When Tracy Germain moved to Toronto from New Zealand, she considered herself a boxer. “I couldn’t find a boxing club near my house, so in the meantime I took up running until I found an alternative,” Tracy recalls. “It turns out that I loved running and I couldn’t stop once I got into it.”
That love has seen Tracy run several marathons over the last couple of years, including last year’s ING Ottawa Marathon (4:20), Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (4:16) and the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon (4:16), as well as several 30k races (Around the Bay -2:43, and Midsummer Run – 2:53).
Now running five to seven times a week, Tracy likes to mix up a medium-long run, a long run and three to four recovery/speed/tempo runs into her training mix. She has previously followed a Hal Higdons intermediate marathon plan, but for this year, Tracy’s planning on using Peter Pfitzinger’s 55-mile-per-week plan to try to get a 3:40 when she runs the ING Ottawa Marathon in May.
“Running has become such a large part of my life,” says Tracy. “While it takes up a lot of my spare time, it also keeps me healthy, energized and sane.
“I’m a bit of an A-type personality, so my goals keep me motivated. I organize them and work out how I’m going to go about achieving them. I find running can become routine after a while, so I don’t even think about it – I either get home from work or wake up in the morning and I’m ready to go out running before I even think about it.”
To combat that monotony of the intense training that is required for endurance running, Tracy turns to audio books and podcasts to keep her mentally stimulated during longer runs. “I’m a super geek and I get super bored of music, but love to listing to books or podcasts,” says Tracy. “They’re usually running related, but not always — sometime a few science-related ones make it onto the play list.”
With so many kilometers to log, Tracy has covered many of the trails available in Toronto, but like many runners, has found that the Martin Goodman Trail is one of her favourites. “I run it [MGT] at least three times a week, and it’s so good to not have to worry about cars, stoplights, etc., but my favourite real trail is the Moore Park Ravine because it’s gravelly, muddy, hilly and oh so fun to run on.”
Among Tracy’s most memorable running moments has been a toss up between finishing her first marathon, which she says, “totally sucked, but was amazing at the same time,” and those moments when you’re out running and realize how beautiful the world is and how much we take for granted. “The beautiful green space we have for a big city is amazing and there is still a lot of good trails,” says Tracy. “All the other people you see out running and the small events that get put on through out there year are just icing on the cake.”
While she is definitely a driven runner, Tracy also likes to keep her goals in perspective. “Eventually, I’d really like to get under 3:30 for the marathon, but then if I achieve that goal, I’d probably start dreaming about finishing in three hours.”