Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Potpourri

Question: Why must it snow every Saturday night?  Every Sunday morning I wake up to head out for a run, only to find more of the white fluffy stuff there than when I went to sleep.  It's true- 3 Sundays in a row!  Weather Gods and Goddesses, I know I live in Canada, but how about snow on a different day?  Yes, please! 

Lots of little running tidbits to share today, runners!  I must say, there seems to be a lot going on out there in the world of running these days.  And it wouldn't be right to keep the tidbits all to myself, so out into the universe they go...

First.  My friend Dr. Oats produced a running documentary about the Canadian Death Race.  It looks more than just a little bit awesome and I think we should all see it. 

The Calgary premiere is on the 31st of January , 7:00pm at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington.  I'm going.  Who's coming?

Next.  I asked Santa for a running book for Christmas.  Eeep!  I hope he delivers.  After all, there is always more to learn, ways to tweak the training and different perspectives to take in to consideration.  Many, many people have suggested this book to me, so I can't wait to get my hot little hands on it.  The book is called The Daniels Running Formula and to many people this is their go to source of information for training.  A full review, I promise, if Santa holds good on his promise and delivers this one on Christmas Eve.  I can't see why he wouldn't.  After all, I've be relatively good this year, all things considered.  And funny, yes, that there's a running guru named Jack Daniels?  I always knew he made whiskey...but not that he was a running coach.  Honestly, the things some people accomplish in a day.

And another thing.  I'm trying to join Dr. Oats' Thursday night speed training group.  I'm not sure if they'll let me.  I sure hope they do, because there are extremely fast runners associated with this group and I definitely like the challenge of trying to keep up.  This I believe, will make me a faster runner, so I'm hoping I get in.  Although I'm slightly worried there might be some kind of weird running initiation.  Like a naked run around the block.  Might be just a bit cold for that!  And naked running is probably not good naked either.

Finally.  I have felt that my training has lacked purpose lately.  I feel  like I'm fitting random runs in when I can, hitting the gym for some good strength training and trying to claw some time into my increasingly busy schedule for yoga.  So this week I tried to make some sense of it all.  And you know what was missing?  A goal.  Because said goal is usually accompanied by a timeline, giving me a much more specific idea of what I should be doing in the gym, how many times a week I need to hit the mat at Hot Yoga on 17th, and what kinds of runs I need to focus on at this moment in time.  And so out into the universe I put it...

A spring marathon it is.  Ottawa.  May 27th.  I will run a sub 3:00 marathon.  And note that I've had this goal before, but also note that I am so very focused on it this time that nothing will stand in my way.  NOTHING.  Look out world!  I'm going to run fast this year!  Oh. Ya. Baby.

P.S. It's the season of Merry and New people!  Get out there!  Enjoy!  See your friends and family!   Tell the you love them and how important they are!  Eat some baking and turkey (or lobster if you're TBaggs and you don't care for the dry bird).  Drink some festive beverages!  And then go for a run and bring some balance and clarity back to it all. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm Back.

I did it.

I made it a whole month without running.  Without a doubt, this was one of the most challenging things I have ever undertaken in my training life.  And the fact that I just referred to the 30 days with out running as training really and truly does indicate just how far I've come in wrapping my head around the idea that proper rest and proper recovery are a part of training, just like running miles and miles and miles is too.

Today, I was reunited with running.  And this is what I woke up to:

For one split second I thought that maybe my 30 day non running challenge should end tomorrow or that I should end it on the track at MRC...and then I thought, THIS IS CRAZY TALK!  I'm going running.  Outside.  In the elements.  Probably with wolves chasing me, too.

And run I did.  Just me, my ipod and a foot of snow.  I didn't even wear a watch.

And I remembered just how much I love to run, and how good it feels to be in the out of doors, simply putting one foot in front of the other, emptying my head of things and thoughts, and doing something for me for just a brief moment in time.  I smiled the whole time.  I laughed more than once.  I remembered and savoured what it felt like to run and to feel alive.

Because there had been so much snow, I should say that this was a tough first run back.  I was likely shuffling more than I was running, and the physical effort it takes to run through the snow (especially this heavy white stuff) is significantly different that a nice Sunday morning effort on a clear pathway in the summer. 

But this in itself reminded me of one very important thing.  And that is just how much this crazy journey that is running seems to parallel this crazy journey that is my life.  The lesson I take from this is that sometimes the hardest things to do are the right things to do.  The run today certainly proved just that.  And the way certain things have shaken down in the old life lately?  Let's just say there have been a few curveballs...and some really, really hard choices.  Much like the run in the snow, it IS hard, but I WILL get through it, and it will feel right in the end.

And running will be with me every step of the way.