My shadow companion

Hey Gang!


Ooh, it’s cold again. I guess we knew it would finally come back. It is basically February. There’s just one month of this. We can do it.


I’m training for a longer race, so have been doing longer runs, and so have had more time with my wandering thoughts. The thought occurred to me on one of my more recent runs, about who I bring along with me, sitting on my shoulder throughout my runs. When I was a teenager and in my early 20’s, trying to prove myself in competitions, it was always my competitors shadowing me. I could picture them out training too (I knew they were – somewhere), and I was always trying to run a bit faster or do one more rep, which I thought would give me the leg up. I wanted to do more than them, faster than them, so I could beat them. That was the whole point back then.


As I got older, and was no longer running for a team or points, it became the shadow of my old self sitting on my shoulder, accompanying me on my runs. What did I used to do? Can I still do that? Surely I’m tougher now than I was then. I was always trying to outrun or at least keep up with the past me, fearing any signs that I might be “getting weak” or slowing down. I could literally picture my younger self running beside me and would constantly try to stay one step ahead of her.


I’ve recently updated who I bring along on my shoulder. Now it’s an unknown to me woman of similar age and life circumstances, doing the same thing. She’s a companion, not a competitor. She’s doing her best and wants me to do my best as well. I think about her when I’m doing an early morning long run in the cold, or a hard workout, trying to keep up. She’s not superhuman. I don’t have to beat her. She’s just out there doing the same thing somewhere. She’s getting older at the same rate, and also has good days and bad days. But she always seems to be out every time I have a run to do. I could easily bump into her on a race start line somewhere. And we’ll both try our hardest, and probably neither of us will get a PB, but we’ll both will wish the best for each other.


This is my favourite companion shadow. She motivates me in a good way. I’m not scared I won’t live up to her standard or achieve what she is. She wants me to come along with her and push her too. And maybe I’m even on her shoulder for her runs – I hope so.


On to tomorrow’s workout – bundle up – you can always shed some layers. Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 Go Time!


  1. 2 x 800 @ tempo w 1:15

2 x 800 @ 10K w 1:30

2 x 800 @ 5K w 1:45

2 x 800 @ tempo w 1:30

We are working on pacing here. This is a skill and something we can train our bodies to learn. Running faster as you fatigue is a good habit to wire into your body and brain. And then finishing with some tempo is just good for toughness and fitness. You can plug in your paces beforehand or go by feel, but take note of the times you run so you can record them and look at them later.


  1. If training for shorter distances and/or trying to dial in faster paces:

2 x 800 @ tempo w 1:15

4 x 400 @5K w 1:15

1:30 rest

2 x 400 a little quicker w 1:30


  1. If doing the workouts by time:

2 x 3 min @ Tempo w 1:15, 2 x 3 min @ 10K w 1:30, 2 x 3 min @ 5K w 1:45, 2 x 3 min @ tempo w 1:30


2 x 3 min @ Tempo w 1:15, 4 x 1:15 Fast w 1:15 rest, 2 x 1:15 a little faster w 1:30 rest


That’s all folks – see you in the am!