the date is set: Sunday, May 15, 2011

race: Toronto Goodlife Fitness Half-Marathon

goal: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Saturday, May 14, 2011

18 hours and counting...

I tweeted this morning that my favourite thing about marathon weekend is the fact that I can indulge in carbs all day and NOT feel guilty. This fact alone – guiltless carbs! hello pasta dinner! – has already perked up this rainy race weekend. But, I can’t lie, I’m worried about tomorrow morning’s 21.5 kilometers.

Meet reasons A & B:

a)    I’m the most fair-weather runner you’ve ever met! I enjoy my runs when the sun is shining, the temperature allows me to wear a Lulu tank and shorts, yet not be TOO warm, and there is a light breeze to break it up. Yes, I know, this happens maybe once or twice a year…but still, I’m not an all-seasons dynamo. And the forecast for tomorrow? RAIN! RAIN! RAIN! I will be praying to Mr. Weatherman tonight for a miracle.
b)   I probably should have been more focused on training. Starting a new job, moving,  a break-up, adjusting to working full-time…all of these major changes in my life have, understandably, consumed majority of my focus. Training has definitely become a second priority.

In saying all of this, despite my nerves for tomorrow morning, I must also say that I’m excited. Partly to just get the thing over with and move on to new fitness routines, but moreover because of the high at the finish. The accomplishment. The appreciation for my body and health. The feeling of crossing the finish line and feeling awesome, even though exhausted, for the rest of the day.

At the Runner’s Expo on Friday evening when I picked my race kit up with a friend, the conversation went like this…
“You know, $90 to run a half-marathon is pretty pricey!”
“AND, our Saturday night is ruined because of the 5:00 a.m. wake up call!”
“WHY do we do this to ourselves?”

And I think, the answer, quite simply is a love for running. The energy at the starting line, the adrenaline that kicks in at 2k, the excitement of finishing…and the ultimate completion of a goal. It's success of the body and mind!

The countdown is on….18 hours away from the start. 20 hours, and a bit, away from that finish line! 

Fingers crossed for a HAPPY run!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Countdown is ON.

I’m breaking the silence. I haven’t been writing, for the exact same reason that my training has been slightly (and by slightly, I mean majorly) behind. And that reason is, simply, lack of time. I used to think my parents were making it up when they said that “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” But now, I understand. Some days there are simply not enough hours to get in that 15 kilometer run before its dark. Some days, after working for ten hours in 4-inch pumps, your feet just aren’t willing to hit the pavement for the scheduled run. And some days, I’ve learned quickly in the working world, bring absolute exhaustion that turns a 17-k long run into a pathetic 5-k loop.

The PR world, as I’m learning, does not stop. And although the fast-pace and energy is what I love, it doesn’t coincide with marathon-training quite so well. On top of this newfound tidbit, my running buddy, Jocelyn, who I was supposed to run the TO Goodlife with in less than 7 days, hurt her knee so badly that she can’t run – she can barely kick in the pool! Jocey IS who pulled me through two half-marathons. The thought of running without her is downright terrifying.

Okay, okay; I’ll stop with the pity party. I do have SOME uplifting news:

The first race of the season went down well! I ran a 10-mile race on Easter Long weekend.
Felt good, enjoyed the run, nice course. It was the first time I had ran a double loop. But what was really awesome about the run, was that I was able to be a part of a good friend’s reaching of her goal. Cathy, follow her blog here, has been training all winter and spring – and not only did she beat her goal, she beat is by 15 minutes! Yes, I know, amazing! This race really did inspire me to pick up my feet (literally!) and get moving on my own goals…

My goal for the marathon seemed very clouded. Joce won’t be there to help me with my time and pace. It’s not my first one. Not my fifth. Just another run. But then, on Saturday, something just clicked. The sun was shining, and I decided, even though I should be tapering, to do a long run and figure out how on earth I was going to get through this half.

The Niagara Parkway was my destination. 12km of just me. Although it was definitely not just me be on the paths. Couples walking their dogs. Families biking in large groups. Tourists snapping a million photos of the gorge. Picnic baskets. Teenagers making out. Roller-bladers. You name it – spring was out in full force. This in itself-- the atmosphere, the excitement of the warm weather, the happiness in the air, the fresh smell of cut grass, the fruit-stands dusting off their windows—this burst of sunshine and spring, made my Saturday morning run so enjoyable, so peaceful…and so pumped up for my half-marathon THIS Sunday.

What I find funny is this: running, and training more precisely, can become such a ‘chore’. Such an “added stress” on the end of a busy work day. Yet, it only takes ONE amazing run. One fabulous runners’-high, and all of the reasons WHY I love running comes so apparent, so blatant, so in my face – that the half-marathon goal just a couple weeks ago I was beginning to dismiss, seems reachable yet again.

The countdown is on! 5 full days left. 

Happy Running!