Why we train

I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves this question, especially when it’s early and dark on a Saturday morning in the Fall, or early Spring.

We train because on race day, we want to finish ‘upright and smiling’. We don’t want to be limping across the finish line, or require medical attention after we get there. We want to be well trained to ‘walk the distance’, and still be able to celebrate our achievement with family and friends. We train because you never know how you are going to feel on race day, or what the weather will be, whether they will have Gatorade on the course, or not. You don’t know if your source of inspiration (your music) will conk out or not. Whatever happens, on race day, be prepared to adjust – your effort and your expectations.

This weekend our walkers were out there – in Toronto at the Scotia Half, and in training at High Park, and in Waterloo at the first walkers only half marathon.

Kudos to Bev and Jackie for a blistering finish at Scotia. They more than met their time goals. Laurel and Sue cheered them in. They also met Carol and some of her pals at the 5k finish, and despite Carol’s lack of training, she was all by herself in a group of runners and finished very strongly. They also cheered in Laurel’s beau, Jeff who finished in great spirits and good time.

Helen, in her role as marathon ‘sweep’, walked the first half with the back of the marathon pack, who were primarily first timers. As to be expected, she motivated them to move faster, by the time she left them halfway. Helen was pleased to say that she herself did the distance without any problems and felt great, which surprised her as she hadn’t walked much at all since July. Goofy isn’t looking so daunting any more! We’re glad that you’re getting back into it Helen!

On Saturday, Susan B. apparently hit her own PB for the same distance, training far from the madding crowd. She is well placed for her full marathon in a few weeks. Diane & Sue enjoyed an 8am start from High Park (they’ll be there at 7am next weekend) and did a respectable under 9k out to the gazebo and back and then had breakfast.

Meanwhile in Waterloo, over 200 walkers assembled at 7am for a very quick start to the half marathon. (Note: we arrived at 6:40am, and wondered where everyone was as the start line at Waterloo Square was barren). Six of us were there – Mary, Ela, Lorna, Sherry, Linda and Phyllis. Katharin H joined us for dinner the night before. She says hello to all and vows to back out walking. We’re looking forward to her self titled “Old(ish) woman walking? blog.

The weather was chilly, only 6 degrees, with the promise of a balmy finish line temperature of 9! Some of us were dressed in as many as four layers, while others were in tank tops and shorts. There were four walking judges on the course to ensure we all had at least one foot on the ground at all times, and had a relatively straight leg.

The course was basically a large square through lovely neighbourhoods, including the university and RIM’s campuses. It was a surprisingly hilly course too, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. The fastest race time for this race – not by any of us, for sure, was 2:15! There were also races for five and ten kilometre distances.

It was a race I believe that many of us would do again, and if you stay overnight –it actually feels like a mini vacation.

Next race coming up is the Toronto International Marathon – in mid October. Until then many of us will be training, so that we can handle whatever happens on race day.

P.S. Even if you are not racing, please come out and walk, whatever the distance, we need you to keep us company.

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