This morning I ran the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon, and came home with a new personal best time of 1 hour 51 mins 14 seconds. Which was nice. The last time I ran a competitive Half, in September 2006, I just about managed to haul my carcass home in 2 hours 13 so today was a massive, and long overdue, leap forward despite not really training properly for this race.
Obviously I’m pleased with my time today, and it’s indicative of a significant improvement in my physical fitness over the past 4 years. But the thing that I’m more pleased about, and find more interesting, is how much better I understand my capabilities now. The last couple of days I’ve eaten what I know my body needs and got the amount of rest I know I require in order to be on top form. This morning I got up early so I could eat 2 hours before the race because I know that’s what works for me. I knew exactly what pace I would be able to sustain, and was 95% certain of hitting my target time before the race even started. Out on the course, I was able to anticipate how both my mind and my body would react at various stages in the race. I drank before I was thirsty. When I got caught in traffic at the start and fell behind my target times, I could rationally tweak my splits to steadily make it up by the halfway point. Later in the race, I controlled the excessive enthusiasm I always get 2/3 of the way through, allowing my pace to increase just a little, but not going so fast that I crash 3km from the end. I knew in advance that the last kilometer would hurt, so it didn’t surprise me when the legs went shaky and my chest started to tighten. As I crossed the finish line I slowed to a gentle jog, then to a brisk walk, because I know I’ll go light-headed and fall over in a pathetic heap if I just stop right away. I’ve run enough now that I know what I’m doing. I’m not a FAST runner yet, but I’m definitely “a runner”.
I’m looking forward to the day when I can say the same thing about my rock climbing and mountaineering abilities. 🙂
With my head looking sorrowfully at the ground and my tail between my legs, I slowly put my hand up. Yup. I am a bad blogger. It has actually been a couple months I suspect since I last logged in. Honestly, I can’t really give you a direct reason why I didn’t take the time to say HELLO and catch you all up on general awesome things. So take this post as an apology. Look at this as if I am making it up to you (minus the dinner, flowers, candles and follow through) 🙂
Since being back in the big smoke, I’ve been searching for work. It has not been easy and has been equally tough on my psyche but as Mr. Samuel Johnson so eloquently said ” Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” Persevere I shall although it may include the odd cranky day. In the meantime, I have had the pleasure of being able to run more, climb indoors as much as possible, catch up with friends, steal books that Matt brings home to read for himself, cook and let my imagination run wild.
So after this huge trip what did I learn? I could really blah blah blah my way through this and bore the living crap out of you who read this. I will all save you from a potential massive reflection on 3 1/2 months and give you all some of my thoughts in point form:
- Driving an RV is actually fun
- When you cross into Colorado from Kansas, don’t expect to see a mountain range right away.
- Patience will only occur if you allow it.
- Living in 30 feet of space will cause some of the most wonderful memories and fights.
- Never buy books about death or accidents, especially about a place you are about to hike into (Grand Canyon).
- Cooking in an RV is actually not as tough as I thought.
- Silly moments are the best.
- I will never stop exploring.
- I am proud of what I have accomplished.
- Numbers to think of: 12,000′, 5.9, 15km,… fuck the weight scale.
- I came home with a heavy heart, a smile on my face and a best friend in tow.
This trip truly opened something up for me. What it is, I have no idea. All I know is that I am wanting more.
With a trip in the Adirondacks and a 15km race under my belt I am looking forward to New Hampshire, a half marathon and possibly some climbing in Meh-Hee-Co (Matt made that one up!).
Would I do this again? Heck yes. Would I do it differently. Yup. Only slightly though now that I have some experience and it would only better the trip for the both of us.