"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
As usual, the holiday season was both wonderful and exhausting, making staying with the program much more difficult. Still, only a few runs were missed and I mostly stayed on track. I'm amazed at how well my body has adapted to this increase in mileage over the past two months. However, the most important change is the one in my mind. Before beginning this intensive program, I was terrified that it would be too much for me and that I would regret it. Yet, the most important part of me (my mind) was convinced that I could do this, that I was healthy and strong enough. Of course, I still have a long way to go (week 8 of 23), but I am thrilled with my progress so far.
On December 30th was the resolution run on Mount Royal - so the first half is all downhill and the second half is all uphill. Not an easy run. Plus, it was cold and windy...but we were there as a family and that kept us warm. Also, because I had 16K planned for that day, I ran 10K in the morning and then we had the race in the evening. I felt kind of hardcore doing a 10K on the morning of a race :) ...the best part was running the whole thing with my daughter!
My son, myself, my daughter, my niece and my daughter's bf.
Those are the cool jackets they gave us!
One thing I have been doing is replacing one of my shorter steady runs with snowshoe running. It's great for the cardio and gives my legs a more intense workout. The next day's run always feels much lighter and easier.
We're lucky to have a huge field in the backyard...
I'm off for a snowshoe run on someone's skidoo tracks :)
Finally, the thing that had me most terrified was the length of the Sunday long runs on this program. The first one of the program is 14Km and by last Sunday, it was 20Km, which is pretty much the whole half marathon distance. Add to that the fact that we have tons of snow this year, it's often snowing while I run and the roads have a layer of light snow...it feels like I'm running on a sandy beach (without the tank top)...and despite the Yaktrax, my ankles are working harder. I guess the point is that I'm glad I didn't know it would be like this, because I probably wouldn't have found out that I can do this! It's like my mind has a, well...a mind of it's own (haha) and it merely shuts down. There's no hesitation, I just don't THINK...I get dressed, I get out there and I just DO it...one kilometer at a time.
My proud shoes after 20K in the snow :)
What's cool about being out there for over two hours - actually it took me a grand total of 2h33m to complete 20K in the heavy snow...anyway, so what's cool is that it's a long time and things happen. For example, I don't make much noise in the snow, so as I pass this man who is walking, he jumps and says "Oh! You scared me!" Me: "Sorry! Didn't mean to scare you." We smile and wish each other a nice day. Then a few kilometers later, I had taken a detour and came upon the exact same man, this time, I slowed down as I went by him and when he saw me, he smiled this huge smile, "AH hello :)" and I said, "Didn't want to scare you this time." I grin and he laughs...it was a fun encounter. Another interesting encounter occurred when I ran by a driveway that had a snowplow in it. The driver saw me go by, but that was it...however, almost half an hour later, I come upon the same snowplow in another driveway, this time, he was about to go into the street when he saw me coming, so he waited. I looked up at him and smiled as I increased my speed a bit, he put his hand up to let me know that I could take my time and he smiled. Not much later, he went by me on the road as I was, of course, still running. He fist pumped his encouragement, which made me smile big as I waved to him. That, plus a ton of smiles from other walkers and runners...they just make it feel not so long and not so difficult.
Okay...time to get out there. Today is a snowshoe run!!