Why You Should Volunteer At Your Local Running Event(s)

Volunteering – Is It For You?

Is volunteering for you?  Personally, I think volunteering can be for everyone!

Having worked behind the scenes at a number of different events in our city, I know the work involved in making an event successful.  For months and months, sometimes close to a year, there are people working to make the event a success for everyone involved.

Races are no different.  Whether it is a smaller local race or the city’s main race of the year, there is much work to do.  As a runner, I so appreciate the races available to me in my city.  As a way to give back I try to volunteer for a number of them. IMG_0168My kids have even come out to help when they can.  Races depend on their volunteers to help in a variety of roles, from race kit pick ups, water stations, safety/first-aid, bag check, the list goes on.

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Falling Forward

Last post I revealed that I’m a numbers girl.  Maybe because I’m a visual learner and numbers help me see how I’m progressing and how I can improve.   I like tracking my runs and have recently started tracking my calories (ratio of fats, carbs and protein).  It’s at this stage in my marathon training where my nutrition counts the most.  Not just for fuelling my body for proper energy but also eating the right foods to help with recovery.

I usually run by “feel”, however I get excited when my coach lays out a training schedule that includes specific pace targets (numbers), doing ladders (progressing from slow to fast and back down to slow, repeats), etc.  I haven’t done any speed work this summer as we have been avoiding injury focusing on getting healthy.   Another thing with numbers, does anyone else round up their runs?  I mean, heaven forbid stopping at 10.23km, at that point I must continue to make it an even 11km!  I usually just add a bit to round it off to a nice even number.  Yesterdays run I was at 13.32km and had to round it up to a 14km run. 🙂

I like having a schedule and working with a plan.  I set goals and then work backwards to make a schedule that allows me to complete my goal.  I can be flexible with where I run, who I run with, most times at what pace I will run at, etc.  However, I need to know what the overall month looks like so I can work it into my life.  I usually have my races/goals figured out well in advance.  This is the first time I can remember still working out fall races.  I’m in a transition of moving towards more trail running.  After running the Niagara 50K, the focus was on getting healthy.  I had been dealing with nagging lower leg issues and my coach believed trail running would be beneficial to my overall running (I think he was setting me up, personally). 😉

Turns out I’m pretty good at it.  I love being out on the trails and it has helped me tremendously!  I’m not about to win any races anytime soon, but I’m pain-free and having fun.  Just this past weekend I ran the I2P Run which celebrates trail running and supports Impossible to Possible.  Last year I ran the 23K as a great introduction to the race.  This year my coach suggested I run the 15K to experience the more technical trails of the race.  Next year I will do either the 50K or 100K!  Just putting that out there.

I am finally ready to add some more intentional focus on training.  We’ve been in a “let’s stay healthy and build up slowly” mode for almost 2 months.  Clearly it worked!

I’ve been going back and forth on whether I can/should run back to back marathons in the fall.  It was a Spring goal I had that was replaced with running the Ultra instead (3 weeks after my Spring marathon).  I’m still undecided but am leaning towards doing my marathon and following it with the MEC half marathon (a challenge on it’s own), with the option of doing the marathon if I decide I’m able to.

Fall Race Schedule:

Tartan Twosome Maritime Race Weekend (Sept. 11/12)
5K/21.1K

Check out the BLING!  I’m so excited for this race.

Sunrise Run

Sunrise Run

Sunset Run

Sunset Run

Tartan Twosome (bonus for doing the Friday and Saturday Runs)

Tartan Twosome (bonus for doing the Friday and Saturday Runs)

Girl’s Run Ottawa (Sept. 27)
5K

Run Ottawa has organized the first-ever Girls Run Ottawa, a new race for all women in the National Capital Region.  The goal is to bring together women of all ages to build a social circle based around physical activity and having fun.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Oct. 18)
Marathon

This will be my third time running this marathon.  The details are still being worked out but I may be running this one in costume!

MEC Ottawa Race (Oct. 31)
21.1K OR Marathon

MEC Ottawa presents THE 2015 must do bucket list race in the Ottawa/Gatineau region.  Lots of people are talking about this race. It promises to be challenging and incredibly beautiful.

Cookie Run (Nov. 7)
10K

This run is a major fundraiser for Girl Guides’ travel initiatives and the last major event hosted by Run Ottawa for the year.

Resolution Run (Dec. 31)
10K

I can’t remember when I started this tradition but it is a great way to finish off the year.  Also, this year’s vest and hat combination is awesome.

The Army Run (Sept. 20) is still up for debate but regardless I will volunteer at the event.  I decided this year that I wanted to support more local runs.  I became a member of Run Ottawa and I’m looking at more events with MEC Ottawa.

Speaking of MEC, there are sales going on right now and I just ran with this awesome tank (happens to be on sale!) and it just might be my new favourite!

Of all the races, I think the MEC race is the one that I’m more nervous excited about.  I like that!  It means that I’m continuing to challenge myself and doing things that scare me just a little.  I love that MEC has training groups to help encourage people just starting out with trail running.

Knowing I have the MEC race coming up and that it is a hilly route has motivated me to not skip my hill workouts!

hills

What are your fall goals/races?  How do you continue to challenge yourself?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Training Your Mind?

There are a number of different “kinds” of runners.  The “I do it because I have to” runner who hops on a treadmill or gets out for a quick 2-3mile run to get their cardio in.  The “recreational” runner who enjoys getting out for a decent run to start or finish their day.  The “fair-weather” runner, who is content on running when the weather is good, but has no problem choosing another activity when the weather turns fowl.   The “goal-oriented” runner who likes to set some goals, train hard, accomplish the goal and then set a new one.  I’m sure there are a lot of other runners that could be mentioned, like “sprinter”, “distance runner”, etc.  What kind of runner are you?

I’m a “goal-oriented” runner, I use distances to accomplish my goals.  When I first started out running, I just ran.  I would sign up for a 5K or 10K race, train for it and really enjoy the experience of that race.  I didn’t really focus on time the first few races as I had little experience or knowledge of running.  I was new and happy with the outcomes of my races.  I still am, but often for different reasons.

As the distances grew further and the training required more of my time and money, I realized that running had become so much more than just lacing up.   I went from following a simple training plan to hiring a running coach.  My focus on nutrition is more about fuelling my body and less about cutting calories or eliminating fats.  Learning about food and the science of what and when to eat has become necessary for me.

Now when I register for a race I sign up with three time goals in mind.  My “I will cry crossing the finish line” time, my “within reach, if everything goes well” time and my “if I can finish strong and upright” time.  If you’ve been running for a while, you understand that every race is different, and there are factors that you cannot control.  Some races are beyond perfect and others can be a challenge from the start line.  By having three time goals in mind, it helps me to gage where I am on the course and if necessary I push a little harder when my 2nd or 1st goal is possible.

Learning to train the mind is equally as important as training the body.  Our minds are extremely powerful and can impact our performances greatly.  Training runs can be very effective in training our minds.  Self-talk can be positive or negative, so learning to speak positively to ourselves needs to be a priority for us.  Pushing past “hard” on a run shows us that we can get past it.

If we stress about the weather on race day, we are allowing negative thoughts to impact us.  Perhaps adjusting your time goals is necessary if you are dealing with extreme heat or winds.  Or maybe you are recovering from an illness and have to run just to complete the race and forget about any specific time.  It’s difficult to not get disappointed when months of training was required to get to the start line, but we cannot change what happens prior to getting to the start line. All we can do is work hard on our mindset to run our best race that day.

When I forgot my marathon bag for my first marathon I could have handled it in a number of ways.  I chose in the end to run my best race for that day, under the circumstances.  You can read more about that experience here:  Forgotten Marathon Bag

As I continue to set goals and run a variety of out of town races, there are so many factors that come in to play when preparing for those races.  Injuries, for one.  Even when doing the best we can, with proper technique, footwear, increasing mileage appropriately, and so on, stuff happens.  It’s a journey and our bodies continue to adapt under stress.  Putting aside time every week to stretch, do yoga and cross-train is now necessary.  Nutrition is another.  Understanding what foods I need to be adding to or eliminating from my diet is now very important to me as I see how it can hinder or enhance my performance and overall health.

For myself, running is a long term commitment and continuing to adapt and learn is part of the process.  Learning how to stay healthy and what I can do to improve are now included in my goals.

Have you seen yourself evolve as a runner?  What type of runner are you?

 

 

I Can and I Will

Training Week In Review

Monday – OFF
Tuesday – 5K (accelerations)
Wednesday – 15K easy
Thursday – 10K tempo
Friday – OFF
Saturday – 20K LSD
Sunday – 15K LSD

I think this has been my best training week so far in 2015.  Every run was good and I’m feeling healthy and strong.  Perhaps finally having some decent weather to run in has also put an extra spring in my step.  Saturday and Sunday brought snow and cold weather again, but knowing it won’t last makes it a little more tolerable.

Fundraising for the Children’s Aid Foundation is going very well.  There is a little extra bonus if you purchase a moisture wicking headband from me between March 13 and March 31, your name will automatically be entered to win this awesome mask.  mask

The mask was generously donated to me by Wasteland Artisan who created a special mask for me for an upcoming race and wanted to help me with my fundraising efforts.

Here are a few of my current favourite headbands:

rungirljustrun

Some days just get it done!

unbroken

Just keep going

Ican

Yup, do not let others bring you down

buddy

Makes me think of my coach

madhere

Thankful for all the crazies in my life!

To find out more about my fundraising efforts and to see more headband suggestions please visit: Fundraising.

Spring Freshness

Spring has finally arrived, although it’s hard to believe as the colder temperatures have returned. Knowing it cannot last helps me hang on to the spring fever I felt last week.  I’m actually feeling very good and quite happy to have survived the winter training.

Last year due to my injury my training stopped around the middle of February.   I did not get to experience the benefits of making it through winter and how it would affect my spring training efforts.  I cannot explain the sense of accomplishment that I feel.  I persevered through a minor injury that greatly impacted my confidence.   I wrestled with the fear of being injured and not knowing how to discern the severity of my aches and pains.  My injuries to date have seemingly showed up out of the blue, so how do you avoid it if you cannot see it coming?  This honestly created a very fearful mindset.

My coach had to push me past the point of where my discomfort started, both physically and mentally.  I didn’t like how I was feeling.  Looking back it felt like a slow process but it was certainly building a solid base.

I feel strong as I head into my race season.  I know I’m going to have to tap into the lessons that I learned through the winter as my mileage continues to go up.  I’m aiming to cross a number of goal races/events off my list this year and I believe my mental health is going to help me achieve these goals.

Winter training helped me learn more about myself.  It was a time to face some fears that I hadn’t realized had snuck into my life.  I realized just how tough I am mentally.  On some runs I had to deal with physical aches, mental fears and crazy winter conditions, but I laced up and did it anyways.

I’m so very thankful for what running does for me.  Each training run offers a chance to push harder, have fun, get lost in thought, run with friends or just keep putting one foot in front of the other until it’s over.  Even then, the feeling you get for getting it done is worth it.

This week is a taper week for me as I prepare for Around The Bay.  Having a coach means he makes the plan and I just follow. 🙂  I’m sure I will go a little crazy but I’ll use the time to think about what I want the upcoming season to look like.  Either that or I’ll get some serious spring cleaning done around the house!  Ha!

How about you?  Do you find that running has helped you overcome anything?  What do you love about running the most?

 

Running Towards Something

Training Week in Review

March 9 – March 15

Monday – OFF
Tuesday – 5K easy
Took a good 3K to warm up.  Crazy tight calves.
Wednesday – 5K easy
Calves still very tight.
Thursday – 6.5K treadmill
500m 6x with 2min. recovery between sets
Friday – OFF
Saturday – 15K
Nice and steady. Felt good.
Sunday – 30K
Ran with running group, it was a good run.   Finished the last 3K on my own.

Do you have dreams?

Maybe they are not so much dreams but perhaps personal goals to one day achieve.  How do you check something off your list?  Does it just work out for you or do you need to plan it?

For myself I think it is both, often.  I like to plan for things but often things seem to fall into place.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work for something, but while working towards one goal, sometimes another goal just falls into place.  Or I’ve decided to jump in and go for it even when it wasn’t part of the bigger plan when I started out.

2015 seems to be like that for me.  I had some goals I was working towards, then other, bigger, goals seemed to present themselves in such a way that I didn’t want to say no to them.  Sometimes I think we are just mad. 🙂 photo (31)

So for me that means a busy race calendar.  We are all different and our personalities play a role in how we tackle our goals.  I like to plan, even when a race wasn’t part of the original plan.  I think it is important to be as prepared as possible to avoid injuries.  For myself, it might mean using a race as a training run for the bigger goal races.  Listening to my body more to understand when to pull back or perhaps to shut the mind off as I’m over thinking things.  I’m also being more proactive with acupuncture and massage.
photo (32)

Fine tuning my nutrition is becoming more important to me to ensure that my body is getting the right fuel to handle the amount of training that is required this year.  Limiting some of my favourite things, or perhaps giving them up all together.  I’m also looking at ways to improve my training.  I’m researching more about heart rate training and running in my specific training zones.  I’m not there yet, but I’m always looking for ways to improve.

My first race of the year is coming up at the end of March and it will be the first time I go with a group of strangers on a bus trip.  I’m excited about this, as this is my first time doing this race and the whole experience will be new for me.  I’m excited about how running has challenged me not only physically, but emotionally and socially.  I keep being encouraged to get out of my comfort zone and do new things.

Spring is around the corner and with its arrival is a real sense of new adventure awaiting for me.  My bucket list continues to grow with the things I want to do.  Some of my dream goals only require additional training. Some, however, require a budget and the hope of getting into the race itself.

How about you?  What is on your bucket list?  Do you focus and work hard to achieve those things or are they a someday goal that seem to fall into place at the right time?

Never stop dreaming!

Enough with the laundry already!

Training Week in Review

This week we mixed things up again and it was a great week.

Monday: Yoga/Extended Stretching
Tuesday: Steady 10K – Urban Running (lots of fun, basically looking for all the conditions I usually avoid 😉 )
Wednesday:  5K EASY – wasn’t so easy LOL the run before with all that fun made for some tired legs.
Thursday:  7K Alternate fast/easy – practiced running at my max for a km then eased it up and repeated 3x.
Friday:  OFF
Saturday:  17.5K – the weather improved to a feels like -20ºC, light snow throughout the run.  Overall great run.
Sunday:  15K – temps even better at -10 or so.  75% of this run was messy….very greasy running conditions.  Add to it tired legs from the long run on Saturday and this was a challenging run.  Stayed consistent and felt good about it.

With all this outdoor running you can imagine the amount of laundry that builds up!  Some days I find getting out the door to be a bit of a chore.  Running indoors is so much easier.  Grab some shorts, a sports bra/tank, socks, shoes and you are good to go.  Running outside requires layers, fuel, hydration, music/phone, etc.  If I miss a midweek laundry day it’s crazy how much laundry accumulates with all my running attire.  I probably have more running clothes than regular clothes now.  (hint 😉 if you ever need to buy me something)

treadmill vs. outside

treadmill vs. outside

The above winter running photo is just one run worth of clothes, now multiply that by 5 and add a jacket or two in the mix.  My husband is amazing and is so helpful around the house.  He often will do laundry, but even he hates how much running clothes need to be washed every week.  We often negotiate who transfers the wash when it’s my running stuff as it all needs to be hung to dry 🙂

I was given the opportunity to try a Toilettree Bamboo Product for review and I immediately requested their bamboo laundry hamper.

contents of box - easy to assemble

contents of box – easy to assemble

 

I love the double compartment for sorting

I love the double compartment for sorting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I opened the box I was relieved to see how easy it was to assemble.  The fresh smell of bamboo was amazing.  I don’t know if I’ve smelled bamboo before.  The outside structure of the hamper is very solid and there is a hinge top to keep things tidy.  The separate insert is very easy to remove if you want to wash it.  I personally love the two compartments that allow me to sort the laundry before laundry day.  It makes grabbing a quick load easy.  I would 100% recommend this product for the simplicity of assembling it, the practicality of the double compartments and of course the beauty of the product itself.  I will likely purchase a second one for the laundry room.

We recently renovated the master walk-in closet and this hamper fit in beautifully.  It holds so much laundry and really helps to keep our closet tidy.  This hamper is so clean and fresh looking.  I’ve been using it for about 8 weeks now and I know it’s just a hamper but honestly it’s so nice!

Fit perfectly in my closet - love it!

Fit perfectly in my closet – love it!

ToiletTree Products has graciously offered one of my readers the chance to win one of these hampers (Available to US and Canadian Residents Only)

Comment on this post why you would like this beautiful new hamper for yourself.

Please go and like the following facebook pages and twitter accounts:

Leanne’s Facebook

Leanne’s Twitter

Toilettree Facebook

Toilettree Twitter

The winner will be announced next Monday, March 2nd.  Good Luck!

What’s that? Things didn’t go as planned?

A day in the life of training for a race.

Last week I made a mental note to get my hill/speed work completed BEFORE my massage/acupuncture appointment.  After my appointment last week I was feeling pretty beat up and could not imagine running.  So, I made a deal with myself 🙂  Do half.  The road conditions were not great so I opted for the treadmill.  I started out with the first km and a bit feeling pretty stiff, but then things started to loosen up.  By three km’s I figured I could get it done, so I did.

I decided during that run that Thursdays I would need to get my run in early.

I woke up this Thursday, relaxed and no big plans on for the day (obviously forgetting about my “note to self” from last week).  I planned on getting some computer work done for our business, get my TRX training in, then lunch, then do my run on the warmer part of the day.  It was only when I was in shorts and about to start on the TRX that it hit me, I had an appt. at noon and I needed to run first!!  GAWD!!  Did I still have time?

Those who run outside in the cold winter months understand it’s not like throwing on running shoes and getting out the door.  You need to layer up. Like, a lot.  Everything just seems to require more time to run outside.IMG_4938

I’m usually a bit of a planner.  I like to know in advance what my training week (well, month) looks like.  I work my life around my runs to ensure I make them happen.  So for the month of January my Thursdays had been pretty relaxed and I could basically run anytime I wanted to.

Once I was all dressed and had my Garmin strapped on, the battery light showed up!  *sigh* Never a good sign.  I have a routine, and I am pretty good at charging it so this doesn’t happen (often).  But I didn’t, I guess.  I need the Garmin to help me know my pace during my speed drill portion.  I’m recording it to see improvement and to know how to push myself.  Well, today would have to be on “feel”,  I need to get my run in.

My usual routine is to run 2K for a warm up, then a 1km hilly route to run at my fastest pace, then recover, stretch and run the 1km route again at full speed, then repeat.  Then easy 2K’s home.  Yesterday, however, I didn’t have a lot of time.  I ran at a good pace to get to the hilly part.  Then I didn’t do very much recovery time between hill sets.  Then ran quickly home.

When I realized I had to get out for my run and the available excuses came my way (including compromising to find 2 layers of pants), I didn’t have time to entertain them.  I just had to run!

How about you?  Do you have those training days, where it is easier to give up or say the signs are saying stay home today??  How do you handle them?

 

Acknowledging the Wins!

Do you set goals?  Are you always looking ahead at what is coming up or do you take time to reflect on where you have come from?

How often do we take the time to just enjoy the moment or take in the day of a particular event or race.

I always have another goal or race coming up.  It’s how I get up the next day and keep going.  There is not a finish in sight for me but just moments and events to check off one at a time.

Having hired a running coach I am no longer “in control” of my running schedule and have submitted myself entirely to his plans and schedule for me.  Part of my fall race plans included the Army Run.  My coach suggested I run it hard.  Now this can be up for debate with people as I’m training for a fall marathon (just 4 weeks away from the Army Half).  Some choose to run it as such, a training run, slow and steady and others will race it.  The difference when it falls into your training and is not your goal race is that you do not taper for it, you just run it.  Tapering allows your body to recover before the race, and of course you’d take time to recover after as well.  Army Run

After being told to race it, I had a time goal in mind.  To beat last years time.  I was short 18 sec. to accomplishing this and a tad disappointed when I realized how close I came.  When sending in my weekly report to my coach, I reflected on my week in review.  I quickly remembered that it was only 4 short months ago that I was removing a cast that I had on for 3 months!  I had come back from a serious stress fracture (including a secondary minor one).  I built my running back up quickly and most importantly I remained injury free!

So in fact, my race really was a victory for me.  I had been training differently, focusing on building strength and using different muscles for only 3 short weeks. I went into the race after a hard training week, including a long run the day before, and I experienced some special challenges the morning of the race, and yet I still came in ONLY 18sec. short of my time last year.

My disappointment very quickly turned around and I was proud of how I ran.  Proud that I have worked hard at correcting my running technique to run more efficiently and injury free and the Army run wasn’t my goal race. 🙂

Next up is my second marathon in Toronto.  I hope to beat last year’s time, but again I have to celebrate the fact that after an injury I am going to be back running a full marathon and therefore need to be proud of that accomplishment regardless of my time.  Getting a “personal best” is the bonus I hope to experience, however the real win has been the journey of getting to the race.  The countless hours and kilometres that I’ve invested to achieve this goal.

ArmyRun DoneI’ve had an exceptional training season, new friends, new connections, being part of special groups including the opportunity to be a Digital Champion for my goal marathon and being given the incredible opportunity to test out new running gear and become an ambassador for some of the gear I’ve tested out and loved.

So my question to you:  Have you taken a moment to celebrate where you are today?  The personal development or steps that you’ve taken to achieve a goal you have.  Again, it doesn’t have to be running related.  Are you still moving in the direction of the goals you’ve set for yourself?  Are you better today than you were say, even one month ago?  Remember why you are doing what you are doing and celebrate what you have already accomplished.

Keep going. 🙂

The Running Continues With Some Help

Adapting to change was evident in this past weeks training.  Although I felt good with my cardio my legs were tired.  It was all I could do to complete an “easy” 5K on Wednesday!  My mind kept trying to convince my legs to go faster, my legs were just not capable, but I pushed and got it done in probably the worst 5K time ever.

It’s funny when you switch up what you’re doing how quickly your body reacts to the change.  I combined two training runs into one on Friday which started off slow but ended up feeling fantastic and strong.  By Sundays run I felt like I was back, feeling strong and marathon ready!  Sunday was a 29K run and I was back running with my running group for a change, it was awesome!  Weather was a cool 3 degrees and didn’t rise much more than 9 I think.  This is my kind of weather!

I have been using Pro Compression Socks for my recovery after my long runs and love how amazing they feel!  purplecompressionOn Friday (15K) I decided to try them running for the first time and could not believe how much support I felt with them.  I believe that is why my run started off with tired legs but within the first 4K or so I literally had a bounce to my step, I felt strong and could have easily ran further.

Recovery after long run

Recovery after long run

My routine after a long run is to put compression socks on for recovery immediately after my shower, as it helps with muscle soreness and blood flow (circulation).

The pro compression socks are so light weight and comfortable I will now be using them for most of my runs for additional support and to help circulation during my long runs.  They have the added bonus of keeping me warmer as we move into fall training.  Not to mention they have the most amazing fun colours to choose from.

So here are the reasons I think you should try them:

  • PRO Compression helps increase blood flow which relieves discomfort and assists in recovery.
  • Super comfortable to be worn during and/or after your runs.  Try them and see for yourself just how comfortable they are!
  • FUN cool colours to choose from.
  • Variety of styles to choose from (my favourite is the marathon sock).
  • Special discount code to get 40% off – Use CODE BLG14 at checkout Pro Compression Website

Would you like a chance to win a pair of Pro Compression Socks?

Simply share with me what you do to stay active and your name will be entered to win.  You can comment below, facebook me or send me a tweet 🙂 (deadline is Sunday, Sept. 21st)

You  might also want to sign up for the Sock Of The Month Email List for special deals and new product announcements (scroll to bottom of homepage).

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed.

I now realize that I want a few more pairs, as colour choices are just too fun not to have a few, plus I can’t keep up with the wash. 😉

Don’t forget to message me and get your name in for the draw!  Good Luck!

 

 

 

For The Love Of Running

As a Digital Champion for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon I’ve had the amazing privilege of connecting with so many wonderful people online.  Many training for their first marathons but a number of ultramarathoners as well.  Interacting with so many runners motivates and inspires me daily!

August was a busier than usual month for me in regards to races and boy did I have fun!  It’s hard to pick my favourite one however the Ottawa Foam Fest focused on FUNCORE.   This is a quick video of what I experienced with my husband and daughter running their first official races Ottawa Foam Fest Video.

23K Trail Run - Halfway and still smiling!

23K Trail Run – Halfway and still smiling!

Equally as awesome was my first ever trail run.  I absolutely love Ray Zahab’s passion and vision for Impossible2Possible.  So when I found out there was an organized trail run with distances ranging from 10K – 100K I wanted to be a part of it.  All proceeds went to support the youth ambassadors with I2P.  With a little encouragement I signed up for the 23K.  Thank goodness two friends decided to run as well, as it would have been a completely different race experience without them!  I think I’m pretty much hooked and am now including more trail running in my training.

My training has been going very well, I’m actually enjoying my progress and am having more fun!   Long runs are getting long, like really long – today I will be running 32K.  I still feel really good and cannot believe we are 6 weeks out from my goal marathon for the fall.

Oh and I have new shoes!  I’ve finally made the transition (okay, making the transition slowly) to a lower profile shoe to encourage a more natural running form.  So far so good, I still have happy feet!

Fun, right?!

Fun, right?!

Most recently (but certainly in my thoughts for 6 months or more) I’ve decided to get a running coach.  I realize that there are so many amazing athletes who have expertise beyond my own experience in running.  Running is not just recreational for me. I do run for fun, for therapy, and for the challenge and overall feel-good feeling I get by getting outside and running.  However, I want to be challenged more and accomplish more than I think I can accomplish.  I want to achieve some really awesome running goals and for that I will need someone who is more knowledgeable than me to help me achieve the goals I have.

I’ve decided to go all in (well, because that’s what I do! LOL)  My training schedule has changed and I’m trusting in the plan and of course my coach.  Week 1 of my new training schedule is now in the books and I accomplished everything I was told to do. Nothing more and nothing less.  Okay, maybe a wee tiny bit more BUT I’m learning to do a little less for now 🙂  AND I’m happy to be dragging a few running friends along for the ride, making memories, having fun and simply getting out and running!

Up next for me is the Army Run.  Not sure if I’ll be racing it or using it as a training run at this point but I know that it’ll be amazing and I’m looking forward to it.

How is your training going?  What was your summer highlights?  Would love for you to share.