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.
So to me, the timing couldn't be any sweeter. I feel like after all these weeks of hard training, I need something really fun thrown in the mix. Don't get me wrong though, training for the marathon has been very fun so far. Truly. I've enjoyed every aspect of it, especially all the moments I've had to celebrate achievement and notice changes in my conditioning (and another 10lbs of weight loss despite my voracious appetite). I've made a real point of mixing up my routes and doing destination runs on my long slow distance weekend runs, and adventuring out to trails I'd never run before, which has been super fun and charges me up every time.
But some of the shorter distance runs during the week that I have to do for recovery and to build my weekly mileage at times shine with a little less lustre than they used to. I'm a bit tired of doing my 6km loop, my 8km loop, and my 10km loop (and just a small bit, honestly - just enough to need a good reminder). I've invented new loops, to avoid getting caught in a rut, but even each of the new loops feel at times as though I've been there and done that too. For the most part though, I enjoy all my runs. I mean, no matter what, I love the feeling of running. And I always feel better when I get home from a run, no matter the distance or the circumstances. But sometimes it takes a bit more energy to convince myself to go out the door if it's going to be shorter than an hour and I have to turn around and go home just right when I'm warming up and really getting in that fun groove space!
I think now is a good time to throw the race experience into the mix. The experience of pinning on a race bib, being surrounded by fellow runners, running somewhere I've never ran before in my life, crossing a finish line, and receiving a finisher medal to add my my modest (but growing) collection, really is something else. I am not concerned with finish time, just with having fun and having a good solid training run with the experience of a race attached to it. Not a bad deal. It will be a perfect reminder of why I've been working so hard and help me with the visualization of the finish line for the marathon and every training run I have for the coming month.
And I have to remember too that completing another half marathon race, even though it's considered an "easier week" in my marathon training schedule and thus not a big deal in my mind, actually still is a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I have to be proud of how far I've come. And I truly am. And I will proudly wear my finisher medal and display it with my others.
Excitedly I picked up my race package yesterday, and I'm just about all set. Tomorrow I'll be prepping my gear for an early wake-up on Sunday to catch the first ferry. :)
Stay tuned for my race report!