Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Inspired Superhero?

I'm still getting over this cold / flu / whatever it is that I came down with two days after my recent half marathon. Regardless of how it's made me feel low energy and kept me indoors more than I like (considering how my last 5 months have included 5 days of running per week), I'm feeling like a superhero. Feeling a slight bit of cabin fever, I got out and enjoyed the gloriously sunny autumn day we had today in Vancouver. I hiked the Grouse Grind this morning, and it was my slowest finish time of the season, needing 15 min extra than usual to reach the summit. I also had a big pile of kleenex with me, and I needed every single one of them (and then some, if I were to be honest). Disgusting. Regardless, I finished and felt amazing after. And knowing that I'm both recovering from a race where I got my PR and recovering from a cold / flu / something made me say to myself, "an extra 15 minutes is peanuts". I must indeed be a superhero.
And today I learned about 100-year old Fauja Singh who just set a world record as the oldest person to ever complete a marathon, right here today on Canadian soil at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It always inspires me when I see people who age so gracefully and take their health so seriously that they can accomplish whatever they want without age being a barrier. Fauja Singh, you must be a superhero! And knowing you are 69 years my senior makes me smile and imagine a lengthy running 'career' ahead of me, and many more finisher medals to earn - not letting age be a barrier any more than I've let health issues or weight be a barrier to me in my recent journey.

Yesterday was a good day too. After a really slow and gross 3km run in the morning, I got the inspiration to sign up for my next race. Sounds funny, but I think there's some appeal for me in committing to a future high endurance race when I am feeling down and awful and can barely run 3km (or simply just a sick mind?). It's like me telling myself, "You'll get over this funk and do amazing things. Just watch." In fact, I think I signed up for the Victoria Half Marathon last autumn, when I was recovering from surgery, and may or may not have been wearing bandages...I can't remember. I know for a fact though, that I could barely run at that point in my life.

So yes, I've signed up for my next race, the April Fool's Half Marathon on the Sunshine Coast, on, well yes, April Fool's Day, 2012!!!! I'm excited! But guess what, that's not all. I've mentally and emotionally committed myself to the BMO Vancouver MARATHON (notice I didn't say "half") taking place on May 6th, 2012. I just haven't registered. No, not chickening out or giving myself time to chicken out - it's simply a financial decision to wait, given signing up for a race means paying for your spot! But yes, I'm going to train to run a full marathon. A full 42.2km. Yikes :-)

I spent yesterday evening starting to put together my training plan for this. I'm going to do an 18-week marathon training program that will start on exactly, January 1st with a 10km run. Perfect day and way to start! The April Fool's Run will be treated as a solid training run leading up to the Vancouver Marathon, rather than treated as a race. So I'm going to fight the urge to run it hard and fast like I did in Victoria to allow recovery to be ok. And this event will also be coming a week after I've done a 20-miler training run, so I might be a bit tired from that too.... so definitely not going for a PR. I'll let the fast people pass me.

The idea behind doing two races in two months is to have another race to look forward to (or offer my marathon-training nerves some distraction?). And I get the 'practice' again of all the elements that make a race event different than training - the people, a road not traveled before (or rarely traveled before), the excitement, fuelling strategies, positive self-talk, and of course, the nerves.... So don't expect amazing results for the Fool's Run. It's all about having fun, training, and sure yes, the finisher medal. But my real goal is to complete my first ever marathon. April Fool's is just for fun. Make sense? And then, depending on how I do, I can decide what race I do in Victoria next October. That's the plan anyway.

What do you think? Am I nuts? Or just a superhero?

In the meantime, I'm programming the coffee-maker, applying my Breathe-Right strip, and going to bed to sleep off the rest of this cold / flu / annoyance and dream of future finish lines.


  1. Yeah, baby! Superhero indeed!

    I'm so glad you're keeping up with the runblog after your Half was completed last weekend - it has been inspirational to me!

  2. Thanks Jess! You better believe this superhero is going to keep blogging. :-) So glad you are enjoying what I have to say.

  3. Good luck tackling that cold & for doing the Grouse Grind while sick! wow!

    How do you plan your training programs? Do you use a book? personal experience? go through a running clinic? Use training programs that you have been a part of before??

  4. Hi Monnie! Finally over that cold as of late last week which made running feel so much better. I'm going to tackle Grouse again this weekend, and excited to not be doing it sick - will be much less of a Grind! Thanks for your encouragement.

    As for my training program, I have been using a book called "Running from Start to Finish" by John Stanton (Running Room founder). But I've made tweaks based on other research I've done, but more importantly, my personal experience. And I tweak along the way based on scheduling and how I'm feeling and try not to feel guilty about going off the plan. I've never done a clinic (not my personal style), but I hear from those who've been part of them that they are very helpful.

  5. Totally a superhero. Way to soldier on during illness. Your race plans are exciting! Make sure you stock up on some warmer running gear for the cold months coming up!