Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pace, Pride and Perseverance at STWM2014

"Don't judge each day by the harvest that you reap but by the seed that you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

It's easy to feel small, even insignificant standing shoulder to shoulder with runners waiting to start a race that boasts 26,000 participants; that's a lot of bodies and nearly twice as many feet. For someone running their first race at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) the electricity in the air can stir up even more anxiety than is typical at a race start. Even those who find themselves repeating this event can feel like  small fish in a big sea. This event is loved by a lot of runners.
At the start...

I stood in my start corral, among these runners, as I did last year when I ran my first marathon. This year a few things were different though. The corral color was different, for one. I had trained my ass off under the watchful eye of my coach, Rejean Chiasson at Pace and Mind and as such had made huge improvements in my fitness and subsequent pace times. I had some confidence in my ability as this would be my third marathon in a year. The goal I had set of a sub 4 hr finish was lofty, but reachable if the formidable running gods found me in their favor. I stood knowing I  would run a massive personal best time even if I didn't cross the finish at 3:59:xx. Last year I debuted as a marathoner at this race in a time of 4:51:xx; with all the hard work I did over the season my time would be better than that. The most important thing that was different this time, though was that my friend of more than 35 years, Laurie Ruyter, stood along side me in that corral, readying herself for her first half marathon.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Past Her Future

"You weren't around for the first eight years of my life"

She said these words at breakfast while reading the paper. The statement was born into the room with the same 'matter of fact-ness' as though she had just commented on the weather. Asperger's does this. She's about the straight up facts, not the emotions. She didn't lift her beautiful blue eyes from the page; to her, this was not shocking or scandalous, it was just her reality. She wasn't laying blame she was just pointing out the obvious.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Checking in...

The training cycle for Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is moving along. I am feeling better out on the roads than I have in more than 7 months. I feel strong, healthy and confident about my abilities. My coaching relationship with Rejean and Pace and Mind is going really well and as a result #stwm is looking like it will be a good race for me.

As the weekly km total increases, so does the wear and tear on our feet. In honor of losing another toenail (which brings the current 'missing toenail' tally to 4) please enjoy the following post from the archives.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mountain Growth

 Easy does not change us; tough is where growth happens. Yesterday I grew by leaps and bounds, literally. In retrospect, the Northface EnduranceChallenge half marathon at Blue Mountain, in Collingwood may have been ambitious for my first exposure to off road running. It was the kind of race that experienced trail runners called challenging. I called it just plain hard.

With the completion of hard things comes a sense of pride. The harder something is that you stick through; the feeling of pride is multiplied exponentially. I headed out for the hardest run of my life to endure all that the Collingwood mountain terrain could throw at me. What I didn't know was that the landscape would get thrown in front of me again and again and again. The triumph of any given climb was short lived as another was waiting around the corner or on the other side of the forest.