Oct 18, 2012

My Running Journey

Last year I took up running, pretty much on a whim, when my wife and a group of her friends decided that they were going to train for a half marathon. We all started training about 12 weeks before the race day, getting in our own runs during the weeks and running as a group for our longer runs on the weekend.

We arrived in Halifax, nervous as hell, but excited at the same time to compete in the Bluenose Half Marathon. I couldn't believe the amount of people running and more surprising was the amount of spectators. The gun sounded and we were off. It was an amazing feeling, people lined the streets to cheer all the runners on, kids giving out hi-5's along the way. When I crossed the finish line in 1 hr 53 min, just under my 2 hr goal, I was hooked and I knew I'd be back. I ended up running about a dozen races during the year ranging from 5 km to 25 km and averaging 50-55 minutes/10k.

This year I decided that I was going to kick my own ass at running. I wanted to run every single race I completed during 2011 (and more) and try and beat my own time in each race. First step was to add some additional workouts to my running routine. My wife and I joined a local gym and we added some weight training and metabolic class training to our regular running. I ended up dropping 20+ lbs in about 3 months and was feeling good about the upcoming running season.

Source 10K - April 2012 44:25
My first race of the 2012 season was the Source for Sports 10k in Charlottetown. I hadn't run it in 2011 but I wanted to get in as many runs as possible before the Bluenose. My training pace had been pretty good leading up to race day and I was hoping that I'd be able to finish in under 50 minutes, something I hadn't been able to do the previous year. I started out at a pretty good pace and maintained it through the run and finished in 44:30, a new PB.

I was feeling good heading into the 1/2 marathon in Halifax and was hoping to be able to finish in under 1:45, I had a great run and finished in 1:39:49. Throughout the summer I've been able to improve my times in every race compared to last year by about 45 seconds to a minute per kilometre. All of my 10k races have been in the 44-46 min range, I was able to better my time in the 25k Harvest Festival race by about 15 minutes, finishing this years race in 2:08:57, and my 10 mile Farmers Helping Farmers race time by 15 minutes as well, from 1:29 last year to 1:14 this year.

Kent 7k - August 2012 31:00
Going into this years half PEI Marathon I was hoping to be under 1:45 for the 21.1k course. It was a cold morning on race day this past Saturday (October 14). The temperature gauge in the car during most of the drive to Charlottetown was 0 degrees, but it rose to a balmy 4 degrees by race time, luckily the wind was light and the rain held off. Three big hills in the last 6k take up a lot of energy but running down University Ave with large groups cheering you gives that extra push you need at the end. I was able to cross in 1:42:02, 17 minutes off last years time.

Running has become part of my regular routine and I'm glad it did. We are very fortunate on PEI to have a large network of organized races via the PEI Roadrunners throughout the year and having an upcoming race motivated me to continue running on a regular basis. I've met some great people and made a lot of new friends through this group. Everyone encourages and motivates each other and makes running fun.

BMO 1/2 Marathon - October 2012 1:42:02
Me, Teresa & Mike - wearing the foil post race

I've got a great support network motivating me, starting with my amazing wife Teresa. She's been posting personal bests in all her races this summer too. Plus we've got an incredible group of friends, including our trainer Lindsay Santos (she rocks), who've traveled to many races to cheer us on and be waiting for us at the finish.

Henry Ford once said  "Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right." I prefer to believe that I can or will. I don't expect to win any races but I sure like beating my main competitor every chance I get, me. I'm hoping I'll be able to continue to beat him on a regular basis moving forward.