I thought I would try it. Just to see if I could. My goal for March was 10k in 1hr. I looked outside today, the sky was clear, the paths were plowed so I made up a very upbeat playlist and plugged in my Nike plus and out I went.
In 60:30 I ran 10.04k. I t was a very emotional moment at about 8k when I figured out I could do it. Then the last 2k were uphill into the snowstorm that started. At 9 k I had run for 54minutes, so i put my head down and ran as hard as I could. I did it!! Woowoo. I did want to go home after 4k. I felt horrible, by at around the 6k mark my body all of a sudden got into a neat sort of rhythm. I have not experienced this before. My breathing was steady and I felt really strong- very cool. This makes it 31k during the holidays, YAY!
I had already joined the 10k clinic at the Running Room and was very excited to start, but it didn’t begin until the end of January. I met some amazing people there in that group, that I am still running and hanging out with, but they would probably accuse me of ditching them as I transferred into the 1/2 marathon clinic some 3 weeks later. There I met more amazing people and have stayed in touch with, and/or am still running with, AND am now pacing some of the 10k people in the clinic now! What a world we live in, that I could go from a new runner on Jan 1st, to helping other people see their running goals achieved by the next Jan 1.
Upon Reflection (and what better time to reflect then New Years) I am incredibly proud of what I have accomplished this year. In a large nutshell here is my year.
I started the 10k clinic on Jan 29, 2008 and had a very good start, I met Dan that day, and we have been great friends since. We encourage each other and sometimes make fun of each other, but if you can’t make fun of your friends who can you make fun of? Right Dan?
3 weeks later I switched into the 1/2 clinic and my learning was accelerated. What I learned was I might be too big for my britches.My testosterone might have bitten off more than I could chew. SO… what to do… um.. Fake it? Man it is really hard to fake it in running. You know what?It is impossible to fake it in running. What I learned over the next 4-5 weeks is that I actually had what it takes to work hard running and succeed at what I chose to accomplish. Once I got over the shock of knowing that I could do it, it was full steam ahead. A few weird things happened. I started to get injured, and I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t want to quit. I was too scared. I had a wicked case of Plantar Fasciitis and there were times that I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning some mornings, but did I slow down?… nope. I kept running.
My Gym mates and I entered the Diakonos St Pattys day race as a team, and they were coming with me as a show of support because it was my first race. Wow was I excited. I actually went on line and read up on things like race etiquette, start line procedures, where to start in the pack etc… I was a running nerd for a while, that's for sure. The race itself was a hoot! my goal was sub 1hr and We did it. by 20 seconds, but we did it! I think I cried a little at the end, it was my coming out party so to speak, and It was amazing!
I went back to training, as hard as ever. My pace group was pretty ambitious and we ran fast all the time, even on our slow runs. The foot issue was still a huge issue. Did I slow down? nope.
I had committed to another race in April, the Hustle for Hunger, where my Sisters in-laws were part of the organizing group, so it was a fun run as there were a bunch of people I knew there at the start and end. This race was my first one running solo. It is still my PB in a 10k at 53min. I am very proud of that time, but this season it will fall!
The pace group for the 1/2 sort of fell apart before the May 31st Race (You can read about it here) I was extremely injured at the end of that race and I didn’t run again for about a month. well, it might have been 2. The injury almost caused me to quit running. I couldn’t get off my @$$ once I had sat down for so long… it was quite a struggle, as even though I achieved my goal, the injuries really demoralized me. The only reason I kept running is I signed up for the Kelowna 1/2 the day after the Calgary 1/2. Otherwise I was probably done.
July 5, Traci and I ran a race together (she had ran in the Mothers Day race and really enjoyed it, so she wanted to do more) It was the first bit of running either of us had done since my 1/2. It felt pretty good. My feet suffered a bit tho.
Dan, from the 10k clinic kept phoning me to see if I wanted to run. We did, sometimes, and it was always felt good. It was summer though and we never has any consistency, BUT, it kept me running.
Aug 9, Traci and I, My mom and Dad, and Andrew ran in the Rock the House Run. It was pretty fun too. However, I had sort of bottomed out in fitness and it was a real struggle to do the second lap after Traci finished her 5k loop. I got it done. The event was super fun though, probably the best run race we attended yet. Andrew got a medal for competing in the 1k kids run. I think he finished last as he was in a hip to toe cast and had his G’pa and G’ma pushing him in the stroller, and they actually stopped at the turn around to talk to some ducks. Oh well, I always say ‘to finish last, you are still ahead if all the people who stayed in bed this morning”
It was a bit of a turning point for me, as Kelowna was coming up in about 2 months. I tried to run with the 1/2 group at the Running Room, who were training for this event, but I just never felt it. I was feeling a bit down and wasn’t my usual cheery self. my bad. It was at this point that I told myself to smarten up. I was probably never going win one of these races so why couldn’t I run for the enjoyment of running? Huh? I have no idea what that is. I have been so competitive with myself, that I never learned to enjoy it. Well, that was it… fun it is!
I can have fun and still be competitive with myself, right? Yeah, sure you can… I hope.
Ok, this is the point I fixed my feet. I realized I didn’t need my orthotics anymore. I threw them out and bought a new pair of running shoes. It really was overnight. The pain quit and I was happy happy happy. To this day, happy. My Freaking feet don’t hurt me anymore. wheeeeee!
We went camping for 10days in August. I ran the most amazing run in Radium. I ran from the bottom of Sinclair Canyon right up to the tunnel past the hot springs. It was on this run that I saw the sign, Radium Hot Springs, Citizens on Parole. (Patrol was scratched out). Check out the elevation profile of this run… HooooWeeee. it was awesome though. It may have been the first run I enjoyed, just for being there! not for being the speedster or the sweatiest.
A week later I ran in Kananaskis, again it was incredible. like seriously incredible. I can’t say enough about enjoying running. The run was from Mt Kidd RV park to Kananaskis Village and back. I was worried about bears, but couldn’t keep from smiling, as this was something I had never in a million years thought I would be doing… anywhere, but especially in K-country. wow.
Dan and I got a run in in Calgary the week after, but then we got some bad news about a friends kid, who had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Well. I’ll tell you what, perspective is everything. All things that we thought were hard that day certainly became less hard. We went out to Okotoks for a camping weekend and in the middle of all our stuff with our friend, I had entered a 10k out there. I can tell you that my run was different. I used to have trouble finishing out the races without walking a few times near the end, but this time I finished the final 2.5k (from the last water station) without a single break. It was hard, but everytime I thought it was too hard I just pictured this 13 year old boy and what he was going through. He doesn’t get any walk breaks, so I can suck it up too. That was a big deal to me as it AGAIN changed my whole outlook on running. I can do whatever my mind chooses to do. If my mind says its ok to keep running, my body has no choice but to follow.
Due to some work issues with our business, I dropped out of the Kelowna 1/2. But I did register for the Harvest Half.
Sept 9th we Headed to Saskatoon to see our little sick buddy. We camped and I ran. I did my long run on the Sunday afternoon. Again it was incredible. I didn't have an agenda, just a neat and tidy 17km run through the incredibly scenic Saskatoon river valley. It became a meditation for me, We were in Saskatoon for a really crappy reason, but the run provided me with some time to get it straight in my head that it was ok to just be there for them. We didn't need to do anything but be there. Anyway, I digress back to running. It was an incredible run.
I carried on running an odd and unusual schedule, but I carried on running.
Oct 3. I ran the Harvest Half marathon. I did it in 2:08, it was 10 minutes slower than the Calgary 1/2, but it was a completely different run. After everything I learned about running and everything I learned about myself this year, I really really enjoyed this 1/2 marathon. I enjoyed the race from inside the race, talked with people, actually stopped and took some pictures, walked up sikome hill, ran hard the last 4km without stopping. Had an amazing experience. It was here I decided I wanted to pace the next 1/2 group. I thought I might have something to give back, and maybe I can help some people to enjoy the experience as much as I have come to enjoy it, maybe without having to go through some of the tough stuff that almost made me quit running back in May.
My Most recent Race was the Nike Human Race 10k. It was fun, as always, I enjoyed the run. It was a new experience as it was at night, so chalk up a new experience. The next day, I started up with my pace group in the new 1/2 clinic, and the rest they say is history!
I think everyone who I ever met running is going to be at Eau Claire tomorrow for the Resolution Run, and that will be a hoot! I, personally, will be running slow and easy. (Start slow, and then back off), as it is a celebration for me. I am celebrating 1 year as a runner but mostly I am celebrating the new me, the good guy me, who have been re-made by running. yay.
Ps. My Mom started running today, and my Wife starts next Thursday, both in clinics at the Running Room. Welcome to both of you to this amazing world of running! I promise, it will change your life!