In-Depth Post 2: Run Forest, Run!

Updates and Changes

A lot has changed with my in-depth project over the past two weeks. After pursuing a few options for mentors that turned out to be dead ends, I came to re-think my approach to in-depth this year. Last year I did a project that was out of my comfort zone, something that was a big challenge. Though I did challenge myself this year; I do already know some basics of sewing and have already done a craft-based in-depth. I saw my failure to find a mentor in sewing as an opportunity to re-direct my project and challenge myself in a different way instead. I have decided to train—ideally—for a full marathon. I finally decided to change my project after, Pam, a potential mentor, said that she could not mentor me at this time. I was very disappointed at first; but being a mentor is a big commitment that takes a lot of time and I understand that it is difficult. At this point, I thought that maybe this was a blessing in disguise and decided to begin pursuing marathon training for my in-depth.

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This idea for in-depth came up after coming back from Everest basecamp. My mum and I were talking one day about what our next physical challenge should be, and we decided to try do a marathon together. Since I would already be training, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to also make it my in-depth project. Making training for a marathon my in-depth would help the process as I would have the chance to reflect in blog posts, have a mentor to help me along the way, and help to keep myself accountable for training.

I want to do a full marathon because I really want to push myself physically. I have experience with running, but I have never ran with a goal in mind, and have never jogged more than 10 or 12 km at a time. I have done long hikes however, and I believe that from my experience, I do have the potential to do a full marathon. I wanted to train with my family because during the year, we are all very busy; this is an opportunity to spend time together and achieve a shared goal.

Progress Report

Since last week, I have begun researching possible mentors, training programs, and marathons. There are a lot of training programs in the community, and I thought that I could find a mentor with in a training program. Some places that offer marathon training programs include: The Running Room, USA FIT Vancouver, Peak Center Vancouver, Forerunners, and Kinetic. They are all close by and follow a similar regimen: train at home two to three times a week and one to two times a week with a group led by instructors. Additionally, some programs offer extras like nutritional advice and educational talks. Most of the programs do not cost a lot, with the most expensive running clinic at $150 for a 16-week program. If I cannot find a program suited to me (which may be the case for reasons I will go into more detail below) than I can join a running club in the community and train more independently with a mentor. I have also been looking into marathons that I can register for; many are reasonable priced and sound very exciting. However, I may not qualify for most marathons as I am under 18.

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Ideally I wanted to do the BMO marathon, but I am too young… image sourced from: http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2013/04/28/vancouver-prepares-for-canadas-biggest-marathon-bmo-vancouver-marathon-may-5/

Difficulties

Age is the biggest difficulty I have run into so far. Many running clinics will not accept people under 18 to train, however, they do sometimes accept people over 16 to train with a parent. Many marathons also do not allow people under 18 to participate. Not qualifying due to my age is a very difficult challenge because it is out of my control. However, I do plan on contacting training facilities to find out if they can make an exception as I will soon turn 16. I have found one marathon done by MEC, for a very low cost, that seems to not have any age-restrictions from what I have read on the website, but I will have to double check. The only issue with the MEC marathon is that it is at the end of April, which does not leave a lot of time for training. If I do not find a marathon in the area, then I will do the Greenriver marathon in Washington as it has a very low cost and has no age restrictions; however, it is far away. Another challenge I have faced is simply starting in-depth from scratch; I am considering re-doing certain parts of the learning contract to more clearly set goals for my new focus. In-depth is definitely time sensitive and if I do not start training properly and registering for a marathon soon, I could loose out on this season and run out of time to train and complete a marathon. I think that the most obvious difficulty I will face is the physical and mental aspect of long distance running at a young age. This is the type of project that requires a lot of time and effort over a long period of time. It will definitely be a challenge, but I am up for it.

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Hopes

I hope that I will train three to four times a week in total and train with my mentor for one to two of the training sessions per week. I ideally want to do a full marathon, however, if I find through training that I am not able to do that, then I will re-focus and aim to do a half-marathon. Through in-depth this year, I hope to become healthier and more aware of my physical abilities. I hope to learn how to train, take care of and acclimatize my body for marathon training and for future endeavours. I think that knowledge of how to take care of my body is applicable in many other aspects of my life and would be a great help to me. I have a lot of hope for this project, it is a very big endeavour, but I believe that with the right training and the right mentor, it is within my capabilities.

A Beautiful Mind

Though I don’t have a mentor yet, I still really enjoyed the communication strategies talked about in A Beautiful Mind and see their applications relative to me. I know that I personally tend to agree a lot with the people around me as I struggle to differ and disagree as to not cause any kinds of conflicts. Reading about ways to differ and disagree in a healthy way challenged me this week to use some of the strategies when talking to other people. I liked that emphasis was placed on communicating ideas wholly and truthfully to challenge and help each other. This idea helped me see the importance in talking about differences and disagreements in a respectful way, and the good things that can come from them. One strategy that I really liked was #8: “You may want to disagree to show a different personal experience.” I thought that this type of advice would have also been helpful last year during in-depth. I was often too shy to speak out about differences of opinion in shoe design, and that hindered the design of my shoes as the seams were not all located where I would have liked them to be. Speaking out about the difference would have helped better the final product. I think that A Beautiful Mind will be very helpful in developing the relationship with my future mentor, and I look forward to continuing to read it.

Conclusion

I am very happy to have changed my in-depth project and think that it is better suited to me and that I will get more out of this experience. I know that it will be a difficult journey, and that I will not have a lot of time to achieve my goal, but I have a lot of hope that I will run a full marathon. I think that I have the determination and potential to achieve my goal. I am very excited to begin this journey again and get to see everyone around me also develop new passions and skills.

To-Do List for the Next Two Weeks

  • Continue to search for running clinics and programs.
  • Contact the Running Room and Kinetics (most flexible with ages) call and e-mail.
  • Contact friends and family who have ran marathons for advice and possible mentorship hook-ups.
  • Ask for extension for the criminal record check if mentor is not found very soon!
  • Continue to run regularly and begin to make more serious goals.
  • Re-do the goals chart and time chart from the learner’s contract to make sure that I keep myself accountable.
  • Other?

One thought on “In-Depth Post 2: Run Forest, Run!”

  1. Informative post. This choice makes sense for you. Get a mentor soon. All the best with your training. Useful research so far. Glad there is no snow on the ground anymore!
    Mulder

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