Tuesday, March 26, 2024 – Passion

Hi Everyone!


Some really great runs over the weekend: at Around the Bay we had Colette, Carol and Brianna who all ran solid 35.4K PB’s! As I said to some of them – awesome resilience and attitude with being able to “go with the flow and a positive attitude” with the ever changing (increasing!) distance on a very challenging course. I know we had other teammates out there supporting our runners – love that too. Also, in international news, Jasmin Paris became the first woman ever to complete the Barkley Marathon (an insane event which I won’t explain here but you have to look up). The race director had said that no woman would ever complete it because they were not strong enough. Way to go and thank-you Jasmin. You have forged a path so other women can believe in themselves and can achieve great things when others are telling them they don’t and they can’t.


What I’ve been thinking about this week is what does drive us to do very hard things, and keeps us going despite challenges and difficulties. I see some people living their lives this way – undertaking big challenges and thriving in circumstances which I feel would make me crumble. And I myself have times when I’m invigorated by hard things and have felt most alive when pursuing them. What I think marks the difference between these things making us stronger and happier vs battled and defeated, is the passion and purpose we bring to them. If I were asked tomorrow whether I wanted to try the Barkley Marathon for ‘fun’, I would probably say – sure! Great experience. And then quickly decide after a lap (if I made it that far) that it wasn’t worth it and drop out. What allowed Jasmin to dig through her deepest pain and remain engaged and motivated and feeling like it was something she wanted to do? It was her deep passion and belief in the personal value of reaching her goal. This type of passion doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere, and it’s not an endless resource. My guess is that in a year, Jasmin won’t have the same passion and drive to complete it again. She also probably didn’t wake up one day with the courage and belief she could do it. She probably fostered the passion through training and dreaming and investing and building towards it. Passion doesn’t just land on you and strike out of the blue. Sometimes we have to work towards it.


I can think back to times in my life when I’ve had that energy – the belief in the pursuit. I’ve gone to bed excited about waking up early the next morning to train. I’ve taken on work roles where I’ve gladly driven hundreds of kilometers, stayed up late, woken up early, been on the road for days in a row, given presentations which scared me. I look back at some of these things and think “I could never do that now”. But the thing is, it’s only hard if you don’t care about the pursuit or the outcome. If you have a passion for what you’re doing, nothing feels all that hard. Or at least, the hard feels good. It’s the same with training. When you’re running with no passion, it is very hard to call up the same effort levels and enjoyment in the work as when you’re running with a dream and purpose. This is not to say you always have to have that passion – we all go through times when we’re just putting one foot in front of the other while other areas of life take precedence. Just don’t undermine the mental and emotional components. If you’re not feeling the passion, don’t measure yourself against people who do, or even yourself when you have it. It’s very different. 


I’ll be honest – I’ve found myself a little drained of passion the past few months. I’ve been in survival mode in various areas, and that’s taken most of my mental and emotional resources. And running has felt hard and a bit directionless. But I’m feeling myself coming out of it. Things are settling down, and I’m starting to feel the glimmer of excitement about certain challenges. Now it’s up to me to foster that feeling and nurture the passion and make it grow. My ability to do hard physical things is not at all about training my body to do them – it’s about convincing my mind that it’s worth it. Just something to think about.


On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Lakeshore and Leslie! 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO!!!


Many of us are in the phase of a marathon build where we could use some meat ‘n potatoes 800’s. So let’s do those.


  1. 6-8 x 800 w 1:30 rest. The first couple can be HM pace, then let’s see if we can work our way down to 10K pace.
  2. If coming back from ATB, listen to your body. Do the lower end, and keep them at tempo. That is if the aches and pains are mostly quiet.
  3. If doing this by time: 6-8 x 3 min Hard w 1:30 Easy.


That is all – see you in the am!