Trying Something New

I’ve decided to try something new this year.

No, I’m not getting into triathlons or ultramarathons...yet. I’m still focused on my current love and obsession: the marathon. I’ve come a long way over the years. From completely crumbling and barely finishing the Ottawa Marathon in 2013, I’ve been able to shave about 35 minutes off my marathon time, which included qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 2016.

But I’m not finished. I still have more to prove to myself.

A few weeks back my mother-in-law asked me which marathons were still on my bucket list.

“Chicago. New York. London.” I answered. Before she could get a word in, I rhymed off a few more. “Paris. Tokyo. Great Wall of China. Big Sur.”

She looked at me like I was crazy.

“Oh, and Boston. I gotta go back to Boston.” This one confused her.

“You’d want to go back? But you did it already. And it was so hard on you.” she replied with genuine concern.

“I know, but it’s Boston. I will go back to Boston as many times as I can for the rest of my life. It’s such a privilege to be able to participate in that race.” I explained. She understood.

It’s a really hard thing to explain. There’s just something about Boston that sets it apart from anything else I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was, still is, and always will be my ultimate marathon goal.

With that said, I spent some time thinking about how far I’ve come and potentially how far I still have to go. What am I capable of? What’s possible? I know I have another PB in me. Maybe 2 or 3 or 10. Who knows? What I do know is that I want to give everything I’ve got towards finding out.

How will I get there?

I recently wrote a post about the lessons I’ve learned along my marathon journey - I dubbed them My Marathon Commandments. These little nuggets serve as good reminders of what to do, and what not to do when training. But there is a little part of me that felt it was time to seek outside help. What if what I think is right, is actually wrong? My training programs have evolved over the years based on my learnings and experiences, but am I doing everything I can to put myself in the best position possible on race day? Am I doing intervals right? Do I have the right shoes? Am I putting in enough mileage?

Katie encouraged me to get a coach and join a running group, something I've never been interested in. To me, running has always been a very personal thing. I wanted to do it on my own. “Just give it a shot", she encouraged. "If you don't like it, then move on. But if you do, maybe it can help you find your next level."

She always knows what's best. So in my quest for constant improvement on my marathon, I found myself a coach. After a few weeks of reaching out to the Ottawa running community and some Googling, I found David Harding.

David is an accomplished endurance athlete, with an impressive resume of Ironmans, triathlons and marathons. He's currently training for his fourth Boston Marathon, and has a marathon PB of 2:58. He’s also a certified personal trainer and marathon coach with the Ottawa Running Club. Most importantly, David is down to earth. He’s wise and experienced. He gets me. He gets where I’m at and where I want to go. I’ll be working with David and the Ottawa Running Club this season to help me bring my marathon game to the next level, and I couldn’t be more excited.

With that said, my training for the Ottawa officially kicked off this week. I love the new training plan that David prepared for me and I can't wait to dive in. Here we go!