I can see clearly now, the rain is gone

So, what’s next?

The Mississauga half-marathon was my goal race for the spring. I didn’t train like that was the plan, but, hey, it was. Now I have a ton of races coming up in May and June and need a new plan.

May and June are about having fun, and getting into a great routine for marathon training. I have the Pride 5k and the Toronto Waterfront 10k in June and I hope to PR in both, but am not training specifically for that. Just going to trust the gains I’ve made as a runner and running my heart out gets me there.

Then, at the end of June, I start marathon training.

For the first time ever. I’m planning to do the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Right now, I am thinking 3:45.

I have a three-step BQ plan: break 4:00, break 3:45, BQ. If all goes according to plan, I’ll run my BQ in the fall of 2018.

But I’m all about the fast track. So I’m going to go for sub 3:45 this year and see where I fall. What holds me back? My attitude? My commitment? My health? My actual ability? Let’s find out. And if I break 3:45 at STWM, well, then, let’s BQ in the spring of 2018. Why not?

There are a few changes I need to make. Prioritize running even more. Stop procrastinating when it comes to runs and workouts. Run fearlessly. But I know I can do this if I put the work in.

Dream big, people.

But also work hard.

Missisauga half-marathon recap: An 18 second PR

I was nervous about Mississauga. I had no idea how I’d do. I knew that my PR was 1:50:31, which I ran during a very solid marathon training cycle. I knew that I ran a watch-less 2:01 half-marathon last spring, but my overall fitness was way better than it was a year ago. I knew that my 10-week training program was not what I wanted it to be: I spent too many weeks not running at all, then two weeks running too much to make up for it, then a week not running at all as my taper because going from 20k weeks to 50k weeks is a terrible idea.

I decided to hang with the 1:50 bunny as long as I could. I figured if I had an amazing day, sub 1:50 was possible. A dream, but possible. If I had a pretty good day,  I’d end up somewhere between 1:50 and 1:55. And if I had a not great day, I’d be between 1:55 and 2:00.

So that’s what I did. And it, for the most part, it worked.

I hung with the bunny without any problems until 10k.

1- 5:11

2- 5:11

3- 5:14

4- 5:02

5- 5:08

6- 5:14

7- 5:11

8- 5:13

9- 5:04

10- 5:17

Then we hit a hill, I lost momentum and fell behind. I felt my race falling apart here. I didn’t think I had it in me to keep pushing.

11- 5:32

12- 5:14

13- 5:09

Then a friend drove by and honked. I decided to say “fuck it” and try to catch up. I took some sports beans (basically crack for runners) and focused on passing people one at a time. It worked. I caught up with the bunny and hung with him again until 18k.

14- 5:02

15- 5:06

16- 4:59

I saw this number and freaked out. I thought the bunny was going too fast, I couldn’t maintain it so I slowed down. Too much.

17 – 5:10

Then I hit a water station and felt totally gassed.

18- 5:24

19- 5:28

20- 5:28

I figured the bunny was 30-45 seconds ahead of me. They had a timing mat at 20 and I saw I had 5 minutes to break 1:50. I wasn’t entirely sure how big a difference there was between the clock and my start time, so I took more beans, dropped my pace and went for it.

21- 5:04.

I sprinted like hell to the finish. I knew it was close, but probably not done.

Finish: 1:50:13

I am both proud and annoyed at this time.

I am annoyed because *13*  seconds. I am annoyed because it’s my third half marathon in a year that ended with 1:50:XX on the clock.

But I am proud because it means I am in better shape than I thought. I am proud because my running has come a long way. I am proud because there was a clear moment in the race I thought about giving up and I didn’t. I fought back.

I’ll get my sub 1:50. And soon.

I also need to get better at the post-race photo thing. It didn’t happen if it’s not on Instagram, after all.



It’s gonna be may

May. A new month. A new chance to get things right.

I spent most of April stressed, sad and tired, but had no real reason to pinpoint why – unless you consider that it was probably my body saying “fuck, March was hard.” Which, let’s face it, is probably true. I’m just in denial about the damn thing.

I need to be kinder to myself. And also not give up so easily on myself.

I had a good month. Work was all right. I ran an 8k (a hilly AF 41:20) and a 5k (23:44 where I positive split HARD) and realized my fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Then I ran A LOT in the two weeks after these races in an effort to correct this.

The Mississauga half-marathon is this weekend. It will be a good test of my fitness. I want to run sub 1:50, but I don’t think that’s achievable. I just don’t think I’ve been running enough kms and doing enough speedwork to be there at the moment.

What I should do is just go for it. Run like hell, see how the race goes and accept whatever time is on the clock. I haven’t crossed a finish line totally elated with my effort and performance in a really long time – because I’m too hard on myself. (I don’t count Disney, because, well, when you run in a fairy costume, you’re going to have a good time.) Don’t hold back, but don’t beat myself up when the result isn’t what I want.

That’s the real goal. 1:50 is just a number.