Boston Around The Corner.

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Tomorrow will mark six-weeks to the Boston Marathon. That means five more long runs, eleven more speed workouts and more than 500 kilometers to log before the big day.

This is the point in training where you start to really ramp up. Every run becomes more intense, every workout is harder than the last and a big part of you wants to “just get it over with”. Yesterday’s run was a humble reminder of that.

After a last minute 48-hour trip to Regina, I arrived back in Edmonton at 7:50 a.m. (A wakeup of 4:20 a.m. MTS). With an hour before I was scheduled to set out for a long run, I dragged my tired but overly caffeinated body off the plane and into my car. As I drove, my mind filled with the hundreds of less painful ways I could spend my Saturday morning, and given my mental state, any of which would have been easily self-justified. Justifiable to me, not to the four other people who were on their way to our meeting place and ready to log some miles. The run was going to happen at some point and if I delayed it even a day, I risked the chance of going solo. I soon found myself parked right in front of the Starbucks where we meet.

As I changed in the bathroom, a small part of me hoped that no one knew what my training plan had mandated for the day. They did – and under no circumstance were they going to let me skip it. Everyone was committed to the first 16km and one of them was even willing to join for the “fast-finish” (10km at my marathon pace). This was accountability at its finest. A part of me hated them, knowing that they would settle for nothing less than me achieving what my training plan demanded. With that, we set out to tackle the run. Upon completion, happiness replaced my previous sentiment. The run reminded me of my capabilities and that perseverance pays off.

It also reminded me that everything is better with support. If it were not for the support and encouragement of great friends and partners, the challenges we each take on would be harder to achieve. Fortunately, I have multiple groups that I can rely on as I prepare for this one. The kinds of friends that show up for the early morning runs and do not resent me for becoming a hermit on weekends. Not to mention the incredible fitness community we have here in Edmonton, especially those at Blitz who routinely ask how I am doing in my training. Recently, I have been blessed with a new partner on this journey, United Cycle, who has a team of experts helping me with the technical aspects and selection of my gear.

Why is this relevant? Because whether you have trained for a marathon or not – we all face these kinds of weeks in life. We are humans. We get tired. We lose motivation and sometimes, we just want to watch Netflix and chill. It is during these tough times that a strong support network makes a world of difference. Just know that every time I consider sleeping in or slowing my pace, I think of all of you.  I thank all of you for supporting me and I apologize in advance for what I need over the next six-weeks.

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