So yes. I am crazy. I don’t even like cross-country and yet I requested my coach consider letting me run Nationals Cross Country in Kingston since there is no Chiba Ekiden this year.  As many saw, he initially thought my request was the equivalent to a drunken mis-dial… but no, it was a sober (albeit slightly out of character) idea.

I had initially thought STWM would be how I closed out my season… in terms of “competitive” racing it was.  I am not lining up in Kingston with any big goals or aspirations.  I will be lining up simply to run as well as I can off of a month of transition training (aka running only when the weather suits me, when the term “workout” is used to include anything harder than a jog, and when strength training includes moving boxes for my brother and picking up my nephew and forcing him to dance with me). 

2015 has been a big year.  What started out as a big fat foot turned into a big year of strong racing.  Yep. You read that right.  A big fat foot.  Early into my training block in Kenya I had some discomfort in my foot towards the end of a Sunday long run.  Nothing actually painful, but more like a wrinkle had formed in my shoe tongue or sock and was pressing on the top of my foot.  I got back to my room and saw that the shoe and sock were fine. My foot however, had started to swell and it was the beginning of the fatness that I felt pushing into the top of my shoe.  By breakfast the next day I had no bones in my foot!  I took three days off and pool ran.  By the fourth day the swelling had come down a bit, but it wasn’t completely gone (it is now November and it still hasn’t completely dissipated). 

My coach, the physio I had tracked down in Kenya, and I decided that as long as it was pain free I could start running on it, but we’d back off the mileage just to be on the safe side.  This meant not going for the Rio qualifier in Rotterdam.  Blerg… there goes the plan of knocking off standard early and relieving some pressure.  Or so I thought.

I returned from Kenya fit and started into my racing season. I hopscotched across North America racing in the United New York City Half Marathon, the Modo 8k in Vancouver, the Stanford 10,000m, the Toronto Yonge Street 10k, the Payton Jordon 10,000m at Stanford, the Ottawa 10k National Championships, the Calgary Half Marathon National Championships, the Scotia Bank Vancouver Half, the 5,000m track championships in Edmonton, the 10,000m at Pan Am Games in Toronto, the 10,000m at World Champs in China, and finally the STWM National Championships in Toronto. (I promise I have mini race reports that will be posted shortly).

Despite my fat foot I knocked out an early Rio qualifying mark at the first Stanford meet running 32:11 (32:15 standard) and then knocked out a bigger mark running 31:46 at Payton Jordon with my friend and teammate Natasha Wodak getting the national record in 31:41.  I “ended” my season getting that tricky marathon standard.  After finishing 2014 I was still hungry. I had run some strong races, but none of them left me feeling satiated.  I thought I was full after this year… but with Rio just around the corner, I am already chomping at the bit.