Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bloomin' Ready . . . to Run!

Trying to decide, this morning, whether to post about my readiness for Sunday's BMO Marathon or to post photographs of a favourite cut-leaf maple, just getting ready to spring into fullness of flower and foliage, all tender pinks and greens, I realized no choice was necessary.
 The two are actually complementary and fit easily into the same post. After all, like the maple (Acer palmatum 'Aka shigitatsu sawa'), I'm ready to burst into action, although mine is unlikely to be as intricately beautiful to watch.

I've had to hold back, the last few weeks, obeying so many training plans' insistence on the importance of Tapering before a race. Because of a sore knee several weeks ago, I cut back earlier than I'd intended; however, I've been reassured that my body's ability to cover the distance hasn't faded away, and the IMS treatments have released the crankiest tensions in the mobility chain. I loosened up enough to run a 20k 2 weeks ago,  12 this weekend, and I've been easily managing one or two 9k's during the week. Still, so much less training than in the preceding months that it's tough not to feel antsy. . .
 But as with the maple, whose growth now is a manifestation of last year's solar energy, rains, minerals drawn from the soil, so my performance this coming Sunday will depend on a running program I've built over the last several years, most intensely over the last four or five months.
And like the maple, my main job this week is to rest and to feed myself, to unfurl in relaxing postures and then see where that takes me this Sunday.

The maple, I suspect, will be much more sanguine than myself with the rain that might fall on the 5000 of us running those 42.2 kilometres, though. For a while, the forecast was for a week of sunshine, culminating in 20-degree (Celsius) temperatures. I went out and bought new running shorts, made sure to take them out for a run, and I fretted a bit about how warm I might get by the time I finished, sometime past 1:00 p.m (if all goes well).

Instead, the forecast is now for 13 degrees with a strong likelihood of rain. I tried my shorts out at that temperature this morning, with no rain, and decided I'll be warm enough that way, but I'll probably wear a long-sleeved technical shirt, with a short-sleeve layer underneath. I have an old long-sleeve that I won't mind tossing -- the discarded clothing along the route will be gathered up, cleaned, and donated to charity, as is common practice in these events.






















I've found the last several weeks interesting, psychologically, in a number of ways, and if/when I complete the marathon, I might write my way through my thoughts about that process. For now, I'm feeling a mix of anxiety and anticipation, but generally just trying to nurture the sense of readiness and excitement.






















I'll do one more (short) run later in the week, and I'm hoping to fit in a yoga class, but otherwise, my training this week consists of eating carbs and sleeping well. . . . And paying attention to Nature's lessons in the garden. . .



28 comments:

  1. How exciting. I will be thinking of you. Enjoy this week and the anticipation. Are you carb loading?

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    1. Thanks! I'm not so much carb loading as being really aware of my diet -- enough carbs, not quite so much fibre, lots of liquids, and I think I'll skip alcohol 'til Sunday afternoon. . . .

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  2. What a challenge! If you follow nature's lessons, it will be what it is. Hopefully you will meet your goal but your fitness/health level will definitely be improved through your efforts whatever the outcome. Good luck!

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  3. The photos - as always - are great and I enjoyed your extension of their energy and purpose to your own efforts and preparation for this marathon. How exciting to see fruition so close at hand. Many positive thoughts and a chorus of cheers from the ether will accompany you along the route!

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    1. It is exciting -- and fruition is a great word to extend my metaphor -- thanks!

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  4. Such anticipation, both of the marathon and the full blooming of the maple. All the best to you as you prepare for your run.

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    1. Thanks Lorrie -- do you watch maples shake out their leaves? One of my favourite spring phenomena!

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  5. I have confidence that you will run the race you're meant to run! Stay focused and have fun!

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  6. Here's to healthy knees, a "can do" mindset and a strong finish! Sounds like you are well prepared for this amazing adventure so good wishes and look forward to your post race recap!

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    1. Thank you! I know I've done as much as I could to prepare, so we'll just see.

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  7. Best wishes for this big event! It sounds like you have it figured out - or are, at least, obedient to training best-practices!

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    1. Thanks! Not so much out there of advice geared to "the older runner," but I've been obedient to what I could find and made up the rest by intuition. . .

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  8. I will be thinking of you!

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  9. Running is a sport that is very strange to me (although I must admit I'm beginning to feel a bit tempted to have a try). But I admire your determination and courage and wish you all the best!

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    1. It is a bit odd, I agree, but also oddly addicting for me, at least. And for someone convinced she was not athletic, it's changed my view of myself in positive ways. Thanks for the good wishes!

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  10. I'm sure you will have a wonderful race. The weather sounds like it will be perfect (much too hot last year). Do post a pic of yourself in full marathon running gear. Any plans for a special colourful pedicure/ manicure? That is one of my good luck pre-marathon rituals. Have fun!

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    1. Thanks, Angela! My only concern weather-wise is that it not pelt down during the first hour, , , I'm too nervous to let anyone mess with my feet before the race, but I'm planning a pedi afterwards, first of the season. I did buy a new pair of socks though, a pretty, bright blue. . .

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  11. Have a great run. My daughter will be in town for our Pittsburgh marathon-she is running the half and I'm doing my part by hosting a post-race brunch. I hope all runners on both coasts have safe, healthy runs. What a wonderful achievement after all that training.

    Thank you for the photos, I love pink and green and these photos brightened a gloomy day.

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. I wish your daughter a fabulous run, and I'm sure you'll have a great time celebrating the runner(s) afterward over brunch.

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  12. Weird, isn't it? All ready to go but having to mark time, brain whirring...very like those days leading up to going into labour. Full of trepidation but also excitement and curiosity. Moments of pure funk. Crazed hours of whistling happiness. Enjoy it all and cannot wait for the photos. Confident good wishes from misty, cool Yorkshire.

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    1. Oh, you put it so well! Yes, it's weird, and that analogy with labour works. Even to the pain I'll soon suffer and the high afterward. . . .;-)
      I love "misty, cool Yorkshire" where I have many relatives (at the very north on the coast, in Middlesbrough, so I especially appreciate good wishes coming from there. Thanks!

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  13. Yes, WHEN (not if) you complete the marathon and have had time to recover, do please tell us something about the psychological side of the process.

    Very best wishes for an excellent adventure

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    1. Thanks, Ceri. I'm going to try to use this phrase as a mantra to keep me going "I'm on an excellent adventure"! ;-)

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  14. I'll be cheering you on in my thoughts. Good running luck. I hope all conditions are perfect!

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