Saturday, December 31, 2011

Onwards and Upwards

I was asked by a friend and fellow blogger to write a positive guest post for her blog for the new year.  This got me thinking about the past year.  It's been an amazing one from an athletic perspective, no doubt.  When I started my 1:40 at 40 quest at the beginning of the year, I really didn't think I'd have the results I've had.  I vowed to make 40 the best year of my life to date and I can honestly say that it has been on many levels.  I've had my most successful racing season to date, my perspective on racing and training has changed and I've gained some much needed confidence in myself and my abilities.

This newfound confidence has me excited for next year.  I'm planning on tackling 2 marathons next year.  One of them will hopefully get me back to Boston.

I went out on my last run of the year, fittingly an 11km, to see out 2011 and reflected on the year.  It was great to be back in our little 'hood.  It was like I came full circle.  The year started off with planning; plans for our new house and plans for my training.  The end of the year saw the fruits of those plans.  I reached my goal and we luckily managed to get back into our house just before Christmas.   Tearing down and rebuilding seemed to be the theme of the year.  We tore down our old house and built a new one and I tore down my perceptions of what I thought I was capable of and built new ones.

Yeah, it was a pretty special year.  I'm looking forward to my journey next year.

Happy New Year to all of my readers who've loyally read my random thoughts.  I appreciate each and every one of you!

I'll leave you with a few pics from my run today.

All the best for a Happy and Healthy 2012!

All photographs copyright Phaedra Kennedy, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011


I literally bounded down the street.  Boing, boing boing.  Just like a cartoon character.  I could see the lake as soon as I stepped out the door.  Ahhhh so good to be back.
Round the bend.  Past the pool.  It's closed now.  Last time I was here it was open for business.
Down 11th.  Winding road.  Onto Lake Promenade.  Ohhh someone is turning that bungalow into a 2 storey.  Nice!  

Pass a fellow runner.  Smile & Wave returned!  The west end is the best end for friendly folks.
Into Stan Smith Park.  Hit by the wind coming off the lake.  Trail or bike path? Hmmmm.  Bike path it is.
Stan Smith Park: copyright Phaedra Kennedy 2011

Dark low slung clouds.  Snow! Ducks on the lake. Quack quack.  Pretty as a picture.  Click click.  Brrrrr.  Gotta keep moving. 

Music?  Ah yes, the figure 8 skating rink.  Whoosh whoosh go the skaters as the glide by.  Cross the driveway, back onto the winding path.  Wind tunnel coming up.  Geeeez it's COLD.   Gusting, pushing.  Not for long.
Stan Smith Park: copyright
Phaedra Kennedy 2011
Skies opening over the spit.  Beautiful.  Click Click.  Gloves back on.  Westward I go.  Look out doggie, here I come.  Share the path.  Thank you! 

Into the shelter of the houses on Lake Promenade.  House for sale on the water.  Cha-ching!  Past the 30th street parkette and the weepy trees.  Cyclist goes by.  Wow!  Crazy, it's freezing out!  More runners, smiles and waves returned.  Yup the west end is the best end.  Coming up to 36th street.  Continue? I glance at my watch.  Maybe next time.  I turn around and retrace my steps.  My legs are like a metronome now.  I know this road.  I've missed road.  It's good to be home.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Re-Kindling The Love.

The first few steps were tentative but I quickly found my stride.  Just like riding a bike.  Your body never really forgets how to move.  I turned the corner only to be beaten back by a huge gust of wind.  Good thing I brought my gloves.  I pulled out my crappy little knit gloves and pulled them on.  Much better.  The wind was gusting and pushing me around.  Awesome.  Nothing like a beat down from Mother Nature on your first foray back to running.  Oh well.  Wind is my friend.  It makes me stronger.  Yeah, I'll go with that.

The push from the wind made me work that much harder but I didn't mind.  It just felt so good to be out again.  To get my heart working and to feel that my stride is still strong.  I could feel the fog of the last few weeks clearing with every step.  My senses becoming more and more focused.   I scanned my body as I ran.  How did my legs feel?  How was my hamstring?  No pain, no tightness.  Excellent.  Keep going.  Shoulders back, no slouching.  

I headed along Bloor towards the apartment, dodging pedestrians.  Yup still light on my feet.  A smile spreading across my face.  Oh how I've missed this.  2+ weeks is far too long.  I need this.  I bounded up the street towards the apartment with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.  This was the most alive I've felt in ages.  I took the stairs two at a time, already thinking about tomorrow's route.  It's official...the love is back.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


QOTD = Quote of the Day.

This one comes to you from the Nike Legend Bill Bowerman.

"The real purpose of running isn't to win a race, it's to test the limits of the human heart."

"Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Natives Are Getting Restless

It's the in between times that are tough.    Mentally and physically.  My mind checks out and my body seems to do exactly the same shortly there after.   I'm sure it's trying to tell me that "enough is enough, you need to rest.  Hell, I need to rest.   So rest I  must.  And I need some TLC as well.  My shattered legs have spoken their mind and refuse to run another step until I get a massage.

Yup, it's officially "Off Season".  It's technically been off season since my A race in October but I decided to throw one last kick at the can in at the end of November.  NOW it's really off season.  I have no races coming up in the near future.  In fact I've got nothing in the books until March.  As much as I welcome the down time, I sometimes find myself spiraling into a hole of complacency.  With no solid goal, it's easy for me to slip down that hole.   I start to feel somewhat uninspired to lace up the shoes and log those empty miles.  Much like I've felt kinda uninspired to write too.

No longer.  The natives are getting restless.  This native in particular.  This is the worst kind of restlessness, where I know I should be resting, my mind wants to be doing but my body says Meh, I don't think so.  So I will have to satisfy myself by starting to think about my marathon training plan, which is slated to start on New Year's Day.  I know.  Nothing like starting off the year with a long run.  At least I should be able to run off my hangover!