Training, Racing and Tapering
I’m someone who thrives on a schedule, knowing what is coming up and working backwards helps me to have focus. This year has been a completely different experience for me. I still have a schedule, but I have added races to my schedule more on a whim than part of a bigger plan. I don’t know if that’s particularly good or bad thing, but I’ve been having a lot of fun! However, I’ve been less focused on what I want to accomplish with my running.
I still have a number of races coming up and am looking forward to them all, however, putting some focus back in 2016 will be good for me.
This past weekend I participated in the first ever Girls Run Ottawa, hosted by Run Ottawa. It was amazing to chat with other runners who were running their very first race. There were a lot of teen girls running and many women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. There was a sense of celebration. Some women were walking it and when the last walkers came in many stuck around to cheer them on. The course started out at the Terry Fox Facility and ran along Mooney’s Bay, to return to the facility for a second loop. If you are in Ottawa and a woman you should have this on your list for next year!
This Sunday I’ll be running the CIBC Run for the Cure in memory of my mother and in honour of my sister-in-law who has just completed her treatments. This was the very first race I ever participated in (2008), I’m looking forward to sharing this day with so many people who have their own stories and reasons for choosing to participate in this event. If you would like to donate to the cause please visit my fundraising page.
The Toronto Marathon is also coming up (Oct. 18th) but I’ve been training more for the MEC Race two weeks after Toronto. This will be my third year running the Toronto Marathon and I’m hoping for a PB. However, this is my first year running the MEC Race and anything new or unfamiliar makes me want to get ahead of it somehow. Last week I went out and ran up Gatineau Parkway – 8.5km and then turned around for a total of 16.5km road. I veered off the parkway and hopped on the trails for another 6.5kms before returning to my car.
Trails have been an important part of my training this past summer and has enabled me to be injury free finally! I’m trying to still get a few kms of trails in every week.
This week I went the other direction on the Gatineau Parkway and got confused 4kms in 🙂 Usually I’m a planner, as I’ve mentioned, but this year I’ve been so much less “rigid” and more just flowing with it. This is an example of that. I should have looked at a map before heading out but just assumed that the parkway would be a loop and I’d just follow it until I returned to my car. Well, that appears to not be the case! I mistakenly ran up Dunlop (1km climb) to Camp Fortune. Then ran back down as it was a dead end. I ran into some cyclists and asked for some clarity.
I was wearing my I2P patch and one of the guys saw it and said, “I see you are connected with I2P, you must be doing crazy a$$ sh*t”! Ha, I responded with “well, I’m learning to do crazy a$$ sh*t!”
My coach reminds me often the achievements that I accomplish in my running/training. I don’t always recognize it, I’m just doing my thing and getting the training done. Maybe it’s because I am surrounded by so many amazing runners that I look up to. I appreciate when he tells me though, it’s a good reminder. 😉
After getting some directions I ran up Fortune Parkway and headed towards the Champlain Lookout (this would add on extra kms). As I was still unfamiliar with the route and had limited time, I returned the way I came from for an out and back. Besides, after running up Fortune I felt it was my reward to run back down! I now know what the route should be, so likely next week I’ll head back for an easy go at it. Total kms was 22km on a very hilly route. Worth mentioning, 2kms into my run, 3 small black bears ran across the road in front of me (off in the distance but I saw them)!
Time to Taper
Just over two weeks to go before the marathon. I’ll start to taper now but likely will do one more decent run in Gatineau in preparation for the MEC Race over what I need for Toronto. Then I’ll take some time to go stir crazy, ummm I mean time for the body to recovery and get prepared for the race.
Fall is by far my favourite running season and one of those reasons is when the leaves start to change. The next few weeks will be such a colourful reward while running. Just a little motivation to go up to Gatineau.
What are you training for? How is your training going? Do you have a favourite season?