Challenge accepted

February was a month of challenges. It started with a 5 day trip to Miami. What better than a nice sunny vacation right in the middle of winter right? Well when it comes to training, at least for me, I couldn’t have been more wrong. After training in the cold winter temps for the past few months, my body was just not used to running in hot, humid weather. I had planned to get in 3 runs in the 5 days; a 6k, 10k and 19k LSD for a total of 35k for the weekend. With the temps the way they were, my cardio was compromised severely and even getting the 10k done was a difficult feat.

Having a little fun during my final 10k run in Miami
Photo by Mike

I quickly surmised that the 19k was not going to be possible without risking my health and training so I decided to split the 19k into two runs. In the words of one of my biggest mentors “who says you have to run it all at once?” So I did just that, adding a km and running 2 10ks just for good measure. I ended up with 36k for the weekend and my training stayed on track. Adapt. Meet goal.

Happy to be home and back to the weather my body was accustomed to, the next few weeks posed more challenges as I ran some of the longest distances I have ever attempted. 23k and 27k both in sub zero temps. Running on snow covered streets, climbing over snow banks and sliding down icy hills. The thought of each of these runs was daunting but with the support of my running community and the best running buds ever, I successfully completed both. And not just completed them – I felt like I had more to give!

Long runs made easier with friends

With longer runs also comes more intense muscle pain, and recovery strategy is more important than ever. I have increased post-run stretching and added the foam roller and compression socks to my regime. Compression socks are amazing! Get some. Spend the money and get a good pair. Your legs will thank you.

This week is a step-back week in our training with a 21k run on the schedule. I can’t believe 21k is considered a step-back run for us now, when only 4 months ago it was the longest any of us had ever run! With three weeks left until race day, I’m feeling pretty great so far. One more really long run coming up (28k next Saturday) and then taper time begins!

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