Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Healthy and strong in 2013!

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
Abraham Lincoln

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!!
Cheers Everyone!

Have you had any cool encounters when you're out for your long runs?


Robin said...

Great start to your training. Don't think of them as "missed runs" but gained rest. They often do more good for the body then the runs do. Hope the rest of your training is just as good!

Char said...

Those sort of interactions ARE fun. I've got a relationship (a running one only) with two men on my regular route. They both walk every day and always wave whenever I pass. One, a greek man called Peter, has started to teach me a little Greek. Kalimera to you.

ajh said...

How fun to keep seeing the same people. They must have admired you for how hard core you are. Yes, just go do it, don't think about it works for me too.
When is R+R Montreal?

ajh said...

Thanks for getting back to me, Anne. I have a different half - the Rock and Roll Half in Providence, RI again. My cousin lives near there so i get to see her too. It's Sept. 29 so that is too close to the Montreal one but maybe I'll try it the next year. And yes, VCM is a huge winner!

Two Wordy said...

The snow looks like so much fun! You're really doing great with your running and exercising plan, and I'm so glad that you can share this with your family!

I have several trail friends who smile at me, cheer me on, tell me how fast I am, and tell me to go faster! They're a lot of fun, and I don't think they realize how they boost my spirit.

Cinthia said...

I know what you mean! We're training for a Feb. marathon in AZ and if I had had any idea of how tough it would be to run 18-22 miles in the snow and cold, I think I would have never signed up. Glad you're hanging in there and getting in some quality runs. The snowshoes look like fun. Everyone tells me I should try it but I'm bulking, don't know why. For some reason I think I'll hurt my ankles (??).
Love the pic of you and your family all matchy-matchy.
Happy running (I'll think of you as I'm slogging out my miles in single digit temps, hee, hee)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Love those friendly meetings when I'm out running! Met some nice runners while I was running the marathon yesterday!