Race season is like objects in the rearview mirror - closer than it appears. Due to this fact, there will likely be a few training blogs here, something to keep me both accountable and motivated. I'll likely be tracking progress here as well, so if this bothers you go batter somewhere else.
I know a lot of folks consider the winter the offseason, but there really never is an offseason for me. Between hockey and registering for a scattered race when it pops up, I never really take one. I do not like to lose any momentum and like to push through, despite ice and our lovely Newfoundland climate.
Somehow, some way, I'm feeling pretty good heading into this season. I feel pretty supported right now and have some wonderful people in my life who continue to push me to reach my goals. For all the training in the world, the greatest compliment to the work is support from your circles. It's going to be a solid year.
2018 will mark my third year of training with the nothing-short-of-amazing Tara Postnikoff at HEAL Toronto, and hard work does truly pay off. Tara knows her shit and has pushed me to times and limits I never thought would be possible again.
I never thought that at 36 I would be feeling close to (possibly better, but only the times on the road will tell) than my varsity year. It has been a long, tough road with a lot of miles, sweat and tears, but I am cautiously optimistic. After a 1:46:51 Hypothermic Half in less-than-ideal conditions, and on a tough course, I am hoping for my best year yet.
Today has been one of those days when I have given a lot of thought to what is coming up, had some good training discussions, and have committed to being the best I can be on the ice and on the road (I should probably say in the water as well, but I hate swimming so screw swimming).
The morning started with coffee with my former X-Country coach, the legendary Art Meaney. Art is one of the most important people in my life. He is always honest, full of wonderful advice, knowledge (both in and outside of the running world), and has been there for me through a lot of hard and good times alike. We talk about my work, what he is up to, have political discussions and always wind up back to running. I can always go to Art for advice, a chat, and we try to do coffee once or twice a month in our busy lives. I love that man.
"Let me take a picture of you in that fabulous hat, kid! Tell me about it!"
Coffee with Art always ends with motivation, solid training advice, and always a book to read.
After our chat today I've decided I need to put in a lot of work and be the best athlete I can, both on the ice and on the road.
This means incorporating strength training and being the strongest I can be. As many of you know, the epidemic of body image issues in sport (for young girls and women, especially) is a topic very close to me. In sport we are role models and we never know who is watching, taking note of us as we skate, run, bike or swim. It is important to set a solid example and I want to do that.
I look no further than a month ago when I was running along Quidi Vidi Road and a little girl, no more than 6, was walking with her dad and looked up with big eyes as I ran by. I slowed back and she started running with me. I said then I hope she keeps it up. I really do.
Every Friday night there are little girls watching our games at Capital Hyundai Arena, watching 10 teams of women from all walks of life skate, compete and have fun. They're watching and taking notes.
We need to be the best examples for them.
Today I finally did something I have been hesitant to do and, quite frankly, intimidated to do for a while - I joined a gym. Now, do not get me wrong, I have gone to gyms, but mostly to hop on treadmills when conditions are not favourable to outside running. The weight rooms are usually full of grunting guys who smirk and look at us like we are a sideshow. I'm sorry folks, that's been my experience. It is intimidating and, though I never give two flying shits what people think of me, the weight room is not somewhere I am comfortable.
Screw that, now.
I am now making a commitment to myself to be better and stronger. I am not backing down.
Today marks the first (technically the second, but the first in a series of consistency) day of becoming stronger and better. I will likely be posting a fair bit here about progress, race season, and training. It's a large part of who I am and hey, maybe someone might see some of this and it might make a difference.
I know there are a lot of posts, blogs, articles by strong women athletes that have made a huge difference in my life, my training and in my thought processes. I hope to some day do the same for others.
For now, I am buckling down. Today I finished my pre-race fartlek run as per my training program, and hit weights for a solid 45 minutes. My dumbells are puny but the weights will come.
Tomorrow I will run the Frosty Festival 5k (with a stupid cold, so I don't think I'll get the result I am hoping for) and then hit the ice with a team of kickass women, and then another skate with my crew of awesome guys. Sundays are my favourite day.
Here is to the start of a stronger, better me.
And, because life can't be all working out and training, here are a few pics of our hour at the dog park. Sid and Claude are cute, okay? They deserve some online love as well. Life is about balance.