May 13, 2015
Humbling: That’s the best word to describe how I feel after the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon.
The season started WAY back in November right after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas half-marathon and I went straight into leading a half-marathon clinic. I had delusions of grandeur of achieving amazing things by following a Jack Daniels’ training program. But, it was a cold winter and it was difficult to run fast. And I had a video games relapse in December where I played too much and slept and exercised too little. And then I got injured in February. Then disappeared on a cruise where I ate a lot, exercised a bit, but didn’t run much. And coming back from the cruise I was on and off with flu-like symptoms for almost a month. Long story short, it wasn’t an ideal season.
I knew I wasn’t ready to properly race the full marathon. I pride myself on being ready, and being unprepared is one of my pet peeves. I could have, and maybe should have switched to the half-marathon, but I wanted the big medal so I could check it off the bucket list.
It’s been a season of personal growth for me too. I crossed another decade mark during this season. At the time I didn’t think much of it and didn’t really mark it with any sort of celebration or ceremony. I kinda regret that now. But moreover, I found growing older by a decade kind of changed the way I thought. The carefree, adolescent days of my 20’s are behind me. I spent a lot of time in my 20’s dueling between identities in a sort of identity crisis: Am I a workaholic robot and a kid at heart. I think I’m starting to merge them into a pragmatic, practical, simple man with a crooked smile. I’m already slowing down to smell the roses. I appreciate meditation, downtime, and quiet. And I continue to invest in tomorrow with sacrifices today.
I also earned a new nickname this season. Years ago, some fellow runners used to lovingly/derisively call me “genius.” I’d like to think I’m a pretty bright guy, and I think at some points my IQ qualified me for the title. But I’m also oblivious to some things too. Anyways, to those who have never trained with me, I seem to have a reputation as a “nice” running coach. Those that have run with me know better: My programs are grueling and I design routes to find the most challenging hills. But, it’s all done with the intent of creating better runners. Thus, the new nickname: “Evil Genius.” I like it!
The season wasn’t a complete write-off. I did successfully pace the Chilly Half-Marathon, and I enjoyed running half Around The Bay as part of a relay. And I have learned the entire Yang Style Tai Chi form, which was a big goal for me. The final race of the season didn’t feel good, but failure is a great motivator.
I was surprised I registered for this marathon at all. I declared I was done with marathons in this post. I’m actually registered for two more marathons: the New York City Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon. And I’m a little afraid of doing that distance again. Fear is a good motivator too.
But I’m looking forward to the opportunities coming. I get to run these two amazing marathons. I get to train for marathons. I have the opportunity to start fresh and learn from the mistakes of the past. Hope is a good motivator.
And I may be leading another half-marathon clinic this summer. Leading a group where I know they’re relying on me makes me feel important. I don’t want to let others down. Knowing others are depending on me is a very good motivator.
And you, my dear readers motivate me. I don’t know who you all are, but there must be a lot of you because I get dozens of reads from distinct addresses with each blog post. Some people have told me that I inspire them. Suspecting or knowing that I inspire some of you motivates me to keep trying to inspire.
Here’s everything that hurt after the race in the form of a “damage report” like on Star Trek:
- -Significant damage to both hip flexors
- -Tightness in left trapezius
- -limited range of motion turning head
- -3 Large blisters on left foot, most painful between big toe and second toe
- -expected dehydration
- -sunburnt face
My hip flexors were shot after the Chilly half-marathon too. I guess it should be painfully obvious what muscle group I should be working on next season.
What do I need to do better?
Well, not getting sick would be nice. That means better and more consistent sleep.
And not getting injured. I hope that I can ward that off with a well-designed program with good base and protective strength training.
Ah, and strength training. In my best seasons I did it 3 times a week. I wanna get back there. Not only will it make me more resilient to injury, but it may also help with weight loss. And, looking ripped may help me on the dating front.
And I must be consistent and motivated about training. It looks like I’ll have re-visit #5amRunClub, and maybe even #5amGymClub.
In the immediate aftermath of the Toronto Marathon, I’m focusing on recovery. I’m resisting running for a couple of weeks even though it’s absolutely beautiful weather.
I am coming up with an ambitious plan for the next 24 weeks. I’ll publish it soon.
Less than 173 days until the TCS New York Marathon!