The clock strikes 5:30am and the alarm goes off. I groggily hit snooze for a few more minutes of rest, before getting up to start the kettle for coffee. Yes, this is Monday, but not just any Monday… it’s Stage 2 of the ENDURrun Ultimate! Today’s race is a 15km fairly flat road race, with a twist. It’s a time trial. This means that the runners start in reverse order, 1 minute apart.
After a great pre-race evening, getting to meet the other competitors and hearing about the races to come, it was time to get down to business with stage 1. The night before was spent preparing my belt pack, figuring out what clothes to wear, and getting things in order for tomorrow. My alarm went off at 5:30am, otherwise known as “stupid o’clock”. I hit snooze once, but then got up. The race started at 8am, and I like to be at the start around an hour before that.
This day has crept up, slowly, but steadily, all year. I’ve thought about it almost every day, and especially through all those stupidly cold and dark winter runs, and the boring treadmill tempos I did in the warehouse gym at work. At times I thought this day would never come. But come it has. It’s time, once again, for the ENDURrun. This year is the 6th time I’ve participated in the ENDURrun, and the 5th time doing the whole week, which is affectionately called “The Ultimate”.
This has been a tough month for training for me. Between the terrible weather (cold, snow, wind) and being involved in the kids’ activities, running has taken a back seat to life. My daughter is a trampolinist, and her gym, Scarborough Gym Elites Gymnastics Club, hosts one of the provincial qualifier meets every year, the 3rd weekend in February. For the last 3 years, I have been on the board of directors of the club, and to say I’m actively involved in this meet is an understatement.
This year was supposed to be different. My enthusiasm and excitement for running was higher than it had been for the last two years. I had plans; train for a spring 3:45 marathon, then maintain the fitness into the summer and run the ENDURRun. It was going to be glorious, and I couldn’t wait to get started. Then reality set in. I am now three weeks into my training schedule, and I’m barely getting in half the mileage I should be.
My final race of the year was the Boxing Day 10 Miler. This will be the 6th time I’ve run this race. It’s become a tradition with the group of runners I train with, the Flying Fartleks. For me, it’s also a way to burn off some of the turkey and chocolate and beer I’ve consumed over the previous two days. Personally, I love running this race. The distance is perfect; not too long, and not too short.
The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless. – Dean Karnazes Today’s stage is the 10km time trial. Unlike the rest of the ENDURrun stages, this one is very flat, and a net downhill race. It starts in the town of Elmira, and runs along country roads back to the race director’s house.
Running, much like life, has it’s hills and valleys. On any given run, and particularly in most marathons, we come across easy stretches and seemingly impossible challenges. I have learned to just keep going. The tough moments never last, and the easy stretches are always a joy. The same is clearly true in life, if we just keep going we’ll get to that finish line with water, massages, and bananas! – Will Starr, RW Challenger
Often, when I’m running out in the country, or even on paths by the lake, I’ll encounter a hill. It could be a nice roller, or a steep SOB, and depending on where I am in my run, I’ll be huffing and puffing up the hill and wishing the path was more flat. Have you ever wished that you could do a race that was perfectly flat? Well the Pearson Runway Run is just that.
Last week was a bad week, for training, and re-imagining my routine. It started out okay, with me getting up at 5:30am for the first time in… well… a LONG time (race days don’t count). I got my workout done; Mondays are a rest day, so I did some AB exercises and 20 minutes of yoga. Then it was on to making lunches for everyone and getting ready to head out to work.