Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Update: No fall race for me, but a winter or spring half is in sight!

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I've been particularly open about the highs and lows of training for a fall half marathon, following my surgery in June, and I was having a difficult time with falling back in love with running. Then, a few weeks ago, I had a string of good runs and things seemed like they were on the up and up.

I was however still debating how much of a good idea it would be for me to attempt a race, knowing that I'd finish at least 10 to 20 minutes slower, given that I started in on the training program late, and probably due to the extra few pounds I've put on from two months of inactivity. Would it be more frustrating to come through the finish so much slower, or would it give me a taste for why I love road running and racing?

Then, last week, I missed my 18k LSD on Sunday - I was swamped with trying to wrap up work before my dad arrived on Monday for our five-day canoe trip in Kejimkujik Park, Nova Scotia. We've been doing a canoe trip together for the last few years. This year, we were late because I only decided about a month and a half ago that I felt strong enough for a trip into the interior.

And although I did a lot of portaging (some days averaged about 8k a day, which is a lot, when you're carrying a canoe solo and then another 30-40 pounds of gear over rugged terrain), I didn't get to run while we were in the interior (there was no time, and nowhere to run - most of Keji is dense, beautiful forest).

I also missed this Sunday's 20k LSD, as Dad was still here and we headed out to the Eastern Passage with hubby for fishcakes at Emma's and a walk along the boardwalk on Fisherman's Cove.

And as the perfect storm of excuses would have it, my hubby also reminded me we'd been invited to a wedding on October 9th.

You could say -- I've found just about all the excuses I need not to do a fall half.

But after all the highs and lows and personal struggles of the last few weeks, I'm ok with this decision. I'm actually enjoying the thought of maybe taking a break from racing for one season, and training for a winter or spring half. I've been training and racing non-stop for the last four years, even through a pretty serious operation, and I think it's ok to just lighten up and give myself a break if I miss this one.

Yet ironically, as I type this, I've just remembered that the CIBC Run for the Cure is coming up. Sure enough, it's this Sunday! I run this every year, if I can manage it, and this will be a great way to get a race in for a good cause.

So while I won't be out there with my fellow runners at the Valley Harvest Marathon on October 9th, I'll be there in spirit, remembering my half in 2009. Running by farm fields, the fall sun glinting off the cornfields, I remember being startled by the sound of cows mooing to my right. Running through the Annapolis Valley in the fall is a beautiful thing!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week 14 of 18: Things I saw on my 18k run

I'll be honest: a week ago I just about gave up on training for the Valley Harvest Half Marathon. But after chatting with friends and fellow runners, after a pretty respectable tempo 5k and steady 6k, I thought I'd give it another shot. Which led me to dream up a future blog post that I'll publish shortly, tentatively called "Why blabbing on and on about running is important." More to come on that one.

To be honest, my husband probably would have told you he didn't think I'd follow through with it last night. I arrived at his work tired and grumpy after a busy day, and finding every excuse not to run - my t-shirt would be too hot, I didn't have my water belt or a pouch to hold my gels in...But he told me I shouldn't back out of it. So we agreed that we'd drive home, I'd go right upstairs and change out of my t-shirt and into a sleevless tank, grab my water bottle and drive back downtown again.

"You're doing this," he said. "You're going to go straight back out."

So I did.

Here is what I saw on my 18k (yes, 18 - I did it) run last night:

a white cat with a black patch leaving a church
a girl with a flute case
a runner (lots of runners)
a student (lots of students)
a dog walking its owner
a beautiful orange fuzzy cat sitting on a fence
an old friend with a new friend
a thug Kermit the frog in blue jeans on a t-shirt
a man shaking a Tim Hortons cup and asking for change outside the NSLC
a family out for a walk
a man pushing a shopping cart in the North End alleyways, looking for recyclables
a torn up sidewalk
a patched up sidewalk
a man checking the time an open grocery store would be open
a teeny dog getting tangled in a leash
a tortoiseshell cat cleaning itself on a driveway in the dark
a man watching tv next to his wife while playing the guitar
a big man on a small phone
a zig-zagging walker who couldn't decide what side of the pavement to be on
a sign on Quinpool Road that read "Everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile"
a young woman holding up a sign outside the Superstore, asking for help in the growing gloom
a baseball game under bright lights
an older man running for a tennis ball on a busy tennis court
a drive home - my car, and the finish of this run