I have had huge gains this training cycle as I have actually been... training.
In January I ran my first 100km week and from there progressed to running between 115-130km weeks. This is a huge increase in mileage considering I was only running between 60-75km a week before this.
Unfortunately about 2.5 weeks ago I started getting really bad pain in my left knee and had to shut the training down and switch over to cross training. I immediately made a backup plan to switch to the Ottawa marathon incase my knee didn't get sorted out in time for Goodlife.
It wasn't until the Monday before Goodlife that I finally went and got my knee treated. Let me tell you treatment works and it is worth every penny! I won't get into the details but I pretty much have the weakest glutes ever and every other muscle in my leg is over compensating and since everything is connected to either the knee or the hip ( right?) the stress was finally taking it's toll.
Luckily we were able to loosen some muscles up and I was taught some great exercises to added into my routine to help prevent this issue from happening in the future.
On race day I had a good warmup and my knee didn't give me any trouble. I know that Goodlife isn't a super competitive race but I was hoping to have someone to run with for at least the first half. Unfortunately I only had someone to run with for the first 2km and the other 40.2 I was only own. I kept pushing myself to race pace but would drift off and then push myself back to race pace and drift off. The race felt like the longest tempo run of my life. During ATB I ran most of it alone but there was always someone in sight to chase down and I knew that there were people that would reel me in if I ever let up on my pace.
When I crossed the line I didn't feel particularly exhausted, my legs didn't feel shredded or overly beat. I felt like I wasn't able to push myself to my full potential and that I didn't squeeze out 100% of my effort. I know I had a faster time in me I just didn't have anyone to help me chase it down. In that sense I felt like this was a waste of a marathon. I regret not signing up for a more competitive marathon so that I could've actually raced 42.2km vs just run 42.2km as fast as I can only own.
The loneliest 42.2km = 2:33:38
Satisfied no... Happy yes. I am happy with the gains I have made this season. I chopped off time in every distance from 3000m to the Marathon. I was hoping to be a little faster than 2:33:00 and I find a little peace in mind knowing that I can do better.
It was great to see so many familiar faces cheering throughout the course and to see people support their teammates.
This season has been exciting and fun and a little bit stressful. My choose your own adventure training plan has worked for me but making all of your own decisions is hard. I must admit there were times this season I wish I had a coach who was familiar with my training and my fitness. It was hard to guess what times and paces I should be aiming for as I have never had this level of fitness before. Moving forward I am definitely going to look into getting a proper training program and a coach to make the most out of my efforts.
Thank you to everyone that has pushed me this season to be better and thank you #RunTO for your enthusiasm and support.
Congratulations to everyone that raced this weekend!