Summer Challenge

I never stopped working out after I hung up my skates. Even if I had wanted to, my body was so used to sweating and training everyday that I felt “off” and couldn’t sleep well if I went more than 3 days without working out (okay, if i’m being totally honest, I was also terrified that I would gain 150lbs if I didn’t hit the gym everyday). So while I was able to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits (actually I’m pretty sure my diet is way better now than when I skated) I got BORED after 1.5/2 years of not skating. I was beginning to force myself to go to the gym instead of wanting to go. Training is what I miss the most about skating. I miss having training partners to cheer me on when I think i can’t push any harder and I really miss having a coach. Sure, I went on runs and organized gym dates with friends but it’s just not the same and I found it really hard not have something to train for. I also really missed being proud of myself. Staying healthy is a great reason to sweat but it just wasn’t enough anymore. I finally realized I needed to challenge myself, train for something I considered scary and that I wasn’t very good at…a half marathon.

Early morning run - Barcelona Spring 2012

Early morning run – Barcelona Spring 2012

I bit the bullet and signed up for the Canmore Half Marathon at the end of March. I think I had a mini panic attack when I hit that register button; the longest i had ever ran was 10km, usually got bored after 30minutes, and I found running to be really really hard. Running a half had always been on my bucket list but I figured I wouldn’t actually attempt one for quite a few years. I used my friend Google to do a bit of research on training plans and then just combined a few to my liking (yep, total amateur). My goal? Just train starting June 1st and finish the race September 8th. No time goal.

Training began a few days later than planned due to a 4 day escapade to Vegas. I bought a Garmin watch and kept increasing the distance every week. I felt strong and actually began to enjoy running. After 7-8km I always began to feel really calm and was able to settle into a groove and keep going until my watch told me I had achieved my goal for that day. Every Sunday my Garmin would inform me that I had ran a “New Record Distance”. After I hit 19km I had to take almost 3 weeks off due to some pretty intense knee pain. I hadn’t been stretching/foam rolling enough and my body was a hurting unit.

The race is now in 3 days. I leave for a Banff getaway with my dad tonight. My runners, shorts and gels are packed. How do I feel? Both nervous and excited. My goal for Sunday is to really just focus on having fun. Canmore is an extremely gorgeous town and I’m really excited to finally hit 21km!

Looking forward to updating you after Sunday!

Steph

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