coming soon).

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Somehow I managed to see my coach twice while I was racing on Saturday. The last time was about a quarter mile from the finish line. A big thumbs up and “you’re making this look easy” is what drove me through the last little bit. Thanks Roger! Taking some recovery time today and excited for week two!

You’ve Got to be Kidding X 2

Wow, this has certainly been quite the week. At 41 years old…I gotta tell you that I thought I had a pretty good handle on who I was. But, this is the kind of week that teaches you more about yourself then you probably thought you’d wanna know. I have certainly learned a lot. Actually, that’s a lie…I’ve learned two things:

1. When I set my mind to it, I can accomplish almost anything…and I can be proud of myself!

To put this into perspective, and if you’ve read some of my other blogs, you already know that my journey with my health is a tumultuous one. But despite this I am beyond proud of what I have been able to accomplish (thats not always been easy for me to say). I’m also continually impressed by what I accomplish when I lace up a pair of sneakers. Earlier in the week I was notified that I had been chosen to be a Digital Champion Ambassador for the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It is the 25th anniversary this year and I am honoured to train and run alongside a team of inspiring and dedicated individuals. This is my accomplishment and getting here makes me proud!

2. When I set my mind to it, sometimes it doesn’t work out…and dammit I’m still proud!

Still riding on an emotional high it was only a few short days later when I got news…you know the kind….the kind that kicks you in the stomach and sucks the wind right out of ya…and when you’re doubled over in pain it laughs in your face. I’m not gonna say that I didn’t have a moment. The “poor me” moment. Cause I certainly did. Then I laughed back! With my friends and family close I feel more grateful then ever and I am still friggen proud of myself!

The next four months will be spent training tirelessly in anticipation of another accomplishment. I’m chasing 42.2 kms at my first STWM! Now tell me thats not a HUGE (ya, I’m proud already). Here’s information on the 2014 Digital Champions:

http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/blog/2014/06/introducing-our-2014-stwm-digital-champions/

Be sure to check out their inspirational stories and follow their training. Follow my blog for weekly updates on my training…its bound to be an interesting summer of lessons!

Oh, and REGISTER ALREADY!!

http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/en/register.htm