I consider myself a runner like I consider myself a writer: on again, off again. This is bad news for that 10K run three weeks away. But great news for the thought prompt!
I run. I write. But not with any degree of regularity. I write because I love the feeling of challenging my thoughts. I run because I love the feeling of challenging my body. To be clear, I’m not in the big leagues, or even the little leagues of either of these, but I have a certain passion for both. A passion that ebbs and flows, shifting not with the tide but rather with my mood and my arthritis.
That 10K run is when, exactly?
In the run of a day I have no less than a dozen story ideas; it’s the actual sitting and writing that seems to be a problem. However, I just came in from a sweaty training run feeling all rejuvenated (read: dead on my feet) so I thought: why not bring some of that joy to you? My husband registered us for the Sporting Life 10K run — which is on Mother’s Day, oh, by the way. Also, on Mother’s Day? Two of my 8-year old’s baseball games. So, not only do I get to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to go downtown to run a 10K on Mother’s Day but I can’t even bask in the glory of it because we have to hightail it back for baseball. I’ll be lucky if I can snag a banana before we hit the road.
Welcome to the world of rep sports…we’ve been waiting for you. I’ve already done my venting to Coach Husband. But I’m still annoyed.
Now, if only he would register me for something with some kind of writing deadline, then maybe that would prompt me to put the proverbial pen to paper on the daily. You guys, I miss writing but the struggle is real. Something always seems to take priority. Today, though, a rare Saturday off from my bank gig, the priorities were twofold: run and write. Done and (almost) done.
Nature vs Nurture
My first foray into running was five years ago. It was the Easter Seals 5K in May of 2012. I went into the “race” with a kind of blind optimism that only NOOBs have. I came out the other end feeling exhausted, but elated, hand-in-hand with my husband (likely to keep me from collapsing). I couldn’t move for two days afterwards. It was awesome.
After that I decided to join the Running Room’s Learn to Run program in order to build up my endurance a little at a time. I consistently followed the program from beginning to end, savouring every little walking break like a fine wine — if fine wine came in a squeezy bottle tucked into a velcro band around my waist. Those basics would carry me through several more 5Ks and, eventually, my first 10K: the Toronto Yonge Street 10K in April 2104.
I’m not a runner by nature and I’m not smashing any records. My challenge is to keep those legs moving and make it to the Finish line without dying. While my race training has been sporadic at best, I’ve been keeping up with my daily HIIT workouts with the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto program. After a bit of a dip in the dietary department, I have recently begun a keto-inspired way of eating and have been catching up on some much-needed sleep. Today’s run was uninspiring even with sunny skies. I’m interested to see if I’m able to cut my time down in the next three weeks by implementing these changes and getting in at least three runs per week.
Time to Beat
Last year I ran a sub-60 minute 10K in the same Sporting Life race and I was pretty freaking proud. It was my best ever run. On today’s trail run, which included a ridiculous number of nose-blowing breaks, hills and wind, I ran 10.19K in 1:16:32 at an average pace of 7:31 min/km which translates into I’d better get my ass in gear if I have any hope of hitting a sub-60 10K run this year.
The good news is my only competition is myself. Running does not get easier for me. It is a constant challenge; one I’m happy to take on, especially when I have my husband there to cheer me on. But, for someone who, as a teen, used to huff and puff her way through a 1K in gym class; who thought she was going to collapse at the end of her first 5K; who’s gone on to participate in three OCRs and now has four 10Ks under her belt, the only time to beat is the time it takes me to get a glass of celebratory champagne in my hand.
And then I’ll write all about it.