Let’s Get This Started – Grand to Grand Ultra

How do you start a 273km run? Just like any other run, one foot in front of the other ūüôā It seemed like forever to arrive at the start line and then suddenly Day 1 was here!

Day 1

what became my corner in the tent

what became my corner in the tent

I think most of us were awake before the 6am music started playing. This was our first night and morning adjusting to sharing a tent with strangers. There was snoring, rustling mattresses, zippers opening for middle of the night bathroom needs, etc. ¬†We were awake, trying to be polite and discrete as we tried to get organized to run almost 50km’s for Day 1.

myself, Lisa and Gary

myself, Lisa and Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jar of Hope - Team Jamesy

Jar of Hope – Team Jamesy

I had arranged to meet up with 2 runners, Lisa and Gary, to see if our pace allowed us to run the day together. There was such an energy at the start line, lots of excitement and nerves. This is where I was first introduced to Jar of Hope and why this team was running. I listened to James share about how he was literally running to save his sons life. I was inspired by his story, in his fight and would later connect with James to get involved.

warming up - first km of Day 1

warming up – first km of Day 1

Back to the start ūüôā ¬†We headed out from a remote location on the north rim of the Grand Canyon (altitude 5344 feet). Before we could think about it,139 runners set out to complete the 49.6kms required for Day 1. Previous Grand to Grand competitors shared that the first day could be brutal: it was flatter, a lot of the same terrain and full on sun, oh and consisted of a cacti minefield! They were not wrong. The temperature was actually not that bad, with a high I believe of 24¬įC, but with no shade to be found it was certainly hot!

cacti1

The cacti were a tad sneaky! I’ve never seen such a variety of cacti before. Some could be avoided but there were some little ones that were difficult to see and if you stepped on them it could go through your shoe. At one point I had one leap out from behind me and attach itself to my leg (or at least that is what it seemed like ūüôā ). It must have been loose on the ground and got kicked up by my foot. Thankfully, it did not really attach and was easily removed.

Canadian Gal Pals

Canadian Gal Pals

There were 24 countries represented with the 139 participants, 11 Canadians. Yvonne and Crystal were fellow Canadian gal pals with whom I had the privilege of connecting with on the course periodically.

 

 

 

There were a variety of challenges on this day, however, heading into camp stands out. We were still dealing with cacti but now there was a barbed wire fence thrown in for what seemed miles. Instinctively, I wanted to grab hold of this fence to help me, to offer some support, this seemed particularly cruel to me! ¬†I was tired, hot, not thinking clearly and now had to remind myself continually to not grab hold of that convenient fence beside me ūüôā

so many times I wanted to grab the fence!

so many times I wanted to grab the fence!

...Don't doubt it, don't doubt it Victory is in your veins...

…Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it
Victory is in your veins…

 

Lisa and I managed to stay with Gary the entire day, until the end, where we ran ahead listening to Katy Perry’s “Rise” on speaker as we crossed the finished line.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2

Remember the cacti? Well arriving into Camp after Day 1 it was obvious that we would be sleeping on top of many cacti! This made me nervous sleeping as I had an air mattress and heard that in previous years some had been punctured. I did not sleep well at all and woke up numerous times afraid to puncture the mattress (even though I had a tarp down to help provide an extra barrier).

Day two: climbed out of Camp 1 and ended up down in Camp 2

Day Two: climbed out of Camp 2 with a big decent to Camp 3

This morning we would spend a good portion climbing. The reality of what we were in for began to set in. I found Day 2 to be extremely hot and hoped my plan for fueling and hydrating was going to work!

These views though!!

These views though!!

2016-09-26_23-31-14_richardsonThe landscape was truly spectacular, like nothing I had ever seen before. Gary and I had decided to stick together for another day and had started to fall in to a bit of a rhythm. We were figuring out our strengths and weaknesses and how to push each other. We started seeing “regulars” at check points and running periodically with other runners who we would pass and then they’d pass us again later on.

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Day 2 Completed!

Although no one had dropped out on Day 1 (a first for G2G), today 5 competitors had decided to not continue. For all the competitors participating this was not good news, we really did want to see everyone finish.

Resting up, so I can start Day 3

Resting up, so I can start Day 3

Coming up….Day 3 and beyond…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help! Tips On Fitting in Fitness/Running

There are so many reasons why “life can get in the way” of our own fitness/running goals. ¬†Have you heard these comments, or perhaps even said them yourself?

    • I’m too busy, I just do not have time
    • My kids are to young, it’s difficult with them around
    • I can’t afford a gym membership
    • my spouse/partner is not supportive of my goals
    • I’m a single parent and do not have any support

 

As mentioned in my previous post, we all have 24hrs in a day.  However, we all live very different lives mostly.  So how can we balance our lives in order to achieve our goals.  First up, know what your goal is.  Do you want to workout 3x/week?  Do you want to learn to run? Run a goal race?  Know your goal and then write it down.

For myself, I tend to look at seasons and I’m about to enter a slightly more relaxed season but I do not want to lose my consistency with running, my base. ¬†However, I will be adding in home workouts for variety and strength training. ¬†I highlight any races coming up with purple, my running days get highlighted in orange and the rest just get marked on the calendar. ¬†This is my “plan”, but if I have to adjust I just change it on the calendar ūüôā ¬†We cannot always control our lives, but making “appointments” for ourselves helps us to intend to get them done!

FullSizeRenderAs you can see, I have 3 races in October and two marathons! ¬†So I’m actually slowing down with my running to get ready for those bigger races. ¬†However, I still want to be working out, more yoga/piyo and some running.

There are a number of challenges we are faced with as mentioned above. ¬†I’ve chatted with a number of people about this topic. ¬†Some ride/run to work, others get it done over their lunch hour, or hit the gym on the way home from work. ¬†Some single parents put their heavy workout schedule on the week their ex has the children. ¬†The challenges are real, here are few more tips:

Ray shares: (Adventure Runner; both parents running long distances)

It’s about recognizing that you both have goals. ¬†Respecting each other and stepping in where you need to, in order to make it happen. ¬†Getting the runs in where ever they fit in for that day. ¬†Sometimes that means an exceptionally early run, running when the girls are at school or one parent prepping dinner, hanging with the girls while the other gets a run in. ¬†Whatever works! ¬†Working together as a team!

Find our more about Ray and follow his blog.

Noel writes: (new dad) 

What I find tough is finding time to run and trying to adjust to à new way of life.

So far I have switched to running at lunch and after work (run home) so when I arrive at home I am ready for daddy duties. On the weekends I now run when I can, not always when I want to lol. Now that Morgane  is 4-months old I have just started running with her in the stroller and this allows me to run with my daughter but also give mom à break at the same time.

As an uber new dad, I have been able to train and got quite fit but dad duties, family stress with new baby and adapting to everything made races almost impossible. I ran one 5k and had to bail on planned fall marathon. BUT happy, have great family and still running.

I think there is always a way to find time to run, but its about being flexible, adapting to à new lifestyle and defining your priorities and determining your goals and what is important to you.

Find out more about Noel and follow his blog

Brent writes: (Brent and his wife are new runners)

Having two boys 5 and 7 it’s a bit more of a challenge for us but a good jogging stroller and two tablets keep them happy for an hour or so. Most of the time my wife goes for a run at 6pm when I get home from work and I go at 9pm when the kids are asleep. We have had the luxury of my mother in law being available to watch the kids for us to do ¬†full day events.¬†

Laurie Ann writes:  (Author, Mom and Outdoor Adventurer)

Parenting and fitness is a tag-team, juggling event in our household. During the weekdays I am often like a single Mom with Bryan’s travel schedule. I have Fridays off so during the school year I am able to hit the gym with a friend and now that my son is old enough he can watch my daughter from time to time. Bryan and I also take turns plus we do fit things that include the kids. After all, they need to keep moving too. When my daughter was little we used the running stroller and a bike trailer. When our son was 11 or 12 he’d cycle back and forth on the trail while I ran or he’d run with one of us. When he wasn’t old enough to babysit on his own he’d watch a movie with my daughter in the same room as my treadmill and I’d run with them in view. When Bryan and I would run at the track I’d start my run and then he’d show up later with the kids. They’d run with us for a bit and then we’d walk while Bry finished his run.

Oh and with the stroller… a MEC Newt Suit is indispensable. Kaia would sit in her stroller and even in the worst weather that one piece rain suit would keep her toasty dry.

Find out more about Laurie and follow her blog

Liette writes: (both parents running)

Challenges? Getting homework done is my number one (why so much, whyyyy??!!). My number 2 would be getting the laundry, groceries and any other household task done that I can’t accomplish during the week. Especially when the Sunday distances are long. Sometimes, it’s 2 o’clock by the time I’m cleaned up and fed. That reduces my weekends to just under 1.5 days.

So how do we manage? Barely. LOL! I do the bulk of my running during the lunch hour. He runs after work while I get dinner on the table. He cleans up my mess while I do homework with the little one and make sure the teenager is on top of his workload. We tag team the chores on the weekend. And meal planning is key! If I’m lucky, I can get a pot of soup, sauce or chill on the go Sunday afternoon so weeknight dinners are easier.

Jennifer writes: (mom and business owner)

It is super hard to make time for fitness as a mom of little ones. I only started when my youngest was 2yrs old, prior to that I just couldn’t get it together! But once my little one was in daycare it gave me much more time freedom. As soon as I started I became happier and much more productive in all areas of life. I realized that fitness/running/being outdoors gave me time to be alone, focus on my dreams and goals and in turn be a better mom and wife. It really changed my life.

In terms of time management, I only work out Monday to Friday so that my weekends are free to spend time with the kids. School/daycare are my saviors! 

Find out more about Jennifer and follower her blog.

Cathy writes: (mom of fur babies)

My hubby and I don‚Äôt have kids, but we are joint owners of a small business and our needy 3 dogs (one very senior, 2 rescues with separation anxiety). ¬†For me, I have a very understanding husband who knows how important running is to me. ¬†He is willing to ‚Äėhold down the fort‚Äô for my long run on Saturday. ¬†I do the same on Sunday but for him it is so he can work. ¬†During the week, I combine my run, walk or cycle with my commute to work. ¬†So I do arrive to work later than he does (he drives and brings the doggies) but again, he is very understanding and the amount of time for this varies depending on the season/closeness to a race.

Find out more about Cathy and follow her blog.

So as you can see, regardless of who you are, what challenges you have, what you do for a living or the goals you set for yourself, if you want something bad enough you’ll figure out a way to make it work. ¬†It’s often not easy, sacrifices often need to be made but you can figure out what can work for you. ¬†The key is to know what you want to accomplish, set a goal and then work towards achieving that goal.

my daughter keeping me company on the bike path

my daughter keeping me company on the bike path

Getting fit can also be done with your family.  Planned hikes, workouts at the park, kids riding alongside you as you run.  Be creative, have fun and find what you love to do!

Lastly, for those that find that they cannot afford a gym membership or that they struggle with getting to the gym at the times available for group classes, here are a few of my favourite home workouts.

PiYo (great for body strength exercises and a fantastic workout compliment workout for runners).

21 Day Fix (focuses on portion control with your diet and has a great mix of workouts to jump start anyone looking for a great workout).

I have a ton of dvd’s I rotate through but I seem to come back to these two often.

Do you have a tip on how you fit in your workouts/running with a busy life? ¬†I’d love to hear about it!

A Quick Look Back – Exciting Things For 2015

This time of the year excites me! ¬†I love looking back and evaluating how the year went. ¬†Often, the year didn’t go quite the way I plannedfoot.¬†Through every experience, highs and lows, personal bests and setbacks or injuries,¬†there is always an opportunity to learn and discover more about myself and, if I’m lucky, about others. ¬†This year was no different and through my injury I was connected to my now running coach and a ton of other great people.

2014 Year in Review:

Around¬†The Bay and Ottawa Marathon were misses due to injury. ¬†My planned marathon for Calgary was downgraded to the 5K just so I could experience the race ūüôā My daughter¬†and I volunteered and loved it, as usual, and I dressed up for the first time ever in a race to celebrate running through the decades. ¬† I started training for the Toronto Marathon as soon as my boot came off, and had a PB on race day. ¬†I ran my very first trail run, a 23K with the I2P run ¬†in Gatineau, QC, dressed up for the Ghost Run and ran one of my favourites, in the pouring rain, the Army Run!

Some Highlights of 2014

Some Highlights of 2014

Ottawa Foam Fest

Ottawa Foam Fest

My husband and daughter participated in their very first races this year (Strides for Ethan and Ottawa Foam Fest), it was amazing to do these with them.  A few other smaller races and to top the year off I hired a running coach.  Lots of firsts this year!

Setting Goals for 2015

Dream Big

Dream Big

This is also a time that I am looking ahead. ¬†I’m planning new race goals, distances, training schedules, and making arrangements for out of town events. ¬†Some events are still under wraps but staying true to myself, I am setting goals that take me beyond my comfort zone.

One of my goal races this year is The Ottawa Race Weekend Marathon.  I originally planned on running my first marathon in Ottawa (and second) but due to injuries was side-lined from accomplishing this.  I ended up running my first and second out of town.  I am determined that 2015 is my year to run the Marathon in the city I call home.

I am so thrilled to have been invited to join The Ottawa Race Weekend’s Team Awesome. This is such an incredible honour for me. ¬†To share my love for running, encourage others to set race goals and connect with other runners throughout our journey to race day is something I’m already so passionate about – being able to do all of this as part of Team Awesome is a forever memory in the making!!

You can follow the entire Team Awesome on a variety of social media sites. ¬†We will be using #TORW2015 to connect and chat with all of you. ¬† We all have different strengths, personalities, interests and experiences so you’ll likely relate to more than one of us. ¬†Meet Team Awesome

If you’ve ran the Ottawa Race Weekend before then you know it’s a fantastic race and an incredible way to see the city. ¬†If you have not experienced this race for yourself, it’s a must and you should seriously register. ¬†Register Here¬†

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Night Race Kit Pickup

I also love volunteering for race kit pick up every year for Ottawa Race Weekend, as this is something my daughter and I do for numerous races in Ottawa. ¬†We even convinced my son to come with us for one event. ¬† This is such a great way for your kids to be inspired by others, share something with you that you love to do, and in their words, get cool free stuff! ¬†You’ll see me at Race Pick Up again this year – say hi if you see me!

 

 

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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

Travelling for Training

Again, life has been busier and I’ve missed more runs with my running group than I had hoped for. ¬†Still getting my runs in but more and more on my own. ¬†I started hills and felt like a pro while doing them. ūüôā

Being a part of the amazing ¬†Digital Champion Team¬†(DC’s) for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon¬†means that there are a variety of events happening in Toronto. ¬†There are a handful of us DC’s who do not live in Toronto therefore we must travel if we want to participate in these events. ¬†The event I chose to travel for was the Beaches Jazz Run¬†20K Training Run.

I managed to get 3 others to join me and our travel plans were set! ¬†We’d leave on the Saturday morning, drive to Toronto, relax Saturday night and be up early for a 7:45am meet and greet with other DC’s before the run began.

Travelling with others that you do not know well can be risky, but when you have health and fitness as a common denominator there is always lots to chat about!   Turned out to be a great group to travel with!  We happened upon an amazing restaurant for dinner, relaxed and managed to get to bed at a reasonable time.  We had three alarms set and were all awake for  5:20am, because we needed time for coffee and of course proper fuelling for our run.  Everything went smoothly and we were off to the Beaches.

I enjoyed meeting other DC’s who I’m getting to know through our connections online. ¬†It’s so nice to meet in person the people that you are cheering for and believing with to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. ¬†Also, knowing that others were not there as they have had to put their plans on hold. ¬†Knowing all to well, how very difficult it is to be “forced” to post-pone your dream because of life’s circumstances or injury. ¬†When you are passionately driven to go after your dreams, it’s hard to have to sit back or change and adjust your goals so that you remain healthy. ¬†It’s making sure you have balance and that the timetable will work with what is going on in your life. ¬†I admire and respect these people for picking the hard choice and doing what is best for them!

It turned out to be a HOT day! ¬†The humidity was ridiculous and there did not seem to be much of a breeze, even though we ran along the water for a time. ¬†There were pacers for the training run but as far as I could tell only for continuous runners. ¬†I choose to do 10/1’s for my long training runs. ¬†So I lined up near the back, also noticing the slowest pacer was for a 4hr. 10min. marathon. ¬†Realizing that I’d be slower than that, my position in the back seemed to be appropriate.

I had the awesome privilege of travelling with two new friends who were both running their first official 10K’s. ¬†They were there to see me off (10K race started 45min. after the 20K). ¬†They took pictures and cheered me on when I headed out. ¬†I kept up with the 4:10 pacer for the first 2-3K and then gave myself permission to pull back and commence my run/walk plan. ¬†This was clearly going to be my own run.

I was not alone at the back but we were not many! ¬†This surprised me as I really believe I’m an “average” runner, so where were the other average runners?! ¬†It was a fantastic route, having met a number of people earlier on, it was so nice to pass each other on the out and backs and give high fives or simply yell “you’ve got this!” ¬†I think the hardest part of the run for me was when we turned off to do a 5K out and back towards Tommy Thompson Park! ¬†The air felt dead with little or no breeze and the sun just beat down on us!

Because this was a training run and not a race we were sharing the path and road with other runners and bikers. ¬†There were less people in front of me and I unknowingly followed a random runner across Lakeshore Blvd! ¬†This seemed very odd to me and didn’t feel right. ¬†There was a lot of construction and I realized seeing the Loblaws parking lot that I had made a wrong turn! ¬†There was a volunteer ¬†at Lakeshore and Leslie St. directing runners to turn down Lakeshore–not across it–BUT with my luck they must have momentarily stepped away and I just followed the runner ahead of me!

No big deal, right? That’s not what I thought when I added almost 0.5km to my run. ¬†Once back across Lakeshore I was on my way again to get this thing done! ¬†Heading back towards the beaches, I welcomed what little shade there was along the route. ¬†It was a lot busier now with people enjoying a family day and watching all us crazy runners actually running on an exceptionally humid day!

The end was in sight, once hitting the boardwalk my main goal was to not fall!  Legs were tired, heck I was tired, so watching my footing was my priority. Oh, and hitting my Garmin when I crossed!

Met up with others, chatted about the experience, celebrated with everyone and then signed up for a quick massage!

IMG_3571My travelling friends and I quickly freshened up, found a great spot for an amazing brunch and we were back on the road again to make our 5hr. trip back home.

During the trip home our two friends who ran their first official 10K’s had decided that they would go for it and signed up for their first half marathons!!

All in all, it was a fun 34hr road trip!

 

 

 

 

The Forgotten Marathon Bag – Yes, It Really Happened!

When I chose to sign up for my very first marathon I had no idea the challenges that our family were about to face.  I could have chosen to wait and run another time but I had already made the mental commitment to run, I had already psyched myself into doing all that was required to run a marathon.  Running during that time became very therapeutic for me, almost necessary.  It became a place for me to process my thoughts and feelings, by talking it out with a new running friend, or being lost in my own thoughts and feelings on a long run.  I believe training for the marathon saved me in many ways.

So what happened when I discovered every runners worst nightmare and forgot all my gear in another city the eve of my run?

New Running Gear

New Running Gear

Read about it here on the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon where they posted my experience in their blog.  Honey, I Forgot My Marathon Bag!

Have you ever experienced something like this?

 

With Or Without Others

The past two weeks are somewhat of a blur! ¬†I have had to run many of my training runs on my own because of my schedule. ¬†It’s been a great two weeks, my runs have been amazing and I’m feeling really good. ¬†It’s almost like I’m in a stage of newness again, like rediscovering running for the joy of solitude.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE running with a group. ¬†However, I’ve come to realize that maybe I’ve become a tad dependent on the group. ¬†Having to be somewhere at a specific time helps me get out for sure. ¬†I’ve had some unexpected things come up forcing me to get out more on my own which made me realize I’ve missed the long runs on my own. ¬†I’ve missed the strength I feel when I’m pushing myself at a faster pace OR pulling back forcing myself to slow down for the slow/long run. ¬†I’ve forgotten the satisfaction that comes from being in control of the course and the pace, the feeling of being lost in my thoughts and feeling renewed in my heart, thankful and grateful for my family and life.

I have always been a solo runner and ¬†I’ve trained for most of my races on my own. ¬†I never considered being part of a running group prior to training for my first marathon. ¬†When the kilometres started to really climb, ¬†I realized the benefits of group running.

Group Run Celebrating Canada

Group Run Celebrating Canada

I thrived in the group and loved getting to know other runners and feeling inspired and empowered by many of them while out on runs. ¬†Running in a group also allowed me to run in areas I wouldn’t run much alone, allowed me to just run without thinking about pace or direction and it certainly kept me company on those 3-4hr training runs. ¬†It was the perfect timing for me to connect with the Running Room and train with the marathon group.

This training period ¬†feels different though. ¬†I know I will get out ¬†with the group when I can, and it’ll be just as amazing when I do, however, some of my goals have me being away or training for different events, requiring me to do more training on my own. ¬†I think it’s good though, it’s kind of the best of both worlds.

What about you?  Are you a loner?  Do you like to run on your own or do you need to belong to a running group?  Have you ever been a part of a group?   This certainly can apply to anyone going to the gym, taking fitness classes or whatever new adventures you might be taking on.  There are benefits to doing it alone and certainly joining up with others.

For myself, I think there is a time for both, and I’m thankful I can experience both as I continue to train for all the races coming up in 2014.

Being a part of the Digital Champions¬†(DC’s)¬†for the¬†Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon¬†has also allowed me to connect with some pretty inspiring runners and a fantastic online community that I am truly blessed to be involved with. ¬†So although many of my training runs will be on my own, I’m not really alone. ¬†A supportive online community can also be just what you need!

Ottawa Digital Champions

Here is a shot of the Ottawa Team, a small portion of the DC’s that are encouraging runners who have chosen to make the Toronto Marathon part of their fall racing goals.

Running alone has its perks and for me it is so therapeutic. ¬†It brings me back to the reasons I love running. ¬†It’s a place for me to really be in touch with who I am and process through the events in my life. ¬†However, I will never give up the joy of running in a group. The friendships, encouragements and challenges that come from pushing yourself with others, especially on those long, hot summer runs or, not so long ago, those unbelievable long, cold, snowy ones!

However you run, may you get all you can out of it and be renewed in your love for running!