We have under two weeks until the Nike Women's 15k, can you believe it? There's definitely an excitement in the air and at our runs as we all prepare for the final push in our training, and the signs are evident around the city as well. I've been noticing the inspirational billboards and posters around the city for awhile now, the windows at The Bay have been dedicated to Nike Women, and as we approach the race, we're learning more about everything else that's planned for the weekend as well. Trust me, it's going to be good.
So yes, definitely exciting, but for all of us newer runners especially, there's also an element of fear as we approach the big day. Sure, it's no marathon or half marathon, but 15k is still a considerable distance, and though our Rainbow Run Club has been training hard, most of us have also experienced setbacks and frustrations, often in the form of injuries or general aches and pains. Running is tough on your body, there's no doubt about it, especially when you push yourself, which is exactly what a lot of us have been doing.
The biggest thing for me, especially in these final weeks, has been listening to my body. In previous weeks I talked a lot about the pain in my knee and hip I was feeling and the frustrations that it led to, and that's been a consistent theme throughout this training journey. I definitely pushed it too hard at the beginning and felt the negative effects of that, so instead I've been focusing on finding a balance between running, strength training and more restorative activities, like yoga and extensive stretching using a foam roller. This has made a world of difference, and having a ClassPass membership during these few months has been a lifesaver, allowing me to pick and choose the classes I want to do depending on how I'm feeling and what my body needs on any given day.
This week I've been increasing my distances, with a 10k on Monday night and a 13k long run with Nike I'm planning on signing up for on Saturday. To be completely honest, the distance itself is still daunting, but with every run I can feel myself getting stronger, and that in and of itself is extremely rewarding. I'm competitive by nature, so I think going into this I felt the pressure to run an amazing race time and pace, but throughout the training journey and especially with the pain I've experienced, I've reevaluated my priorities a little bit and am more focused on the experience itself and running what feels good for me. Running a 15k is a huge accomplishment for someone who has just started running in the past few months, and I think that's the mentality we all need to have going into it, without putting too much negative pressure on ourselves. Again, it goes back to listening to your body.
Starting the Rainbow Run Club and running with these amazing women every week has been one of the best parts about the 15k, hands down. I now look forward to Monday nights, to spending time with the group and pushing each other to run faster and farther, and we've been treated to some amazing experiences throughout the training journey. Last week we ended our run at Village Juicery for a hydration session and juice samples, learning tips and tricks about staying hydrated leading up to race day and on the day itself, which I know will be extremely important. It's these extra incentives that also help us to push through each and every run, and like they say, there's power in numbers.
Photos: Jason Matos