It's been another crazy and amazing few weeks. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights).
25 km in Wakefield
Definitely a highlight. Two weeks ago I drove up to Wakefield, a small town in Quebec about 30 minutes north of down town Ottawa, to visit my buddy Craig. Remember him? He's the video guy. It was time for instalment #2 of our video project. Surrounded by some of the area's most popular ski hills, Wakefield sits on the Gatineau River and is best known as a quaint toursity town where people visit for the arts & culture, live music at the Blacksheep Inn, and the famous Wakefield covered bridge.
Craig did an amazing job planning out my 25 km route. He had a whole strategy for the day. He would set up in different locations to get shots of me, and then jump in his truck and race ahead for the next one. It was really fun. And, to top it off, his wife made pie for us to enjoy afterwards. Nicole is the best.
Here are some teasers from the day.
I love running on the Rideau Canal. Not alongside the Canal, but literally on it. When it is open for skating in the winter, the plows end up leaving this really nice, packed down, treaded path on the side that is perfect for running. Since my office overlooks the Canal, I've been able to get out at lunch for some nice quick 10km runs.
Icy Hills Suck
I've really upped my hill training game this year. I'm hitting longer and steeper hills more frequently. Sometimes these workouts are harder than my long run. Last Thursday, I set out after work for my weekly hill workout. As I arrived at my favourite hill spot, I quickly learned that the nasty weather we've been having lately in Ottawa had left my hill quite treacherous. Ice. Lots of it. After falling 3 times in 5 hill laps, I decided to throw in the towel and go home. It was a really hard thing to do at the time. The feeling of giving up ate away at me for the next few days. But looking back, it was the right call. I'm lucky I didn't seriously hurt myself. While it was definitely the most glaring lowlight of my training so far, I now know that I did what I had to do. Forget about it. Move on. At least I got the enjoy the views.
Yesterday I ran my first 30km run of my training program. 30km is always such a big milestone to hit. It is a really long way to run and you are out there in the snowy, blustery cold for a long time. 2 hours and 23 minutes to be exact. It was a good run. I was able to keep a pretty strong and steady pace throughout. I had to battle through a few challenges - a bit of an upset stomach, some fatigue, nagging knee pain, negative thoughts, and the cold. But I did it. You need to overcome all of those things if you're going to be successful with marathon training. Each and every one of them can act as an easy excuse to give up or feel bad for yourself. But you can't let it get to you. You gotta buckle down and just do it.
The pinnacle of my pain came at kilometre 27 when I decided it would be a good time to do some hill repeats behind Parliament Hill. If you've every run this far before, you know how cruel and punishing hills at this stage of your run can be. That was the point. Boston's infamous Heartbreak Hill starts at about kilometre 32 of the race. It's a scary thing, but I can't ignore it. I gotta prep for it. Adding in some tough hill repeats late in my long run is my way of preparing, physically and mentally.
Hey, look at that! A new website! Did you notice? I finally got tired of my old Tumblr page. I bit the bullet and bought 42km.ca and built my new blog using Squarespace. I'm pretty happy with it. Let me know what you think!