I ran my fourth half marathon of the year this morning and my third one over the last 15 days. After the run, I got to thinking about how right after my first half marathon back in 2008, I wondered if it would be possible to run another one just three weeks later.

Of course it was possible and it turned out that it was not a problem at all. But people called me crazy back then and even I was pretty impressed that I could do it. Fast forward a few years to 2010 and my first spring of marathon training and we were running 30km or more every Sunday for a few weeks in a row. Eventually I ran two half marathons on the same day without stopping between them (aka the Ottawa Marathon).

Even after that, I still thought that consistently running big distances every day or every week wasn’t something that I could do. But last year the GVRAT taught me to think differently and to push myself beyond what I thought was possible.

The Summer of 2020

I ended up running 455km in a single month in June, 2020. In July, I was running 16-18km every day and then even more on the weekends. Between July 1st and the end of my GVRAT race on July 16th, I averaged 16km a day and was on pace to run 500km for the month had I continued.

Last year I would have told you that running that much wasn’t possible for me. Only those other crazy runners can do that. But the reality was that I could do that. I was one of those crazy runners and it was always possible.

Long story short, it’s amazing what I can do if I try. As I start thinking about GVRAT 2021 and how to approach the race this year, I’m taking the time to remember and look back at what I learned last year. How much can I push? How can I avoid injury? Will I be able to maintain the pace through 1000 miles and four months?

Needless to say, my approach will be different this year. I already know I am capable of finishing the race in 11 weeks. But can I finish it faster and go further? The answer, I know, is “yes”.