Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Importance of a Strong Network in Creating a Strong Runner!

Recently I've had a few obstacles arise in my marathon training. I had some extra thinking time on my hands and it really made me grateful for the awesome support network that I am surrounded by. 
My biggest support crew right here! I can always count on Matt to boost my confidence when I am just plain doubtful of my abilities and Lola is always down for a post-long run nap on the couch.
Running is one of those powerful things that can make you feel like you can conquer anything one day and then have you sobbing in a friend's arms the next, (not that I have ever done that-wink wink).

One of things that's really important to me is having a strong support crew that I can draw upon when things get tough. Remember, not every day will be PB breaking with unicorns, BQ'ing with glitter, coffee and rainbows. That's just not how the pendulum swings.

I am very fortunate to have so many running friends in my neighbourhood! On very cold days when I just want to snuggle in bed with Lola, I'll get up and join them for our monthly Jog and Joe. And I think we can all agree that running with friends is way more fun, especially when the mercury dips below zero. Not to mention the promise of a nice hot cup of java at the end! Am I right?!
Photo from our Jog and Joe on the Road: Location - Jumping Bean, Bedford
It's also a great excuse to whip out the Santa Socks when the holidays are upon us.
Photo from our Christmas Marathon Launch on Dec. 24, 2016
Sometimes you need support tackling that marathon pace run.
And clearly a jump shot is in order when you do.
You also might need support when you feel like nothing is working out...

It's also a bonus when you have a  "training partner" for an upcoming race. I don't necessarily mean that you train with each run stride by stride and side by side, but someone you can hash out training challenges and successes with.

Although we are very different paces, Matt and I enjoyed our Chicago Marathon training that much more because we shared the journey together. 
And obviously it doesn't have to be your significant other - in fact many races I do are shared with running friends as well.

It was an amazing feeling to wish each other luck at the start and then see everyone rock their race at the finish! Clearly, post-race big smile selfies are the best!
Sometimes your support crew comes from the people who you have NEVER met in person! For instance, check out my Insta-friends I met at Chicago for the very first time! 

 And let us not forget Blogging friends! Virtual support goes a long way!!!!
Megan from Meg Go Run and I at the Athlete's Village in Boston 2014.

I LOVE that even though I'm the only member of my family who enjoys road racing, they ALL come out to cheer me on for one of my favourite races each summer when I go home to visit. The race becomes something we all take part in together at some capacity and I'm not leaving them during my short time home.

And they come out even when it's sideways rain!!!!!

It's also fun to "Race" with friends! Each year for a local 25km race I run it as a training run for the Boston Marathon. I don't like to race it fast because of how close it is to the marathon, but it's great to run with friends and take in the scenery.

Marg and I at the 2016 Moose Run 25km
Not everyone in my support network is a running friend clearly! If  you're like me many of them are! It's always great to spend time with friends talking about and doing other things than running as well. It always becomes very apparent to me how much of a role running plays in my life when I'm down and out on the sick or injured list. And I have to say that I find it very refreshing at times to take a mental break from training and hit up a movie or favourite restaurant with friends.

My coworkers and students are also a strong component in my network. Last year I was blind-sided when my school threw me an amazing kick-off to Boston assembly! I couldn't be more thankful truly! During the marathon I drew so much strength from them. 

No matter what, I would not be as strong, confident or dedicated if it wasn't for my crew! Thank you. :) 
Who do you consider to be your biggest supporters?
How have they helped you succeed?

Happy Running,
Heather :)

1 comment:

  1. Such a great's nice to know so many people are rooting for you!!