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42Ks in 42 Days 

Day 7 - So long, fared well

Now I know that some of you are thinking, “If you took a day off, then how come you’re updating your blog?” Let me explain. My first day of training was also the day I wrote my introduction to the page, and ever since then I have written my recap the day after it happened – Monday’s run was written on Tuesday, Tuesday on Wednesday, yada yada yada. Saturday was a rest day, which meant no writing on Sunday, but since I was a day behind I decided to play catch up. Satisfied?

Not as satisfied as I was with today’s run, I bet. I was originally scheduled to run at 8:30AM this morning, but a last minute after party at Niche (thank you Jill Barber) and Dane Cook on Saturday Night Live kept me up way past my bedtime. I distinctly remember dreaming about taking out the garbage, but when I woke up the trash was still in front of the door and it was 10:00AM. Oops. I guess my date with the Running Room will have to happen some other time.

I could have slept until noon easily, but I had to get the run under my belt for two reasons: 1) it was my first long run since I started this crazy training program and 2) I had a wedding to attend at 1:30PM. Knowing that it would take me the better part of two hours to cover 20+ kilometers, I jumped into my cleanest running gear and headed out the door.

I had no particular direction for my run, but based on some rough calculations I figured that I needed to be on the road for at least one hour and forty-five minutes. Starting at the Common, I slowly made my way down Cornwallis and eventually found myself on the waterfront, weaving through small crowds of cruise ship visitors. I don’t know what they were thinking landing here in October – it was five degrees when I left my house – but it’s not my place to tell them how to spend their money. I hope the Harbour Hopper dude brought some extra sweaters.

Soon the Waterfront morphed into Marginal Road, Marginal Road morphed into Point Pleasant Park, and Point Pleasant Park morphed into Franklyn Drive. I ran through the rows of houses with surprising ease, careful not to look at my watch for fear of discouragement. One particularly large brick house had a trail behind it, so I improvised and ran through it, hoping I wouldn’t find a dead end. Luckily, it spit me out on Beaufort Avenue, so I continued towards Oxford, running slowly but smoothly. I finally looked at my watch at the corner of Jubilee and Oxford, and realized I had been running for close to an hour. I had a few routes plotted out from that area, but they were far too short, so I ducked down to Connaught Avenue (I just realized if you’re not from Halifax that you’ll probably need a map to follow me), turned onto Quinpool and made my way to the Armdale Rotary. This took me further from my house than I expected, but at this point I was still over half an hour short of my goal and I needed as much distance as possible. As long as my legs didn’t give way, I was going to be fine.

I had nothing to worry about. The seemingly endless hill on Joseph Howe Drive was pretty tricky, but after that everything was peachy keen. Endorphins kicking in full throttle, I zigzagged through the West Side, turned towards the North End, and looped around my neighbourhood until I hit 1:45 on the nose. Goal in hand, I walked to Joe’s Convenience for a celebratory Gatorade and went home with plenty of time to spare for the wedding.

On top of the amazing run, I also learned a valuable lesson - slow and steady doesn’t always win the race, but it will help you finish in one piece. My pace wasn’t extraordinarily fast, but it allowed my to hit my target without pain or injury. I’ve been known to push myself when it’s not necessary, and have often paid the price for it on race day. I won’t make the same mistake this time.

One week into training and my two most challenging workouts have been the easiest to get through. It’s odd, but I am not going to complain. I’ll take an effortless 20K over and effortless 5K any day.

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