It seems since having finished training 2 times a day and getting ready for IM someone has turned to clock onto high speed! I suppose going back to work has cut into some free time, but, I seem to be looking around me for a few extra minutes the past few days.
The weekend was a great time! I spent Saturday at the race expo for the Toronto Marathon. I truly enjoy being in any type of race environment and this expo was no exception. It was one of the best they have had in a while, a lot of good exhibitors and not the typical travel show feel to it. A fun part of the day was observing the number of people who were out wearing IM finisher gear. I took every opportunity to stop them to talk about their experience. It is awesome hearing other perspectives, different race stories and what is up next. In the various discussions I also found people to join up with me and our group to train with us for IMCA. It is great to add new people to the training fold and to be inspired by.
Every minute of the day was a sheer pleasure! Talking to nervous first timers, the look of the ultra competitive people. The focus of those who were out to set PB's of to get Boston qualify. Like any race there is a different story in every pair of shoes that walks in the get a bib, it is a pleasure and a privilege to be amongst that energy!
Race day was a new perspective and wonderful day for me. I was not registered to run the race, but I was there with my shoes and ready to go. Since the start of summer I have been leading a clinic at the yoga studio that was for this race. I was out to run with the athletes that have been part of the clinic. It is a thrill to be with people who set a goal and made the commitment to do the race. Being part of the experience with them was as exciting as being part of the race myself. Two of the girls run a very similar pace so I decided to do the run with them as a pacer. It was an exciting day for them being the first time on the start line. It is a big race so a great opportunity for them to experience the full excitement of the event. It was a blast for me as well! As the gun went off we started to start line shuFfle towards the timing mat.
Like every race a big rush then the walk begins. We were a little over 5 minutes from gun time to crossing the start of the race. We started our run and danced around the slower people as we settled in for the race. As we ran along the girls were amazed at the sea of people, all the heads bopping up and down and the constant patter of feet over the ground. We ran along at a great pace for the start of the day, a pace which represented the training they had done and a desire to leave the efforts on the road and not with them across the finish. As we ran along it was great for me as I was relaxed and able to see all kinds of people that I knew. I number of Lulu runners were out running and reaching a goal, friends were volunteering at water stations, people I know from races out pushing limits. Having a chance to spectate while running is a neat way to run a race. As we ran along I reminded the girls it was their day and to pace themselves accordingly. I pushed the pace for them and asked them to be the judge, if we needed to slow they should let me know. They kept pushing along not wanting to relent. At the 15k mark I let them know I would begin to pick it up gradually to finish a negative split day. They were keen to do it so we started to push forward. At the 19k we pushed harder until we could see the finish, then it was go time. Up the final hill I ran ahead holding a hand back so they would reach for me. I pushed knowing they would want to finish with a strong effort. Together the r of us crossed the line with great smiles on our face and knowing that we left it all out on the course! An awesome first 1/2 marathon for the girls and an amazing day for me being able to share the summer of effort they put into it! Another runner from the group was a little behind us so I waited along for her to come through. After a short while she came dancing across the finish with a smile and a sense of victory! A great day for each person who put themselves out for a goal. And for me a true sense of inspiration and motivation having helped them reach this day. I look forward to running with them towards the next goal which they are all keen to set!
After a great day we all headed back to my car(we car pooled to the race) for the ride home. As we walked towards the car, my knee started to bug me. After a few more steps, it was a wicked ouch!!! Hmmm?? A familiar feeling from the past, my ITB decided it was time to pay a visit.
I cant say that it bothered me at all, actually the 'injury' kind of has a refreshing entertaining side to it. After the months of training injury free, a little temporary discomfort should be expected. I am so lucky that it happened after my race and not during my training. See, there is a pot of gold under every rainbow. On Monday I was able to get an appointment with the ART man who rip me apart. He leaned into it, tore away at it, pushed and pulled always making me feel like I was going to vomit. And then before you know it, SAHZAM!!! The knee tweak seems to be gone. I asked him what I should or should not do? He gave me some exercises and told me not to run for 3-4 days. Hmmm?? Maybe it is someones way of saying, 'DUDE, let yourself take a break and recover!' So the rest of this week I am doing nothing! Yep, zero, zilch nothing! OUch, I think that hurts more than the ITB! It will do wonders in the long run, allowing months to sink in a little before getting the intensity back up for a couple of months. This may be a great way to get my sorry butt into the gym to do weights as I should not be running. WHo knows, all that is certain is that I wont last long 'resting'.
I hope all of you are amazing and reflecting on a wonderful season! Other than a little rest, the best thing about this time is putting together next seasons plan! Wahoo!