After Ironman Canada in 2010 I really lost the joy of running. I took a solid month off after the race and when I came back I felt completely out of shape. My pace was minutes off where it used to be. Things hurt. I really did not enjoy running. I had signed up for the Goofy Challenge in January 2011 and I had a terrible time training for it. First I was going to drop the half and concentrate on putting together a solid marathon. Then I missed so many training runs that running the full became a silly idea and I decided to just gutt out the half marathon. No Goofy Challenge for me. Throughout 2011 I really hated running. It showed in my lack of blogging and in my lack of races. I can’t believe that we went to New York City on our honeymoon in July 2011 and I didn’t even run through Central Park! Even as I trained for Ironman again in 2012 I struggled to find the old runner in me.
When I decided to do Ironman Canada again and then the Goofy Challenge in 2013 I was a bit apprehensive. Would I feel the same way post Ironman that I did in 2010? Was running going to be a struggle? I didn’t want to sign up for the race again and once again back out. Luckily after Ironman was over in August I didn’t feel completely burnt out. I was excited to be back pounding the pavement and I went on some fabulous hikes in the Rockies that were good for my brain and my heart, and were creating a positive impact on my running too.
It was like a light switch went off. I was excited about my workouts. I looked forward to making progress – for hill repeats to not feel so hard and for my pace to slowly but surely start creeping back down. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I really had to talk myself into a workout.
I even discovered that running on the treadmill maybe wasn’t that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a run outside any day but I found a purpose in it and I saw progress. Along the way I managed to take a large number of completely unflattering photos of me just after my run on the treadmill, red faced, sweaty and quite happy.
I ran in much colder temperatures than I ever have before. I’m sure when I trained for Goofy 2008 I didn’t run in anything colder than maybe -5C. Now I was completing long runs in -10 to -16C and in dumping snow. I was on a mission and I wasn’t going to let those cold temperatures slow me down.
Just a few short days away from what is probably going to be my biggest race of 2013 and I’m really happy with the training I put in for the Goofy Challenge. My coach said that I was a completely different athelete in the latter part of the year compared to the first half of 2012. I feel ready and I’m excited to race. I have the confidence in my training and in my brain to put together a great weekend. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. I am now ready to execute.
Somewhere along the way with all of this running I found my love and joy for it again. It took awhile for it to come back but I’m so happy to be feeling this way again. I owe a huge thank you to my coach who was such a great cheerleader and gave me the great workouts that helped me get there. She was so enthused and excited by some of my updates I thought she might break her exclamation mark key on her computer! 🙂 I’ve even seen flashes of my old speed on some of my last few workouts. This makes me really excited for whatever races may come my way after Goofy. But before I get ahead of myself I’m most excited for this weekend!
Happy racing to all my fellow Goofy Challengers, 5K racers, half marathoners and full marathon runners. If you see my bright orange and purple Team Tri Life top out on the race course please say hi!