May 29 was the morning of the 2016 Saskatchewan marathon. I was thinking how it was a race that I would love to be running on such a beautiful, sunny Saskatoon day. It was also the morning of the Canadian half-marathon championships in Calgary, which I decided to stream online before heading out to catch my teammates racing in Saskatoon.
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As a fan of the sport, I knew it would be a fun morning, but as a competitor, I also knew it had the potential to be a difficult one. Of course, I wanted to be out there racing, but that wasn’t in the cards for me this year. Instead, I was setting out on a training run. I planned my route around the race to catch my teammates who were running a variety of distances from 5K to the marathon.
The key for me on Sunday morning was that I was running. If all goes well over the next few weeks, I’ll soon be into a training block preparing for a race this fall. For this I’m grateful, and focused.
I had a challenging winter with multiple colds, prompting a consultation in early March with my new sports dietitian. Upping my vitamin D, ensuring adequate protein intake, monitoring iron, and some other tweaks to my diet have proven to be game changers. I’ve been consistent with these changes and I have seen results.
By mid-March, I felt like I was starting to get back to it after a hit-and-miss winter of training. I had finally hit a somewhat decent mileage week of 70K, but was then upended by a slip on an icy path while out for a morning run. The result was an aggravated knee that would need quite a bit of rehabilitation.
So I got to it: a steady routine of strength work and cross-training to get the muscles surrounding my knee and my core stronger, while also keeping up my cardio with the elliptical and bike. Now, two months, and countless hours in the gym later, I’m running again. I feel stronger than ever. It’s still a slow build, but I’m happy to be back at and looking ahead to potential races.
This is where my focus is today — on staying strong and building towards my next training block. On Sunday, I sat there content to enjoy the beautiful marathon morning from the sidelines watching others compete and being aware that I’m moving towards my own goals.
The energy of the race, watching my teammates’ hard work and dedication come to fruition, and being able to be out there soaking it all in, is sure to serve as continued motivation.