I've scheduled one more marathon before the winter hits: Kelowna on Oct 9. This will be a real test for me, since it is my last chance this year to finish in under 3hrs. It also marks a new phase in my training; my speedy recovery after the Edmonton marathon encouraged me to attempt 40km+ distances on my Sunday runs. Last weekend I ran the full 42km distance, and suffered nothing worse than sore calf muscles. This morning I ran 46km, next week I'm shooting for 50km. Amazingly, my joints haven't been complaining at all, so I'll knock on wood and hope that they don't start. The purpose of these runs is to avoid the slow-down that hit me at the 30km mark in my previous two marathons. I have to make my body understand that it is capable of sticking to my race pace for the full 42km.
Today was the Terry Fox Run, so I had plenty of company during the downtown portion of my run. It was nice to see all those smiling faces, and to be reminded that running is not just about competition. It's also about inspiration. Terry Fox is not a hero because he ran 40+km per day for months on end — and on just one leg — regardless of how amazing that feat was. He is a hero because he inspired hundreds of millions of people. He taught us that if we are audacious enough, and persistent enough, that anything is possible.
One other short addition to my post: I was saddened to read on Ellie Greenwood's blog that she DNF'd at the world 100km championships, due to an upset stomach. Her blog is a real inspiration to me, it amazes me that one of the best ultrarunners in the world is in my own backyard (Banff) — she won last year's 100km world championship and has also won many other races at 100km, 125km, and even 100 miles. Without people like Ellie, I wouldn't even consider attempting a 50km run.