It’s been about 2 months now since I started my Journey to a Half Marathon. If you haven’t read my first blog about this, here is a quick synopsis. In February 2020, I declared that I would run my first half marathon in February 2021 at Disney World. Yes folks, I want to run the Princess Half Marathon. 2021 is the year that I will turn 50 and I have never done a race like this before. Great way to celebrate turing 50!
So, I started my training and wow how things have changed in such a short period of time. With all that is going on in the world right now, it certainly challenged me to keep going in ways that I could have never imagined. Only a few short weeks after I started training, social distancing rules were brought into effect, the gym I go to was closed to keep people safe, a 5km training race I had signed up for was cancelled and a state of emergency in Ontario was declared. All things that one would think would derail my training and bring it to a halt.
But, it did not. I have a strong routine with daily habits that made it easy for me to continue making my health a priority. It just required some modifications of how is all. In fact, I’m training just as hard as I set out to, I’m just training differently now. I still do my runs three times a week around my neighbourhood. We are still able to go outside for exercise, we just must follow social distancing rules. Parks and trails are closed, but running on the streets around where I live is still ok.
Thankfully the gym I go to, “Eat the Frog – Burlington” setup “On the Go” workouts to do from home. A few weeks into quarantine life, they also introduced ‘Coach Led’ workouts via Zoom conferencing to keep the motivation going and enabling us to connect with one another virtutally. Doing cross training three times a week has been an important part of my overall training. Strength, cardio, flexibility and core workouts in conjunction with running have been great for my overall fitness. I’m so thankfull to ETF that they were able to provide us with an alternative during quarantine so my training did not have to stop.
And yes, my home gym is located in our basement arcade! Best combo ever!!! Video games and workouts!!!
To build up to running a half marathon requires baby steps. My plan had been to run a 5km race in June, a 10km race in the fall and then the half marathon in February. Unfortunately, the 5km race I was registered to run on June 6th, was cancelled. But, that does not mean I have to stop training for it. I’m sticking to my plan and along with the rest of the group that was going to run it with, we are doing a virtual race instead. On June 6th, we will each run our 5km race in our own neighbourhoods and log our time using the RunKeeper app. Then we will share our times in our Facebook group and cheer each other on. It won’t have the same energy as an actual race, but it keeps us moving and on track with our training so that hopefully in the fall, we will be able to do a 10km race all together.
In two months, I have shaved off more than 6 minutes on my 5km running time. In fact, this past Sunday, I ran 6km a minute faster than my first 5km run in February. I no longer take walking breaks during my sessions, I run the entire time. My next focus now is on pacing and speed. My goal is to run the 5km on June 6th in under 30 minutes. My current time is 37 minutes.
Exercising is one of the few things that we can all still do, even in quarantine. Keeping active and healthy is so important during this time of unknowns. It is something we can control, albeit with some modifications. When the rest of what’s going on in the world is out of our control, it’s more important than ever to focus on the things we can control.
What are you doing to keep active and healthy?
Amber Dinda is wife, mom of two teenagers and a serial entreprenuer. She has embraced the mid life years as an opportunity to enjoy and explore all that life has to offer and not approach mid life as a crisis. You can follow Amber’s journey and experiences by subscribing to her blog and connecting with her on Facebook or on Instagram.