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Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

In the words of the inimitable rockband, Crowbar…oh, what a feelin’, whatta rush!  Just returned from a solo run, and I feel as high after this 8K effort as I have done after some of those wonderful 12Ks of recent weeks.  For one thing, I ran solo – I don’t exactly like running solo, despite the great feeling of accomplishment I always feel afterward…somehow running alone seems more difficult but, conversely, can often be more rewarding, than running with a partner.  My partner couldn’t run tonight, so I had a choice:  don’t run, or run anyway and run alone.  Believe me, I vacillated!  Running alone won out, and that mainly because I reminded myself of how much I had been anticipating tonight’s run all day.  I knew the sense of disappointment I would feel in not running would be more than I wanted to deal with, especially if it could be avoided.  And hey, I had those brand-new gel insoles to try out!

I decided that since the run was a bit out of the norm, I might as well make another foray and change my route; usually we run in the South End of Halifax, and I have even been known to drive there and do my solo runs in the same area just because I’m comfortable running there.  But today, I decided to run in my own neighbourhood, Clayton Park.  It felt a little weird sauntering down my own street in my running gear, but as soon as I hit Dunbrack I was off, and the rain showers started!  It made me laugh 🙂  I ran all the way down Dunbrack to the Kearney Lake Road; the last bit downhill was a blast…the return uphill not so much, and needless to say I only ran halfway up.  That’s okay – the goal is to just do the the distance; you don’t always have to run every single moment of it.  I ran all the way back to my street, walking a wee bit more if I felt like it, and just generally enjoying the run, and the rain.  The rain picked up as I arrived back at the start, at which point I happily did the final 2K – running all the way down Main Avenue to Titus and back to the bottom of the hill.  That is one good hill!  I walked back up all the way…rain streaming down my face, gear soaked – it felt great!  Interestingly, my eyes stung like hell – I think it was the rain, and at one point I thought I’d have to stop but then I realized I still had all that distance back home, so I might as well keep running.  Once home I had a liesurely and congratulatory stretching session outside my building.  I should run in the rain more often – my hair looked awesome when I finally got inside to dry off my face!

All this is just to say:  you never know how things will work out, and all you can do is make a plan and be flexible if it doesn’t pan out as you had anticipated.

…now I get to EAT!

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Running All Over Town

I am anticipating my run this evening.  So far the skies are grey and, I have to say, on humid summer run days in Halifax I hope for clouds!  For runners like me, humidity is a guaranteed energy drainer.  “Runners like me”…it still brings a smile to my face to acknowledge that I am a runner.  Running has been a huge part of my life for over a year now, since April 13, 2009 when I joined the Running Room’s “Learn to Run” program.  I knew how to run; I did a lot of running in my 30s and early 40s.  But, I had gained weight over a three-year period…on my 5’2″ small frame that wasn’t good.  I had also never been overweight in my life and no longer felt comfortable in my own skin…well, why would I?  It didn’t feel or look like my own skin anymore.  In January 2009, I decided I was not going through another spring and summer covered up in clothes designed to hide my body – for one thing, summers here are humid but, quite simply, I had had enough; I wanted to feel good about myself, become active again (I used to run, weight train, and for a number of years I was involved in karate as well).  I knew the weight gain had been primarily from becoming sedentary.  I decided to go with what would immediately make me feel better about myself – healthier eating habits.  I’ve always been a semi-vegetarian, am a good cook, and love to prepare meals.  I lost 10 lbs between January and April 2009, prior to the Running Room clinic, and another 10 lbs between May and September.  In October, I contracted H1N1 and lost 7 lbs…that experience deserves a blogpost of its own!   I never did re-gain those 7 lbs, and I then lost a further 3 lbs.  I’m small again, but not skinny – I have sufficient curves – and I like myself this way.

The Running Room courses are set up so that you meet with your group once a week in the store for a seminar led by seasoned runners and health professionals from the local community – we had experienced runners give us tips on running in cold/hot weather; a recreation therapist spoke on cross-training; a massage therapist showed us proper stretching techniques; and a chiropractor assessed our body alignment; among other interesting and motivating sessions.  Then it’s outside – the course began with running one minute/walking on minute, the next week was running two/walking one, with progressions up to the final week of running ten minutes/walking one.  These “ten-and-ones” as they are called, are how we still run.

Our course instructor was Marilyn Webb, an exceptional leader who voluntarily met with us not just on Mondays, but three times a week!  The Running Room has ‘free runs’ on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings; she could have simply advised us to attend those.  Instead, she was there Monday for class, and Wednesday and Friday nights (I know…!) I’m sure Marilyn could have been happily at home with her husband, feet up on the coffee table, sipping red wine instead, but, as she told me, “beginning runners need attention and support”.  Her enthusiasm never waned and it was a strong core of about ten who completed the course as motivated, injury-free runners.  Marilyn, you are still an inspiration to us!

I say “us” – let me introduce you to my running partner, Cindy:  Cindy was in the Running Room group and, like me, took advantage of those Friday night sessions.  When the course was over both of us wanted to keep going and so continued meeting on Monday and Friday nights, then on Sunday mornings…and we’re still running together.   I would not have progressed as I have done if it were not for Cindy!   She’s an inspiration and a friend.  We now average 10K runs each time we go out, about three times per week.  We even managed to maintain our fitness level during this past winter, and to our surprise found it’s actually quite pleasant to run in -12 degrees!  10K takes us, literally, running all over town.  I wish my parents were alive so I could tell them where we run, how we go from Quinpool/Oxford up to Almon, down Robie to South Park, down Young Ave. to The Park, through The Park, back out to Tower, down to South Park again, up Spring Garden, to Summer, to Veterans’ Memorial, to Jubilee, all the way down to the Arm (that’s fun!) and, sometimes, just to prove to ourselves we can do it…we run up Pryor.  Running all over town.  I get to do that!  How wonderful.  How fortunate I am.  How grateful I am.

Yes, anticipating tonight’s run as I cut my Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles to fit my well-worn running shoes.

Here’s a link to the Running Room’s clinics listings – http://www.events.runningroom.com/hm2/

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