goals

Four ingredients for success

I recently wrote a post on Instagram about my four ingredients for success. I wanted to build on that and add some meat to the bones. When I am asked about how I got faster, there are many reasons why my body has adapted and become stronger {speed work, strength training, nutrition, mental strength}, but when it comes down to it, these four things have had the biggest impact. This can be applied to running but also in all areas of our lives. DREAM BIG.

You must believe in a dream so crazy that it scares you. This goal will light a fire deep within you. It will give you a reason to get out of bed in -20ºC at 5:00 am to train. For me that was Boston back when I was a 4:45+ marathoner. Qualifying for Boston seemed impossible, but there was a tiny voice in my head that asked, Why not you? I started to dream. I stated to plot. I started to think, Yeah! Why not me? I decided then and there I would one day qualify. I wasn't sure how I was going to do it - NEVER worry about the how-to at first - but I knew I was going to do it.

As you move the yardstick closer to achieving your goal, it's important to have stepping stones along the way. These stepping stones can be found daily if you look for them. Your ability to go faster, stronger, longer....

While the dream big goal is the driving force, if you don't have smaller wins along the way, I am afraid you'll miss out on the best part: the journey. As for me, there have certainly been highs and lows in this journey, but you know what? I’ve never once lost my faith that I will achieve this dream.

SHOW UP.

Consistency trumps perfection always. This means showing up when you don’t feel like it. This means doing the work even when it’s not perfect. This means working with what you have RIGHT NOW.

There are many days when we'd rather sleep in, watch Netflix, do anything BUT the thing that will get us closer to our goal. Why does that happen? We are so *fired up* one minute, and other minutes we are ready to throw in the towel and call it a day.

Know that you are NOT the only one who experiences these feelings. When these moments come, tell yourself all you have to do is show up. Somedays these workouts will turn out to be some of the best of your cycle, others will be garbage. That's ok. Your getting out there did more than sitting on the couch. And when that's not enough, there's always tomorrow.

WORK HARD.

"Stop wondering why you didn’t reach the goal you set out to achieve without doing the work required to get there."

Big goals, I don’t care who you are, do not come without hard work and they certainly do not happen over night. This means getting ugly and gritting through each and every tough workout. That 20 miler on the schedule? It’s there for a reason.

After 15 marathons and some time spent in the running community I can tell you that no one is an overnight success. Those people qualifying for Boston in their first marathon? This is not their first rodeo. They've likely been running for years and have equally put in the work. I used to focus on other people's journeys. What are "they" doing that I'm not? STOP. Comparison will get you no where. Put your head down and focus on your own journey.

DON’T QUIT.

Now above all, you can not quit. Trust the process. This journey may be months, it may be years. I won’t deny there aren’t times I wonder what I’m doing. Allow yourself those moments {they’re normal}, but whatever you do, do not quit. Keep moving relentlessly forward. Be open to change and learning from your mistakes.

This is all part of your story.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

Fail quick

It's Saturday morning and I'm sitting here fired up and reflecting on what went down in last week's half. Over the years I've had many a races that didn't go exactly as planned. Truth be told, last week I set out with the A goal to run a sub-1:40. I came up short by 3 minutes and 37 seconds. My B (sub 1:45) and C (run a steady strong race) goals were accomplished. I was on a high placing top 15 and 2nd in my age group. As someone who ran their first half marathon in 2007 in 2:45, back then I would have never thought I would be a "front of the pack" runner. I smile at this now. I also learned that my legs didn't bounce back as quick as I thought from being on my feet for 22+ hours the previous weekend, with very little sleep. I am OK with this (it was one of the best weekends of the year). These are my takeaways from that race.

Instead of dwelling on the negative, I'm fuelling my fire for my next half (I will undoubtedly need another one before Chicago), and of course the Chicago Marathon. I KNOW I have a sub 1:40 in me now. With the fitness that inevitably comes with summer training, I will achieve this goal.

Over the years I've experienced my fair share of "missed goals".  Whether that was my sub-4:00 marathon, my current quest to BQ, or my sub-2:00 half (that took me 4+ tries in 2011/12). Success is not determined by your wins, but by how you bounce back after a "failure". Growing up a ballet dancer, and a recovering type-A perfectionist, I have struggled with failure. I would let it eat me up. Running has helped me grow A LOT in this area (in all parts of my life). I now look at things much differently and EMBRACE FAILURE. I've stopped dwelling on the "what ifs" and "could haves". They do not serve me. They lead to overthinking and do very little in helping me move the yardstick closer to my goals.

You have to have PURPOSE in running. If it's strictly for the quantifiable goals (time, weight), sadly I am not certain the running journey will be a pleasant one. I run because it makes me strong mentally and physically and has changed my perspective on life (running can do that, you know). I see failure as a productive part of life. Onwards.

Show up.

Fail quick. 

Shake it off.

Learn the lesson. 

Get going. 

Race recap: Winterman Half Marathon 2017

A few weeks ago I ran my 15th half marathon, on a whim. On the Friday of Winterman, my Mom, who was going to be in town that weekend, texted me to see if I wanted to do the race. I would do the half-marathon and she would do the full (her 50th marathon, I should add). It was admittedly the first time I entered a race last minute. I had unfinished business at this race after being pulled off in 2014 due to a frost bite scare. The forecast was looking great and in the back of my head, I knew I would get a mental boost from running a race. Normally I build a half-marathon into my marathon trying cycles, but given that Shamrock Marathon is in March, there are limited half-marathons in the lead up. Whereas with later spring marathons, take your pick of X, Y, Z, March-April races to use as trainers.Now if we back it up a bit, I wasn’t having a great training week up until my Mom’s text. I was feeling sluggish, and had decided to take a few days off. In fact, I was on the fence if I would even do a long run that week. As much as I love marathon training, that’s one of the downsides of being in (nearly) continuously training-mode. You run the risk of feeling over trained and unmotivated; I’ve accepted that this is a very normal part of the process and don’t beat myself up *too much* for having these thoughts.

The Winterman race is a long standing event that runs annually in February. For the past few years the temperatures have been -20ºC, or colder. In fact, last year the event was cancelled. The event begins at the Canadian War Museum and does an out and back loop along the Sir John A. Parkway. In theory, this is a great training race. The route includes two hills that runners hit four times per loop, and is run almost primarily on the road. There is about a 500m loop on the sidewalk at the War Museum. That said, it has historically been known to be covered in snow, salt and ice. To be expected with a name like Winterman, I suppose.

Race Day. We missed the race registration online, so we sent my Dad over to register us at 6:30AM on the morning of. I really do have the best Dad. I was sitting on the couch drinking coffee when he came back to with our bibs and ankle chips. Ok, so this is really happening. While I wasn’t planning for this to be a PB race, I expected a 1:4x, preferably on the lower side. The day before the race we were in Montreal visiting my sister and brother-in-law and were walking around downtown all day. Seeing that this was not a race I was planning for, I didn’t fuss with my normal pre-race routines. I’ll JFR, was the plan.

I live conveniently close to the start, so Mom and I walked over 28 minutes before the start. It was a beautiful day and I was truly happy I decided to run this race. After running the majority of my long runs on the treadmill, I was desperate to remind these legs that we gearing up to run fast outside. The goal is the Shamrock Marathon, after all.

The race begins. Wow this crowd is moving fast. I quickly realize that the vast majority of the participants were running a 5K or a relay. Just like in a marathon, the course always clears out once the 5-10K'ers are gone. As always, I repeat not to get ahead of myself. I encounter the first of the rolling hills and I am reminded of how many times I’ve run this stretch before. Today I will be running it 8 times (4 loops, out and back). Oh joy. UP AND OVER.

4:58, 4:53, 4:45, 4:54, 4:45

It would be great to be in top 5, I think. Then remind myself that this is a training run, no pressure today. Keep your head. I take a Hammer Gel around 10K. I’ve been using GenUCan lots in my training, but I’ve decided that gels are easier to use on the race course. I used this race as a practice run for my stomach. Thankfully, no issues!

4:49, 4:57, 4:57, 4:46, 5:01

After the second loop, I tell myself we are on the penultimate loop. I smile thinking of my coach saying this to us as we run around the track. I know that this is the point in the race/workout that matters. Over the years this is one area that I’m proud of. I often use the second half of a race or hard work out to prove to myself how badly I want it. That said, this doesn’t make the running part easier, especially with these darn hills. I clear my mind and tell myself we are in the home stretch. I see my mom and a few familiar faces and give a thumbs up. This gives me a boost (it always does).

4:56, 5:00, 5:16, 4:58, 5:01

Alright. Last loop. I’m feeling good and almost giddy thinking that my long run is ONLY 21.1K. This is what marathon training does to you (we are a crazy bunch). I know that next week I have a 36K ahead of me. As I run the final kilometre, I am reminded why I love racing. I love the final push of a race where your mind truly does run the body. As a peel around the corner, I see my Dad and our dog Tucker standing there. While it wasn’t a PB, this was a great run.

4:47, 5:09, 5:10, 5:06, 5:00, 4:42

1:44:35

18/100 overall

3/43 females

1/6 F30-34

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQvcA_jhY9R/?taken-by=thepacinglife

Have you run a last minute race? 

Did you run a race this winter? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

A letter to #MyFutureSelf

New Balance Canada has launched an initiative that gives runners an opportunity to write a letter to your future self about aspirations in sport and life. You can submit a letter to yourself here. In approximately one year, New Balance will send the letter back to you through a unique time capsule initiative. Make sure to include the hashtags #MyFutureSelf and #iRunMagazine for a chance to have your letter in an upcoming iRun edition! When I saw this initiative, I was intrigued. However, I didn't realize how much of an impact actually writing the letter would have. I highly encourage you to write one.

Here is my letter. 

Jayme,

Look how far you have come. In 2008 you ran your first marathon in 5:38. You were never going to do that again. Running was hard. Training was hard. Why do people do this? You carried on. Remember that feeling when you first broke 2:00 in the half marathon, and then 4:00 in the marathon. I want you to smile when you think about these milestone moments. They always seemed like an impossible hurdle at the time. Yet, you proved you could do it. Now you are training to qualify for Boston. You will get there. Never underestimate the power of a dream.

Look how far you have come. Running at one point in time used to be for a number on a scale. You hated your body and saw running as a way to punish yourself. You were chasing a perfection that could not be defined. Over time, running became more. Running turned into redemption, not punishment. Don’t EVER take the gift of running for granted. Be grateful daily.

Look how far you’ve come. You are in a good place. The demons that used to eat you inside are no longer in control. You still have to work on things (everyone does), but you are strong. Running is still hard, but the daily challenge is something you crave. See this letter as a reminder. A reminder that running has changed your life for the better. You are motivated to run because running makes you strong mentally and physically. You train hard, so that you know come race day You Are Ready. The early morning runs, the hours spent outdoors, never quitting. This is why you run.

#MyFutureSelf #iRunMagazine

-Yourself

Have you wrote a letter to your future self? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava.

 

30 minute strength routine

I've kicked 2017 off with a FRESH strength training routine. New workouts always excite me and help to keep things interesting. Over the years, especially as I've started to run more, I've dabbled in a variety of strength training routines. I've done IronStrength, a mishmash of Runner's World, Women's Running, and crossfit workouts, to Kayla Itsines BBG program. You get the picture. I aim to keep my strength training to 30 minutes or less. This allows me to fit it in post-run. I break the week into UPPER BODY and LOWER BODY days, and have also included some YOGA. I also roll my legs out daily with my Roll Recovery. After my achilles injury this summer, I've been taking my strength and recovery routine seriously. I now MAKE TIME for it, rather than doing it when I had extra time. Schedule your priorities. So without further ado, here is my current strength training plan. I've included a link to a demonstration video for each exercise.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday = LOWER BODY

Tuesday, Thursday = CORE + UPPER BODY

Saturday, Sunday (Monday/Friday) = YOGA 

LOWER BODY

Single Leg Deadlift 3 x10 (currently using 10 lbs)

Lunges with Dumbbell 3 x 10 (currently using 10 lbs x 2)

Squat with Dumbbell (currently using 15 lbs)

Single leg Calf Raises with Dumbbell 30 reps to start (currently at 50 reps, 10b dumbbells x 2)

Hamstring Curls with machine 3 x 10 (currently using 50 lbs)

Leg Extension with machine 3 x 10 (currently using 50 lbs)

CORE + UPPER BODY

Classic Plank (currently at 3:00 minutes)

Russian Twist 25 each side (50 reps total)

Scorpion 25 each side (50 reps total)

Spiderman 25 each side

Back Extension on Ball 3 x 12

Jackknife on Ball 3 x 12

Lateral Side Raises* 3 x 12 (currently using 5 lbs x 2)

Shoulder Military Presses* 3 x 12 (currently using 5 lbs x 2)

Bicep Dumbbell Curls 3 x 12 (currently using 10 lbs x 2)

*Start with very low weight. It's really easy to get a shoulder injury if increasing weight + poor form (been there, done that).

YOGA 

I've been going to my local yoga studio once or twice a week. In an effort to be more consistent, I'm giving Jasyoga a try! It's an online yoga-for-runners platform with a ton of selection targetting runners needs. Ideally, I will fit in 2-3 yoga sessions a week. This may be ambitious, but you know I love a challenge.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions! 

Do you have a go-to strength training routine? 

Have you tried online yoga? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

2016.

I sit here writing my 2016 recap with a full heart. 2016 was a special year. For many reasons. Some that I will share and others that do not require recognition on my blog. From running to my personal and business life, we covered a lot of ground this year. I will try to keep this concise {but can't promise anything}. I do. September 24, 2016, will forever be the best day ever. Our wedding took place in Ottawa on a perfect fall day. We had so many family and friends (including many in our bridal party) travel great lengths to celebrate our special day with us. From the morning 5K run with one of my bridesmaids, to getting ready with my crew (who made me feel so beautiful), to the ceremony at our Church, the photos with the talented Amanda Urbanski, the flowers (and much more) from Blue Thistle Florist, to the reception, dinner and dance party with our nearest + dearest family and friends at Mill Street, everything was perfect. This day is a big part of why 2016 was so special. ♡

Trip of a lifetime. We left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding. We flew to Rome from Ottawa and spent four days exploring the city. We then boarded a ship in Civitavecchia, that sailed from southern Italy, to Greece, to Turkey and back. We saw and experienced so much on that trip. Our day in Kuşadası, Turkey was one of my favourite days of the year.

In Ephesus, Turkey

Athens, Greece, with the Acropolis in the background

Two more marathons. I ran my 13th and 14th marathons this year: the Ottawa Marathon (recap) in May; and the Hamilton Marathon (recap) in November. I learned and grew a whole lot while training for these races. Despite an achilles issue in the summer (a huge thank you to my teammate and physiotherapist, Joey, for helping me through that injury), I shaved 13 minutes off my marathon time in 2016 + I'm that much closer to Boston.

The difference between 2015 and 2016 for my running really boils down to one thing: confidence. Thanks to my running coaches (Ken + OAC Racing Team and Lindsey), I have matured as a runner and know what I can expect from myself. I no longer define my training and race plans with what ifs. I look back on the 3,157 kilometres that I ran in 2016 and know that I showed up in running this year. I now run easy runs faster than what my tempo runs used to be. And to think that used to be "impossible"...

As part of joining the OAC Racing Team in the spring, the 2016 Ottawa Marathon's Team Awesome, and connecting through social media with runners from all over the globe (some turned "real life" friends!), I am so grateful for the running community and am reminded daily as to why this sport means so much to me.

With Mom + Dad after qualifying for Chicago at the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon

More distance covered with friends

Workouts down by the river with the OAC Racing Team

Emilie's Run with the OAC Racing Team

More treadmill kilometres

Coaching business. I am a firm believer that if you have a burning desire to do something, you should do just that. A year or so ago I started thinking about starting my own coaching business. This year I have taken steps to realize that goal, including getting my coaching certification through the North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals. I am looking forward to formally launching my business in Spring 2017, and am literally bursting with excitement for the possibilities. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be lots of action on this front in 2017. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I would love to connect with you on Facebook! Like The Pacing Life's page here.

Run Ottawa Board of Directors. As an active member of the Ottawa running community, including my involvement with Run Ottawa in 2015 and 2016, I decided to seek nomination to the Run Ottawa Board of Directors. As of November, I am very pleased to be serving as a two-year Board member and look forward to being a part the continued success and growth of the Run Ottawa events and run club.

Run Ottawa Board of Directors

 

Salty Running. I joined the Salty Running team! Salty Running covers all things running and is focused on female runners who have big dreams. Our readers are people who are serious about their running and I am honoured to work with the talented group of ladies behind the site. As the first Canadian contributor on the site, I naturally chose Maple as my online persona. You can see my introduction here and my first article on Lanni Marchant.

Collect memories, not things. 2016 was also full of many mementos from time spent with friends, including trips to DC and Montreal. As I get older, I am more and more grateful for my people. The lazy mornings, the late nights, the LOLs - I couldn't do life without you.

Fun nights with good friends

In D.C., with two of my favourite people

In Montreal at the Atwater Market in spring

The best sister in the world {and my Maid of Honour}

Wishing you all the best in 2017! ♡

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

#24daysofplankmas

Join me over the next three weeks for the #24DAYSOFPLANKMAS! I created this challenge to help us stay accountable over the holiday season and to improve our core strength. I don't know about you, but I am 100% more likely to do something if I made a commitment to it. This daily challenge encourages you to plank EVERY day. Whether you are running that day or not, plank for at least 30 seconds. Each day we will try to add a few seconds (try for 5). Post your photos to instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #24daysofplankmas!

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Have you done a challenge before? What was it?

#24DAYSOFPLANKMAS - you in? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Why not now

The other night I was laying in bed with my mind wide awake. For better or worse, I often do a lot of thinking before falling asleep. While I'm often pretty good at keeping myself in check, on this particular night I was thinking about possible what ifs, many of them not the good what ifs if you catch my drift. What if it doesn't work, what if I really can't do XX, what if they don't like me, what if I'm not good enough... Do you ever find you think about all the reasons something won't work, before it's even happened? Many of these reasons are fictional, of course. There are times that doubt and what ifs have convinced me to play small. To downplay my achievements, or convince myself that something (whether it's in running, professional, or personal life) could never possibly happen. The worst feeling is the regret of knowing you've played small for no other reason than your own self doubt.

It's easy to focus on the failures; one failure can overshadow 100 successes. I read something the other day that talked about the story in your head. You either work with a narrative that supports an abundance of success, or you trap yourself with a limiting story, "I can't do that because..., I'll never be good enough because..." All too often we buy into a story that doesn't positively serve us.

Stop that.

I think we all can use a little reminder to go for it and ask ourselves: why not now? We too often put things off and wait around for some day when we are "ready" (you will never be) and the conditions will be perfect (they will never be). Why not focus on all the reasons why it will work? You are always once decision away from a totally different life.

What are you doing TODAY that will take you closer to achieving your dream?

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I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Let's go

img_6691Next Sunday I will run my 14th marathon and my third Hamilton Marathon. I know I can run this distance. That's not the issue, nor has it ever been. What I've been thinking more and more about, is how the race will unfold. As you know, I am on the quest to qualify for Boston. I am also on the quest for the perfect race day. I don't want to get too excited about the forecast, but I will say things are looking promising. Time to see what's possible. Let's go. This week, I will continue my taper and be focusing on mentally getting *there*. I had a couple of not-so-great workouts this past week, but no one said the road to 42.2 would be a smooth ride (if it was, everyone would do it). I've been working hard to squash some pre-race doubt demons. They're always lurking in there. I remind myself of the work I've done. I remember those multiple 36Ks. Keep your head up. Let's go. 

I have three runs planned this week and a few yoga classes in the evening. I will begin carb loading on Thursday and will be trading in my higher fat meals for higher carbs. Sweet potato, rice, bananas, oh my. I fly to Toronto on Friday and will head to the expo that afternoon. Saturday I plan to chill out at my parents and do a shakeout in the morning. We will likely head into Niagara on the Lake for coffee, but other than that, my legs will be up. Keep it simple. Let's go.

It's too early to say what my A,B, and C goals for this race will be. But, I will say that I plan to run the distance faster than I have ever before. I am ready to settle into the uncomfortable, knowing there are no shortcuts to Boston. Hamilton Marathon race week, LET'S GO.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

 

Army Run 2016 pre-race thoughts

img_7830 ...and just like that, the 2016 Army Run is upon us. This will be my sixth Army Run and I will admit, I've had little time to over think this one. I recall last year being really focused on this race. I was ready for a PR (and missed by a minute). In contrast, I am using this years Army Run as a training run and have no idea what's in store for Sunday.

After getting over the worst of my Achilles issues, this past month has been focused on regaining my mileage. Surprisingly, I've been able to pepper my training with a handful of very strong longer runs. I credit my mind for some of this, as I've basically refused to count myself out for the Hamilton Marathon in November.

So back to Sunday, I plan to go out there and nestle into my goal marathon pace. I will see how I feel along the way and adjust as needed. Post-race, I will be pleased with the result "finished without any pain," with the benefit of a "race environment" tempo run. Do I think I will PR (~1:41), who knows. Do I care? Not really. This is not my A Race. I am just thrilled to be running after being sidelined six weeks ago.

I am also reflecting that the first time I ran this race I ran it in a 2:16. I now run half marathons comfortably in the 1:4x-range, and could probably gun for a sub -1:40 on a good day. I don't say that to brag, but simply to highlight that anything is possible.

In other news, I've started to read Matt Fitzgerald's book, How Bad Do You Want It. I am only a couple chapters in, but I am loving it so far. It is reinforcing my belief that the MIND RUNS THE BODY.

"Sure, it was just a race, but sports are really not separate from life, nor is the athlete distinct from the person. In mastering my fear of suffering in races, I acquired a greater level of respect for myself, a sense of inner strength that has helped me tackle other challenges, both inside and outside sports." -Matt Fitzgerald

If you are racing on Sunday, I hope you have a great race. If you are chasing dreams out there, I encourage you to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. When the going gets tough, remember, the MIND TELLS THE BODY WHAT TO DO. Get it.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagramStrava and Salty Running

Updates on running & coaching

IMG_1638Thursday marked exactly two weeks since I had to sit out a workout. These past two weeks have been focused on rest and recovery. I knew that in order to continue training for PRs in the fall, I could not afford to let my achilles get worse. With the help of my chiropractor, physiotherapist, yoga and a stationary bike, I am happy to be easing my way back into training. With eleven weeks to go until he Hamilton Marathon, I'm focused on getting to race day strong and ready. To do this, I will continue practicing yoga, doing strength exercises prescribed by my physiotherapist, and listening to my body. The two weeks off reminded me how much running is a part of my life. In order to avoid a future injury, I will have to pay better attention.

In other news, I am loving every minute of the Olympic coverage. From the marathon to the 800m, it is so inspiring to watch the athletes compete and fulfill their dreams. Last night was the final for the 800m. Melissa Bishop ran such a brave race! It was tough to see her finish 4th, but it was a Canadian record nonetheless.

I wanted to provide you with an update on my North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals (NAASFP) Marathon Coach certification. I completed the first phase, a 100 question multiple choice exam, last Sunday. It was tougher than I expected, but I am very pleased to say I passed! Candidates require 80% or better to pass, so I'm very pleased with the result. The next step are my Case Study and my First Aid and CPR certification.

STEP TWO: Case Study  The Case Study provides the candidate with an opportunity to demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge necessary to successfully coach prior to working with a live client.  The candidate is given some basic necessary information on the prospective client including goals.  Based on this information the candidate will design a training program to help the client to achieve his or her goal.  A score of 80% or better is required for a pass.

STEP THREE: First Aid and CPR Certification  Maintaining First Aid and CPR certification is a requirement of certification with NAASFP and critical for working safely with clients.  In order to proceed with the Practical component the candidate must have completed this step and submitted a copy of the certificate to NAASFP.

The final and fourth step is working with a NAASFP master trainer to develop a plan for a volunteer athlete for a marathon. Ideally, I will have steps two and three done by January in order to train my athlete for a spring marathon. Onwards!

https://twitter.com/thepacinglife/status/766652365831278592

What has been your favourite Olympic moment? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Do things.

I've been thinking about this post for a while. I write many posts in my head. Some stay there, some get started, and some (only some) lead to me pressing publish. I'm writing to tell you a bit about my plans with running and my DREAM BIG DREAM of becoming a running coach. I've decided to blog about this journey in the event it helps someone one day in realizing their own dream or in becoming a certified coach. This is a story of acting on dreams, taking a leap of faith, and crossing out the possibilities of future what ifs. Let's back up a moment. Two weeks ago I announced on Twitter I was enrolling in a coaching certification course. Becoming a coach has been my goal for sometime now. The love I have for running and seeing others accomplish their goals drives me immensely in this journey. After having benefited tremendously from having a coach of my own, it feels very right for me to be on this path.

https://twitter.com/thepacinglife/status/755692104597200896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

I've given a lot of thought to this decision. I recognize there are many courses out there, and I also realize you certainly don't need a certification to be a coach. But, me being me, wants to get certified. After researching extensively all the running coaching certifications out there (there are more than you think), I've decided to get certified through the North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals (NAASFP). The intensive course will leave me with the Marathon Coach (MC) credentials. The NAASFP course appealed to me as it was more than just your run of the mill weekend course. It is a course that combines theory and practice and will provide me with the necessary foundation in becoming a worthy coach for runners of all backgrounds.

There are four phases to the Marathon Coach certification. As outlined on the NAASFP website:

STEP ONE: Written Exam The exam is a comprehensive 100-question, 3-hour challenge of the principles found in the course material.  Candidates register for a scheduled exam date and time.  The exam is posted on-line for the scheduled three hours.  Candidates may reference course material during the exam, but a thorough knowledge of the material is necessary to complete all questions within the time limitation. Immediately upon completion the exam answers must be submitted electronically to NAASFP. A score of 80% or better is required for a pass.

STEP TWO: Case Study  The Case Study provides the candidate with an opportunity to demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge necessary to successfully coach prior to working with a live client.  The candidate is given some basic necessary information on the prospective client including goals.  Based on this information the candidate will design a training program to help the client to achieve his or her goal.  A score of 80% or better is required for a pass.

STEP THREE: First Aid and CPR Certification  Maintaining First Aid and CPR certification is a requirement of certification with NAASFP and critical for working safely with clients.  In order to proceed with the Practical component the candidate must have completed this step and submitted a copy of the certificate to NAASFP.

STEP FOUR: Practical  The Practical is the opportunity to work with an actual client while the guidance of a Master Trainer is available electronically.  The candidate finds the client and signs them up, gaining permission to have the client’s information released to NAASFP for monitoring.  The candidate will design a full and monitor a program that must be a minimum of 18 weeks and appropriate for the client’s goal, factoring in their current fitness level.

Step One is currently scheduled for August 14th. After completing my masters degree in 2009, I never thought I would be saying that I'm heading back to the world of text books and studying. That said, I could not be happier (in fact, I am SO far over the moon). I look forward to keeping you updated on this journey and will one day be honoured if you considered working with me to reach your own running goals. For now, I will leave you with this excerpt from a book I read a little while ago.

"...because chasing the dream in your head looks surprisingly like work. Don't just stand there. You are good at something for a reason. The timing is never right. Forget that. It rarely falls into your lap. You are probably not guaranteed success. But off you go because we were not created to stand still, even though that is safe and familiar and you are guaranteed never to fall or stumble or grow weary. We were made to run." - Jen Hatmaker, For the Love

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

You are entirely up to you

Unlike past marathons, I decided this time around I would incorporate a couple 36K long runs in my training for the Hamilton Marathon. The point in the marathon I've always struggled with is 32K and beyond. My thinking is that by training in these higher distances, my legs won't be as shocked when I get there come race day. My first 36K was on my schedule for Saturday. In the past year, my long run pace has ranged from 5:45-5:25, with only a few runs being on the fast end of that range. That said, I've been having many ah-ha! moments in my running these past few months, and deep down know that I can run faster. On Friday, I played around with my pace calculator. I wanted to see what a faster paced long run would feel like. I decided that 5:08-5:10 would be my target range.

Saturday morning, I woke up to a hot and humid forecast. 90 percent humidity and temperatures climbing aggressively with each hour. That's ok, I thought, I would be leaving the house before 7:00 am and stripped down to the least amount of clothing I could get away with. I decided not to carry water or bring my phone, and planned a route that would take me by multiple water fountains. My first 10K ranged from 5:17-5:06. I was aiming to run a bit slower, but my legs were feeling good.

I ran along the Rideau Canal, where the Ottawa Triathlon 2016 Canadian Championships were underway. I  cheered for athletes as they raced by and thought to myself how much I LOVE race days, even if they are not my own. I took a hammer gel around 12K and 25K and made perfect timing with passing a water fountain at those times. My second 10K ranged from 5:12-5:02. Body and mind feeling great. Playlist on point.

I looped around the Rideau Canal twice. I decided that running alongside a triathlon race was better scenery then the out and back I had planned into New Edinburgh. Lucky for me, I ran into a few of my teammates and ran the last 10K with them. Final 10K ranged from 5:26-4:50, with the final 3K being 5:15, 5:08, 4:50.

Saturday's long run was a huge milestone for me. I proved to myself that I could run long distances at a faster pace, and to be honest, I felt like I could have kept going. While I'm pleased that my body held up, what is more important is that I proved to myself that I am capable. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BINQ0dMDPuB/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

What ah-ha moments have you had lately? 

Do you run your long runs slow-er or fast-er? 

Check out my recent posts in Salty Running:

Five reasons to run with faster runners

Training log for the week of July 17th

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profileLet me know!

Dream it. Believe it.

On Friday night I had the pleasure of speaking to a Running Room clinic on the topic of goal-setting. I spoke about 5 steps to successful goal setting that have worked in my life. It also gave me a chance to reflect on my own running goals and how I plan to achieve them. Specifically, I have set the goal to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon. Boston has been my BIG DREAM since the 2012 Paris Marathon, when I started to realize I could run faster.  Since then, I have taken 50 minutes off my half marathon and about 35 minutes off my marathon time. That said, there's more work to be done. My current marathon PR is 3:55. That means I have about 25 minutes to saw off. I am planning to run the Hamilton Road 2 Hope Marathon in November 2016, the Ottawa Marathon in spring 2017 and likely the Hamilton Road 2 Hope in fall 2017. Wouldn't it be cool if I BQ'd before fall 2017? Sure. But I want to give myself a realistic timeline to achieve this goal.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHTDa1RDA4g/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

5 steps to successful goal setting 

1. Have one REALLY big goal.

If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. As someone who ran their first marathon in 5 hours and 40 minutes, Boston was once unthinkable to me. With time and progress, I've realized that anything is possible if you work hard and believe. I've stopped thinking that Boston is some far out dream and know without a doubt that I will run that race. When it's -30ºC and dark outside, I get out of bed because I know how incredible it will feel when I run from Hopkinson to Boston.

2. Be specific.

Some goals need to be more specific than others. For me, this has meant giving myself a timeframe to achieve my long-standing Boston goal. I have given myself a year and a half and will be specific with training and race planning to benchmark progression. As of right now, I am training for a 3:43 in Hamilton this fall. Yes, "43".

3. Write it down.

I will continue to track my progress on my own google spread sheet, Strava and work out journal. I can't stress enough how important it is to have a record of your progress. Not all days will be rainbows, my training logs will remind me of the work I have done and progress I have made. I am also a fan of goal boards and having subtle reminders of what I'm working towards sprinkled around my day to day (e.g., pictures and post-it notes at work, at home).

4. Find someone to keep you accountable.

I am blessed beyond measure and have many supportive people in my life. Specifically, my family and close friends are aware of my goal and I can trust them to hold me accountable. I also use social media as a way to keep myself accountable for workouts and share my progress. I also love to connect with and follow the stories of people chasing their own goals!

5. Have a positive mindset.

As I said above, I've transformed my thinking from "could I qualify?" to "when I qualify." I pay close attention to my thoughts and focus on keeping them positive and productive. I also find it's helpful to have a few mantras and key phrases that help me refocus when I'm in a rut or in a tough workout.

What big goals are you working towards? What's something that helps you stay committed?

Check out my recent posts in Salty Running:

So you want to run a Canadian Marathon, eh?

Lanni Marchant's marathon to the Rio Olympics

Training log for the week of July 4, 2016.

Training log for the week of June 27, 2016.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profileLet me know!

Post-Ottawa Marathon Update

Life post-Ottawa Marathon has been carrying on. It's funny in the lead up to the race, everything else just seemed like it could wait. Now that I'm here, I've found myself in a busy season, both in personal and professional life. Perhaps it's because I sub-conciously deferred decisions post-May 29th

I’ve had a chance to reflect more on the race. I'm comfortable how things unfolded on race day, and more importantly, I'm pleased what the last training cycle has set me up to accomplish going forward. I took a recovery week after the race and have started running again. I'm going to take June as a maintenance month, with one 5K race planned (Emilie's Run). I'm back running with my OAC Racing gals and will use those as my two speed workouts for the week.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGeShAmCbYe/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

Admittedly, after the race my mind has quickly wandered to what's next. This is a character trait of mine, for better or worse. Once I clear what I consider to be the hurdle, the wheels start turning as to what's next. While I could probably benefit from a bit more down time, I find myself launching into new projects, chasing the next dream. For now I have registered for the Army Run Half Marathon in September, a week before our wedding. I plan to then enjoy our Wedding Day and honeymoon (i.e., 2 weeks OFF) to the fullest.

If I do decide on running a fall marathon, it will likely be the Hamilton Road 2 Hope Marathon. Third time is a charm. As I mentioned, I will use my two OAC Racing Team workouts as my speed work and aim to run more long runs with the group. My body responded very well to an increase in mileage in the lead up to Ottawa, so I may try to test those limits again this summer. I mean, what else does one do on a Saturday morning?

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In terms of goals, I'm still committed to that 3:4x I know I have in me. In order to get there, I am planning to be more focused with my long runs, including a bit more race pace and longer distance (e.g., 36km LR). For my past two marathons, my highest mileage was a couple 32-35km runs for Hamilton and a couple 32-33km runs for Ottawa. Meaning that come race day, anything past that distance was unchartered territory. I would like to see what a couple longer runs will translate into.

What are your summer plans?

How did your spring races go?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running storyin Canadian Running MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profileLet me know!

Race recap: Run for Reach 2016

I planned to use the Run for Reach Half Marathon as a training race for Ottawa Marathon. The annual race is put on by Reach Canada, a national charity that supports people with disabilities. I ran it in 2013, six weeks before the Ottawa Marathon that year, and got my half marathon PB. It’s a fairly flat course and is an out and back loop along the Rideau Canal, a portion of the Ottawa Marathon route. It also happens to be a route I run quite frequently. With the race on Sunday morning, Saturday was a pretty low key day. I completed a 20 minute shakeout run on Saturday morning, then ran some errands (including picking up my race kit at the Bank Street Running Room). G entertained my appetite for Whole Foods for lunch. Salad bar, grilled salmon and ginger GT’s Kombucha FTW. We had a chill evening, as I was going to be up early in order to get to the start before 8:00.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BD_TnajCbfP/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

The morning of the race I woke up around 5:45 am. I couldn’t sleep any longer. I wasn’t nervous, but there’s something about race mornings that just wake you up. I drank my coffee and sat on my computer for a bit. By 6:45 am I started nibbling on my Picky Bar and sipped on some Nuun. I left the house by 7:20 am and ran to the race start (about 2.5 km).

As I stood at the start line, I really wasn’t nervous. I looked around and overheard many comments about how cold it wast (-9ºC). Interesting, I thought to myself, after running outside for the past three months, this was what I consider to be a beautiful day.

Ultimately, I just wanted to get the show on the road. There were about 115 participants in the half marathon and another 100 or so in the 5 and 10km. The 10km started with the half marathon, which meant I knew the course would thin after they finished.

My race plan was to run a negative split (faster second half of the race). I’ll be honest with you, this has been a unicorn I’ve been chasing for a while. While everyone knows that in theory running a strong negative split  is ideal, it’s a hard task to execute. It means you have to really reign it in those first few kilometres, when you’re feeling fresh and could easily run fast.

Kilometre 1-5 I repeated to myself 4:55-5:00. I hung with a group of guys and let them do the pacing work. The guy who seemed to be leading the pack was running a consistent 5:00. I told myself that this was my warm up. YOU WILL STAY HERE.

By 6km, I told myself that we could start working the pace down. Reminding myself constantly that I am running my OWN RACE and not to get spooked by the people passing me (as I suspected, they were finishing at 10km). I reminded myself that I would be in a STRONG position for the second half of the race. That would be where the fun began. I took a Hammer Espresso Gel between kilometre 8-9 (good practice for Ottawa Marathon, I’m planning to take them in 45 minute intervals).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEBnU6dCbZ7/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

I made it to the turnaround (the 10km finish) and let myself push it a bit more. My coach had told me that the half marathon is supposed to hurt, but it doesn’t hurt forever. You should be in control by the second half of the race. I was. The pace felt good.  My legs were responding and I knew I had more left in the tank.

At 15km, the last turnaround of the race, I told myself GO TIME.  The plan was to run a negative split and this was the part of the plan where the race would be won. The last 6km is where you reap the benefits of your controlled race plan. My legs were feeling great. I had a great soundtrack in my ears and the sun was shining.

With 3km left I was doing the math in my head. I knew I was going to PR that day. My coach had told me 1:41 was a challenging but very realistic goal. That would put me over two minutes faster than my PB of 1:43. I can’t emphasize how badly I wanted to PR on Sunday. Reflecting more on the race, there was a big difference between my PB there three years ago and this year. Three years ago, my 1:43:57 felt like a fluke. Although it was GREAT, I legitimately surprised myself back in 2013. Back then, I just started being able to run what I considered to be fast.

Sunday’s PB meant even more to me. It wasn’t a fluke at all. I had no doubt in my mind what I was capable of (even on tired legs). I knew I had put in the work. While the half marathon really was a training race for Ottawa, I’m so freaking happy with Sunday’s result.

time

DOUBT KILLS MORE DREAMS THAN FAIILURE EVER WILL.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEGUncoCbQf/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

Has doubt held you back from something lately?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.

Anything worth doing

We watched The Barkley Marathons yesterday on Netflix. I highly recommend this documentary for runners and non-runners alike. The movie is about one of the hardest ultra marathons that takes place each year in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. Since 1986, just 14 people have managed to complete the 130 mile race. You have to watch it to understand what it's all about. One of the key messages of the movie was anything worth doing is not going to be easy. The message lingered with me. I was thinking about my own running journey and goals. Naturally, my mind went to my DREAM BIG goal of running Boston one day. I think about that often, actually. Not in a "I will be devastated each time I do not qualify," kind of way, but rather knowing how sweet it will feel when I run 42.2km from Hopkinton to Boston. I will get there one day.

For now, I'm in the peak of my Ottawa Marathon training. Getting up before the crack of dawn and pushing through each workout is about much more than just completing the race. I have so much fire in me to run a strong race. To know how hard I worked in the past 21 weeks will make the feeling (which I can't justly put into words) at the finish line worth it. To finish smiling, knowing that I laid it all out there. Marathons are always special to finish. But the more I give to my training and to running in general, the more I get back. Running is generous like that.

@OttawaMarathon tweeted this the other week. It captures the moment I play in my mind often. I get chills thinking about it. I've completed the race many times before, but each time I run the home stretch is different.

https://twitter.com/OttawaMarathon/status/706938481315074048

As I look ahead to the next 9 weeks, I'm going to focus on enjoying the process. I know that anything worth doing is going to take time. I'm not rushing to get to race day. I will find joy in the sweat, aching muscles and early mornings. This hard work, this dedication, this is what will make the 2016 Ottawa Marathon so special.

If you a training for a spring race, I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on what you've accomplished so far. The prize is in the process.

Have you watched a good running movie lately?

Have you run an ultra marathon? 

Fear

fear ˈfir/noun
an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

There are many things in running and life that seem too big to overcome. Whether that's a long run, a fast pace, starting your own business, learning a new language, or going for a new job. All of these things put us outside our comfort zone. Fear often greets us in our journey and tells us we'll never get to our destination.

While I'm pretty good at keeping the doubt demons at bay, there are times I find myself casting shadows on my plans. To the point that I wonder, why am I doing X anyways? It's very easy to start questioning your ability to achieve a big goal.

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I was listening to a podcast on my run the other day and the topic of doubt was being discussed. My takeaway was simple: the doubt, the fear and any other friction faced in achieving your goals are simply barking dogs. Now hear me out....

You tell yourself your goal time is impossible? Barking dog. Someone tells you that "too much running is bad for you"? Barking dog. You think, there's already so many X-type of businesses; what would make mine different? Barking dog. Someone tells you you're not ready for that job? Barking dog. ALL of that doubt, ALL of that fear, ALL of that "it's impossible": these are all barking dogs.

The thing about dogs, is that they bark when you walk by and they are tied upon a leash. They KNOW you are going somewhere that they are not. They bark because they want to come with you (or for you to stay behind). DO NOT DWELL ON BARKING DOGS. Keep walking.

I'll leave you with one of my all time favourite quotes. I discovered this quote many years ago. It never get's old.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” -Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

What barking dogs are in your life?

I'd love to hear from you! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.

Thoughts from Niagara & Canadian Running article

I spent the weekend at my parents in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The days were full of non-running related events, but that didn’t prevent me from getting my long run in on Saturday morning. Frankly, I wouldn’t miss a long run in Niagara for the world. I had 27km on the schedule. After last week’s 32km (half outside in the rain & slush, and half on the mill), I knew this run, on one of my favourite routes, was going to be a piece of cake. I got up early, had my coffee and was out the door around 7:30am. The temperature was ideal. I was wearing a long sleeve top, light vest, leggings, and I was set. I left the subdivision where my parents live, and made a beeline for the country roads. For those of you who are not familiar with Niagara-on-the-Lake, this is wine country. Vineyards for miles. I smile just thinking of it. I have a few places that are special to my heart, and this is one of them.

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I listened to podcasts for the first 13.5k, which took me into Queenston, past the Brock Monument and the historical home of Laura Secord. I had a Hammer gel at 9km. At the turn around I switch to my music, which gave me an extra boost.

I knew that I was pacing steadily in the 5:40s for the first half of my run. With negative splits being an area I’m working on, I decided I’d try to pick it up for the last half, all the while remaining within my assigned pace range for the day (5:30-6:00).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCS8ZiuCbQY/?taken-by=thepacinglife

As I ran back, the memory of me running the Niagara Ultra Trail Marathon on this route in 2013 flooded back to me. I got emotional for a second. I told myself to get it together, we were negative split-ing today. Despite my efforts, I revisited memories I haven't thought about in a while. That marathon was the race I ran six weeks after finishing the 2013 Ottawa Marathon in a {disappointing at the time4:02. I had placed a lot of pressure on myself for Ottawa and thought I could have done better; so I registered for Niagara (do what I say NOT WHAT I DO). I ended up finishing Niagara in {an even more disappointing at the time} 4:34.

https://www.instagram.com/p/a1s9w_ibYj/?taken-by=thepacinglife

I look back on this now and laugh. I was so impatient with myself. Running a fast-to-you marathon takes time. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but combining my overtraining and {lack of} training plan, I wasn’t exactly working with a recipe for success. Running has taught me to appreciate and ENJOY the process. Nothing worth having comes to fruition over night. 

With these thoughts in my head, I carried on. I was running directly into a head wind, and I kept being reminded of the head wind I ran into the first half of the Hamilton Marathon. I told myself to suck it up and get going. I had ten kilometres left and you never know what’ll greet you on race day.

17) 5:34 18) 5:34 19) 5:26 20) 5:32 21) 5:24 22) 5:34 23) 5:33 24) 5:34 25) 5:29 26) 5:49 27) 5:32

I finished strong. I stuck with the plan and the distance ticked off. That's the nice thing about country roads. You loose yourself in the landscape. It felt like I had just started, and here I was getting back home. Thank you Niagara for another successful long run. If it’s possible for a route to replenish the soul, this route would be it. 

What’s your favourite rural route?

In other news, my running story was published in Canadian Running Magazine, Canada's premier running publication. I was so thrilled to see this last night. Thank you Canadian Running and Noel Paine for selecting me for this honour! You can read the article here.

http://runningmagazine.ca/getting-back-running-vowing-never/

Connect with Canadian Running Magazine on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Connect with Noel Paine on Twitter and check out more of his articles with Canadian Running Magazine here.

Mental strength on the treadmill

Ottawa has been covered in ice and snow for the past couple of weeks. For runners, this means risking it with the ice, or finding your nearest treadmill. Thankfully there’s one downstairs in my building’s gym. Even despite my efforts to get outdoors, I've ended up returning early with water logged shoes and having to get on the mill for final umpteen km of my long runs. Ugh. IMG_3180

Treadmill running can be a mental challenge. There’s no change in the scenery, and your staring at the same place in the wall/out the window for unimaginable amounts of time. Over the years, I’ve managed this by watching movies, listening to podcasts, playing with the speed/incline to keep things interesting.

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I also do a lot of thinking on the mill. It’s hard to ignore yourself, when you’re running in the same spot for a while. My thoughts wonder from day-to-day things (what am I going to put in my post-run shake, what will I wear today), to deeper things depending on what’s going on at the time. It’s much harder to tune out and just run.

I’ve been using this time on the treadmill to work on my mental strength. One of my runs this past week was a 12k tempo, with 7km at 5:05/km. I knew this workout would be challenging, especially on the treadmill, but knew I had it in me. I told myself to envision running the Ottawa Marathon course. 

I warmed up for 4km then increased the pace to 5:05. I started by thinking of the section of the race through Gatineau. I pictured the government buildings and museums on my right, and knew there would be a water station just before getting onto the Alexandria Bridge. I thought of running across that bridge, and how that view of Parliament always makes me smile, and that in a few hundred meters I’d be back in Ottawa.

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I pictured the last 17 km of the race, going through New Edinburgh and then back towards downtown. For the final 1.2 of my 7km tempo, I pictured the 41-42.2k of the marathon. I got chills. In my mind, I was running along the canal, with spectators on either side, knowing that I will have left everything on the course and finishing my 13th marathon.

Mental weakness has hurt me in the past. Without mental preparation, I’ve given into the hurt of the marathon. I also put too much pressure on myself, which is something I'm getting much better at, but is ultimately a work in progress.

What do you do to mentally "train"?

In other news, I’m planning to run the local Run for Reach Half Marathon on Sunday, April 10th. If you’re training for Ottawa, this is a perfect tune-up for race weekend!

If you're on Strava, I'd love to connect! You can follow my training here. There's also an Ottawa Marathon group!