Remember: We GET To Do This

When I first started, every run was a milestone. My longest run ever; my longest time running; my fastest km; my fastest mile; you get the picture. I went from barely being able to muster 1 minute of running/1 minute of walking for 30 minutes in a row to 10 minutes of running/1 minute of walking, all over the course of 8 weeks. I thought that was pretty awesome. I think that is pretty awesome.

Each time I would hit a new milestone, I’d say, Wow, isn’t it amazing that my body can do this. I am grateful for a body that is able to run and bike and dance (however questionably) and allow me to live my life without complaint. It’s a privilege.

In fact, running has become my way of celebrating the beautiful and capable body I have been blessed with. I’m not an especially healthy eater, and I could certainly stand to shed a few pounds, but running reminds me regularly to be mindful of the abilities of the body I have been given.

As I have continued to run, it takes longer and longer to hit the next milestone, meaning I am less likely to stop at the end of the run and go Wow because it is just a thing I do regularly. It is the norm.

On Wednesday of this week, I had one of those moments. Actually, I had more like one of those runs. About 1k into my tempo run I realized that my breathing was easy. My breathing had barely above the rate I would need to walk, and yet here I was, running what I thought was my tempo rate. I realized I could step it up and run quite a bit faster to achieve a proper tempo effort. That was pretty amazing.

As I was finishing my run, sweat absolutely pouring down my face and neck, I felt fantastic; I had a classic case of runners high. It’s the feeling every runner is chasing, if we are very honest with ourselves. We are all chasing the euphoria that comes with hitting a new goal, or truly enjoying our run.

During the day, I was wavering as to whether or not I should go. I remembered that I don’t have to run, but that I GET to run. Because of this beautiful, functioning, capable body that I have been given. Because I am able to celebrate that. And so I did, and as always, I’m reminded that

No one has ever really regretted heading out for that run.

So Happy Running.

Advertisements

Welcome to Awesome Run

Hi there!

I see you stumbled upon Awesome Run. I’m so happy to have you. Awesome Run is a home for aspiring and beginner runners (and sometimes, elite eaters) which is exactly the category I fall into. Here, I hope you will seek and find motivation to keep running, reasons for doing it in the first place, and hopefully some yummy recipes along the way.

 

Maybe you want to know why I started running and as I suppose that is only fair, here it is:

 

I started running because I was broke, mildly depressed and totally unsure of where my life was going. I’m still totally unsure of where my life is going, somewhat less broke and no longer depressed, I call that a success.

 

I had just quit my job, and was about to return to the same job after a period of negotiation, when I felt that I needed something. You know the feeling: whatever is going on right now wasn’t cutting it, and I felt an itch to change my life. If truth be told, I woke up one morning after feeling particularly depressed, and decided that I was done feeling that way, forever. I wasn’t happy with how things were going and I was ready. I was going to make a change.

I hopped on meetups.com and found that a FREE (I mentioned I was broke, right?) couch to 5k clinic was happening the next day, and runners (ha!) of all abilities were welcome. It was being hosted by Lole, a Montreal-based athletic wear store, in the swanky downtown neighbourhood of Toronto called Yorkville. Even if it was an attempt to get me to buy things – which I later did, quite happily – it seemed a fair deal. So I went.

 

There I met someone that would change my life. She was the coach of the couch to 5k clinic, and remains a valued friend to this day. The club started out running for 1 minute and walking for 1 minute. Almost everyone there was in the same boat as me: broke, in search of something and physically inactive. Although it wasn’t officially part of the description of the club, the more I talked to the participants, the more I noticed a common theme. We were all looking for that missing piece, and had decided that if it couldn’t be found else where – not in our jobs, or friends, our significant others – that we would find it ourselves. For some reason, we had all decided that running could help us.

 

I could barely do the 1 minute of running that first day, but I survived thanks in no small part to my fantastic run coach. She set a standard for coaching that I keep to this day – positive, unrelenting and most of all, grounded in a strong sense of you can do it. It was just what I, a depressed 20 something with no idea of where my life was headed, needed. I’m not sure if she knows just how much she did for me. I hope she does now.

 

Each meeting, we progressed little by little. Eventually, I was running for 5 whole minutes in a row. At the end of the 8 week program, I had a new group of friends, the ability to run 10 minutes at a time, and a PR for 5k set at a whooping 45 minutes. I knew this was about 15 minutes longer than what many consider to be acceptable, but I didn’t care. I had done it. That was all that mattered. I still think that is all that matters.

 

I skipped past the 5k race sign up, and went straight for the 10k. I finished that first 10k with a time of 1:14 minutes – 14 minutes longer than my lofty goal of 1 hr. But I finished.

 

Since then, I have done several more races, including a half marathon. I intend to keep running because it really is awesome. Running gives me so much of what I never had before – an escape, a stress reliever, a journey, a goal, a built-in community, self-reliance and that thing I was searching for, and still am, – myself.

 

Welcome to Awesome Run.