Things are going well! I’m having an absolute blast with the group I’m training with. I can’t believe I’ve made it all the way to week 14, which includes hill training of up to 10 repeats and 32km long runs that span 4 hours. I’m doing things I never imagined I could be capable of doing! Especially considering the fact that I’ve never been particularly athletic – I went from couch to runner about 19 months ago, and basically moved up from 10k training straight to full marathon this January. The original idea being that I would hang in there for as long as possible, and that all of this would at least help me become a stronger runner for my 10k race in May. I wanted the challenge, but I was ok if I wasn’t yet strong enough to complete the full training. And now here I am four weeks out from Race Weekend actually considering switching up the marathon – a thought that both thrills and terrifies me in all the right ways! 😉
Highlights from my training so far include going beyond the 6 hill repeats of my 10k training, and tackling the never-ending hill on Trim Road. By the time I had completed 8 repeats there, I had reached an elevation gain of 189 metres, or 620 feet! I felt so badass! I’ve definitely been getting some sort of sick, twisted enjoyment out of the otherwise tortuous hill training, lol. My approach is to just zoom up those things and get it over with as fast as possible. In doing so I’ve become a much stronger runner and people think I’m crazy, bahaha.
Sunday long runs have also been enjoyable. Particularly because the people running the marathon clinic at the Orleans Running Room love to come up with ‘themes’ for our outings. For example, one Sunday we ran around town keeping our eyes peeled for the motivational posters they left out, and we had to collect our tag from each one (I run with the 4:45 group). We also dressed in our Canadian gear because it was the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It’s little things like that which bring a whole new dimension of fun to our long runs. Plus the water stations where people volunteer to set up food and drinks for us are amazing. The treats are greatly appreciated on these runs where we’re now burning over 2,000 calories. (I never realized how much fuelling up during runs helped give me the energy to keep going until now!!) And the enthusiasm of the people running these water stations is so uplifting. Neighbours get involved, many selfies are taken. Then we’re back on the road with big smiles on our faces.
I really don’t think I could’ve handled these long runs if it weren’t for my group by my side. Not only do they help keep me at a pace that allows me to keep running these longer distances without burning out, but the conversations help keep me out of my own head and focused outside of myself too, which I really need. Thoughts like “maybe I should cut this run short and turn back” just can’t enter my head anymore.
It feels absolutely amazing to be part of Run Club and connecting with so many fantastic new friends. I’m so happy that I went for it! I walk in now and see the familiar faces of people I trained with in the 10k clinic last year, and my marathon group this year, and it’s like we’re all a big family. I love it.