Running is like the best kind of solitude for me. I work things out on the road. Its funny, because I really believe God put this in my path quite intentionally. There have been several times in my life when I felt like the Holy Spirit just kind of placed something in front of me and said, "Hey, here you go. I think you might like this." And it would be just what I needed, but wasn't actually seeking. Has that ever happened to you?
So its no accident that I identify myself with something really positive right now, like being a runner. Even though I'm pretty new at it. It stretches me, it gives me confidence, it strengthens me - mentally, physically, spiritually. It brings me closer to God in a different way. Even though I feel so strong and alive, I know that God is the One behind it all, the real source of my strength and life. I have no idea why He thinks running should be my thing right now. I know I love it, I'm slightly obsessed, and its wrapping me up as a better person (I think and hope), but really .... running, Lord? Never would have thought. So glad He did.
So I have officially begun my half-marathon training plan for the Calgary Scotiabank race at the end of May. I haven't taken any time off running since the race last month, but I did ease up the week after for a bit of a recovery. My first long run after the race was only 6 miles - but I've been steadily increasing again. This weekend, I ran 9 miles followed by a 1.5 mile cool-down walk. Oh, you guys, it was so gross. The weather here on Saturday took a turn. It was really windy and snowy and felt like -18C with the windchill. Y'all, I really love cold weather running, but I do not dig the wind. I had to push myself to get out there, but what motivated me most was knowing that I didn't want to do my long run on Sunday. I live for Sunday ... especially Sundays during Lent ... my coffee after Mass, a little reading, hanging out with the kids, maybe a little sewing ... Sundays are our glory day. So yeah, I decided to brave the gross weather Saturday for the sake of Sunday. Hey, you pretty much never regret a run.
Every long run is a practice for race-day. I'm experimenting with pre-race meals, hydration and fuel during the race. These are hot topics in the running culture. What to do, what to do??? The GU chomps seem to work well but I don't really have anything to compare it to, yet. I tried a gel once and eeeewwwwwww, yuk, I really could barely lick it without gagging. But I'm thinking I should try it again since the gels are pretty ideal in terms of fuel and you won't choke on them like the chomps. I'll have to keep experimenting. On Saturday I fuelled with a cheese-toast and coffee a couple hours before the run, then a few pretzels about half an hour before I left. I also took some pretzels with me because I get the munchies during the long run. All that seemed to work ok but I think I can improve. Next weekend I'm going to approach it more objectively by fuelling with calories based on body weight and miles to run. We'll see. Any tips?
All for now!