Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So, About the Training....

So, when we left off 2 blogs ago, I had confessed that I was relatively hostile to running as a kid…and then I skipped ahead about 20 years to the finish lines of two half marathons.  I realize that might give the impression that running and I have been in a steadily upward and progressive relationship since the 7th grade, but that’s not really true.  In fact, running and I are...oh, I don't know...a bit more like Will and Grace…we’ve definitely had a long-term relationship, but it’s kind of hard to define at any given moment.

There are 2 things I know for sure about running:
  1.  I like it.  Truly.  For me, the hardest part about running is getting my shoes on and getting out the door.  Once I’m out there, I actually enjoy it.
  2. Running has become incredibly therapeutic for me.  I’ll write more on my thoughts around the psychology of being a runner in another blog, but I just want to say that at some of my most challenging and difficult times, running has been a great release.  Sometimes I run as much to be alone and think as I do for the exercise.
I guess I really committed to running as an integral part of my adult life in 1997.  The summer of 1997 was unequivocally one of the best summers of my life.  I had been accepted into the MBA program at York University which would start in September, so to celebrate my summer of freedom before returning to school, I moved back in with my parents, got a “job” which gave me just enough money to pay for my nights at the pub and late night fast food runs with my brother, and logged more hours playing video games (again with my brother) than I had in the previous 24 years of my life combined.  I attribute most of my laugh lines to those 3 months spent with my brother at my parents’ house.  But, you can imagine that a summer of pubs, fast food, and Playstation takes a pretty good toll on one’s body mass index.
When I moved to Toronto and started my MBA in September of 1997, I was paying dearly for the pints and DQ blizzards that I shared with my (did I mention very, very funny) brother.  Wanting to get back in shape and fit into my clothes again (and unable to pay for a gym membership because my summer income had paid for the opening of at least one new Dairy Queen location), I rediscovered running…and vegetables.  At first, it was literally for 8 minutes around the block.  I nearly quit within the first few days when I was running a few streets over from my apartment and a car full of teenagers drove by me and yelled out the window, “Run, Forrest, Run!”.  But, I am nothing if not stubborn and by the summer of 1998 I was doing hour and a half runs at least 5 times a week.
Marriage, work, kids, and the ebbs and flows of life have meant that over the years there have been weeks where I’ve run twice for 20 minutes and others where I’ve run 6 times for 75 minutes.  Until recently, my standard run that I was doing about 4 times a week was 7.5 kilometres which is exactly the length of the country road we live on to one of the major crossroads and back.  I’ve just mapped out a 10 km run to increase that distance, so that is where I currently stand.  Over the upcoming months, my training regimen will follow the “Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer”, a book based on the marathon class offered by the University of Northern Iowa.  It is a 16-week, four-day-a-week workout plan.  It lays out a clear schedule for progressively increasing your distance to prepare for the big run and I chose it because, well, the title really spoke to me.  As I start formally following the guide, I’ll report in on how well I’m sticking to it.
Before closing off this week’s blog with another video post, I want to say a few more quick thank yous.
To Melinda F. and Jas. C for becoming new blog followers.  I really appreciate your support…thank you!!
To my long-time friend, Jen C. for sharing this initiative with her networks.  The more people that can be engaged, the greater impact Run Strong can have.  Thank you!
To Heather L. for your message of support.  The impact of someone writing me out of the blue to offer encouragement and support is great.  Thank you!
So, to close off this week, here’s one of the all-time greatest movie running scenes (a caution, there is one occurrence of strong language)…and as I’ve said, one that has personal meaning to my running career.  I’m posting it in honour of everyone that, for no particular reason, has just felt like running.  Thanks for running with me!


  1. You go Forrest! Just run and but don't go for the beard! Proud of you and love ya! Dad.

  2. A Will and Grace reference? This blog has everything!

  3. Great post, C! Your writing is the talk of the office - and your dedication to this task is inspiring. Can't wait to run with (and make you laugh) during this process! 297 days until I return the favour and buy you the BEST Blizzard of your life :)

  4. Enjoy reading your blogs! Keep them coming. P.S. I would just like to run off all the Christmas goodies I have eaten prior to the actual big event and the ones I know I am going to consume in the next week. :)Sue