Sunday, April 21, 2013

6 more weeks, and reflecting along the way

Two weeks ago, I ran my last race. It feels like forever ago now, given the very eventful past week with the Boston Marathon bombing occurring almost a week ago. Today was the Vancouver Sun Run, Canada's biggest 10K race, attracting about 50,000 runners and walkers every year. While it was the first race I ever ran (I can't even remember when this was, it was so long ago), it is one I typically miss every year in favor of smaller races, as I don't particularly like big crowds. But somehow today was very different. I woke up wishing I was running it today. I've always thought of the Sun Run as not the ideal racing condition for an athlete of my calibre. It's great if you're much faster and at the front of the crowd. And it's perfect if you're relatively new to the sport and finish time isn't the goal, as it's very much a large-scale community event and celebration of active living. Given the happenings in Boston, this last statement was so much truer this time around, and I was saddened by missing out: missing this massive movement of celebration of the sport of running and solidarity for Boston. I would have gotten myself a last minute entry when I was at the expo this weekend, but I had my last art market to attend today that I was committed to. I think I will have to give serious thought next year to registering for the Run. 

I am so proud of everyone I know who participated in the Sun Run today. For some, this was a first race experience. And I know how special that feeling is, finishing a first race! Congratulations to those who achieved a first today! Hope you feel inspired to keep going!! And then there are several others I know who achieved a personal best today! Big congratulations to you too! When I got home from my art market, I promptly logged into Facebook and Twitter to see what my friends were saying and I was so pleased with the number of happy posts and photos. 

I was most curious about my friend Kristy, who a number of months ago contacted me for advice in training for the Sun Run. Somehow I convinced her she was ready for more (but I suspect she already knew that for herself) and signed her up to run a half marathon this summer with Team In Training. Sounds like she and her husband, Marty had a great race today! I also saw a post from Zahra, who I bumped into at the race expo, so excited to run this race again. The last time I saw her, she had just crossed the finish line at the Coho Run last Sept, biggest smile I had ever seen on her face. So seeing her finish time today, I sure hope she's pleased as she did awesome.  Then moments later I saw a post from girl I went to high school with and haven't seen since, Michele. She's on her own health journey and doing amazing with it:  absolutely amazing! She kicked butt today and when I commented on this, she told me she was inspired by this blog. I was floored! Humbled. Grateful. I had no idea she was one of my readers. In fact I know I have hundreds of readers, but most don't tell me they read. So when one reveals to me what reading my blog has done for them, it really feels good. I'm loving watching people become running converts. Reminds me of when I turned onto the true joy of this sport for myself. Remembering that never gets old.

I started this blog in hopes those who need inspiration might find something here they can relate to. I hoped me expressing myself as an ordinary woman with all the insecurities that come with that, attempting to turn her life around and accomplish extraordinary things would offer readers something uplifting. I worried I would seem self-centred and it would appear I was blogging to brag about my success. But I believe I've made my intentions clear. I'm so pleased every time I see evidence that I have done what I hoped to do with this blog: that it has in fact been something that not only gives me a place to share my story, but that in doing so publicly through a blog, people who may not have tried running before are falling in love with the sport themselves. It feels good to be part of someone else's journey. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your inspiration. To Kristy, Zahra, and Michele, you are three amazing women - be proud of what you've accomplished through your own determination and strength. Keep it up!!!

I find myself now 6 weeks away from my next race, my third full marathon on June 2nd in San Diego. It almost feels somehow untrue that this is in fact my next race! But flights are booked, race entry is in, itinerary is getting planned, and training is going strong. I'm just a few short weeks away from my taper. I am feeling really good about where I am at with my training. I am very confident about finishing that race stronger than the last 2 marathons. My weekly mileage is higher than it ever has been in my life, and I haven't even reached the peak of my training yet. The best part is that I have been recovering so nicely from these runs, and not slogging through them at all. The higher mileage hasn't been a stretch of the imagination or my body at all. It's all been attainable, just enough of a challenge to stretch myself to new heights. The results have all been very positive and I continue to surprise myself. And unlike during the previous marathons I've trained for, I find myself energized every day (not tired) and craving my next run. 

I have been working on speed, perfecting my fueling strategy, and analyzing previous races to sort out what I can do better this time around. While I am not running this race for time, per se, I am still confident I can achieve a personal best. I just want to finish strong, confident, and with less pain than the last two marathon races where my finish time did not reflect my capability. And then leading up to the Victoria marathon in October, I can really work harder on the speedwork and try to see what time I am truly capable of at the marathon distance and see what I've got. 

More on that speed work in a future post! Stay tuned!

And speaking of other things to stay tuned for, I have recently applied for a health and fitness success story contest. Here's hoping I get selected as a finalist. If I do, it will be very much to do with my supportive readers. I will let you know how I do, and hopefully the time will come where you can support me with votes! 

<3 Zahida


  1. yet another amazing post, <3 you are the reason why several of us secret readers never give up ;) thank you for lighting the fire in myself to jump out there and just try, its so great to be able to say "I did it" thanks for the mention. Michele

  2. Thank you, Michele! And now that your secret is out, I'll be keeping a closer eye on you ;-) Anytime you want to chat, let me know! <3