March 30, 2014

Process, reflection, outcome and inspiration.


It’s been a wicked winter.

As a runner, it made for testy and treacherous training conditions. Having a race goal fueled me to keep going on many of my early morning runs in -21C weather here in Toronto.

Today, with the sun shining and the wind blowing, all of the hard work, hills, tempo and execution runs paid off as I raced in Hamilton’s famously hilly Around the Bay 30K Road Race for the first time.

My time was officially 2:00:23, finishing fourth female overall amongst a talented field of athletes, including Krista Duchene, one of my heroes. She is exceptional and her journey has been epic.

Many, many congrats and thanks to my teammates who shared the road today or the lead up to race day. I am constantly humbled by this talented group of individuals. The 2014 race season is going to be very exciting!

Process.

I wanted to pause and take a moment to reflect on what went into my race preparation. Something I rarely take time to share. I hope that it inspires others to set their own goals, stick to a plan and most importantly...enjoy the process.

Over the past 13 weeks, I’ve averaged 90 kilometers per week (with the highest week hitting 112 kilometers and the lowest hitting 30 kilometers while traveling through Costa Rica in early January). My coach had our training group running hills once a week, building from 5 to 12 intervals over the course of three months. It was grueling but so helpful. 

I keep a detailed training log, run with others for workouts as often as I can, set intentions for my weekly mileage every Monday morning, take one full day off exercise per week, and get regular massages. I truly love and enjoy the process of working towards a big race and the build up in training to reach a goal.

Reflection.

In the weeks leading up to the race, I thought about the challenge ahead, but also reflected on the months of preparation, training and sacrifice, all the lonely kilometers on the road before heading into work each day. I thought about how much I love running and how that would translate to my performance on race day.

Outcome.

What I hope to instill in the clients I coach, my peers, aspiring female runners, friends and family…you can do whatever you set your mind to. 

Running has so much to offer. Put your shoes on and go!

Two things inspired me this weekend.

1) I received a note from a colleague who mentioned she had decided to go for a run - for the first time in a LONG time - to me this is progress and just as exciting as any race finish.

2) The enthusiastic cheers and support from the little girls along the race route today, I hope that they saw themselves in me...that they were led to believe that they can do anything they want to. I hope that they dream of running fast!

Something to think about.

“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.” -Kara Goucher

Happy running, friends. Go for the gusto. Always.