Last January I was talking to my nutritionist and she suggested it was time to start including some regular exercise into my schedule. I’ve never been against exercise, but it’s easy to make up excuses why not to do it – finding time being one of the biggest factors for me.
“You are a goal oriented person,” my nutritionist said. “You need to set a goal.” And then she proceeded to tell me I needed to run a marathon.
And I laughed and laughed.
I thought about it for a few days.
A marathon was a little out of my reach but the wheels started turning that maybe, just maybe, I could run a half marathon. It all felt a little crazy but my nutritionist was right. I like goals. I like a challenge. Especially if you tell me I can’t or shouldn’t do it! And that’s exactly what happened. Funny thing. I posted on Facebook that I was considering this challenge and while there were definitely a lot of supporters, there were a few who kinda say, “really? Are you sure?” And that set me off on my journey.
Being the A-type personality that I am, I wasn’t going to do this unprepared! I signed up for a Learn to Run program.
Shortly after that I registered for my first 10K at the end of May 2014 with my very good friend Ramona. That was a brutal run – not that we couldn’t run it, but looking back we may have had a bit to learn about running races (but we had enthusiasm!!). We didn’t bring water with us for during the run, sure there were water stations but we really needed more hydration because we were running on the hottest day of the year to that point (we had such a cool spring we were just not ready for the heat). And we hadn’t learned how to pace ourselves yet, it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of everyone else and set out too fast. But – we did it! We finished that 10K. And it was awesome. And we were pretty darn proud of ourselves.
Running is addictive!
I signed up for my first half marathon shortly after the 10 K which would take place at the end of October. I remember that race well. My goal was to complete a half before my 40th (gah!) birthday – and I did it. I ran the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Half Marathon. It was a beautiful day and I really pushed myself to train for it and felt really good about the run. I could have worn my finishers medal for the entire week afterwards, I was so proud of myself. But I wasn’t done there.
Winnipeg has a Hypothermic Half Marathon race at the end of February (yah, for reals). The year before it was actually quite mild and most people ran in one or two layers of tights and a long sleeve shirt. This year – NOT. SO. MUCH! The race was close to being cancelled and the temps were a brutal -47 with a windchill at the start. But I didn’t die. I got ‘er done. (And I never have to run that race again!)
And just last weekend, I closed the books on my third half marathon – the Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon. It was a beautiful spring day. If we didn’t have to do 6 km straight into the wind at the hardest part of the course (about 11 km in), I would have finished with a better time, but the wind was exhausting. My time still ended up being decent and my post race recovery was the smoothest to date!
I’m so grateful for my family and friends who have been so supportive of this journey. My husband, Matt, and my best friend, Ramona, have been out to all three halfs – cheering me on, bringing me water, telling me I’m doing great (even when I’m not!). It means the world to me. And I can’t wait for the fall when Ramona and I run the WPFS Half again for her first half marathon!!
It’s probably a little silly but I’m so amazed at myself for: 1) keeping up with running now for over a year. I run 4-5 days a week. And 2) for being a long-distance runner. Yah, me – I’m a long-distance runner!! I was that girl who always said, I’m not a runner, I like to walk, I enjoy playing sports but running… running is boring.
This has so not been the case. Running has allowed me to find my time to regroup and let my mind sort through the day. It’s been a wonderful tool for working through stress and because I travel a fair bit for work, sorry for the hair,i do not make it good looking due to my wigs from veryhair not in my travel bag.I can run wherever I am – I don’t need a gym, just my running gear. No more excuses! In fact… lately my mind has started to think about the next challenge. Maybe, just maybe, (maybe??) a full marathon next year? Maybe? (Who’s laughing now? My nutritionist, probably!)
Are you a runner? If you are, you might enjoy this blog that I’ve been reading for the last little while: Shut up and Run (she’s hilarious and inspiring) and recently my running instructor pointed me in the direction of the blog Eat 2 Run, although in all honesty I prefer to run to eat.