A change of course to achieve a goal & a great result!

Hello everyone,

How are you today? I hope you are in fine fettle.

Changing course…

Gosh! Doesn’t time fly? I last posted a blog over a month ago. In Embracing my next big challenge: but can I go the distance?, I told you about my goal to run the Vancouver Marathon and a little bit about how my training was going…

Well, to be perfectly honest, it was going really well until I did something silly in the gym and strained my muscles around my knees, which set my training programme back by a couple of weeks. After a rest to let my legs recover, I resumed my training….albeit somewhat gingerly….especially on the hills. My progress improved but, for some reason, I could not break through the half marathon distance. My training mentor, Albert, in South Africa dropped me an email to check in with me about how my training was going and I told him what had happened. He gave me some sound advice and so I made a decision.

I could have been disappointed, but oddly enough I wasn’t and actually felt quite relieved.

I realised that I would need a lot more time to achieve the three consecutive weeks of reaching 30 km training runs, and I did not have sufficient time until race day. So I made the switch. It was easy enough to do. I spoke to a lovely lady in the Run Van office, who told me it was no trouble at all to switch my registration to the half marathon and she said it was better to be safe than sorry! The Vancouver Marathon itself wasn’t going anywhere, so I could always train for it another year.

So I aimed to run the half marathon on race day, 7th May 2023.

Here is the half marathon course.

After making that decision, I felt the heavy weight of self-doubt lift from my shoulders and I could once again focus on getting the most out of my training days and still aim to achieve a decent goal – 21.1km (which is 13 miles in old money). I kept going with the longer training runs at the weekends….

…and some shorter, sharper and somewhat steeper runs on the hills.

Did I go the distance?

Soon enough, Saturday 6th May 2023, dawned far too early, when Brett and I stirred our somnolent bodies out of our bed and stumbled to the car. We wanted to catch the early morning ferry over to Swartz Bay, so we could pick up our pre-booked slot on the 10.00am ferry to Vancouver….but then this happened.

Never mind! We got to Vancouver in time for me to go to the Expo to check in for the race…

Then we found our Air b n b, had an early tea and settled in for the evening. I squeezed in a lovely soak in a hot bath before bed. In the blink of an eye, it was 5.00am and time to get up and get ready for the off! So how did I do?

…..here is the race result….and a few other surprises!

All in all, I have had a great experience over the last six months since the Camino del Norte. I have relished the training, learned loads and managed to improve my overall fitness. Although I did not run the full marathon, I thoroughly enjoyed the half marathon and setting several personal records to boot! Thanks for all of you, who have encouraged me on my training journey. I have really appreciated the kind words of encouragement and the cheers!

So what next? Well, my hubby decided to sign us both up for the Royal Victoria Half Marathon on 8th October 2023! No rest for the wicked eh? I have given myself this week off to allow my body to fully recover and will resume training this coming weekend. I probably won’t bore you all with more of the same type of training videos, but I will post up the odd training highlight now and again and also short video blog posts on lessons I have learned, in case these are useful to any of you, who might contemplate taking up running in mid life! Go for it!

For the next few weeks and months, my creative focus will be on recording and producing more music videos and editing and uploading video blogs from our eco-build, as well as catching up on the videos from our Theros sailing and walking adventures from last year.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Sending you much love and peace from Salt Spring Island,

Sarah x


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