I’m back from my 10k run this morning, twenty days before the marathon and fresh from a conversation with a coworker yesterday about running. This is one of the really nice things about my job, when I’m off from work, enjoying the less frantic months of the year, I can elect to do something called “dailies.”
In the film industry this is what we call the part-time work you can pick up when you’re not signed onto a contract. Some people make a career out of doing dailies so they don't ever have to be locked into a job and some people do it in their retirement. I do it as a way to keep sharp and have some fun on my months off.
Yesterday, I got to go out to help some friends on The Boys, where I had a chance to connect with a coworker named Deborah. She’s run four marathons, including the Boston marathon. We talked training plans, fueling, overall health, and she told me some of her stories about qualifying for Boston.
I learned that apparently it is not uncommon for runners to pee down their legs when they’re trying to qualify! I don’t see myself doing that this time around. My first marathon will be an experiment, to see where I land, how it feels, and where to move forward. Really I just want to complete it and have fun with it. Time can only tell though if I’ll be peeing down my leg trying to qualify for Boston in the future.
When Deborah ran her Boston-qualifying race, a running friend cycled beside her the last two kilometers. He knew she was trying to qualify, so he came to give her that last bit of motivation she needed for the final push. Hearing about sweet little marathon stories like that are getting me so excited for my very first time in a couple of weeks.
I’m anticipating the energy that I’ll feel from all of the other participants, and the ease and freedom I’ll experience being able to run and explore a new place without having to map out the route or navigate traffic.
I told myself that I would do this just once, I just wanted one marathon under my belt and then I would go back to casual running. I have a feeling though that that won’t be the case.
Running this year has brought so much satisfaction into my life. The act of making it into a morning ritual. Discovering the joy of running in the rain, rather than avoiding it. The dawn.
The only people you encounter at 0630 on a misty fall Toronto morning are people pushing forward, bettering their lives, beaming positivity. And when you pass by that runner on the path that’s likely training for her own marathon, or that 80-year-old man that’s always on the trails, donning his overcoat and cane, it pushes you forward even more.
Lately the first thing I’ve been doing in the morning before going out is an exercise called the Morning Pages, as prescribed in The Artist’s Way - a book on recovering your creativity. The Morning Pages is a practice where you write down everything that comes into your head, no matter how good, bad, negative, insightful, nonsensical, or fragmented.
It’s meant to combat the Censor which is the voice in your head that makes you filter and question all of your creative endeavours, including writing.
I’ve tried to make my entry today in this way, like a stream of consciousness, to let the thoughts flow through; Recounting the happenings lately without trying to incorporate a “moral of the story.” This is my progress. Glean from it what you will, if you will.
What’s next in my training plan for the remaining two weeks before marathon:
- A 5k tomorrow morning.
- My last long distance run, a half-marathon on Wednesday.
- A work day on Thursday and a rest from physical activity.
- My Terry Fox run on Sunday - a 10k run for cancer research.
- One More 10k and then one or two 5ks in the last week before marathon, before letting myself rest for the race.
Next up today: Painting, writing a contribution for another National Post article via Media Planet, and taking down my spare bedroom to start preparing for my move.
No time for instagram today.
Books I'm enjoying at the moment: All The Light We Cannot See, The Artist's Way
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