Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Race day in 12 days!

I am quite excited about the April Fool's Run race now when before it was simply my race before my big race, or my "B race", per se. I registered for this year's race soon after completing the race last year because of a really good discount, not knowing what this year held for racing plans. And now suddenly over the last couple weeks, I am actually focusing on it with the mentality of "let's see what I got!" And through talking up the race, I also recruited 2 of my TNT teammates to join me at the race. It's going to be a fun weekend.

I was quite pleased yesterday when I contacted the Fool's Run race director, Teresa, about having Team In Training brochures available at package pickup for the race, throwing in there that I'm excited about the race. She responded by asking if she could quote me in an upcoming media release. So my excitement is noticeable, I suppose. :) Check out the media release here.

And over the last couple weeks since I convinced myself to run this one for speed, I've given training for speed a bit more effort and ensuring I don't skimp, skip, or replace those workouts I need to do. I have been doing my workouts religiously as designed by my friends at the Peak Centre and in fact, tomorrow I'm doing a full 40min of my lactate threshold running drills. But in addition, I've been incorporating tempo-like work into my week and trying to throw faster stuff into the heart of my long runs. Last week I ran with David (the winner of the Fool's Run last year) for a shorter distance (somewhere around 11 or 12km) and in order to not make him have to go too slow, I ran quite a bit faster than I would for a training run normally. The cost of trying to find a compromise speed with an elite runner! I didn't wear a Garmin so not sure how fast it was, but it was definitely faster than I first planned to ran that day. And he gave me a lot of feedback on how to improve my running form which I'm making conscious effort to incorporate into my running. And since then, I also did my long run with my TNT teammate Derek who is also quite a bit faster than me naturally (an experienced 3:30 marathoner) and he paced me to a much faster than usual pace over a long run and it felt comfortable too, except for the fact that I was lacking sleep. He too gave me great advice to consider and I tried something new today as a result. But I thought those two runs last week with these friends were kind of exceptions and easy running after then when I run solo again would be back to normal.

But then this week happened...Yesterday and today I went out for easy runs, and tried not to look at my Garmin until the end of the run, and just go for feel. Keep it easy, focus on breathing, focus on good form. Again, when I looked at my stats after, I was pleased with my pacing as it was close to what I need to pace myself at for the half marathon to achieve my goal, yet felt easier than what it would have used to feel like. In fact, Alison joined me for the first 4km of the run today and she commented that we must have been going faster than usual which I didn't realize until I looked down at my watch and saw we were going a good 40sec/km faster than we usually would when we run together. Wow oops! I guess the work I've been doing is starting to pay dividends. Of course on race day, it will be a longer distance and there are hills to contend with, oh yes, and my own mental race-day demons to battle as they try to convince me I need to slow down. But I'm getting well used to this pace over longer distances, so it should feel more natural on race day. Only time will tell if I achieve it on race day, but I have the confidence that a sub-2 half marathon really is attainable!

See you at the finish line in 1:58.


  1. Hi Zahida,
    Nice enthusiastic post!

    I've always found doing speedwork and fast tempo runs pays BIG dividends. As you describe,after doing a few of these workouts, your "normal-paced" runs feel so relaxed. You really do make a jump to a higher level.
    My boyfriend Keith and I will be at the Fools Run doing video coverage. Good luck in your race and I'll see you there!

  2. Nancy, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the encouragement!!! I see you too blog, so I'll have to check it out. Hope we get scheduled for a shift together sometime too so we can chat running. We haven't had the opportunity yet to do that!

    I'll be looking for you at the Fool's Race :)