The event: Vancouver Half-Marathon
When: June 24, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back in the Running


I plan on being there this year. 

Training schedule to come.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


And so, I admit defeat.  Trying to be a farmer and a runner is not, at the moment, a realistic venture.  It was an awesome first week of work, but it was exhausting, too, and I barely made it through a 40-minute run this weekend and managed a total of zero runs during the week.

The idea of logging the necessary half-marathon 90-minute-and longer training runs in the next two months while also getting farm-strong makes me feel woozy.

Instead, my longterm goal this summer now is to get back up to running two or three times a week.  As things stand, my short term goal is to manage any other activity besides farming and falling asleep at 8:30pm every night. 

If my fitness shapes up in the next few months, I may aim to run a sub-2 in the same Victoria Half-Marathon that I ran last October.  If not, I'll run as much as possible this summer while maintaining a useful amount of energy for my job, and shoot for another race at another time. 

Running is about the love, not about the punishment.  It kept me sane and healthy this past winter while I was planning and applying and waiting and pacing.  I won't be giving it up. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Quick Catch-Up

May 1st: Day 57
80 minutes, slow and steady.  Last run in Rathtrevor before I head over to Salt Spring Island.  I will miss my favourite trails but am so excited to explore what Salt Spring has to offer.

April 29th: Day 55
45-minute tempo run.  Best run of the bunch, and a spectacularly sunny spring day.  

April 27th: Day 53
30 mins.  Intended to do speed intervals, but really, there was no discernible difference between what I thought were my bursts of speed and my regular tortoise pace.

April 25th: Day 51
75 minutes, slow and steady.

April 22nd: Day 48
Ran 6 hill repeats.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Day 46, April 20:
30-minute run around the UBC Endowment Lands and Golf Course.

Day 43, April 17:
40-minute tempo run in Rathtrevor Park, during which I freaked out a bunny so badly he jumped off a bridge and into a pond to escape my thundering feet (it's ok - bunnies can swim!).

Day 41, April 15:
70-minute long run through Rathtrevor. No bunnies were harmed, physically or psychologically, during this run.

Day 39, April 13:
25-minute interval run with 9 speed repeats.

After reading a number of articles on half-marathon training, I realize I should probably be counting out my runs in kilometres rather than minutes, but that would require a fancier watch than I own. I'm not a big fan of endeavours that require a lot of gear.  Running can be a beautifully simple sport: a solid sports bra and a decent pair of shoes, and I'm good to go.    
But my one concession to running culture merchandise is the magazines.  I like them.  They inspire me.  Also, they are shiny. 
I like to read them over morning tea, even though I know I should be reading the newspaper. Current events publications tend to get me down. Being informed is one thing, but starting the day incapacitated with anxiety about the state of the world is another.  It does me little good to know that yet another bomb has decimated more lives.  But when I read about a race that winds through apple orchards in September and awards pies to top-placing finishers, the future feels friendlier.
Running isn't going to cure the world of fundamentalist wing-nuts with a penchant for flammable things, but I like knowing we also live in a world where people hand out pies after races.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 36

12 weeks to Race Day!  Am officially registered, so there's no turning back.

Long Run: 65 minutes

The weather is still cool in the mornings, and I prefer these conditions to warmer temperatures as my face tends to get red when I run in the heat.  I mean shockingly red.  Turkey beet tomato red.  The kind of red that makes people in the vicinity nervous about their first-aid skills because they're pretty sure they're going to need to put them into practice.
Looking so dangerously overheated doesn't really bother me, because I actually feel fine at that colour, but I do feel bad for the nervous people.  I should probably consider running with an information label:  "Runner may appear warmer than is normal or healthy, but don't worry: nothing is going to explode."

Day 33 (April 7th)

Hill Run, 5 repeats.  

Was sucking wind like a hiker in the Himalayas who'd been abandoned by her Sherpa. 

So what I'm saying is that it was a great run.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 31

20-minutes with 8 speed intervals.

Am becoming a fan of this concentrated training style.  As I chirpily informed my parents when I returned, "It's like twice the workout in half the time!"  Their cold, sleepy stares over the rims of their coffee cups let me know it was too early for endorphins.

Endorphins aren't why I started running, but they are largely why I stuck with it.

The inception of my running story is neither orginal nor noble: I wanted to lighten up for the role of bridesmaid in a friend's wedding.  Then I got hooked on the way it improves life in other ways: steadier moods, excellent sleeps, a warmer embrace of mornings, and an upturn in my overall outlook on life.  I would go so far as to say that running makes me a better person.

But I should clarify: my inception as a willing runner began recently, with the wedding goal.  The real running history goes back much further, and into a much darker place.  Middle School.  Early 90s.  Back then we were forced to run.  Likely, this was for the benefit of our health, but I remember thinking it was simply a way for those in power to defeat our spirits.  The broken are always easier to control.

They tried to break us with road runs, which were hot, gravelly, and unending.  And the Fun Runs, which never, not once, lived up to their name.  And then there were the ill-conceived Milk Runs, in which the incentive was a lukewarm carton of milk at the end of a stinking hot run.  The logic behind these runs must have had something to do with building pubescent bone health, but the whole thing seems wrong, like buying shrimp from a roadside van in August. 

"Grafton! Laps! Now!"

I can still hear the militant shouts of the PE teacher echoing within the scarred walls of my psyche.  Obviously, a great deal of healing has occured over the years for me to be able to run willingly now.

Choosing to run has become an act of subversion, even -- proof of a fortified spirit.

Plus, I get coffee on my running days, and that trumps milk, no question.