I’ve made a few proclamations on this blog about hating running that I might have to renege. I definitely don’t love running, but I can’t very well say I hate it anymore considering how much time I spend planning runs, buying running gear, signing up for races and, well, running. I think I am converted.
My running career has essentially been four months now, starting with the Rat Race in June. I have actually participated in that race for over five years, but it used to be the single only time I would run in an entire year. After training a bit this year and making it around the course at a less than warp speed of 38:04, I felt the urge to keep running and improve both my speed and distance. Also, my friend Jillian is training for a Marathon which is kind of inspiring (also, more than a bit insane), that might have something to do with it 🙂
After spending the summer clocking a few 5ks a week, I went to the Zoo with Eleanor to participate in a 5k event there at the end of September. Clearly my memories of the zoo from when I was younger were not that vivid, as the grounds were much hillier than I remembered – leading to the hardest 5k course I had ever run. Despite the difficulty level, I managed to sneak past the finish line at 35:02. Yahoo! Measurable improvement – I love metrics! I actually think half the reason I have kept up running is thanks to my Nike+ Running App that lets me track every detail of every run. In short, it lets me obsess about the smallest details.
I have another 5k coming up this Sunday as part of the Scotiabank Waterfront Half and Full Marathon weekend (those crazy bastards), and I’m hoping to beat my time from the Zoo but only by a little bit, even a second or two would suffice! After that my sister Sandy and I are participating in the Women’s 8k at Sunnybrook park, and I’m thinking of doing the Santa Run in Burlington with my friend Pickering in December – running in costume? Yes please. As you can see, I think I’m addicted.
In terms of distance, I had tried a few 8k routes on my own but that was the farthest I had gone, until this week. Jillian and I had discussed doing some hill training but bailed in fear of injuring ourselves prior to this weekends race. Instead, we decided to try for 10k (which Jillian could honestly do in her sleep, being that she had already gone on a 25k run earlier in the week). We successfully made it through the route, and I’m happy to report I can run 10k – and will be even happier to try another 10k in a more welcoming environment. The route we took included some big hills for the first 2.5k, lots of commuter dodging, 3k in almost total darkness on uneven terrain while we ran through the Don Valley, and ended in a nasty hill. Oh, and it was really cold and insanely windy.
Either than the obvious health and fitness benefits – I’ve found some other bonuses in the field of running:
- Race Day Swag: As I’m writing this I’m enjoying a Werther’s Caramelt, I received a whole bag at the Zoo race! Free food and yummy samples a plenty.
- Finishers Medals: I already feel like a Superhero when I finish a run, but giving me a medal makes me feel like an Olympian!
- Freebies: Jillian and I went to the Running Room to buy some socks the other day, and they gave us each a free Nike bag with a Thermos inside it!
Hopefully the rain will hold off on Sunday – not so much for my measly 5k, but for the crazy folks out running their hearts out in the half and full Marathons! Good Luck Everyone!