My last conversation with my friend Robin Fisher was about the upcoming Everest Marathon:
- Me: ”What are your plans once you get back down from summiting Everest?”
- Robin: “Well, the Everest Marathon is May 29th, so I will have a few days to rest and run it.”
- Me: “Are you serious? “
- Robin: “If I’m there anyways, then I might as well go for it.”
- Me: “I guess so, I would do the same.”
Unfortunately Robin never made it back after summiting Mount Everest, which is how the idea of going back to run the marathon and to say goodbye was born. That was in 2019.
We started training: Kristyn Carriere (my sister, avid marathoner/hiker), our wonderful friend Kate Storey (up for an epic adventure to celebrate her 40th birthday), and of course myself, personal trainer/ Ironman athlete.
The original plan was for us to travel to Nepal in May 2020, but as we all know, the world shut down. Travel was impossible, races were canceled. Things we thought we had control over were now completely out of our hands, and the daily “covid” struggle was real for a lot of people.
As an athlete, sport is my way of earning and my personal outlet day-to-day. Early in the pandemic, living week to week to understand what new restrictions were in place was very difficult and frustrating. Everyone was, and is still, struggling to some degree. Trying to find balance and motivation became very hard. I saw this in my clients and even in myself.
Hope was found by me continuing to hang on to my goals, one of them being to run the Everest Marathon. This race feels like unfinished business. The start of 2021 was no better from a public state of emergency, and our race was deferred for the second time. With much of the world reopening in late 2021, I checked in with Kate and said “Hey, you still want to do this race?”, to which she replied she was in! Unfortunately the timing for my sister wasn’t going to work out for 2022 thusI feel like I have an even bigger driving force for me to go: not just for me, but for her, as well so we can all find peaceful closure with this part of our story in a good way.
I rarely sit still which meant I was training as much as I could over the past two years, never quite knowing if or when I would get to race. What was the goal if I didn’t really know when the next race was going to be? Truthfully, I just kept going; not really speaking for anything but maintaining fitness and becoming a very solid endurance athlete. It was amazing because I discovered the pure joy of just being able to be outside and swim/bike/run.
Of course I love a good challenge so I started incorporating my own challenges into my training. In 2021, I challenged myself to run a 100 mile week, swim regularly in the North Saskatchewan River, and cycling as much as I could outside. All of these little goals gave me an appreciation for my abilities and the motivation to keep going even on my lowest of low days, and believe me I had them. Making myself step out that door and just go allowed me to create an amazing aerobic base, which I had been missing from years prior as a speed and power athlete. This newly appreciated and created aerobic base will serve me well on my Mt. Everest journey. This goal and challenge also reawakened the little adventurer inside of me that seems to pull me to these types of events or challenges.
Please follow our adventure @7summitssnacks , @leannacarriere