Friday, November 9, 2012

New goals

2012 has been a great year for running! On exactly January 1st, I started training for my first marathon. Every day after that, right up until race day in May, was focused on that marathon. The day after that, I basked in the afterglow of having completed my first ever 26.2 mile race (read that as I  suffered the pain of having to recover from a marathon!). It was very much a day focused on a marathon - on being a marathoner at last! And then the very next day, I registered for my 2nd marathon, making every day after that focused on that race. Every day since January 1st, right up until October 7th had marathon on the mind, on my heart, and on every thing I would do.

It's been a month since I ran my last marathon race. And yes, as a result, my blog posts have been less frequent. And I've been a bit more relaxed. I've been running a bit less. But I need to clarify that I do in fact have running goals. By most people's standards, I've still been running lots. My current goals may not be as big or lofty in the short term, but my eyes are on the prize for something big in the long term. This is what I have in mind to work on in the coming while:

  • My next half marathon! I am running the New Balance Fall Classic in about 8 days time. I am hoping to reap the rewards of my recent marathon training and go kick this race's butt. I've been working on speed again, which I'd not really focused on much of late, in hopes to achieve a new PB at this coming race. Let's see if I can. I've only been officially training for this race a few weeks, so I'm keeping expectations low. I know I'll have more opportunities to get my goal time.
  • 2 more half marathons.... yes, I've become one of "them". One of those runners who can whip off half marathons with little thought. They're not at all about completion anymore but about having some serious fun and trying to better my finish time. So here are two more opportunities to try! The distance is just enough to be a respectable challenge, trying to maintain speed over a longer distance. Yet it is something I can  train for relatively easily and recover from. It's enough to keep my weekly mileage high and get some long-ish training runs in so it'll be easier to jump into marathon training mode when needed, but nothing that's going to exhaust me or become a huge commitment. The two half marathons I'll be running are the "First Half" Half Marathon in February and the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Half Marathon in April.
  • Get stronger: I'm working out harder than ever at the gym, at least twice a week, one day focused on lower body, one day focused on upper body. I'm really enjoying the weight training, I love how it makes me feel, I love the adrenaline rush I get from it, and have found that I feel better running now that I've paid attention to strength training. I firmly believe it's contributed to better running posture and form, and made me less prone to lower back pain. No doubt it'll help my legs be marathon ready too and help with my overall health, confidence and well-being.
  • Surpassing 2000km ran during 2012: This wasn't a goal for me previously until I realized it was within reach. A few months ago, on a whim I started tracking my mileage along a map of Canada, like as if I was running a virtual race across the nation. I got super excited when I realized that I had reached Alberta. Kind of cool to cross a border! Then recently I noticed that it wouldn't be realistic to get anywhere super exciting within Canada should I continue my virtual run going East (I'm sorry Manitoba...); it wasn't like I'd reach the Atlantic coast within the year. Canada is simply too big and I am much too busy to try to cross the nation in one year. A friend suggested I go South instead. I had just then completed enough distance to get myself to San Francisco and that excited me. That felt like an accomplishment. I don't think I'll quite make it to San Diego, but I'm now well over 1800km and I know that 2000km will happen well before Dec 31st. I wonder how far I'll get? Any ideas?
  • Did someone say San Diego? My next marathon will be in San Diego! I won't be starting to train for this until February but this race is on my mind now. I will be running the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon, a Race to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on June 2nd, 2013. I will be training and fundraising with Team In Training, to do my part in the quest to find a cure for all blood cancers. I will be running this, in part, to honour my cousin Saeed, a lymphoma survivor, who intends to run the half marathon in San Diego with me! We haven't seen each other in about 25 years so, if all works out, this will be a very special reunion. I want this to be a celebration of family, of cancer survival, and of health through running. There are others I'm running for too, and I will tell you their stories. I will blog about this adventure here as well as the many reasons why I've chosen to take on this challenge. And of course, I'll tell you how you can help me! Please stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, please take a look at the art work I am selling to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada: Art to Beat Cancer


  1. Hi Zahida, I'm super excited for your upcoming races and goals! Really liking the idea about mapping out how far you've run. I'm a touch envious about you being able to do half marathons without too much thought ...I want to be like that! Looking forward to future posts!