My gosh how the summer flies by! I know it's been a long while since you've heard anything from me. I do have a few good excuses. I find it very hard to hunker down and focus on the computer when it's so darn gorgeous outside. For the last couple of weeks a lot of people (myself included) have been in denial about the changing season. The last couple of days were a good reminder of what to expect for the next few months. We must cherish all of our remaining sunny days when we can. That's exactly what I've been doing. We live in such a beautiful place and so many people do not afford themselves the luxury of actually LIVING while they are here. I could certainly die tomorrow knowing that my life was LIVED and find peace in the fact that yes, I may have been able to squeeze one more beach day in there, but Fall is here and the show (and my blog) must go on. So here we are, the leaves are changing, the kids are going back to school and the days are becoming cooler and shorter. This can mean so many different things for so many different people but to me it signifies a season of reflection, growth and preparation.
Let us reflect on the season which has passed. The Lower Mainland Road Race Series has come to an end. This year the level of competition which competed compared to last year was much stronger. It was very nice to see these races growing and more talented athletes entering them. Sure for me this meant more 4th place finishes than I would have preferred, but the benefits which I acquired from running amongst such strong people is money in the bank for next season. I managed to capture the silver medal for my age group in the series. Down one spot on the podium from last year even though I have gotten much faster. All in all, a great series.
I will now speak of why this time of year signifies growth and preparation. Earlier this season I committed to the Victoria Marathon. This season has been a huge growth period for me. I have never completed a full marathon before and it has been looming over my head for some time. It would seem that to become an accomplished road runner one must master all distances. I am comfortable with the records I have set for myself for this year so far. I have a very specific goal at Victoria and fully intend on reaching my potential for my debut marathon. I am looking to cross the finish line in a time of 2:30-2:35. I'm not sure that I can go any faster than that at this time, but If I go any slower, something will have gone wrong. I understand that the marathon is a new beast, something of a monster which can eat runners as snacks as they cross the 20 mile mark. I will not become this monsters lunch. I must run a religious first three quarters and hit all my splits. I will not get sucked into a negative split vortex during the first half because I feel good. I have had so much great advice from so many runners and the one thing that remains the same between all of them is that the race doesn't really start until the 20th mile or the last quarter of the race. After that point, it's all about survival. The only way to survive is to ration your supplies and energy. If you burn all your fuel up before you go the distance, you will not make it to the finish line. Well this all seems pretty obvious right? Wrong. Just when you think you understand and have tamed the beast that is marathon it may still bite back. As much as I've been learning to be calm and collected before a race, I'm not sure I'll be able to stop my armour from rattling as I step up to conquer this beast. I have begun to embrace my longer training runs and still find it hard to believe how people such as Mike Palichuck or Ellie Greenwood can excel at such a tedious sport. It's one thing to run a race, It's another thing to race a race. To race a race for two and a half hours is something I am scared and excited for. I know I am ready mentally and physically. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and safeguard my immune system from sickness and protect my body from injury. I have found that with this extra workload my immune system has been on edge. I have been battling a mildly sore throat and cold sores for some time now. Eating well is difficult on such a shoestring budget, but I have managed to remain healthy this season and will do everything in my power to remain that way. This race is going to be the icing on my running resume cake. I am serious about getting an Asics sponsorship next season and if I can do well at Victoria, they will certainly take me seriously. It's that time of year when the reps are accepting applications from the local elites and I am now ready with a winning arsenal of results. I am excited to be an ambassador for this brand and will work tirelessly to make them look as good as they make me. It has been a blessing to Have MonaVie sponsor me this year. I have been given some of the tools I need to become a better athlete. Their active juice blend really helps with my recovery time and makes me feel great. They have also purchased an entire race uniform from Forerunners and Asics and allowed me to custom design it. Once it is ready, I will have some photos done and post an entire blog about MonaVie.
This season has been very productive for me and I am very satisfied to be moving up the ranks as a runner. I look forward to the up and coming Lower Mainland Cross country series as I haven't raced cross country since high school. This will surely give me some good strength to begin the 2011 season with. Hopefully I don't lose too much speed when I go home and visit my family and friends for Christmas. I'm sure the runs will be minimal by then and the beers and scotch will be plenty. That's my mental break for the year. That is a little ways off right now so I must stay focused and finish out this year with some more solid performances. I'm off to do my tempo run now. 19 of 22km @ 3:35/km. Happy tempo Tuesday and Happy training everyone!!
Things I hate: The transition from hot and sunny to Cold and rainy.
Things I love: I love seeing results.