Fire Burning

Hi! Remember me? It’s been a while. I am sorry for that. My first excuse for not writing is that I started a new job and have been riding a pretty serious learning curve, so the last thing I wanted to do when I came home (providing I didn’t work late that day) was spend more time on the computer. But things have leveled off somewhat, so that’s nice. My second excuse is that, well, my running has been consistent but not terribly exciting. Especially since I’ve been running at night, (re: past 4:30pm) so it’s dark and not very interesting for photos (However, I did throw in some pics of my winter so far)

This is a relatively exciting view (Prince's Island Park)

This is a relatively exciting view of a nighttime run (Prince’s Island Park)

When I last let off, I had just finished a terrible marathon, but survived and moved on. In the past 3+ months, my running life has been similar to a doused fire with some embers left glowing in the ruins. I had come out of injury, trained and ran a marathon that I felt didn’t reflect my current fitness level. I was lacking any sort of recent PR (what’s that?) and felt like I was really starting from scratch. I knew I still needed to rebuild, and needed to do it smartly to get back in the game and stay there. My passionate love for running and racing was still in there somewhere, but I didn’t know if or how I could get it back.

A frozen Glenmore Reservoir

A frozen Glenmore Reservoir

I started getting into Metabolic Efficiency Training (Sweaty Emily has a good post about it), and used that as a focus for my winter base building training. I found it easy on my body, and I was able to build up my mileage to about 30 miles/50km a week. I missed running in the daylight and trail running, but at least I had a focus now. I didn’t see much progress with my pace, but all I could really do is trust in the process and hope for the best. I didn’t have much plan to build up for marathon season, and that was making me a bit nervous. I wanted to be able to push limits, but not so much that I’d end up injured again. My relationship with running was on the line.

Dear Trail Running: I miss you

Dear Trail Running: I miss you

Then, along came Mollie. She posted about a BOGO monthly online coaching special she was offering for Oiselle Flockmates. After a little bit of consideration, I jumped on it. I had toyed with the idea of getting a coach for some time but never went for it. So I read Mollie’s blog and twitter to get a sense of who she was, then decided “fuck it!” and threw some money in her direction (via the internet). I have never heard of anyone saying the regretting getting a coach, and she is able to run a 3-hour marathon and I cannot, so why not give it a try? I must confess, I am stubborn in the sense that I like to figure things out for myself and I find it hard to ask for help, but as Dan told me after I broke the news “sometimes people just know more than you do and that’s ok”. Wise boyfriend is wise.

photo 4

East Village

So… that was about three weeks ago! And? It’s going great. She took my current mileage, added some intensity and we’re building on that. The interesting thing? I got a bit faster very quickly. Keeping my HR in the same 70-75% MHR zone that I was when I was doing MET, my paces just seemed to drop. Which I like! Who doesn’t? Nothing like seeing some progress to ignite the spark again. It’s like some gasoline got thrown on the burning embers I mentioned above and I am head over heels in love and excited to run again. I feel confident in my running again, and I’m really excited to see where I can go with this. My next goal race is the Vancouver Marathon in May, and I’m looking forward to it but I am also looking forward to all the training and running I get to do between now and then. It’s all about the journey, man.

Buildings look pretty at sunset

Buildings look pretty at sunset

And I feel like writing again! It’s much easier to write when you’re either angry and need to vent, or excited and inspired. Feeling neutral and average is rather boring. Life happens on the ends of the spectrum! (This was a tangent I wasn’t planning to take, but I’m going to leave that out there).

Moral of the story? Persevere, get a coach, do the work.

Chinook arch, one of the great things of winters in Calgary AB

Chinook arch, one of the great things of winters in Calgary AB

PS I know I still owe you (well, some of you, you know who you are) a Seawheeze race recap. I will come up with something, I promise. I have plans.