This is a blog post I wrote for Boston Logs… check them out at www.bostonlog.blogspot.ca to read more inspiring running stories. I wanted to share it on my blog as well because there are some exciting announcements and I am going to blog about my Road2Boston on here. Enjoy!
I have always been a runner. Since the day I was introduced to cross country in grade 3 I have loved running. I ran cross country and track while in high school and ran varsity for the University of Windsor Lancers. Many of my best memories from those years happened because I am a runner.
After graduating from university I started running in road races. I was still in school so was training completely on my own and without a coach. I ran my first half marathon in 2010 and was hooked. I continued to train for the longer distances but did not set my sights on a marathon until 2013. In preparation I ran the Hamilton Around the Bay race with the goal of running a spring marathon and qualifying for the 2014 Boston marathon. Unfortunately, I injured myknee towards the end of the race and had to forego the rest of the spring season. Once I recovered from the injury I got back into training and was able to run another half marathon in the fall and started to set my sights on the Ottawa marathon in the spring of 2014.
I pride myself on being able to run through anything… but last winter was terrible! I am also a chiropractor so it is very important that I make it through the winter without any broken bones. Through the winter months, I was on the treadmill more then I would like to admit but I braved the polar vortex conditions as often as I could.
Before heading off to Ottawa I went for a run with an old teammate. She begged me to go out at a comfortable pace because the first half should feel easy. She did this because she knows how I race; hard from the start and leave it all out there. Traditionally, this is not the best strategy in the marathon. Thank goodness I listened to her.
As D-day was fast approaching, I finished my training cycle and the nerves started to kicked in to high gear. My set up for the Ottawa marathon was by no means perfect. I went to a week long wedding in Mexico three weeks prior to the race (I ran every day down there) but I ended up sick, on antibiotics and not able to complete a run when I returned home. While in Ottawa I stayed in the U of O residences… Not the most comfortable sleep (did I even sleep the night before?). Suffice it to say, it felt like everything was stacked against me, but I am sure every first time marathoner feels this way. I was certainly more nervous for this race than any one I had lined up for prior, luckily I was able to focus and run my race.
I found it difficult to settle into a pace but I eventually did and hit all the splits I had targeted throughout the race and felt (relatively) strong right through the finish line. I stopped the clock in 2:56.51, accomplishing my goal of breaking 3 hours. Finishing the marathon is a truly special experience and it is something you share with everyone else that finishes on that day. I felt so much pride in myself and everyone else that had endured.
After having such success in Ottawa I made a commitment to take my training to the next level and challenge myself to take my running as far as I can. I realized that it would require the help of others so I joined a team in Toronto, the Stevenson Performance Running Angels (www.runwithspr.com). Since joining the team I have been running significant personal bests in all distances and I absolutely love having such talented and amazing people to help me push my limits, I cannot wait to see where it will lead.
Since Ottawa, my bucket list of marathons to run has become increasingly large (There is a Disney Marathon!!) But first on my list is Boston and I cannot wait. Boston is the gold standard of marathons and it is a right of passage for serious runners. For my second ever marathon, I cannot think of a more perfect venue.
At the very least I would like to run a new personal best in such a prestigious race but, to be completely honest, I will be somewhat upset if i do not come in around 2:50 and I am confident that I can sneak in around 2:45 if everything comes together properly.
Those who do not run often ask how one could love running and all that goes into doing it at a competitive level. I could write many more pages about the specific reasons I love running but it comes down to how running makes me feel. It is like nothing else in my life. It is the time when I feel my strongest and it forces me to improve every time I lace up my shoes. I cannot imagine my life without running and I hope I never have to. Because of this love, I will hopefully have a lifetime of meaningful races to experience and enjoy, but, for now, I look forward to the excitement of the Boston marathon!!
Since starting to write this blog I have revised my goals for the Boston Marathon. My performance goals remain the same but the race now holds new meaning for me; I am going to use the Boston Marathon to fundraise for the first time in my running career. The charity for which I am fundraising is the Alzheimer’s Society. This particular charity is close to my heart because my dad was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s two years ago, at the age of 53. Since then he has had to leave his job, lost his license, is losing his eye sight, fine motor skills and memory. Watching a loved one go through Alzheimer’s makes you feel helpless, so this is my way to contribute. Alzheimer’s is a scary disease and it is also far too common; unfortunately it is not well understood which is why I chose to raise funds for the research department. If you would like to read more about the cause please visit my fundraising site at https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=2677043&langPref=en-CA
Happy training and see you on the start line April 20th 2015!!!