It’s almost time. In just over a week, runners from all over the GTA will toe the line for the ScotiaBank Toronto Waterfront Marathon #STWM. And with all the #taperstats being shared by Toronto runners on Twitter, I couldn’t help but chime in with my own update about how my race prep is going.

And lucky for me, my running seems to have turned a corner in the last few weeks (just in the nick of time!)

You see…

After completing my first half-marathon in May at the GoodLife Toronto Marathon, I wasn’t exactly eager to do another one. That race was wet, cold and rife with chafe (sorry but it’s true).

And then a funny thing happened.

Why I Signed Up For #STWM

One of my colleagues signed up for #STWM, and she wouldn’t stop talking about it. Eventually, around mid-August, I gave in to the peer pressure and signed up… a decision I immediately regretted.

That’s because I’d done most of my running indoors this summer – the heat in the city was absolutely stifling. So the transition back to pavement was a painful one. Then, just as I was getting into my running groove, a bunch of friends and I travelled to Washington State to partake in a week long party and worship at the shrine of Dave Matthews Band. As you might have guessed: Zero runs accomplished.

So by the second week of September, I was struggling to get back into running. My splits were almost all positive and my legs felt like they were made of lead. Something had to be done!

I kicked up the training. A lot.

How I Trained For STWM

Since then, I’ve been running at least 3 times a week, with a big focus on speed work.

Specifically, I’m doing intervals on the track twice a week before heading to the office. And I’m swimming on the off days, which seems to be a great low-impact way to blast away residual lactic acid.

Finally, I’m topping it all off with longer endurance runs on the weekend. The last three Saturday’s I’ve cranked out 20km runs at increasingly quick paces. With a little luck and some race day adrenaline, I might be able to pull off a PR. #fingerscrossed

This has been a big turn of events for me. I felt like the Titanic bearing down at an iceberg. Somehow I corrected course. Plus, the morning pre-office exercise has really made a difference. I feel much more alive and able to hit the ground running at work. It’s a nice side benefit.

So what’s next, now that there are only 10 days until the main event? Well, I’m planning to do one more long run this weekend and then start to dial it back next week before game time on Sunday.

At this point….

I think my biggest challenge will be staying healthy. At this time of year the TTC sounds like a hospital ward. And the coughing, sputtering and hacking in my open concept workplace doesn’t exactly instil confidence either. So for the next 10 days it’s all hand sanitizer and paranoia for me!

Good luck to everyone else who is participating in this great Toronto running event. I hope to see you at the #STWM finish line!