Saturday, October 22, 2011

Summer 2011 - a Dicken's Novel

I think the summer of 2011, at least with respect to my running, can be summarized by the opening sentences of Dickens A Tale of Two Cities....It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...

My last post was after my first race and before my second. I never made it to my second but I'm happy to report that I did make it through the six-hour run at Dirty Girls and I did complete the 26km race at Haliburton Forest Trails. I'm the very proud owner of two spectacular medals. I'm very proud of my accomplishments this year. I learned a lot, met an incredible group of people who have become good friends, and fallen-in-love with a sport that I can actually participate in.

I have experienced my first sports injuries EVER including IT Band Syndrome (which I'm still trying to deal with and is the bain of my existence), painful blisters, battered toe nails (easily covered up with deep purple nail polish), seed corns on the ball of one foot (don't bother to google, just know its painful and an annoyance), and severe muscle cramps.

I've gone through the mental frustration of my brain telling my body that its crazy and to stop and/or quit halfway through a race. Luckily a LOT of very LOUD Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Guns n' Roses, Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, and Heart drowned out the discouraging demons! That and counting 1-2-3 over and over in my head and sometimes out loud when my legs were screaming and I needed a pace to concentrate on.

The last race, at Haliburton was by far the best. I was probably the least prepared for it but SG and my boys were there to support me and cheer me on. It was a weekend of firsts - I ran and SG didn't, my boys slept in a trailer and experienced a race first-hand, and I finished a race that I wanted to do beyond any of the others. I also saw good friends finish their 100-mile races and couldn't have been more proud of them.

But, while many of fellow runners will be winding their season down and start hibernating, mine is about to begin again. 2012 will be a training year for me. My partner is running 12 100-mile races (one per month) in 2012 and I want to be able to train with him, pace him, and make sure he's healthy which inevitably means me being healthy too. And I need to keep up 'cause he's much faster than me! I'm not sure how many races I will participate in during 2012 but I know my personal goal for 2012 is 50 km at Haliburton. That and making sure that my running ability improves enormously this year. No pressure!

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