It’s been an interesting year on the running front. I personally hate running, or at least I did until very recently.
Lee and I decided that it would be a good thing for us to do together. Lee enjoys running, whereas I have not enjoyed it much. At all. But it seemed like a good thing to do, because a) it’s free exercise, and b) it’s something we can do together. Oh, and c) apparently it’s good for you. There is a hidden d) that’s worth adding – entering ‘fun’ runs (and I use the term lightly) gives you an excellent goal to train for.
Our running journey of 2014 started with entering the Elmira Endurace, which consisted of a 5km run, and an 8km run two weeks later. Sure, why not, what could possibly go wrong? I’ll tell you what can go wrong. Your husband, the one who who enjoys running, goes and gets himself a soccer injury leaving you to do both races on your own! But do them I did, and so began my attempts to get better at running, and try to enjoy it. Enjoy it I did not.
People say that when they run, their mind rests. They can do their taxes in their heads, come up with an award winning, world changing idea that will make them millions, or simply be at ease. For me, all I could think is “I hate running. I hate running. I hate running.” A friend told me that it will take about 6 to 12 months to start to enjoy the running process. 8 months in, all I could think of was “I hate running. I hate running. I hate running.” But I kept at it.
We entered a few other runs, there was a 4km colour run, the 5km Colour Me Rad run (basically you run and they throw colour bombs at you and hose you down with coloured water), and a couple of other 5km runs in there somewhere.
We initially entered the North Face Endurance Race, 10km of trail running up and down ski hills in summer, but thankfully we had a conflict and went camping up Tobermory way with friends instead. Much more pleasant! But the nagging feeling that we missed out kept eating at us both, so I found the Toronto Night Race. 10km, at night, wearing a head torch.
Training consisted of 5km runs every so often (maybe twice per week?) and one 7km run into Lee’s work one weekend. That’s it. So saying that we felt under prepared is relatively justified. Having said that, two weird things happened. Firstly, we made it. And in decent time. The second… well… this one is shocking. Something happened. It’s like a penny dropped, or the coins in Connect Four aligned. You could even call it my Oprah ‘ah-ha’ light bulb moment. Something was different. It wasn’t the sign some lady was holding up that read “RUN LIKE YOU STOLE SOMETHING,” although it probably helped. It was something else.
I didn’t hate it.
In fact, I rather enjoyed it, and the feeling when sprinting over the finish line with husbandman is something I can’t really describe, other than one of elation and buzzing like a pollen hungry bee in a field of daisies. The process of training, and enduring all the “I hate running” thoughts finally came together and showed me an awesome result. Who knew?! And I have to admit, it’s fun to do with friends (although I still refuse to actually run side by side with anyone other than Lee). The post run beers taste that much sweeter!
So what’s next for us in this category? More running! Neither of us are interested in half or full marathons (hell no!), but thinking maybe a couple of duathlons together in 2015, and perhaps a sprint triathlon for me, but that’s months away. Plenty more to do in the meantime before then!