Sunday, September 22, 2013

What I did this summer

Taking stock of a season, I tallied the numbers that piled up. The tracking software tells me I ran 729.3 miles (or 1,173 kilometres). So much ground was covered, that I was in motion for 97 hours and 46 minutes over the course of three months. I watched the longest day arrive, and lamented in the waning weeks when I'd fight to fit longer runs in the after-work hours against the fading sun.

On this, the last day of summer, the chill had hit, forcing me to abandon my singlet for a T-shirt and I was still cold half way into the run. Some two hours into my 32 kilometre run -- the last big run of this training program -- I spotted dozens of other runners going long, and we traded waves and nods. Race season is on, and you can see it on everyone's faces. They're friendly yet hardened, relaxed but with purpose. We're on the job.

The first days of fall and the pre-taper weeks has us all rushing out there to complete the training. After 14-16 weeks of buildup, what started off as a 12 miler Sunday has gradually built up to 20 miles, and not to put a damper on our shared passion, but hell, this is hard.

Work, marathoners, know, comes in the form of long hours on the roads, nagging injuries we're keeping at bay, patience we're trying to manage and the all important goals we make and the frank test: Are we where we thought we'd be.

My training for Chicago began the second I crossed the finish line in Ottawa in May. I had set ambitious goals, to regain the form I had in the past. For my 25th marathon -- back at the race that was my first -- I wanted to see what purposeful preparation and a more holistic view of training could bring me.

I started eating like an athlete again. (And with the running, I dropped back down to an ideal race weight -- 16 pounds dropped. I know, that's burying the story but I think the weight adjusted to my training and food choices, not by crash dieting.)

Kale smoothie -- Pretty much my breakfast every day.

I brought in upper body and ab exercises pretty much daily. Firmed up and stabilized my core

Planks. Not this kind
I brought back quality training (at least for most of it)

I've worked through some nagging knee issues

I unloaded on the race course with one of my fastest 8K in years and a breakthrough at the 30K in August.


I also ran a tonne. Three months of plus 200 (maybe I'll do that in September, maybe not). Five long runs of 20+ miles.

Oh yeah, and I sold my condo.

Goodbye waterfront

And bought this and decided to move right as the taper begins.

Hello Liberty Village!

That's a packed summer. So now it's fall race season and in some sort of ridiculous planning, I have five races in five weeks.

  1. Chicago Marathon, Oct. 13 (goal race)
  2. Scotiabank Half Marathon, Oct. 20 (recovery/pace)
  3. MEC 15K, Oct. 27 (warmup/all out maybe)
  4. NYC Marathon, Nov. 3 (FUN! How can it not be!)
  5. Downsview Half Marathon, Nov. 10 (fun, winding down the season)

So now it's go time -- three weeks till Chicago. 

Run like El indeed.


ar said...

It is nice to see people get back on track and start kicking ass again- gives me hope. :)

Robin said...

Great training cycle! Hope you have a great race in Chicago, and I hope that the weather is perfect!!