I can’t believe the last time I was posting on here I was a month away from my first marathon, only just starting to wrap my head around the fact that I’m really going to be doing this!
Fast forward to today and I have much to update about. The marathon itself deserves its own post. Suffice it to say, I completed my first marathon! It didn’t go at all as I would have imagined (they say that’s how first marathons go anyway). But it was an amazing day that I look forward to sharing with you all!
Post-marathon I didn’t quite know what to do with myself next in terms of training. I knew I wanted to do another marathon and aim for a much better finishing time, but I wasn’t planning to sign up for the next clinic and was just going to train on my own, and join Run Club on Sundays and Wednesdays.
What ended up happening is that they needed volunteers to lead the various pace groups for the Summer Marathon Clinic, and so I was asked if I could lead the 4:45 group (training to finish a marathon in 4 hours and 45 minutes).
I have no leadership skills whatsoever, and so I felt that this would be the perfect challenge for me. And that’s how I ended up back in the marathon clinic for the summer! It’s great because we have new instructors bringing in a lot of new information for our weekly talks, and new approaches to our training plans! However, it turns out that there were no people looking to run at 4:45 this time around, and so I’ve been moved up to pace the 4:30 group instead. This works out well because I was hoping to move up anyway! It’s just a bit nerve-wracking too because, as the leader, I don’t want to find myself at any point struggling to keep up! So far that hasn’t been a problem, thankfully – in fact I’ve been doing 4:15’s tempo runs when training on my own! I’ve managed to follow the route directions and not get us lost. Though I definitely still ask for assistance from my group in helping me stay at the right pace, and with things like deciding which side of the road we should go down.
I still haven’t figured out what my next marathon is going to be. By the time I was convinced that I should do Marathon du P’tit Train du Nord, it was already completely sold out. And no bib transfers, so that’s totally off the shelf for me now. A bunch of friends from the marathon group are doing the Wineglass Marathon, but I’m not too sure about the logistics of me travelling to States. The Niagara Falls International Marathon is an option too, just because I love running by water! And our marathon group is ‘officially’ training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I just don’t know! Ideally I’d like to have a good friend to share this experience with too (even if we don’t run the actual race together). So, we’ll see what I end up deciding.
As a last option I could always just run from Petrie Island to Parliament Hill and back again and call it a day, haha. At least that way I can run when I feel it’s a good day for it, for free, and without the stresses of race day!
Something else I’ve been venturing into this summer is trail running. I found a trail near my house and went off to explore it one day. I like it there because I sauntered in half-cocked, not having a clue where I was headed, and managed to saunter back out again without getting lost, lol! It was a pleasant alternative to the usual boring roads and traffic; lots of beautiful scenery, and the trees offer wonderful shade on hot summer days.
I got to experience my first trail race this summer too, with friends Erika and Michelle.
On July 9th we participated in the MEC Race Three at Camp Fortune, where we scaled 5km of ski hills! It was incredibly difficult (I pretty much walked up all the hills), but my legs the next day were crazy strong – I broke my first 4-minute km on the treadmill following that epic run! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that!!
I was so happy for the opportunity to join friends for my first trail run, as I have been a bit nervous about going out there on my own. It was comforting having them by my side. Even now I am still a bit hesitant. I think I just need more experience running trails to figure out how far I can go, how long I can keep up, and whether I can work my way though a route without getting terribly lost.
July also marked my second full year as a runner! I have already reached over 1,000kms for 2017, too! I can’t believe how much I have progressed this year!