Friday, March 30, 2012

New Beginnings and 2 Days 'Til Race Day #1

What can I say, I am one happy girl. That's right! One very very happy running girl with lots of reason to wear purple in the near reason.

This week was my first week at my brand new job. And this isn't just any job, but a new CAREER, after months of being on the hunt for something I'd look forward to going to every day. Sure, one could argue that I'm in the "honeymoon phase", but I believe that this is such a good fit for me as it connects to so many of my passions. I am a new Campaign Coordinator for the BC/Yukon chapter of Team In Training, a very successful and awesome endurance sport training program benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am working with an incredible team, doing very important work to raise money for blood cancer research as well as patient and family services. And it's all about endurance sport, which is certainly me too. 

I think connecting my career to health and fitness will be a constant reminder of why I love the sport of running, how running has the power to change lives (including my own), and keep me motivated to continuously challenge myself to new heights.

I'm so excited about what we're offering as a campaign and working with participants who will train for some pretty awesome upcoming races, including the Nike Women's Marathon (and Half Marathon) in San Francisco and the Oasis de Montreal Rock 'N' Roll Marathon (and Half Marathon & 10K). I'll definitely be blogging about my experiences with TNT and hopefully one day will train for myself with the Team for a destination race event. First things first though, my current running goals...

This coming Sunday is the BMO April Fool's Day Half Marathon on the Sunshine Coast. I'll be running from Gibsons to Sechelt, BC. I'm quite excited! I mentioned in a previous blog entry that this race oddly has fallen a bit under the radar for me, because it's being treated as just another training run. But it's really not just any other training run, and I have to remind myself of this.

The race is my first of 2012, kicking off my most active year of running longer distance races in my life to date. It is also immediately after my first week at my brand new job, so a bit of a celebratory run, so to speak. It's a race I'll be running with my good friend, Patti for part of the way anyway - and she's always fun to run with. And the event is on April 1st, kicking off my last full month of training for my BIG race, the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 6th.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Product Review: New Balance 890 Running Shoes

The long awaited product review is here. It’s partially intentional as I wanted to take my shoes with me on some of my longer runs to see if the claims from shoe critics are true – that these babies could be one of the best pairs of marathon shoes out there. Of course I had to wear them on shorter runs for a while to wear them in a bit before taking them out on epically long runs. I’m happy to report that after taking them on my recent 26km and 29km training runs, I definitely agree with the critics. I am over the moon with these shoes. Love them! My feet and legs were happy throughout those long runs and no soreness in my recovery after that could be attributed to a shoe (rather than fitness). 

Monday, March 19, 2012

2 weeks until race day?

I've been so focused on the Vancouver Marathon, that I haven't given as much thought or due credit to my first race of the year: the April Fool's Half Marathon on April 1st on the Sunshine Coast.

It's funny how it works.... I worked my butt off to run 5km, ran my race in 2010. Then I was ready to challenge myself for a half marathon in 2011 and it was a BIG DEAL. Worked super hard for that, and kicked its butt. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing it. It made my next race, a 10km feel like a cakewalk. Now here I am training for a marathon, and not giving much thought to my half marathon.

It's not that I think completing a half marathon isn't a big deal. It most certainly IS, and I commend anyone who does the work to complete the distance or set a personal record (PR) for themselves. I will never (or so I hope...) forget how it felt to cross the finish line in Victoria last October. It felt amazing. It was a reminder of how far I'd come. It was a moment where I realized, very tangibly, that my life was changed. And it was ME who changed it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Running Thoughts

I suppose the above title has a double meaning...thoughts running through one's mind while that person is running.... This has been a nice full week of running for me, beginning with my first ever 26km run of my life (that felt amazing!). Given that last week, I was just getting back into running again after a full week's rest due to injury, I had an extra bounce in my step and an added appreciation for being able to run. I made a point of making intentional note of some of my running thoughts this week, and my hope is that some of these thoughts regularly run through my mind - snippets of positive self-talk to help me through upcoming training runs that will indeed be grueling (the 29km and 32km runs that are pending) and race day itself.

Perhaps you've caught the very popular YouTube video that first aired months ago and went viral amongst runners' circles on Marathon Thoughts....It includes a lot of humorous moments that are oh so true:  the many moments where you want to give up because it feels so hard, to pushing through and discovering buried energy / potential / will power within that enables you to continue. If you haven't seen the video, I highly recommend you do.

What the video did (aside from make me chuckle a lot) was make me question how I will surpass those moments of wanting to give up, those moments where I wonder if I can make it. This is where running becomes so much about it being a mental sport as well as a physical - positive self-talk and the power of my will are going to be the deciding factors for me being able to keep moving when my legs want to stop. When I think about my recent 26km run, I had that feeling of wanting to stop at about the 22km point - I managed to push through and finish all 26km with a smile on my face (and not experience any soreness whatsoever after) by reminding myself of a few key things:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coming Back

I've been itching to blog. Apologies to my faithful readers for the hiatus. The problem with having a back injury is that it's not been very comfortable to sit with a laptop for extended periods. While I did blog that one time, it wasn't entirely a comfortable experience. So that's my excuse.

The good news though is that, well, Zahida's back! Yes, I mean it. I'm truly back. I'm respecting my injury though, and easing my way back. I don't want to do too much too soon, knowing how important it is that I get my long run in this weekend, given I missed the the last two long runs (well, I missed one and a half of them :) ). So I want to make sure I set myself up for success for that long run and not tire myself out too quickly from too intense of a week leading up. I look forward to the little victory celebration after clocking a 26K run.

So, what did I mean when I said I was "respecting my injury?" It isn't succumbing to it, no. It's about realizing that pushing to get back too fast can only risk further injury. Missing a couple extra days in a 16-week training plan isn't the end of the world. It's not going to make a significant difference in my overall readiness for the race. Missing the race because I couldn't wait a couple extra days to feel closer to 100% would, however, suck the big one.