It's been well over six weeks since I've been able to run due to a stress fracture in my right foot. I'm happy to say that the rest time was worth it, and I am now pain free and back to running. And it's a good thing to, because in less than 5 weeks I will officially start training for my next half-marathon. That's right, I'm diving right into my 4th half.
This one is going to be extra special and extra fun! I was struggling to find a local 1/2 in and around the June time frame that I could do. Johnny Miles seemed like a good choice, but the date coincided with a family event, so that was out. While talking it over with Hilary, she suggested I expand my hunt beyond the Maritimes. A quick search found the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon in June.
Running in Niagara Falls has been on my bucket list for a while now. My Grandparents lived in Niagara Falls and I spent a lot of time there growing up. The idea of running through the mist of the Falls and along the river sounded perfect. A plan started to form.
Of course the first thing that I thought was that I didn't want to go to this race alone. My mom would be there to cheer me on, since she lives less than an hour away, but having someone to run it with me would be even better. So I reached out to running friends and we all checked our calendars, plane ticket prices and the plan came together. There are 4 of us going to Niagara Falls!
We had our kick off run this weekend followed by a planning brunch. We are all at different levels of running - between us we have someone who has never run a half, someone who has run 1, one who has run 2 and myself who has done 3. And we all run at different paces. We joked that between all of our various injuries we could make one fully working body. We also all have different work/family schedules, so our training plan is being hashed out one week at a time. Our main goal is to all run together at least once a week, preferably for our long runs, and that other shorter runs will either be done on our own, or in various combinations within the group.
I am so happy to have a great group of friends to join me on this journey. As a thank you to all of them, and to help us get through some of the tougher runs, I ordered custom made shoe charms with our mantra: 1) Have Fun 2) Don't Die 3) Finish.
It is definitely a unique mantra, but one we have used for a while now at many races. Reminding us that having fun is the reason we are there in the first place; knowing that even though we are pushing ourselves hard, we aren't going to actually die; and finishing are the motivation that we sometimes need.
So let the running begin! Niagara Falls, here we come.