Tag Archives: mental training

Musings from the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon

I was in Toronto last weekend! It was marathon weekend!  Another great training day for my ultras. Bonnie’s Dream Team tell of the conditions for marathon day.

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Bonnie’s Dream Team FB post


People who come out as cheerers are so amazing. The push they give you is priceless. Lots of Love to you, Bonnie.

I’m amazed I got myself to the start line. The night before a race is always restless but this night-before was almost torture. My hotel room was right next to 2 rooms hosting a rowdy party. Grrrrrrr. I politely phoned reception twice and politely yelled in the corridor. The revellers eventually trouped out to take their party elsewhere. They came back at 3am. The only consolation was there were less of them at 3am than 11pm. I was so stressed by the whole thing I got no sleep. Not a wink. I told myself running sleepless would be good training for my 100 miles!


The Start

Like Bonnie’s Dream Team said, the marathon was cold, wet and windy. The last 8k, as always, was hard! I thought I had blown my pacing and at 8k could see myself slowing and slowing then slowing some more to the end. But, at 4k to go I found myself running beside another girl and without saying anything (we were too knackered) we helped each other to pick up the pace for those last kilometers; a LONG straight section. The fine rain was pelting into us. I was cold. Every piece of me and every piece of my clothing was sodden. It felt so awesome to run with Danielle (I saw her name on her bib). We were wet marathon sisters trying to finish strongly. And we did.

Crossing the oh-so-welcome finish line Danielle and I emotionally thanked each other for the support. Then I looked around for a space blanket. I was freezing. I had been thinking about a space blanket for 4K. In fact, I thought I would ask nicely for two. Sadly there were none. Never mind. I would use my ultrarunning mental training, be mentally strong and transcend the cold. Not easy!

Onwards to the medals. Wow! The medals! All I could think of was “that’s a big medal” Truly, it was the biggest marathon medal I had ever seen. All I could think of was – this is going to ruin my “travel-light”journey. I had a plane to catch the next day!

Laden down, I hauled the medal to the bag collection area. Thankfully I had wrapped my change of clothes in plastic bags. Our bags were outside and my bag was almost as wet as me.

Where to change?! I spied 2 small white tents. One had a W on it and the other an M on it. I opened the flap on the tent with the W. Yes, it was the right place to change. I squeezed myself in among wet, shivering runners all unashamedly stripping off wet clothes and replacing them with dry stuff. This wasn’t easy in the cramped, cold, wet tent. It was fun, though. We all chattered about how hard the last part of the race was, how cold we were and how hard it was to change our socks while having to hobble on one leg; there was nowhere dry to sit. We were a tribe of warriors. Or nutters! It was so good to get these dry layers on.

I later found out that my time of 3 hours 55 mins and 6 secs counts as an age-group Boston Qualifier and a “Good for Age” qualifier for London. Woo hoo what an awesomely, brilliant day! Thank you Toronto.



The Large Medal



MarathonFoto pic. Heading to the finish line. Yeah!

Resource: If you’re interested in a route description for the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon here’s a link. I did a quick piece of pre-race googling and this was the first page my clicking took me to. It seemed a comprehensive route description so I didn’t look further.

Chilly Chase 10K race…Feed The Flowers..

Today’s training was another fun tempo run/race-The Chilly Chase 10K in Vancouver, BC. There was a 5K, 10K, 15K and half marathon option. Instead of getting in as many miles as possible I chose the 10K tempo run option 🙂

Here’s the run on Strava.


As I was warming up my mind settled on words from a podcast I listened to yesterday. It was the Running On OM podcast and host Julia Hanlon was chatting with Lauren Fleshman -Olympic runner and blogger/writer. Lauren was answering listeners’ questions and one of the questions sent in by a listener asked for tips to increase mental strength in training and racing. The sender of the question felt she was not reaching her potential due to a lack of mental strength. I have been reading about mental training and mindset as I know that it is going to be a huge part of getting through my 100 mile race in July. I am currently reading Travis Macy’s book “The Ultra Mindset” which is great. Julia and Lauren came at the subject in a slightly different way and I loved their conversation.Their comments included


“Ask yourself -should I be trying to do that thing that I keep NOT doing?” “Let it go a little”

“Recalibrate your goals and PRACTICE ACHIEVING your goals”

“Practice succeeding and living up to expectations instead of practicing NOT living up to expectations”

“Saying you have a lack of mental strength is NOT TRUE. You are asking your brain to do something it’s not ready to do yet. Work up to it”

“Get used to believing that you can do the things you set out to do”

“It is so important that you tell yourself you are mentally strong…..feed the flowers”


I ran the race with these thoughts in my head. I ran my best time in the last few years 47.37.