@thisismymarathonlife

As most of you know, I’m running in the New York City marathon on November 3rd. nyc marathon logo

It took me a few tries to qualify for this prestigious event (Then the Wheels Came Off), but I managed to meet the time standard last Spring at the Mississauga half marathon (Race Report and Reflection).  This has allowed me to bypass the general lottery system that New York implements to meet the huge demand for their race, and I’m grateful for an automatic entry.

But I haven’t run a full marathon in 12 years.

Two kids, a husband, a business, and a very busy life, are going to make this training plan feel very different than it did for 27-year-old me.  I turn 40 this year, and what better way to celebrate than to challenge my limits again and run in one of the biggest races in the world.  I have several friends and training partners running in this race too, and I can’t wait to be side by side with my dear friend Michaela, who will be running in her first marathon (21.1kms of Friendship).

  • Are you interested in seeing what’s involved in marathon training?
  • Have you ever wondered how someone can run 42.2km?
  • Would you like to see how I balance it all?

Many of you have asked me questions like this over the years, so I started a shiny new Instagram account to show you exactly how I’m going about this.  You’ll see my workouts, my paces, what I eat, when I go to bed, and how I recover.  I’ll show you the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, and the highs and lows of the next 19 weeks.

131It’s 131 days until I toe the line on Staten Island and cross that finish line in Central Park.

Come along for the ride: follow me @thisismymarathonlife.


Real talk.

Real talk.

I’ve had a rough month.  There’s been a few hurdles thrown at me lately, and I want to share those with you, in keeping with my “this is me” philosophy of transparency and honesty.

If you’ve read this blog over the years, you’ve certainly heard me talk about my love of running.  Being a “runner” is a big part of my identity, and it’s something I’ve loved to do since I was a little girl.  As a 12-year-old, I used to get up early on Spring mornings and run down to the end of my small-town street and back before anyone else was awake.  Other times, I would ride my bike over to the school track and run laps just for the peaceful bliss that I knew it would bring.

I didn’t have the vocabulary for it back then, but I do now:

running helps to keep me feeling like me.

I tend to worry about things, and running helps me to worry less.  It helps my mind to stay calm and my energy to stay high.  I’m a happy person at my core, but running simply makes me a happier person; a runner’s high is no joke.

And I think this is the reason that February has felt like such a tough one.  I had a week of a chest cold that wouldn’t let loose, four epic snow/ice/freezing rain storms that made for very tricky conditions, and a stubborn Achilles injury that just won’t cooperate.  My mileage was really low, meaning less fresh air, less group run support, less peace in my brain.  Crossfit helps, yoga helps, workouts in my basement help, but for me, there’s just nothing quite like the run.

Bring on Spring.  Bring on blue skies and clear roads and sunshine on our faces.  Bring on movement and sweat and feel-good hormones.  Bring on friendships and smiles and goals to be chased.

We’ve got this.  Happy March!

march


“Because I can.”

I checked off a bucket list item on Labour Day Monday morning.  I swam with the Triathlon Club of Burlington (TCoB), in their annual Pier to Pier swim.  This swim is 2.8km, across Lake Ontario, from the Burlington lift bridge pier to Burlington’s downtown pier.

Usually on Labour Day Monday, you can find me in my happy place, along the Lake Ontario shoreline, on a long solo run to clear my mind and get myself mentally prepped for the upcoming school year.  With a teacher husband and two school-aged children, Labour Day is like my New Year; a fresh start, new goals, big dreams.  And every year, I’ve noticed the TCoB crew climbing out of the water with big smiles and high fives, and sunshine on a glassy lake only adds to the appeal.  Always up for a challenge, I wanted in on the fun, so a little over a week ago, I signed myself up.

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2.8km looks really far from this finish-line vantage point; that red circle is the lighthouse where we jumped in.

IMG_9438My husband thought I was crazy; 2.8km and I haven’t swum a stroke in almost a decade.  In fact, I’ve never even put on a wetsuit before, and I didn’t have time to test my borrowed suit out before yesterday’s event, so it was a jump-in-and-hope-for-the-best situation.  But, I used to be a lifeguard, and a decade ago I did a handful of triathlons, including a 1.9km swim in my 2007 half-Ironman.  So while I haven’t swum in many years, I hoped my previous experience, swim technique, and fitness could carry me through.

Monday morning at 7:15am, two of my girlfriends met me at home, and the three of us trekked down to the pier.  They were rookies too, although one is a regular lap-swimmer and one had just come off a great triathlon season.   They gave me tips on getting into my wetsuit (a workout in itself!), BodyGlide advice, and how to loop my zipper string.  I was woefully underprepared, and felt like I should personally introduce myself to the kayak support boats.  Deep down though, I knew that sheer determination (stubbornness?) would get me across the water.

It did.

I finished in 58:36, just under the one-hour mark that my obsessive Google calculations of “open water swim times” told me I could do.  And while I don’t plan on adding swim training to my schedule, I truly enjoyed the experience.  I enjoyed the nerves, the challenge, the friends and family, the sunshine, the sense of accomplishment, and the gratitude that I am physically able to do things like this.

“Why would you want to do that?” someone asked me.  “Because I can.” And oh how I love a challenge.

In fact, this just may become a new tradition.