Monday, February 13, 2012

Vantage points

Training continues as the miles pile up, first race of the year in a month, then my 30K in six weeks.

Last week was a tough one to get the miles in. Here's a view of Montreal's downtown from my work office, the tallest skyscraper in the city (1000 de La Gauchetière). You can see the top of Mont-Royal where the lookout perches over the city. It's a 2.5K run from my hotel to the lookout, a nice little trek up streets and a bunch of switchbacks, followed by a dozen flights of steps.

And here's the view from the top, back toward downtown buildings, my office building is easy to spot by the pointed top.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Breaking traditions

Finally back on track, finally running consistently, again I'm feeling like I'm a few more long runs away from thinking seriously about what the spring running season holds.

This year it looks like I'm due for a shakeup. I'm skipping two big races I rarely miss, the Harry's 8K and the Sporting Like 10K. Actually, I'm running the Sporting Life 10K, but not one run by the Canadian Running Series.

Things are different. I've signed up for a marathon, but I'm more excited to do the course than the time I'll do it in. I'm running the Around the Bay for the fifth time -- and looking at my previous times has me thinking about how fast I 'used' to be rather than how much faster I can go.

Running magazines are piling up unread, I haven't looked at a running schedule today (or yesterday) I'm not obsessing about pace or the type of run.

Weird, eh.

I was thinking the other day, while on my 14 miler, that it was the eighth winter in a row of training. As I turned a corner six miles in, a group of men came, pounding the pavement with purpose, the Boston jacket on one of them showing they were on the job. I saw not just the type of runner I can be, but one I used to be. I saw them, but didn't feel the need to give chase.

Clearly something has happened to my running life. Things are different, priorities have changed, but while some habits are being broken, I still feel the urge to run, I still make the time for myself on the roads, I still feel track the miles, click on the Garmin. And tonight, running on the barely lit waterfront trail, without music, just the light from the moon and the footfalls my soundtrack, I knew that the simple act of running is enough to keep me going.