It has been just over a month since my disappointing London Marathon and once again I am back up on two feet. The weekend following my return was scheduled with three out-of-town speaking engagements so once I got to my computer, I added another slide to my message of blessings and trials. The kids had a P.A. day so they travelled with me for part of the weekend, which included a relaxing overnight trip to grandma and grandpa’s. It was nice to finally put my luggage away after spending nearly five of the last seven weeks using it.
I took a full week off of any sort of physical activity. My foot was pretty sore so I rested and spent time doing the things I didn’t get to before, such as overdue coffee dates with friends. Eventually I felt I needed to start moving my body again so I resumed pool running at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre then went for a short run on day 11. Usually I take 10-14 days off of running after a marathon, and because my foot was feeling better, I felt I was ready. I can’t find the word to describe how I think myself and many feel when in their down time, between recovery and full time training. When logging weeks of 180-190 km and keeping a strict routine with preventative maintenance, rest/sleep, and diet, I often think I will enjoy my off-season with extra energy and free time with sweet and savoury treats. But then when I get there, I want to be back where I was before, tired but smiling after a full day’s work, preparing to do it again the next day. Over the years I have learned to fully appreciate the change in the various stages and cycles of life and training. You must enjoy the moment you are in. And I had to properly conclude my season before commencing another.
After a week or so of easy running and cross training, I told Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes that I’d like to return to run the June 17 Toronto Waterfront 10 km, as I previously discussed with coach Dave Scott-Thomas regarding my summer/fall plans. Read it here. The May 26-28 weekend would include national championships in the Ottawa 10 km and Calgary Half Marathon but I knew that was much too much, too soon. I think I might be the only one not racing this past weekend, but after my three marathons of Rio in August, Toronto in October, and London in April we felt waiting two months to race would provide a solid break.
I’ve started a fresh and enjoyable yet not-too-serious training routine with less mileage, more strength work, and some shorter intervals to get some speed back into the legs. Because I spent my university years on the ice and off the track, I don’t mind running around on the rubber in circles. My first attempt at strides was fairly entertaining but I’ve been able to get quicker in even just one week; I could hardly break 37 seconds in a few 200 m attempts but this week I was consistently repeating ~35 seconds. It’s a start. I joined the Speed River group in Guelph for a set of 3 x 10 minutes with Katrina, which was also refreshing. And Rachel Hannah and I hope to get our plans aligned so that we can do some regular training together. I’ve contemplated the idea of pacing some of the Canadian 10, 000 m Championships at the Inferno meet in Guelph but haven’t yet decided. It would be new and fun but would not give me much time to recover before racing the 10 km in Toronto, 2.5 days later. In the meantime, I am enjoying giving more to my family and community. I assisted as a timer and parent volunteer at my kids’ local and regional track and field meets, and even oversaw some high jump practices for a week. Thank goodness for Derek Drouin’s youtube videos! I continue to write for iRun and complete various speaking engagements and interview requests.
Before I know it, the kids will be out of school again and we will be enjoying a new routine. With the likelihood that I will do a fall marathon, I will be enjoying the early mornings to log my mileage in order to beat the heat and be back for the kids.
And on I go.