[excluding race week]
# weeks: 18
# runs: 117
total distance: 1547.9 KM (961.8 mi)
average run distance: 13.2 KM (8.2mi)
total time: 5 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes
average pace: 5:34/KM (8:57/mi)
average overall weekly mileage: 86.0 KM (53.4 mi)
weekly avg. excl. recovery/taper (13 weeks): 92.8 KM (57.7 mi)
highest weekly mileage: 105 KM/65.2mi (Week 16)
highest monthly mileage: 415.3 KM/258.07 mi (April)
# runs 30K (18.6mi) or more: 11
# runs 32K (20mi) or more: 8
longest run: 42.2KM/26.2mi (Martian Marathon)
races: 6 - one 5K (PR), one 10K (PR), two half marathons (one PR), one 30K, one marathon (PR)
I took both my training volume and intensity to a new level this time around, gradually building on the fitness I gained and lessons I learned from my last two training cycles - one of which resulted in a triumphant sub-4 (28 minute PR) at Mississauga last May, and the other in a very disappointing day at the Toronto Marathon in October.
I had a couple of months to shake it off and I used the time to work on my diet and lose some weight. I was running without a plan and doing a lot of cross-training, but I found that faster paces started coming very easily. I went into this training cycle a stronger and smarter runner than ever before, but I also had my doubts. As I started tackling the carefully-crafted training plan that hubs created for me, I eventually learned that all I could do was take it one run at a time and see where the training took me.
With a lot of support from three of the best coaches I could ever ask for (see below), I faced my demons and worked through my doubts, successfully completing my workouts/mileage and gradually building back my confidence.
I couldn't have done it without these guys, who have been instrumental in helping me maintain my physical and (more importantly!) mental strength for the past 18 weeks.
Coach Don - Don instructs the marathon clinic at my local store, of which I am a repeat participant. Don has always gone above and beyond the call of duty, providing one-on-one coaching and somehow keeping track of all 70+ of us in the group. More than that, he takes a genuine interest in our training and success and you just can't put a price on that. Coach Don ran most of the Mississauga Marathon with me last year, and helped me hold on tight to that sub-4:00 goal when it started slipping away. While he won't be running
Ron (you know him as "Dr. Pain") - Ron has been our physiotherapist since early last fall. In that time we've developed a relationship extending beyond doctor-patient; he has become a coach, a mentor and a friend. Ron played a big role in helping me pick up the pieces after my marathon last October, and has since kept me grounded and focused through the ups and downs of training. I like to joke that he provides just as much therapy as physio. The best thing about Ron is that he works with some of our top Canadian athletes, and yet he makes me feel just as worthy as they are.
Mark (you know him as "Hubs") - What can I say about my ultimate coach, my life partner and my best friend? Not only do I have a husband who patiently and pain-stakingly crafts custom training plans for me [I'm picky!], but he is often more invested in my own training and success than his own. I feel so fortunate that we have discovered a passion to share so completely, one that has only strengthened our bond. We may not always run together, nor are we always on the same schedule, but we do always share the triumphs and the struggles that come along with it. I
I consider myself so fortunate to have these guys in my life. They make the good times even more worthwhile, and the tough times more manageable. I don't think for one second that I would be where I am today without their influence. All three of them have always believed in me more than I believe in myself... but I'm starting to come around. :)
Time to talk goals...
When I started believing that a BQ could potentially be within reach, I thought it should remain a "secret" goal; that I wouldn't put it out there but instead publicize a more conservative goal. I eventually realized that I was hesitant to share my true goal because I was afraid if failing. In many ways, I was afraid to even admit that goal to myself because I didn't want to let myself down.
My training and tune-up races dictate that I can run a 3:40. But I know all too well that anything can happen over 26.2 miles and things don't always turn out the way they are supposed to.
That being said, sometimes you just have to put it all on the line - so many of you have shown me how to do that, and now it's my turn.
My goal: 3:40 (BQ)
All that's left now is the starting line, the finish line, and 26.2 miles of rain and wind in between.
Of course this post would not be complete without a note on the weather. It is not looking good - lots of rain and 40 kph (25 mph) winds. It sucks, but we get what we get on race day. As Aron ever so wisely pointed out, sometimes we'll have perfect weather but our body or mind won't show up. One thing I can say for sure is that I will show up on Sunday and give it everything I have.
Live tracking at www.sportstats.ca: bib # 1125!