Christine Eisan and Earl Head are a husband and wife team training and running together in the half marathon. This is Christine's second half marathon and Earl's first.
Q: How did you get involved in running?
Christine: I got involved in running when I started working at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. I began running with friends at work who liked to go during our lunch break. It was a great way to increase the morale at work and get to know people.
Earl: I've just started running in the last year. Although I used to run short distances, last year was my first time running in an organized event (the K-Frog run). My workplace was a sponsor for the run, so the practice runs served as a great morale booster and means to learn more about my co-workers.
Q: Is this your first time running in a distance event?
Christine: No, I've run the Bluenose 10K twice, the Harvest Festival half marathon once and the K-Frog 10K once.
Earl: I ran the K-Frog 10K last year, but unlike my wife, this will be my first half marathon.
Q: Have you ever run a marathon/half marathon/10K/5K before? What is your training routine?
Christine: I've run four races altogether of various distances. My training routine varies somewhat depending on the distance. When training for a half I try to begin at least 12-14 weeks before. I try to run three or four short runs a week and a long run on Saturdays. I'm training with Earl and friends and we try to increase our long run by 1K a week. It's also important for me to cross train, so I try and get some weights and yoga in. As a yoga instructor, I know the importance of keeping the body flexible and strong.
Earl: As funny as this may sound, my training routine basically mimics Christine's. She's the serious runner in our relationship and provides me with the training program. I usually have more weight training mixed into my routine and not enough yoga, although I routinely threaten to change that!
Q: Is this your first Blue Nose experience?
Christine: No, I ran the 10K Blue Nose twice; in 2010 and 2011. I enjoy running in the Blue Nose and getting to see the city from a different perspective. Halifax and Dartmouth are beautiful and being able to participate in an event that celebrates the uniqueness of each of the communities is special.
Earl: Yes, this will be my first time participating rather than watching from the sidelines, so I'm expecting it will be a very different experience!
Q: What challenges are you facing in your training on the way to the Blue Nose?
Christine: Getting in the shorter runs throughout the week and learning to train with Earl. Also, it's the first time Earl and I have trained together so we are learning a lot about one another.
Earl: My shorter runs through the week are also a challenge; to make sure I fit them in and keep motivated when running alone. I've also added an extra challenge to my training by learning to run barefoot style starting last year. Running in minimalist sneakers has taught me a lot about my body, but the greatest thing I've learned is how far I can push myself with the great support I've gotten from Christine.
Q: They say that reaching the finish line at a race is an enormous feeling of accomplishment after all your hard work. Can you describe that feeling crossing the line and what is means fulfilling a personal goal running a race?
Christine: Crossing the finish line is a great experience, made better by the journey of getting there. The Blue Nose volunteers and all the people cheering you on are really wonderful. There's a sense of connectedness that's hard to put into words. Seeing children cheer on their mums and dads on the sidelines can be very emotional and motivating. Finishing is a personal achievement, but I really love watching friends and family cross the finish line too.
Earl: This is my first time running this type of distance, so I'm not entirely sure of what to expect other than a sense of accomplishment that will probably be hard to describe. But I guess I won't know what to expect until the end when I cross the finish line, even if it involves Christine pushing me across the finish line while I ask if it's over yet! In the end though, I am truly looking forward to it and being able to do this with Christine just adds to the experience.
Q: Why did you join Team CBC?
Christine: I have tremendous respect for the CBC and they way they focus on local events and I wanted to be able to represent CBC in the Blue Nose. It's also great to get to meet other runners.
Earl: I could easily repeat the same things as my wife: finding it to be a great opportunity. And how could I turn down the opportunity to run with such a great team of runners? It's sure to be a great experience. Photo credit: Amy Head