I’ve watched the runners go in pouring rain—that malicious horizontal Halifax rain that makes you just want to get inside as quickly as possible, not run around for fun. I’ve watched them go in dank fog and on unseasonably chilly Sunday mornings, when any normal person would still be in bed. And year after year, as Blue Nose Marathon weekend came and went, I’ve had the nagging feeling that I’ve been missing out.
When I was out of shape, I just contented myself with snide comments like “THAT looks like fun” and didn’t think much more about it. Then, starting about 18 months ago, I got in better shape. I worked for almost a year with trainer Jon Ells at GoodLife, losing 48 pounds (and six inches around my waist). And, as I got more serious about my fitness, I had to admit what I’d always suspected. Those runners did look like they were having fun preparing for the Blue Nose, making it into a rite of spring.
About six months ago, I told Ells that I was thinking about running this year. He was all for the idea, and gave me lots of good suggestions on training, diet and lifestyle to get in shape. I’ve continued doing team training at under Ells’s instruction—and seen my overall fitness continue to improve. I also joined the Team Myles running group, led by Devin Sherrington from 360 Fit. I’ve learned a lot from him about pacing and intensity and getting the most out of my runs. I talked to my doctor, who told me my knees, taxed by a decade of obesity, can’t handle a long run. So, I’ve been preparing for the 10K—I want to do the longest distance I possibly can.
Training has been tough—tougher than I expected. I had a nagging muscle sprain that hobbled me for weeks. Last month, as my training should have been hitting its stride, I fell ill with an incapacitating flu. Under doctor’s orders, I did almost no training at all for two weeks. I had been approaching the point where I could do the distance, but after being sick for so long, it feels like my training is starting all over again. I’ll almost certainly end up doing the 5K. That disappointed me at first. Heck, I wanted to go for the half-marathon until my doctor talked some sense into me. But I have to remember, 5K is 5K more than I was doing two years ago. I’ll be back for the 10K, if not more, next year.
I’m looking forward to experiencing the Blue Nose first hand (events May 16 to 18). I’ve heard a lot about the camaraderie, the event’s connection to the city. I’m impressed by the broad cross-section of Haligonians who have become part of the event. I’ve seen the Blue Nose grow from “potential May tourism attraction” to a real Halifax institution.
I’ll be blogging about the adventure throughout the month. Drop by and share your stories. Have you run in the Blue Nose before? What advice do you have for a first-timer? What does the event mean to you?