I have always wanted to be a runner. I am not really sure why. Probably because I thought those thin girls running down the street in a tight tank top and booty shorts looked amazing, fit, tanned and thin. I also thought running was way sexier than walking and even sounded more impressive when you tell people, “Oh yah, I went for a run this morning.” Which I still believe to be true. The only problem was I never seemed to be able to actually run anywhere. As a kid I hated running. Running anywhere was work, uncomfortable, hard work. I got my mom to write notes excusing me from cross country meets, using my very much in control and almost non-existent asthma as an excuse. It was probably when I got to high school that I really got the idea that running might be an awesome way for me to exercise and loose weight. In the fall of grade nine my evil gym teacher took us outside every class and made us run the track three times to ‘warm up’. To me this was no warm up. It was torture! But eventually I was able to make it all the way around the track two times without stopping. Plus, during one amazing shopping trip with my mom I realized that I no longer had what had always been a very round, baby looking belly. I had a flat stomach! Oh my God! A flat stomach! I had never been a thin child. I had always been self conscious of my body and my belly. But this running stuff seemed to make it better. I took to the treadmill in our rec room to try and improve my running. Unfortunately, winter came and we stopped running the track every class, worse than that, gym was only first semester and by spring I wasn’t running anymore. Throughout high school I had an up and down relationship with running and exercise in general. Mostly if I was active at all it was on the treadmill at home watching my soap operas. I still don’t love team sports. In fact they bring back a million not so wonderful memories. And running, although I tried many times through out the years, never stuck. Getting a driver’s licence and going to university introduced me to a gym membership and group fitness classes, which I still love, especially Pilates, step, Piloxing and kickboxing, but running was still out of my reach. Finally, about four years ago I learned about the Running Room. This is an amazing business that has stores all over Canada and the States. It is a store for running gear but they also host weekly free running nights and offer running clinics for beginners up through marathoners. I convinced my boyfriend Josh to sign up for a 5k clinic and we completed it throughout the summer together. We got hooked immediately. We loved the people, the challenge and learning new routes through our home town.
After our first 5k Josh felt ready for a 10k clinic, I wasn’t sure but I followed along with him. We completed our first 10k throughout that fall. We loved the races and had fun running in the cold together three times a week. I was never very fast and was always at the back of the pack but that didn’t matter, there was always someone to run with. Josh moved on to a half marathon next but I did another 10k. The distances still felt tough to me. Probably because, although I enjoy running and the feeling it gives to me, it has always been hard. I have never fallen in love with running. We have more of a love hate friendship. Sometimes we get along great but sometimes I curse what I am doing with every step. This has not changed over the past 4 years. Over the years I have completed a number of 5 and 10k races and 2 half-marathons. The half marathons were tough. I mean horribly mean and terrible things to do. But I got through and am proud of the medals I received after each one. Josh has always been right there with me, encouraging me and helping me train and race. Although, now a days we find it easier to run on our own than together, for a number of reasons. Still, we have done most of our races together and I wouldn’t have survived those half marathons without him.
Right now my running goals include liking my runs. I currently run 5k about 2 times a week with the occasional third run thrown in with my other workouts. Josh and I have signed up for the Toronto Zoo Run this September and I will be completing a 10k clinic with the Running Room to get ready for it. After that race I would like to take on another Half Marathon. The goal this time around will be to train better and smarter and have a good time at the race. I don’t want to hate the Half Marathon and I was to get comfortable with distances that have always been awful to me before.