Sunday, 5 January 2014

2014 - A Year of Health and Running

"By the time I started running I already knew how to suffer" - Scott Jurek

So I don't know if you have noticed, but I sort of picked a strange time in my life to take up long distance running. Or not so strange, if you come from the Scott Jurek school of thought. The past 2 years have been hard, tumultuous, and heart-breaking in ways that I never expected, but through it all I ran.

I ran my very first half marathon the day before my double mastectomy and fell pretty hard for running from there. Over the past 2 years I have run 2 marathons, 5 half marathons, and 2 triathlons. I have also had 3 surgeries and unexpectedly lost my Dad, so I think it is pretty safe to say it was not exactly the most ideal time in my life for training.

But that is kind of the thing about running - especially the thing about running distance. Overcoming the difficulties of a distance reminds me that I capable of overcoming the difficulties of life. A reminder that has been very necessary the past few years. When I felt broken - and I did - running helped remind me that I was broken not beaten. Running is about heart, spirit, perseverance, and our ability to endure - and it is all of those things that make me love this sport.

All that being said, a girl could use a break. 

My biggest wish for 2014 is to have a year of calm. I want to run races, push further, train harder, go longer. But I want to do all of that without all the other bullshit. In other words, I would like training to be my biggest obstacle this year. I want to be healthy. I want to heal. And I want to Run.

So my race calendar for 2014 looks a little like this....

March 2nd - Chilly Half Marathon
I am returning the scene where it all began, and I am hoping for a PR. In an ideal world I would love to sub-2hrs at this one. But the weather is notoriously unpredictable, so we will just have to see how things go.

April 5th -  Harry's Spring Run Off 5km
I have run this one a couple of times, and it is pretty fun way to kick of the spring/summer running season. So I am going back with my family in tow.

April 13th - Yonge Street 10km
It has been awhile since I ran a 10km. And this event always looks so fun. So this year I am gonna work on my speed and go for it!

May 4th - Goodlife Toronto Half Marathon
Since I think there is a good chance I won't get the half marathon time I am hoping for at the Chilly Half in March, so I am banking on this one for good things. The course has a lot of downhill, and it literally runs right by my house, so it seemed like the obvious choice for a potential PR.

May 25th - Toronto Women's Series Half
I am throwing another half into the mix, because I want to work on nailing this distance before my triathlon season starts. Plus I have heard awesome things about the Women's Series and would love to run a women's only event. I have heard the course is challenging, but I think it would be good practice for what is to come in Muskoka.

June 14th - Welland Triathlon
This is the first triathlon I ever did, and it was great way to kick off the season last year, so I want to go back and see if I can improve my course time. I am doing the Triathlon distance which is a 750m swim, a 30km bike, and a 7.5km run.

August 10th - Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon
I am going to kick my triathlon distance up a notch here and tackle the Olympic distance. This is a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike, and 10km run.

September 7th - Muskoka 70.3
This is the big one. The one worth all the marbles. Time-wise I don't really know what to expect, but I would like to finish sub-6:30. But realistically I would just like to finish!

October 19th - Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
I am heading back to Scotia for Marathon #3. This one is a little crazy admittedly. It is just 6 week after my Half Ironman, so my expectations are low. I would obviously love to PR (who wouldn't), but I also understand I am likely going to be tired and not exactly in perfect Marathon form. So the goal is to just finish smiling - no tears at the scotia finish-line this time.

October 25th - Toronto Women's 5km
Just to round out the year. I gotta throw one more in the mix.

Are you racing this year? Which ones are on your 2014 to-do list?

So that is the plan as it stands right now.
I think (hope and pray) that this year is gonna be a GREAT year.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,