Running is part of who I am.
It usually weaves in and out of my daily life, throughout the course of a year. If I stop for a few weeks or months (I used to vehemently oppose running below 5 degrees), I always return to it again.
When I was younger, running was second nature. I remember clearly learning how to run. After the first loop around the track, I realized I could just let go.. maybe because I had a lot of steam to burn.
(By the way the girl in the left of this picture (above) ended up being one of my best friends when we both got to secondary school)
In highschool, running was stressful. All of a sudden there was a value placed on a race. Holding yourself to a standard can be a vicious thing to do to a developing ego. I hated the dreaded feeling of race season. It was a relief when a race day was over, but as soon as the next week hit, and the next race was in sight, I would start worrying about it all over again.
(I’m the one in the gorgeous blue spandex)
In 2009 I arrived in Ottawa.
I was completely new to the city and alone. Living in a stuffy, little, ridiculously hot apartment, I used running as a way to spend the evenings outside where it was cooler. Until this point, I had never contemplated running anything over a middle distance, but after spending 4-5 nights a week running for an hour and a half or sometimes more, I decided to give the half-marathon a shot.
It was an intimidating thought to me, the concept of running such a long distance, but just like the first time I realized I could run, it didn’t seem so foreign once I convinced myself it was the same thing as any other sort of race:
Right Foot, Left Foot. Repeat.
Do this until they tell you to stop.
Around km 17 of my first 1/2 marathon, I became really proud of myself. I had come to ottawa, moving across the country on my own and I had left behind a tough year of living with someone who did everything to make me feel like I wasn’t worth it. During this race I realized that I felt good again.
Longer distance running picked me up out of a tough point in my life. I learned to appreciate my guts and my ability to pick myself up and carry on.
Now running is for me, a release. If I didn’t run, I would be pent up and wired with a million things bouncing around my head. When I run, I do my best thinking and mulling and contemplating and dreaming and planning.
I have a few running goals. I would like to run a 40 minute 10km and I would like to qualify for the NYC Marathon.
We’ll see where this year takes me!
To those of you just starting running, still running or looking for a little motivation I find you can give it all the training in the world, but in the end, if you don’t put your mind over matter, you won’t get to where you want to be. And this goes for life as well as a race.
Ottawa Half Marathon, May 24 2009 – 1:39:39
Ottawa Army Half Marathon, September 20, 2009 – 1:40:33
Ottawa Race Weekend, 2012 10 km- 44:32
PB:Ottawa Half Marathon, May 29, 2011 – 1:37:52