GUEST BLOG #2 – Why do you run?

Hello again.

Today’s guest blog is my friend Karen.  Last year I coached Karen to run a half-marathon at the Toronto Marathon – coincidentally its almost 1 year ago since Karen raced.  I truly loved watching Karen’s confidence in herself grow after each run.  Most weekly schedules I gave her, she would be nervous about the distance/pace/number of hills, but I had 100% confidence in her, I knew she could do it. She blooming well crushed it!! I couldn’t have been more proud.

Karen is a wildlife photographer based in Toronto.  Her incredible photographs can be found on her website –


1. Why did you start running?

Running a 1/2 marathon has been on my bucket list, and I finally decided to give it a try.  I’ve run off and on all of my life, but it’s harder now that I’m older – it’s way harder on the body and I get injuries more easily.

2. What motivates you to keep running?

Right now I’m not running, I had some injuries from training for the 1/2 marathon last year, so I’ve been giving my body a rest.  My plan is to slowly start up again later in the Spring when the weather is warmer.  Slow and short distances from now on.  🙂

3. What is your favourite distance and why?

5km – I did this distance regularly for several years, and have my route perfectly planned, so I don’t even really need to pay attention to where I’m going.  I know exactly when to turn around and head back home.  It’s not too short, and not too long, and generally only takes me about 40 minutes, so it’s not a huge time investment.

4. Tell me about your most memorable race.

My 1/2 marathon of course!  I never thought in a million years that I could do that distance.  But I not only did it that day (and beat my planned time by over 1/2 hour), but did it a couple of times leading up to the race.  Incredible experience, and helped me build a lot of confidence.

5. What did you learn about yourself training for this race?

That I couldn’t do it alone.  If it wasn’t for my fantastic coach Gillian, I would never have made it to that finish line.  She pushed me all of the time, and encouraged me when I felt like quitting.  The weekly plans were also fantastic, I had tasks to complete each week, and I knew what was expected of me.  I’m a very task-driven person, and when left to my own devices tend to give up quickly.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

It’s not how fast you get to the finish line, it’s just getting to the finish line that counts.  Great advice from my running coach Gillian.  I repeated that every run, and it helped to keep me going, especially on those days when my body and mind just wasn’t into it.


Gillian x


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