Eventually this blog will become a wonderful story, collaboration and reflection of our journey, education and commitment to how and why we've become vegan runners. At age 40, with two children (Jackson and Nathan), we've discovered something in ourselves that we didn't know existed and the result of this discovery has had an incredible impact on our life, our love, and our family.

This blog is intended to share our experiences as plant based runners. Come on in and join our story...

~ Zoe and Brad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter Training...Reflections by Brad

There is definitely a little more meaning in the knowing nod or wave from a fellow runner in the winter months. The eyes betray the discipline and determination required to maintain a training regimen in cold weather. Focused. Singular. Abrupt even. But, if you look deeper, in that split second of eye contact, there is respect, camaraderie and kinship. With my next marathon set for late May in Ottawa, eight weeks from now, I have been reflecting a great deal on the last few months of training. I competed in the Around the Bay road race in late March (30k-Hamilton, Ontario). That race signals the end of winter and the start of spring for me.
Training through the winter in Southern Ontario, definitely has its challenges. Weather being the biggest of them. Cold temperatures are a given. It is the unpredictable mix of snow, sleet and rain that brings questions of sanity to the forefront of ones mind. But, I'm not alone. I'll cross paths with another person. I assume they know what I know. I can see it in their eyes. The outdoors can be very majestic when not over populated by humans. Some of the best runs I have ever had were in the dead of winter. The roads and trails are nearly deserted. Many times I have come across deer on a snow covered forest path and marveled at how silently they go about their business. Other times, when the snow is fresh and the sky is grey, running on a country road can feel like entering a living charcoal sketch, where the only colours are black and white and the shades between. Then there are times when the air is cold and crisp. The ground is dry and hard. The sun is blinding, and the sky is the most amazing bright blue, a blue very different from the rest of the year. So different from spring, summer and fall that you forget all about it until the next winter sighting. I see all of this in that split second of recognition.
Rather than use the weather as a crutch or an excuse, I try to embrace it and enjoy all it has to offer. It's nice to know there are others who feel the same. There is no better feeling than standing in a hot shower, with a recovery smoothie, taking stock of that days run. The sense of accomplishment and the refocusing on work still to be done is invaluable, and is what keeps me coming back for more. That, and the knowing glance.