Tag Archives: Half Marathon

Shifting goals

Woke up with a sore SI joint this morning. I’ve been afflicted with it since he marathon training last year. I had a good physiotherapist and soldiered on, getting a 3-minute PB.

But then things just kind of went to hell.

I stopped doing my bootcamp class, I went on vacation for a month. I started to get weak. My injuries just don’t heal like they used to. In October, I put in my worst Half Marathon performance ever. Then I moved to Vancouver,

I’ve seen a PT here, but my last “treatment” consisted of showing me exercises that I won’t do every day like I’m supposed to. I can’t pay $70 per session for that.

I’m starting to wonder if my goal of putting in a sub 2-hour half marathon this year is doable. Getting faster means putting in some consistent fast mileage. Consistent fast mileage means injury. Injury means more time and money to PT and massage, neither of which I can afford right now.

So why can’t I be satisfied with a modest 25-30k of running per week at a moderate pace? Why do I have to set an ambitious goal? (Hey – I KNOW I’m slow. For me, 2 hours is an ambitious goal. I’m not you. Deal with it.) Why can’t I sign up for a race without a goal in mind? Why sign up for a race at all?Target

Well, because the best part about racing is the experience of the day itself: lining up with hundreds, if not thousands, of other runners excited about their performance. Race day is a victory lap, a reward for training, for putting in the miles no one sees. Half the fun is cheering for the other runners on the course, especially team mates you’ve been training with for months.

In racing, my time does not count. I’m just another mid-to-back-of-the-pack runner in a sea of spandex. I’m not even going to place in my age group. Ever.

It’s the journey, not the tape. Hell I won’t even see the tape.

Training hard also takes away from other things I want to do: writing, cooking spending time with my man (who just moved in), maybe even performing slam poetry again.

Someone with ultra-stamina could probably do all that and more. Not me, not any more. I know my energy levels and my priorities.

So, just as I’m reflecting on my priorities for 2012, I’m taking a good hard look at what I really want to accomplish this year, and I’m adjusting accordingly.


Bring It!

Looking forward (?) to tonight’s first “official”run with the Steveston Athletic Association training for the BMO Half Marathon in May. Rainfall warning and strong winds expected. Lovely!

I remember a question from a participant at the start of training for my first marathon in 2009: “Will we still be running if the weather is cold, windy and rainy?” to which the run leader replied with a question of her own:

“Will they cancel the race because of rain or wind?”

“Uh – no.”

“Well then, we won’t be calling off any training runs either.”

There’s a sign outside the Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Vancouver that says something like “There’s no bad weather, only bad gear.”

So I’ll be packing dry socks and an extra sweater to change into after tonight’s run, expecting my windbreaker to be soaked through to my bones after tonight’s run. I’ll also be lit up like a Christmas tree with blinking lights front and back. Dark, cold and rainy indeed.

I don’t mind the wind and the rain once I drag my ass out there. If the rain pelts down and the wind tries to knock me over I persevere by envisioning the crossing the finish line with the clock well under my goal time.

I have also been known to laugh in the face of a storm in my own version of Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump, shouting: “Is that all you got? C’mon, gimme more!”

After all, I know a hot shower and a dry warm bed await me tonight. It’s all a matter of perspective, passion and perseverance.



A Personal Worst that’s not really a “worst” at all

I ran the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon today in 2:21:09, a “Personal Worst.”

I am just fine with that – it was my goal in fact, because I am feeling uninjured and wonderful and I have a medal to mark another accomplishment. I know I can go out there undertrained and in the midst of a major life change and finish a challenging distance race with a smile on my face.

That’s huge.

I know my limits and my abilities and I’m so damn thankful that I have my health. Any day above ground is a supreme gift.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!