3 Hard Truths in Every Quest for a Goal


About three months ago I set a new goal to run my first half marathon race at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16th—which I successfully achieved, but not without a few significant challenges along the way! The distance is 21km, which was way more than I had ever run at once. I have to wear knee braces while I run due to a very common knee injury in figure skating called petellofemoral pain syndrome, a condition in which the cartilage under the kneecap is damaged from overuse. I experience a lot of pain in my knees while running, walking down stairs, and sitting with my knees bent for a long period of time. The condition is treatable with a ton of physiotherapy and strengthening exercises.

I started doing more lower body strength and conditioning, which was helping my knees a lot! So much so that I attempted to run a slow 5k one day without my knee braces and felt great (previously I could barely run 1k without feeling massive aching in both knees). I was overjoyed by this experience and decided that I wanted to run the race without the support of braces.

The decision to run brace-free brought the intensity of my training plan down by what felt like a thousand notches. I had to run at an extremely slow pace with very short distances, and incorporate at least three days a week of full recovery (zero workout) plus one “easy workout” day. Which meant I really only had three