Thursday, March 19, 2015

Consistency is Key!

I am afraid that I have done it again – I have taken way too long to write on this blog. If you’re wondering how this runner girl is doing, she’s great. I am ready to take on all the surprises and challenges that 2015 will bring me.

Since my last post, a lot has happened. The day immediately following that poor 8km race performance at the Steveston Icebreaker, I came down with the flu. I was rather febrile and had to stay home from work to rest. No doubt I was run down and flu-ish at the race and didn't even know it because the symptoms hadn't yet manifested themselves at their worst yet.

Since then I have worked hard and I'm really proud of myself. My goals this year are to get stronger and run injury-free.  So far, I'm doing all the right things to make this come true. I am taking care of my body through a consistent routine of running, strength training, and pro-actively getting regular massage and chiropractic to keep me feeling good (rather than reactively seeing them when I am hurting). Consistency really has been the key. Every week my routine is about the same. I have come up with some fun titles for each day of the week to help the routine stick in my brain:
  •       Runday Sunday = Self explanatory; can't mess with a rhyme! Race days are usually Sundays, but it’s a great day to run long too
  •       Muscles Monday = Spend some time in the gym and lift some heavy things!
  •       Interval (Torture) Tuesday = Well, there is a T in “interval” but “torture” has 2 and these workouts with my coach are hard work. However, I am a glutton for punishment
  •       West and Wecovewy Wednesday = Time to rest up and recharge the batteries (I mean “wechawge”)
  •       Tempo Thursday = Early morning tempo runs as prescribed by my coach
  •       Fighting Friday = The last few weeks I've been doing boxing sessions with Elisha, a trainer at my gym and I'm loving it! Otherwise I’d be lifting more weights, of course!
  •        Doesn’t Matter Day Saturday = This could be pretty much anything such as a shorter run, another session in the weight room, a hike, a long walk, or an extra day of rest if I feel the need

Since the poor performance on Feb 1, I have made a lot of progress. Again, the speed isn't back, but my strength, endurance, and ability to recover from tough efforts has returned. I ran a 21K this past weekend after doing 10km the day before and it felt really easy. Long runs up until then had been challenging at best and a slog at times. Everything clicked this most recent one though and restored my faith in myself.

I have participated in a couple 5K events but I only really tried in one of them, the West Van Run on March 1st. Again, here my finish time was nothing to write home about when I think of the speed I once was capable of, but I was super proud of my performance. I hit my goal finish time for the day and I ran consistent the whole way and finished strong. Most importantly, I had fun doing so. I wasn't able to do my usual warm-up routine before the St.Patrick’s Day 5K so I wasn't feeling ready at the start line. I made an early decision to run it for fun instead. Sometimes it’s not about how fast you do it, but it’s about the fact that you are doing it.

Tuesday night sessions with my running group and our talented coach have been awesome too. I was hesitant to come back after a season off as I knew I wasn't in good enough shape for the intensity of the workouts. Going to my first couple of workouts with the group and struggling through them was proof that I was not in the shape I needed to be in, but it made me determined to work harder. These last few weeks I've been really happy with how I've run. I don’t feel like I'm out of shape or like I'm struggling any more (although the workouts remain hard as heck). Coach John is genuinely happy with how I'm doing too. He’s commented that my form has improved – I am much more “symmetrical” now, no doubt because of the work I have put in to “fix” and strengthen my body. But there’s also been a consistent improvement week to week in how I perform. I can feel the difference. I even didn't hate the 2 x 2-miler workout this week. I leave the sessions with a smile on my face and a fire inside me to keep going. Eventually the speed I once had will return. It solves nothing to compare myself with where I was before; I will only serve myself if I recognize what I'm accomplishing now and work to keep it up.

I'm about 3 weeks away from the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fools Run now and I'm super excited. Again, I don’t feel like I’ll be breaking any personal records here but I'm confident now that I will be able to run this strong. I can’t wait to give this race distance a shot again. And who knows, maybe everything will click since it’s a course I know so well having run it 3 years in a row already.

Now since you've done all the hard work of reading this post, you might as well take the next step and register for the Fools Run. The next price increase is March 23rd so registering today helps you save. Visit for more information.