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    Day 1

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    Between being a weenie and enjoying time with family and friends this holiday season, it hasn’t been a banner month for my running.  Looking at my training log…ouch – I only ran twice last week, and over the past 4 weeks my mileage has dipped by a third to a half.  Add to that the extra calories consumed over the past week, and I am starting off from “sluggish.”

    I know what that means.  This training plan I have sitting here, which was designed based on my mileage up to 5 weeks ago, is going to start off feeling really hard.  And it starts today.

    Despite starting into it with a bit of trepidation, deep down I know it’ll be okay.  I know I can do “hard.”  I still believe that the hardest part of running is getting started.  Getting started, for me, meant overcoming the physical toll of years of being sedentary.  It also meant overcoming the self-doubt that went with that lifestyle.  Never have I doubted myself more than I did in that first 10, 5 or two weeks.  And I have never thought I would die during a workout the way I did then.  So really, jumping back into training after goofing off for 4 weeks is at the easy-end of feeling hard.

    I am also looking forward to the structure of training.  It’s funny, after a season of racing, I really enjoy non-structured running.  Then after I do that for a while, I like to get back to a plan.

    So here I am on day one: my base isn’t where I’d planned, but I am eager and optimistic.  All I can do is lace up my runners and enjoy the ride!

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    A runner for just over four years, Karen has already completed a marathon, two half marathons and a variety of 5k and 10k races. She describes her first marathon - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last September - as "a nightmare." However, she met a very interesting person in the process - a man named Sydney who was running his 152nd marathon! Although the race didn't go as well as planned for Karen or Sydney, he showed her that no matter how experienced a runner you are, you can still have a bad day. "Does that mean we shouldn't bother to prepare, or maybe just shouldn't bother at all? Of course not!" says Karen. "In the end, it is what we make it." We like her optimism!

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