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,


  1. It IS going to be a great year!! I will see you at Chilly & Scotia and I'll probably be volunteering again at the Toronto Women's 5km. The Toronto Women's Half is a great race. Lots of fun. The course isn't terribly challenging, just a lot of twists and turns as it follows the bike path through Sunnybrook.

  2. What a fabulous year you had - this year will just UP the ANTE!

  3. You've dealt with a lot over the past few years. I love your line up!!! Great plans girl. You will rock them. As for me..... ugh..... I am drawing a blank. I have some races planned. But not many.

  4. Wow! Totally inspires me to look past March for my own running plans -- thanks Krysten! :-)

  5. You have gone through so much. I too hope you can just focus on running.
    Great plans.

  6. Look at that schedule!!! I feel lazy now! ;-)

  7. Of course it will be a great year. You have a way of making even the bad years seem pretty amazing.

  8. D*MN
    can you see me?
    I be bowing in awe....

  9. You will have a fantastic year, I know it!! I have a great quote on my desktop background that says 'We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too." and that's what running has been for me. I can't imagine life without it! I am also doing the Yonge St 10K so we will be at that one together! I'm also planning to do a bunch of local races, my first duathlon (Guelph, June 22) plus the Lululemon SeaWheeze on August 23rd (third year in a row!) I'm super pumped for both, but just want my hip to get better ASAP so I can train! :)

  10. If anyone has earned a calm year it is you!!! Praying this race schedule is the biggest thing on your plate this year!!! You're going to rock it!!

  11. Totally understand your desire for calm after your past two years. I will say, though, that perhaps that really is the BEST time to have running in your life--when you need it most! Excited about your 2014 schedule--it looks great.

  12. It will be a brilliant year! Just you wait! :) That is looking like an awesome race calendar as well!! I have my two 'biggies' booked in (London tri - olympic & Challenge Weymouth half) but I definitely need to get a few more penciled in and a half marathon would be ideal as I have never ran that distance in a race before and only once as a training run! I also desperately need some open water experience! Eek!

  13. That's quite the list! I am running several races but have nothing planned past february!

  14. Wow, lady! What an exciting year for you!! The "big one" also happens to be on my birthday, pretty cool. :-) I'm still trying to figure out my plans... i want to do a few shorter races while pregnant and then probably a fall half... not sure I'll have the time or energy for a full in 2014!

  15. You are seriously so awesome. This looks like a big racing year so I will send you healthy running vibes :)

  16. Love the schedule - you make it sound so fun and you got it!! I agree - this is going to be your year! :)

  17. Love your outlook on the year! Your race schedule looks perfect too. Good luck in 2014!

  18. I can't say it enough - AMAZING!!!!!

  19. There is a lot of San Francisco missing from your list. Half in April... full or half in July... I'm flexibile. And I didn't even mention the 50 miler in December... there is a marathon distance on that one too, but Coach Michelle already won that last month, so we have to win the 50 m so we can show her. HA!

    You've got it kid.

  20. This post was so inspiring! I just happened to stumble upon your blog today and feel in awe!

  21. Ok I'm reallllly looking in to the October Toronto marathon. I'd love to visit some of my CA friends. Just need to figure out if I can make the cost work, but I think so!