Tag Archives: Toronto Women’s half-marathon

Moving On After A Disappointment

29 May

This morning I woke up with a heavy heart. I got up and half-heartedly made breakfast for my family. I put on a cheerful enough face as we all ate together, but Gerard could tell that I was not quite my usual self. As we were drinking our coffee, he asked me what was wrong.

“I was supposed to be running a race today,” I said.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Today is the day I was supposed to line up at the start line of the Toronto Women’s Half-Marathon, run a gruelling but satisfying race, and be doused with water by shirtless firefighters.

But because of life getting in the way of my training all season, I was not able to run today. Since the beginning of the year it’s been one thing after another. Weather so bad that I just couldn’t face outdoor training. Me being sick. James being in hospital. Me being sick again. Gerard being faced with ridiculous work deadlines and therefore being unavailable to watch the kids. Planning a wedding.

I have not, at any point, stopped running altogether, so I’m in reasonable enough shape. But still, considering how sporadic my running has been, attempting a half-marathon today would have been sheer lunacy. I would have risked illness or injury or both, and I would have stood a better-than-average chance of sidelining myself for the rest of the season.

But still. Knowing that I did the right thing in forfeiting this race does not make me feel any better about it. My Facebook page is full of statuses and pictures of people who did run the race, and I am – well, jealous. I feel as if I missed out by not being there.

At the same time, though, I cannot allow myself to dwell on this. Sure, I could mope around all day lamenting the fact that I missed a race I registered for months ago, and have been looking forward to for ages. I could tell myself that running at all today is out of the question because Gerard is at work and I have no-one to watch the kids.

Or I can put on my running clothes, pull out the treadmill, and as much as I hate treadmill running, get in the 10km that I want to do today.

I am going to choose the second one. I am going indulge in my guilty pleasure (a DVD of Friends episodes) while I clock up some miles on my lab-rat machine. The good thing about this: it’s a treadmill that has a slight built-in incline, so it replicates outdoor running fairly well. It’s a lot harder to run on than the treadmills at the gym.

Because I have a big goal this year: to break two hours in a half-marathon. And I want to do it in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon in October – my annual autism run. I want to break all kinds of records this year. I want to kick butt with my fundraising, and make lots of moolah to benefit people like my son – people who are loaded with potential that can be realized if the services are there. And I want smash last year’s time of 2:22:38.

It’ll be tough, but it’s never too late to start working towards it. I definitely won’t get there by sitting on my ass and feeling sorry for myself.

I do, however, stand a good chance of it if I start working towards my next race: a half-marathon in the Niagara region on July 18th. I’m not running this race with the intention of clocking up a specific time. I just want to gain the psychological advantage of having done a half-marathon this year: a practice run in preparation for the real thing.

So, this is my choice: I am going to write off today’s missed event as an unfortunate but necessary loss, and I am going to immediately start focusing on the race coming up.

I may have woken up feeling down this morning, but I am by no means out.

I am ready to pick myself up, dust myself off, and kick some serious ass.

Holy Crap, No Way!

17 Feb

Yesterday I got an email that prompted me to utter the words, “Holy crap, no way!” and start to panic a little.

The email was a weekly newsletter from Toronto Women’s Run Series, and the first sentence started with the phrase, “With 14 weeks to go until the Toronto Women’s half-marathon…”

WHAT? There are just 14 weeks until my next half-marathon?

Holy crap! No way!

Of course, that means that there are only ten weeks until my wedding, but that’s another freak-out for another day.

I’ve been sitting around all winter getting bronchitis and having kids in hospital and the such like, when all this time I should have been gearing up to training. To be fair to myself, I never stopped running completely this winter. I had to slow down some due to all that’s been going on, but in between illnesses, I’ve been able to get in some short but good quality speed workouts.

Actually, the speed workouts may have been my downfall. Forcing myself to maintain 4:55 minutes per kilometre when my usual speed workout pace is about 6:00 minutes per kilometre probably overtaxed my body and screwed around with my immune system.

But anyway. The point is that I’m probably not in as much trouble as my mind would have me believe.

It messes with me a lot, my mind does. But again, that’s another story for another day.

What the newsletter did do, though, was galvanize me into action. I went to a few of my favourite running websites and selected a training program to follow from now until race day. And you know, it’s not so bad. This training program is not any more difficult than previous ones I have followed in the past,and as I said, it’s not like I’m starting from zero.

For this particular race, I am aiming to break 2:15. It is an ambitious goal, since my best time since I came back to running is 2:22:38. A seven-minute improvement over a distance of 21km is quite a lot. But I think I can do it and I’m sure as hell going to try. Ultimately, I’m doing this for my son, and that is the best possible motivation.

I’ll just slow down briefly when I go through the water station staffed by shirtless firefighters.