I have always been a fit recreational athlete, but never really enjoyed running until I completed my first 5k, 8k and 10k races with a good group of friends in 1997 — and things changed.
I joined my first running clinic when I moved to Montreal. Running became my escape from the daily grind of being a grad student, and a great opportunity to meet new people in a new city. I ran a couple races, but I was never inclined to run more than 10k.
After taking some time off running while living in Pittsburgh, I moved back to Toronto and took up running again, and I’ve even coached a couple of running clinics since coming home. Clinic members have thanked me for making them runners again and expressed how much they love the sport; it’s compliments like those that make me want to keep giving back to the running community.
I met Cory and the other women committee members through volunteering at a few races. Running has helped me reconnect with an old university friend, whom I had not seen for over 15 years, and have met many new friends who have run a combined total of over a hundred marathons. Cory and my other amazing running friends have given me valuable training advice, taught me all about the sport, made me want to be a better runner.
It was also my good friends who motivated me to finally tackle the half marathon. I first registered for the Toronto Women’s Half, as well as a couple of tune-up races: an 8k and another half-marathon in Montreal at the beginning and end of April, respectively, as a way to evaluate my fitness before my spring goal race: The Toronto Women’s Half Marathon.
What excites me most is going through the process of training for a half marathon, and reaping the rewards at the end. I know it won’t be easy but along the way, I’ll remember to have fun! My biggest fear is becoming (and staying) injured. As an expert on injury prevention, I am usually pretty attuned to my body and hopefully I’ll be able to follow that adage: “practice what you preach.”
My goal is to feel strong and athletic, not just fit. Other goals include:
- Consistent core strengthening
- Rest when I need to
- Maintain perspective when life/training hiccups inevitably appear.
My training started in early January and so far I’ve been doing 3-4 workouts per week. I’ve felt better after each subsequent long run—save one long run cut short by snow-covered sidewalks. My legs felt like lead after covering only 8.2 km in 76 minutes!
I am grateful for the opportunity to blog about my training, and to everyone who follows me along this journey.
Brenda Santos has a doctoral degree in occupational biomechanics, has published work in scientific journals related to ergonomics, work-related musculoskeletal injuries, gait and posture, work-disability prevention, has been a coach and instructor for several running clinics, and is training for her first (and second) half marathons this spring.