Sunday, December 15, 2013


Winter is coming. Or, as the past week showed those gearing up for another training cycle, it's already here. I've faced many a December when I'm trying to kick start running after a long spring and summer training season and a busy fall race schedule. Well, it's time again. Lets get working.

2014 looms on the horizon and not just for me, as I'm seeing a tonne of search on this blog for Around the Bay (race strategy, hills, running it full out for Boston) and for the Ottawa Marathon.  (See below for links) Judging by how fast the races are selling out these days, I'm going to see busy trails in Toronto this winter.

Exiting 2013 with some mojo was my immediate thought after the comeback marathon, and I've declared it to anyone who asks. I want to complete the mission, and get my marathon time down, and requalify for Boston. So as winter No. 10 arrives (yes, it's been that long I've been doing this long-distance thing), I'm changing strategies in a big way.

Running with the Black Toe group
First is I'm running December with  more mileage as a ramp up to January. I'm on a mostly undeclared until now run streak to get the gears going, running from U.S. Thanksgiving all the way to the New Year.  So far, I've made it past the peak holiday party season and I think I've hit a schedule (early morning runs are tackling my shorter distances).

Second, I'm looking to inject some pace into a few of my runs every week. Part of this is just keeping sharp. I've launched into aggressive training in January in the past only to have my body rebel. Along with that, I'm giving a wide berth to all holiday treats that are invading the office where I work. I don't want to gain the holiday weight and so far, it's going well. Love those morning smoothies.

Third, I'm combatting winter boredom by doing more group runs, which is pretty much 1000% more than I usually do. Black Toe, an awesome new running store that's located right between work and home, has been doing after work and weekend runs. So far, I've been out there and loving meeting new people and having a group to take my mind off pace. The faster group is right in my wheelhouse, so I'm happy to join them.

And finally, for the first time in my marathon schedule since 2007, I'm giving up the Pfitzinger-Douglas (still love it) program for some real coaching. The coach from Black Toe is crafting an evil workout plan for me for the next four months. I'm looking forward to the challenge and gratified to have some feedback. New tricks, indeed.

In 2013, I leaned on running in a big way to get through a tough time. It's been an interesting journey - in a gratifying way, it helped me refocus and find priorities, helped me unplug and settle my mind, and avoided me from throwing the pendulum between life and work off balance.

Next year is another story. Not sure of the narrative, or even how it'll end, but I'm looking forward to telling more tales, and that's a good place to start.

Other posts on Around the Bay:

Other Posts on Ottawa Marathon


Sam said...

Good luck with the new coach Kenny! I'm curious to watch your training this winter! Go get 'em!

Robin said...

Sounds like a great plan for 2014! Can't wait to see what it brings you. Happy training.