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.|