August 26, 2013

I've been running very slowly

Yeah, that is basically the update to this point. I've been running - very slowly. But I still think it counts for something. I think it counts so much that I've decided that I didn't want my running, slow running, to go undocumented.

What I've learned from blogging is that this is pretty much my little sliver of the world wide interwebs and I can write whatever I want. You don't have to read it. But writing it down is kind of helpful for me. It helped me to deal with the impending birth of my first child, and the emotional roller coaster that proceeded it. And just like making a "blog announcement" to basically no readers that I was going to "be a mom" and I thought it would be fitting to use this space to announce that I'm going to "be a runner".  I'm kind of, like, in my first trimester.

Here's the deal....

I know a lot of runners - friends, co-workers, family members. I have a lot of running gear - shoes, shorts, tees, half zips, jackets. I would say that I have always been moderately physically active, playing sports and what not. I've run for years - around the block a few times, at the outdoor track, on many a treadmill.

A few years ago a signed up for my first race. It was a 5km. I did it on a complete whim, with and perhaps for a friend. I didn't train. I wasn't sure that I needed to, and I didn't know how. And I sucked at this race. I sucked hard. It was terrible and painful. The next weekend I did a 10km. I must have been drinking heavily to sign up for that one. It was more than twice as painful and terrible. A few months later I did another slow and painful half marathon.

These people that organize road races are very intelligent. They do a great job of suckering you into it. The free t-shirt. The way the crowds gather at the start in anticipation. The big countdown to the start. Off you go feeling fantastic, happy, feeling like someone special. Sometimes there are people cheering on the side of the road with funny signs. There are nice volunteers at water stations that tell you how great you're doing. It's fantastic. And then you get the finish and maybe, depending on the race, you can run into a big inflated arch, get congratulated by total strangers, have a medal placed triumphantly around your neck. You're handed a banana. It's the most delicious banana you've ever had. Sign me up for the next one.

A year ago I challenged myself....

I am a race groupie. I didn't take me too long to figure out that I had a problem. (Even you knew I had a problem just four paragraphs into this blog post!) First, I really like races. As a self-described mediocre athlete it was basically the most awesome thing ever. I love the running community. I love the energy around running. I love how running makes me feel - mostly after the hurting stops. But I found that if I wasn't signed up, committed to, training for a race, I lacked the motivation and discipline to keep training. I wanted to experience a lot more races.

I set a goal to run a race a month last year. The week after I came up with the idea I started to tell people. I knew that the more people I told, the more accountable to the goal I would be. I started to research events and plan out the schedule. I realized that I would need to double up on events during a few months in order to get in 12 races for the year.

I just completed my goal. Here are the races that I finished:

  1. - Night Race Toronto, 5km (September 2012)
  2. - Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, 5km (October 2012)
  3. - Niagara Falls International Marathon, 5km (October 2012)
  4. - Road to Hope in Hamilton, 5km (November 2012)
  5. - Don Rowing Club Christmas Run, 10km (December 2012)
  6. - Resolution Run, 5km (January 2013)
  7. - Family Day Fun Run in Edmonton, 5km (February 2013)
  8. - Toronto Yonge Street, 10km (April 2013) 
  9. - Portland Rock n Roll Marathon, 21.1km (May 2013)
  10. - Sole Sisters Women's Race, 5km (June 2013)
  11. - Run for Women Toronto, 10km (June 2013)
  12. - Toronto Women's Race, 10km (August 2013)

I have a few more races on the horizon for this Fall, after all I love it. But as I look ahead at the next year, I recognize that I could have been even more committed and consistent. Look forward to setting another goal that keeps me finishing with my hands held high and smile on my face. Even if I'm a little slow....

~ Humps

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