Tag Archives: Road running

New Year New Goals

2014 is going to be crazy
2014 is going to be crazy.

If you’ve been reading along over the past week or so, you’re probably not going to find the topic of today’s post all that shocking. It’s time to set some goals for the new year; specifically some fitness goals1.

First and foremost I have to get back to my regular running self. I miss running. You might find that crazy, but I really do. I remember when I was younger, seeing runners out in the cold of winter, logging countless miles, and thinking they are out of their minds. But then I became one of them. I understood them. And I learned just how much running could do not just for my body, but for my mind. This isn’t a resolution, and this is so much more than a goal; it’s a way of life. My life. It has to happen. It will happen.

To ensure that it does happen, I’m about to start training for several races (assuming the ankle holds up). While I may not compete in all of these, I’m setting my sights on the following goals:

To help prevent further injuries, I’m going to also be working on my strength training and my controlled flexibility. The specifics of this are yet to be determined, but I have a fitness expert in my corner who just happens to also be my Chiropractor. I have no doubt that he’ll help keep me in tip-top condition.

I’m also aiming to return to my regular practice of yoga in the morning (30 minutes per day, at least every other day). It’s amazing how much of my lethargy, and overwhelming sense of feeling gross comes from how achy I sometimes feel when I wake up. There are days when I feel so stiff and old that I want to kick myself in the ass for not keeping up with my practice. But I didn’t, which means I can’t, so my ass is saved from said kicking for now.

Finally, I’m going to make a point to reevaluate these goals on a more regular basis. I don’t want to set too many lofty goals at the moment for fear that my ankle will continue to keep me on the sidelines3. Whatever happens, anything that involves more movement than the past 6 months will be considered a success.

Oh 2014, you are going to be interesting.

1 I have other goals that I want to tackle in the shiny new year that will be known as 2014, however, I’ll focus on those in a separate post.

2 The training schedule for this race makes me throw-uppy. I based it on the schedule outlined here, but modified it for other races and my schedule. Here’s a rough sketch of the cumulative distance I’ll have to run to prep myself for the race in the 24 weeks leading up to race day.

3 A 50km race isn’t too lofty, right?

Apparently I Am Not Superman

Although I look just as buff as Superman, I am in fact not Superman. I’m actually the Hulk. HA! I kill me.

A few weeks ago I was supposed to run my very first 50km Ultra Marathon. I trained, I trained, and I trained some more. I made sure to stretch, and I tried to do all this while balancing a bunch of other projects. I found the hours I spent in the office and in meetings increasing. I found the hours I spent in my own home relaxing and recharging decreasing. And I found that I was always telling myself that I’d catch up on rest after the next grant, the next paper, the next presentation, the next next thing.

In short, while I was productive and crossing stuff off of my list, I was also setting myself up for something.

And then something happened. It wasn’t anything severe. There was no broken bone. There was no muscle tear. I didn’t trip and impale myself on a branch. Nor did I get hit by a car. I didn’t spontaneously combust. I wasn’t immersed in a vat of boiling acid.

Simply put, the something was that my body decided to remind me that I am in fact not Superman. After 664 km since December 1, my right ankle decided that it just couldn’t handle another step. Stupid ankle. Stupid, stupid ankle.

I think at times I like to believe I am Superman. I don’t need to rest. I can do all of the things all of the time and then do even more because why wouldn’t I also try to do that while I’m doing all of these other things?

Long story short, I did not run the 50km Ultra Marathon. It wasn’t an easy decision either. I made the call on June 21st, the day before the race was set to be run. And I did it begrudgingly – knowing that in all other ways I was ready to crush my first Ultra Marathon. But having realized that I was limping as I walked to the office, I had to admit that running was the last thing I should be doing. Regardless, I felt like a giant wimp. My ankle didn’t hurt that much. I could probably run through the pain. I’m making a mountain out of a sore ankle.

But I was the only one saying that. Everyone else was saying I’d be stupid to run. And I knew this to be true. So I didn’t run. While I know it was the right thing to do, I’m still not completely comfortable with the decision. I know I could have crushed the Ultra, but I also know that I would have screwed my ankle for any other running this year.

So as of June 16th, Running and I are on a break. I love Running, but I have to accept that we’re just not getting along these days. It’s for the best really. In running’s absence, I’ve decided to rekindle my relationship with taking time off. As such, I’m currently writing this post on my first of five days off in a row.

I’m not sure if Superman took days off, but I have to say it feels pretty good.

Just A Wee Run

21.1 km of pure wholesome goodness.

So tomorrow is the big race – the Toronto Goodlife Marathon.

Some of you may recall that I was planning on running 42.2 km of marathon-y goodness tomorrow. However, given that my training schedule has been weak at best, I’ve opted to run only 21.1 km.

I know, right? I’m sooooooooooo lazy.


Honestly, I do feel like a bit of a quitter making this change last-minute. I should have trained harder. I should have kept to my running schedule. I should have done a lot of things really.

But I didn’t.

And that’s life.

So instead, I’m going to enjoy the fact that I can run 21.1 km, because in the grand scheme of things, 21.1 km is more than 0 km. Also, I’m going to try to forgive myself just a little, what with my actually being human and mortal and not invincible. I sometimes think that I can do everything all of the time, and then get annoyed with myself for not performing up to some insane standard that I’ve created. Tomorrow, I’m just going to run the race and enjoy myself as much as I can. Because I should be able to run 21.1 km and feel proud of myself for doing so.

Take that stupid self-doubting self.

For those of you who want to follow along, the race starts at 8:30am. As per usual, I’ll be live streaming the race via RunKeeper. Feel free to tweet or message me as I run – your messages will be read to me. Note: I fully expect those messages to be uplifting, and inspiring, and hilarious, and in some cases, crude.

To follow along, click here.

To message me as I run, either text me (for those of you who know my number), or simply send me a tweet (@thedangillis). Mom and Dad – if you want to send a message you can do so by texting me through your iPad. But keep the messages short, as only the first 80 or so are read to me.

It’s Time

AtB – I’m coming for you.

In just over 6 weeks I’ll be lacing up to run the oldest race in North America; Hamilton‘s 30km Around the Bay. If you’ll recall, I ran this particular course last year in 2:53:12, despite fuelling myself with nothing more than a granola bar and a cup of coffee1.

This year, based on the lessons learned from last year’s run, I hope to finish with a better time. Assuming nothing crazy happens during the race, training and eating properly should be the key ingredients to accomplishing this goal.

With this in mind it’s clear to me that I really need to ramp up my training now. With 6 weeks to go, I can’t waste any time; the Around the Bay will be here before I know it. And I can’t forget that I’ve also signed up to run the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in May, and the Niagara 50km Ultra Marathon in June. Even if I don’t add any other races to my schedule between now and the Niagara 50km (which I might), I have a lot of mileage to cover to ensure that I run my best.

In short – it’s time to Suck it up Gillis, it’s time to train.

As such, I’ve drafted up the following rough weekend training schedule. This of course does not include the midweek runs that will naturally be part of the training. Items in bold represent races I am registered to run, while the remaining values represent the kilometres I propose to run over each weekend listed.

  • February 9/10 – 10.0km
  • February 16/17 – 15.0km/10.0km
  • February 23/24 – 21.1km/12.0km
  • March 2/3 – 16.0km/10.0km
  • March 9/10 – 26.0km/12.0km
  • March 16/17 – 21.1km/10.0km
  • March 23/24 - Hamilton Around the Bay 30km
  • March 30/31 – 26.0km/12.0km
  • April 6/7 – 21.1km/16.0km
  • April 13/14 – 24.0km/12.0km
  • April 20/21 – 21.1.0km/16.0km
  • April 27/28 – 34.0km/10.0km
  • May 4/5 - Toronto GoodLife Marathon 42.2km
  • May 11/12 – 30.0km/10.0km
  • May 18/19 – 42.2km/12.0km
  • May 25/26 – 30.0km/10.0km
  • June 1/2 – 44.0km/12.0km
  • June 8/9 – 21.1km/10.0km
  • June 15/16 – 16.0km
  • June 22/23 – Niagara Ultra Marathon 50km

If I keep to my training schedule I should run a total of 714.9km (which includes 16 half marathon distances or greater, and 4 full marathon distances or greater) between now and the finish line of the Niagara 50km, not including the distances I run during the week2. Holy crapshark, that’s a crazy load of kilometres.

Of course, life will inevitably get in the way – so as I mentioned above, this is all very draft form. I just have to keep in mind that I managed to log over 350km as part of my Goofy training. While 700+km seems like a lot of running, it works out to slightly more than double the distance, but spread out over 2.5 times the number of days.

I can do this. I will do this.

But first thing’s first – be warned Hamilton – I’m coming for you.

1 I’m what you’d call not the brightest bulb.

2 Thus I’d be able to cross off Run 1000km in 1 year3, and I could look towards completing the goal of Run 1610km in 1 year. I’d also be able to cross off Run 4 marathons in 1 year, Run a 50km race, Run more than 12 half marathons in 2013, and Run 18 half marathons in one year. I’d also be on my way to crossing off Run 24 half marathons in one year. Crazy!

3 As I’d have run 1066.9km between December 1, 2012 and June 22, 2013. Of course, this is all a very big if. It also doesn’t include weekday runs.


Close But No Donut

Why stop at 1000?

At the end of last year I came close to completing my goal of running 1000 km in 12 months. As can be expected, close didn’t sit well with me. In fact, it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

Fast forward to now – and might I add holy hell, how is January over already? - and things seem to be back on track. You see dear readers, not being one to rest on my laurels I have once again issued myself the challenge to run 1000 km in a 365 day period. And because I’m all about one-upping myself – even in situations where the thing I am one-upping hasn’t even been crossed off my list thereby making it one-uppable –  I have also upped that challenge to attempt to run 1610 km (1000 miles) in 12 months.

But first thing’s first. One thousand kilometres – I’m after you.

What’s my tally so far? Well, if I include the month of December – which I’m going to because it’s my game and I make the rules – also because I get to capture the awesome mileage that went into training for the Goofy Race – I have already managed to cross off 352 km. That’s slightly more than 35% of my 1000 km goal in 2 months.

Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

Given that I have the 30 km Around the Bay, the Toronto GoodLife Marathon, and the Niagara 50 km Ultra Marathon coming up, I think – I hope – I’ll easily be able to knock the 1000 km running challenge off of my list. Which means I’ll have set myself up to attempt the one-upping challenge of 1610 km in 12 months. Because really, why would I stop at 1000 when I can go for 1610 km?

Wish me luck.

What’s Another 7.8km?

I’m pretty sure this is conclusive evidence that I’m certifiable.

Yesterday I wrote about the upcoming racing season. In that post I indicated that I had signed up to run the Hamilton 30km Around the Bay, and the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in March and May, respectively. There was also talk of running the Chocolate Race in Port Dalhousie, and the Yonge Street 10km. I finished the post by suggesting that I might join my friend Carolyn when she runs the Niagara Ultra Marathon – a 50km run – in June.

Well, after checking my schedule and making sure I wasn’t away for a conference or anything of that sort, I took the plunge. And by took the plunge I mean that I officially registered. That’s right – I’ve decided to finally attempt a 50km (approximately 31.07 mile) run. For those keeping count, that’s 7.8km longer than the standard 42.2km marathon. EEP!

Fortunately, and based on last year’s Ottawa marathon, I really only need to train myself to run about 5.8km longer than my longest run (ha – only indeed). If you recall, last year I had to turn around and run against the tide of marathoners as I was in desperate need of a Port-O-Potty. By backtracking I inadvertently added about 2km to the total marathon distance. And really, what’s another 5.8km?

Anyway, I clearly have a lot of training to do between now and then. Fortunately I know that Carolyn will keep me on my toes and on task, because she’s just as insane when it comes to running as I am. She’s also a giant slice of awesome; which is exactly what I’ll need to keep myself motivated and fighting to crush 50km. It’s not going to be pretty, it’s going to require a lot of work, but I have no doubt that Carolyn and I will do it.

We’ve got this.


Let The Race Season Begin

Words of wisdom.

And so it begins.

Today I registered for my first 2 races of the 2013 running season. Actually, I guess the Donald Duck half marathon and the Mickey Mouse full marathon are part of the 2013 race season, but I’m not counting them exactly.

The first race – at least according to my current race schedule – occurs March 24, 2013. Once again I’m going to take on the Hamilton 30km Around the Bay. I’m looking forward to this particular challenge again given last year’s epic fueling failure. If you remember, I managed to eat only half a granola bar last year, ultimately leading to hitting the wall around the 26km marker. Not my smartest move.

The second race will be the GoodLife Toronto Marathon on May 5, 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed running this race last year and am going to see if I can’t best last year’s time. Fortunately I have a lot of time to train between now and race day to improve my chances of making that happen.

I’m also probably going to be signing up for the Chocolate Run again, as well as the Yonge Street 10km race.

Oh, and just for an extra challenge, I think I’m going to join my friend Carolyn when she runs the Niagara 50km Ultra-Marathon. Because really, what’s another 7.8 km when you’ve already run 42.2?

I may actually be insane. W00t!

Lonely Treadmill


This may sound weird but I feel like I haven’t been running in ages.


I was getting a massage tonight, and while my hamstrings were being put through the paces I actually wondered aloud Holy hell, why are my hamstrings so sensitive tonight?

My massage therapist put on his Are you kidding me? face and I realized how dumb my wonderings were. After all, he has been treating me throughout the Goofy training process so he was fully aware of the demands it made on the body, and exactly what I was doing this past weekend. Strangely, it apparently slipped my mind.

I may jump on the treadmill tomorrow as I do feel like I’ve neglected it over the past 11 days or so. Granted, I should probably wait until I get some new shoes. My current runners have seen enough miles and enough races that I can safely say they are ready for decommission. In fact, since December 1 I’ve logged over 330 km in my current runners. Crazy!

Anyway, I’ll leave the decision to run until tomorrow morning. I may run. I may not. It’ll be a surprise. Perhaps sitting on my butt is exactly what the doctor ordered. Of course, I won’t be siting on my butt for long – there’s training to do for my next race. Which race is that? I’m not sure yet. But I do know there’s always another race.

Night all y’all.


What I Learned Today, Again

You are what you eat. In this case, monsters eat monsters. I eat stupid. 

SOOOOOOO, apparently that old saying You are what you eat is true.

How do I know this?

Well today I had to jump on the treadmill to run my last long race before I head to Florida for the Goofy Race. Given that I wanted to run a 30+ km run, you’d assume that I would have planned appropriately. And for the most part I did.

I slept an appropriate length of time. I stretched. I went for a massage. I relaxed. I visualized the run; seeing mile after mile pass as I ran until the necessary distance was covered. And I ate.

Oh wait. No I didn’t.

Of course, I didn’t realize this until shortly after jumping on the treadmill. Within 4 miles I realized something was off. I felt wobbly. I felt a bit yarfy. Actually, I felt a lot yarfy. Strangely, my legs felt strong, and my breathing felt strong, but at the same time I felt weak – really weak. I pondered if it was my mind playing tricks on me, but I soon realized it wasn’t some sort of mind game. I was pale – really pale. And the more I ran the more I felt like I was going to yarf.

Fortunately I didn’t yarf. I did manage to push out another 4 miles, eventually stopping at 8. It wasn’t pretty – I looked like a bag-o-smashed-hammers – but I did it.

So, getting back to the old saying, you might be wondering what I ate today.

The answer to that is simple. I ate a big bag of stupid. 

I hate when I do that.

The Future Is Shiny And New

These will be mine.

Today, before I jumped on the treadmill for my second last run prior to next weekend’s Goofy Race, I sauntered over to the mall. The mission – to grab a coffee, and then head to Rogers to investigate an international data plan.

Why an international data plan? you ask.

Well, my goal is to set up a data plan so that I can once again use RunKeeper and my iPhone to track both the Donald Duck Half Marathon and the Mickey Mouse Marathon as I run them. Even better, it will allow me to receive messages from people on the Twitter that will be read aloud as I’m knocking off mile after mile of the 39.3 I need to cover to conquer this challenge.

And trust me, those messages from the Twitter are most appreciated. Every time I’ve received one while running in the past, it has given me a huge energy boost. Given that the upcoming races are in Florida and I won’t have the benefit of an on-site cheering squad, the Twitter comments will be even more important to my success.

Sadly, the Rogers store wouldn’t set me up with a data plan. I haven’t the foggiest idea why they couldn’t or wouldn’t. It seems to me that selling data plans would be one of their prime objectives. Instead I’m going to have to call Rogers and deal with customer service. Yippee.

Deciding that I shouldn’t leave the mall empty handed, I made the bold move to finally purchase a new iPad. Oh so shiny. Oh so new. And oh so small compared to my laptop. I think I’m in love.

Anyway, I’m going to try to deal with the gauntlet that is Rogers customer service tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Persuasive Moves

I should be this bendy all of the time.

Since I’m going to be back on the treadmill tomorrow chasing down my dream of crushing Goofy, I figured I’d spend as much time as I could over the past few days stretching. In my world, stretching is as important as every minute I spend running. Honestly, if I didn’t take the time to stretch I can’t imagine how I’d feel. I’m sure my body would become so wound up and tight that at some inopportune moment in the very near future, it would just snap into several pieces.

Fortunately yoga and stretching help a lot. Combined with massage, and visits to my friendly neighbourhood Chiropractors1, and the odd round of acupuncture, I manage to stay flexible and loose enough to maintain the excessive mileage required to train for half marathons, marathons, and the Goofy race. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m stubborn as hell.

As of right now I feel much bendier than I did on Sunday when I opted to cancel my scheduled 30 km run. My body isn’t nearly as achy or stiff as it was then. In fact, I was considering adding a run today because it feels so much better. Sadly, my hamstring and quadricep muscles have apparently decided to resist my persuasive stretching moves2. How that’s possible, I have no idea – my moves are pretty persuasive. Because of this, I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and not push an extra run that isn’t necessary.

Look at me being all cautious and stuff.

To provide a little more convincing to those stupid hams and quads of mine, and because my hams and quads are so very clearly asking for it, I’ve decided to write this post while rolling around on my Y-roller. You may remember mention of this little torture device from previous posts (such as here).

It’s difficult to describe the pain that I can inflict on myself using this rather innocuous looking device. Suffice it to say, I’ve been dropping some pretty colourful language3. Poor Elliot is so disturbed, he’s resorted to hitting the catnip.

1 The good Doctors Mark & Julie.

2 Stupid hams and quads, why won’t you relax?

3 Mom, if you are reading this, colourful language means phrases like the following:


Apparently it’s not un-possible; it’s un-impossible.

Remember back in the old-time-y days of May?

You know – May; when the sky was blue, and the birds were chirping, and the sun was shining, and the days were long, and the air was warm, and I decided to add something crazy to my Not-So-Bucket-List list?

Those were good days, no?

Apparently this weekend I managed to complete that crazy thing that I decided to add to my Not-So-Bucket-List back in the old-time-y days of May.

What was that crazy thing? you’re probably wondering.

Well, back in the old-time-y days of May I decided that I would attempt to run at least 12 half marathons (as either part of my training for other longer races, or as official races) in 12 months.

Turns out that Sunday’s 24 km run was the 12th and final half marathon (or greater) that I needed to complete to be able to cross this challenge off of my Not-So-Bucket-List. Better yet, I managed to complete said challenge in only 10 months. Even better still? Between now and the time I finish crushing the Goofy race, I should run another 6 half marathons (or greater). For those counting, that would make 18 half marathons in 12 months.

That, dear readers, makes me giggle a little bit. Okay, it actually makes me giggle a lot.

Completed Half Marathons

6 times half nuts; that’s me.
  1. February 2012 – 21.64 km – training run
  2. March 2012 – 25.75 km – training run
  3. March 2012 – 30.56 km – Around the Bay 30k
  4. March 2012 – 21.54 km – training run
  5. April 2012 – 21.21 km – Run for Retinal Research Half Marathon
  6. May 2012 – 43.00 km – Toronto Goodlife Marathon
  7. May 2012 – 21.37 km – training run
  8. May 2012 – 44.04 km – Ottawa Marathon
  9. June 2012 – 21.12 – training run
  10. July 2012 – 21.14 – training run
  11. December 2012 – 23.21 – training run
  12. December 2012 – 24.14 – training run

Upcoming Half Marathons

  1. December 16, 2012 – 30 km training run
  2. December 23, 2012 – 30 km training run
  3. December 30, 2012 – 34 km training run
  4. January 6, 2013 – 34 km training run
  5. January 12, 2013 – 21.2 km Donald Duck Half Marathon
  6. January 13, 2013 – 42.2 km Mickey Mouse Marathon

The Sixth Element

Of all the pictures of carbon I could find on the interwebs, this was my favourite - the electrons are negative, the neutrons are indifferent, and the protons are super happy. Hilarious. Image source: http://shirt.woot.com/blog/post/orbital-model-of-the-carbon-atom
Of all the pictures of carbon I could find on the interwebs, this was my favourite – the electrons are negative, the neutrons are indifferent, and the protons are super happy. Hilarious. Image source: http://shirt.woot.com/blog/post/orbital-model-of-the-carbon-atom

Remember yesterday how I rambled on and on about being a big waste of carbon?

Okay, maybe I didn’t specifically write that I was a big waste of carbon, but given how lazy I felt and the less than A-Game I put forth for the Three-way Challenge of Awesomeness, I’d be hard pressed to provide an argument proving that the carbon in my body was being used as productively as possible.

Today I took the first steps to correct this problem. And by that, I mean that I finally got my ass off of the couch and onto the treadmill1. This is only the first of many steps over the next 6 weeks to get myself prepared and feeling strong enough to run the Goofy race2. And I will do it.

Of course, the next 6 weeks are going to be challenging. Beyond the fact that December is an I’d better wear my eating pants kind of month, the running schedule is going to be blistering. Tomorrow, for example, I really need to spend about 2 hours running since today I ran for 1 hour. I figure that the best prep for the Goofy race is to run a particular distance or time, and then double it the next day.

With this in mind, I figure that my tentative weekend running schedule is going to look something like this:

  • December 2/3 – run 1 hour (~12 km)/2 hours (at least 21.1 km)
  • December 8/9 – run 12 km/24 km
  • December 15/16 – run 15 km/30 km
  • December 22/23 – run 15 km/30 km
  • December 29/30 – run 17 km/34 km
  • January 5/6 – run 17 km/34 km
  • January 12/13 – run 21.1 km/42.2 km

If I stick to this schedule I’ll run at least 324 kilometres in 6 weeks. I write at least because there should also be shorter runs between these – some for speed, some for hills, and some for recovery. After the 6th of January, however, I’ll be completely tapering so that my legs are perfectly rested for Goofy.

Whatever happens over the next 6 weeks, I know that I’ve got this. I owe it to the sixth element because the carbon in my body deserves to be useful.

1 I realize that I’m making it seem like I did absolutely nothing during November. I know that isn’t the case, but I need to embrace the kick-ass take names later attitude; think of it as momentum to get me through the next month and the upcoming Goofy race.

2 Holy hell, the race is in 6 weeks. EEP.


I Am Inspired

All smiles as Mark gets ready to start his third marathon

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post1, today was the Toronto Waterfront Marathon – a marathon that I had signed up to run a few months ago. The very same marathon that I didn’t train for sufficiently and hence had to DNS2 this weekend. And as I mentioned yesterday, I was quite bummed about all of this. I really should have put in the effort to run it.

Should’ve. Would’ve. Could’ve.

The point is I didn’t run today but I did get up to see my friend Mark off. Watching him go through the morning marathon ritual, heading down with him to the starting gates, feeling the electricity in the air, the nervous energy, the smiling faces; it all could have been a huge reminder of my big fail. Instead it was nothing short of awe-inspiring. It reminded me why I love running. The sense of community. The sense of pride. The challenge. The struggles. The success and overwhelming sense of satisfaction at conquering something amazing.

At 81, this dude just ran a 3:33 marathon. Awesome!

As the horn sounded for the first wave of the marathon I watched the runners pass by. The training, the effort, the hard work was all behind them; what lay before them were forty-two point two kilometres of highs and lows that would ultimately lead them to the finish line and the sweet taste of victory. I watched as Mark ran by, looking strong, smiling as he started his long road to his third marathon. I knew what he must have been feeling. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched him go.

I wandered about for a bit; grabbed a coffee and some breakfast, and basked in the overwhelming sense of inspiration I’d just been given. I thought about my upcoming Goofy race. I thought about the work that needed to be done between now and then. I thought about how I am going to crush it. No more excuses. No more slacking. My thoughts were on repeat: Suck it up Gillis.

Mark post marathon (with the promised post marathon beer) – still smiling and sporting a new personal best of 3:43. Amazing job Mark. I’m so proud of you.

I watched the runners at various points throughout the race before making my way to the finish line. I saw runners of all shapes and sizes; from the scrawny and gaunt to the muscle-bound and sometimes overweight, the young, the old, the differently abled. It was impossible not to feel inspired. It was impossible not to smile and cheer them on.

I saw a man collapse with 200 metres to go in the half marathon. He was immediately surrounded by paramedics who watched as he vomited several times. He shook it off like it was nothing, got back up and kept running.

Later I witnessed another man collapse in the very same spot. He was running the full marathon and in much worse condition. I watched as another man helped him up and walk him across the finish line.

Be prepared Goofy – Mark and I are coming for you.

I was privileged to see an 81-year-old man finish the full marathon in 3 hours 33 minutes. I was humbled watching the wheelchair marathoners push through the final hill of the race to thunderous applause. I was moved when I saw a man run the final few hundred metres with his two sons. And I was almost brought to tears when I saw another man cross the line and begin crying what I assume were tears of joy, of accomplishment, of doing something that seemed beyond what anyone should be capable of doing.

I watched as person after person finished the half or full marathon, completing whatever journey they had set out for themselves. I watched their smiles grow. I witnessed their joy. And it was awesome.

Today was incredible and I am inspired.

I Am Inspired.

1 And by mentioned I clearly mean whinged.

2 Did Not Start. Insert sad face here.


Boo. Just Boo.

Sad puppy is sad.

So tomorrow is the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and instead of taking part in the 42.2 km trek across Toronto, I’m going to be watching from the sidelines.

I won’t lie; I’m rather bummed out about this. I really want to be running tomorrow. I really should be running tomorrow. But I know that running wouldn’t be the smartest thing for me to do. My training hasn’t been what it should have been. I’m definitely not prepared for the distance.

Still, there’s a large part of me that feels like a big bag of suck. Just run it. You’ve done it before. Don’t be such a wuss. All these thoughts are going through my head. All these thoughts are making me feel less than.

But I realize that not running the race tomorrow is the appropriate thing to do. In fact, I realize that not running the race tomorrow is the right thing to do. Because I need to be okay with not always winning; sometimes life gets in the way; sometimes limitations creep in; sometimes priorities change.

Sadly, despite knowing all of this – I’m still bummed about the situation.

Boo. Just boo.