The Ups and Downs of Training

Training for the Toronto Marathon officially began June 19th at the Running Room I run with.  I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of runners who have chosen to run Toronto this year.  I’m loosely following the Running Rooms Training Plan but will switch some of my runs on my own to trail running as I’m trying to challenge myself differently this season.

We ran an easy steady run on our first Thursday night together and it felt good.  It was my first time back running with a group since my injury in February and I missed it.  Saturday I was out for another easy 6K on my own and again felt really comfortable.

Before I officially signed up for the marathon, I had the privilege of connecting with Ray Zahab, who is the founder of i2p (impossible2possible)and chat with him about my injury and my goals for this season.  I have been a huge fan of his for years, I recommend these books about his journey: Running To Extremes and Running For My Life: On The Extreme Road with Adventure Runner Ray Zahab.  He was kind enough to connect me to Mike Stanish who runs, a run clinic that teaches proper running technique (as well as raising money for local charities).  I took one of Mike’s clinics and have  since been working at staying relaxed during my runs, it seems to be a little more natural now.  Mike then connected me to Dr. Troy from Holistic Clinic who specializes in helping athletes through torture, ahem, I mean ART (active release therapy) treatments.  He has been helping me with my hip issue.  Dr. Beauchamp and Mat from Sante Chiropractic and Wellness Center are part of my wellness team for massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care, to help me get to the finish line injury free!

So back to training, on Sunday it was a 10K run with the Running Room and again felt really good.  Feeling rested, lighter on my feet, and encouraged that perhaps I was back from injury and ready to get into the fullness of marathon training again.

I need to learn to bottle that feeling up, as we all know that we will run into bad training days.

Week two proved to be less than stellar.  Easy 6K on Tuesday on my own and it was an okay run.  Wednesday met with the group and we headed out for our 10K Tempo run, which was my first 10K continuous since February.  I believe our temperature was 89% humidity and 25 degrees (not sure the ‘feels like’ temperature).  So it was hot and humid!  I was feeling pretty good the first 7K, even chatted a lot during the run (on a tempo run you should not be able to have a conversation with someone, you should be pushing yourself).  I even thought to myself, this feels good, I’m even able to chat.  AND THEN, I had to stop talking.

happypaceI found it difficult to keep up with the group but kept at it.  I realized I should stop and take a walk break but the others in the group seemed good, so I fought with myself for 0.5km.  I was wearing my new Bondi Band Headband that says “Find Your Happy Pace” and I was telling myself, this is my training, I need to run it smart.  It’s okay to walk if you need to and so on.  I smiled at the thought of my headband and the reality of finding my own pace.  I pulled back and took a needed walk break.  I then proceeded to run my own pace to complete the run.  I was disappointed and filled with doubt about my upcoming races, including the marathon.  I was already in a slower pace group than I was in the winter, in hopes of giving myself a recovery period to train smart and not over do it.  Then I asked myself, what would you say to someone else, and I started to encourage myself with those same words.

On to Thursdays 6K steady run.  I work long hours on Thursdays and need to bring my running gear to work and have a 15min. window to get to the running group.  As I was changing I realized I forgot my socks.  UGH!  This means going home and missing the group talk before the run.  Okay, no big deal, headed home.

Arrived as the group was about to head out.  Again, humid day, high of 28 and lots of sunshine!  We headed out and I intentionally pulled into the back to give myself room and run my own pace with only two others behind me.  I ended up chatting again and it was a decent run.  I turned to say something and missed the uneven sidewalk and for the first time in my life fell hard onto the ground.  I’m not entirely sure how much of my body hit the concrete, but it seemed my shin, my right knee, elbow, shoulder and both hands showed evidence of the fall.  AWESOME.  Of course, the entire group stopped and helped me up and then shouted out “footing” the rest of the way back, LOL!  I stiffened up after getting home but woke up feeling not too bad, the elbow/shoulder and knee sore but doing fine.  So thankful, as the first thing running through my head when I got up to continue running, feeling some throbbing, was am I injured, is it adrenaline that is allowing me to run, fearful of another setback.  Not concerned about much other than will this affect my training?  🙂

Isn’t training very much like life?  There are highs and well, there are lows.  I think we need to celebrate both.  The highs build confidence and encourage us, and give us a boost, a place of rest almost.  The lows build character and are a mental challenge that we all need to face and overcome.  One thing I do know, we get up the next day and we do it again.  We commit to the training and we work out the ups and downs on our runs.

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