For many of us myself included this has not been an easy training season thanks to a new runners nemesis we did not even know the name of a year ago the “Polar Vortex”.

It has made us bundle up, modify our shoes to run on ice, and force us to train in running conditions that would be better suited to training to run on the surface of a crumbling iceberg.

This winter training season has taken it toll on runners elite and recreational alike, both physically and mentally. It has shaken our confidence, slowed our tempo runs and chilled us to the core on long runs that I think many of us wished had been a little longer but called short for safety.

This my first full on winter training experience has been a humbling one as I evaluate my fitness and readiness for my first 30k Around The Bay Race.

A reminder that much like a first race of any new distance, a race / training in a new season and / or weather conditions will have unique obstacles that should be looked at as an experience and require leaving the pressures of PRs for another day.

While I am sure there are a number of highly trained people ready to tear their way around the bay on March 30th. If you are like me, you may be just trying to make your way around the course and get to the finish.

In this recreational running group I have seen some nervous tweets and even BIB sales in the past week as the race looms and I understand the mindset.

However before you sell that bib I ask you to soul search and reflect on if you’re nervous because you’re really not ready, or because you don’t think you will PR.

If it’s a PR you are worried about I beg you to think about what you have been through to date to train for this race all winter. This training season has been especially hard, and if you have trained in this brutal weather you are especially tough.

You should not deny yourself the reward of making your way Around The Bay as best as you can with your fellow polar hardened runners. You should run this course as a celebration of the effort and determination that we all shared this winter supporting each other along the way.

So weather regardless, rain, shine, snow or ice you have trained for it this year. I look forward to running, walking or sliding with you all across the finish line in Hamilton on March 30th.

After everything we have been through this winter, I think we all have earned that finishing medal twice over regardless of when or how we finish.

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