Sometimes you surprise yourself…

I do not even know where to begin this blog post.  Yesterday was a pretty big day for me.  I ran the Sporting Life 10k in Toronto… and WON!!!  Winning was a pretty amazing feeling but even better than that was how confident I felt doing it.  

sl10k

Now let’s back up a moment, last year (Dec 2014) when I was setting my goals I wrote the following goals out and placed them on my bathroom mirror.  I have looked at them every day since because I have yet to break any of them… until today!
goalsToday I ran two 5k personal bests in a row (*downhill mind you) in order to run a HUGE 10k PB. My previous 10k pb of 35:56 was on the same course as what I ran today.

I tend to never hit my A goal when I race.  I always have high goals for myself because I am a big believer in if you do not try you will never know.  But I have been working lately on being smarter with that attitude when it comes to racing.  

I also tend to never run evenly split races and today considering the course terrain I am very happy with my splits.  It was not a struggle or a holding on for dear life experience to the finish… I felt strong.  What a great feeling it is!

splits SL10k
Still hard to believe these are my splits!

Today I smashed my A goal of sub 34:30 running 33:46!!  A 2mins and 10s improvement on my personal best.  Splitting through the 5k in 16:44 and backing it up with a solid 17:03 5k to finish the race.  My current 5k PB is 17:08.  

The more impressive part of this is that I just had my highest mileage week EVER last week… hitting 160k (*unofficially… don’t tell Megan).  I came down in mileage during the week but still had a speed workout in the mix this week.

SL10k finish
finishing the race!!

But the exciting part about this is I think we have found a training schedule that works really well for me even for the shorter and faster races!  It just goes to show that there is not a cookie cutter approach to training different approaches work for different people.  For me running a ton works really well!  Of course training will always be a changing but I am happy with how this cycle has worked out… THANKS MBP!!

I am beyond excited to be heading into the Ottawa Marathon, my goal race of the season with this confidence boost under my belt!!

I texted my coach after the race and said I felt like a completely different runner today.  This is definitely due to a shift in mental state in regards to training and racing.  Megan has really helped me find the meaning and purpose behind each training run.  Taking more of a thoughtful approach to the way in which I am training.  It is a fine line between training to be your best and over training.  So one must be careful to not get too greedy (*which is one reason why you need a coach!).  I have also been thinking of relaxing and calming mantras during my tough training sessions.  I have found this has made me far less dependent on my watch (*which I used to check constantly) and instead I just run.

In regards to racing I have taken what I have been doing in training and just did the same thing.  Focused on staying calm and relaxed.  Also making the first part of the race feel ‘easy’ and not grinding off the gun.  Which is what I used to do.  It does make it easier with doing training sessions that are 10k+ in volume, to have the confidence to race a 10k.  Your state of mind truly has a huge impact on your performance.  It has been really interesting even just within this training cycle the change that I have made.  From chilly half which was a disaster physically and mentally.  To around the bay which was a step in the correct direction.  To today where I feel like it all clicked!  So remember to take some time to reflect on what you were saying to yourself and how that worked for you.

The other big change in my approach to training is focusing on sleep.  Turns out in the research and in my personal study of n= 1 sleep has a big impact on injury prevention and performance!  So get some!

Chris and Brittany2
amazing team work! photo cred: Richard Bowry

After university the 10k and the 5k were races I thought I would never improve on.  I figured I would stick to the longer stuff as I assumed I would have some room for improvement with those races.  But turns out there is some room for improvement in all of my races!!  Just goes to prove you should never give up if it is something you really want and it is something you truly believe you can do!!  Go for it!

I have worked really hard and dedicated a lot of time to my running over the past two years and I am so excited to see it paying off!!  

camp ooch
Myself with some of the camp ooch crew!!  They are the inspiring ones!

Congrats to everyone else who competed and ran their best today!!!  I think each and every one of you are awesome!!!

And thank you to everyone for their continued support of my running, I truly appreciate it!!  Especially my mom on this special day!!

mom and i
My mom and I at brunch post race

Just a reminder I am fundraising for the Ride for Heart run this June for my efforts of training for the Ottawa Marathon.  If you would like to donate or join my team and join me on the gardiner expressway June 5 you can do so here:  http://support.heartandstroke.ca/site/TR/Events/RFH2016?px=1221239&pg=personal&fr_id=2550&_ga=1.142803253.1085979568.1453413575

ride for heart run
COME RUN WITH ME!!!
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4 thoughts on “Sometimes you surprise yourself…

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