Wednesday, September 29, 2010
For Non-Runners (Reader Discretion Advised)
I am still a wannabe runner so I can still speak to you one-to-one.
I started running because I wanted to keep some sort of discipline and challenge in my life after completing the EMBA program at Ivey. I was blessed with a wonderful wife and an understanding family that allowed me to take on my running (well walking quickly and lots of panting) challenge. On June 15, 2010, I started a simple program I found on about.com to learn to run 30 mins. a day. I was quite active in sports in High School and University, but that was 20 years or more ago. So I picked the easy program and told myself since it was easy, "You can't quit!".
It turned out my wife ran with me and then rode beside me on the bike at other times. People were interested in my family and would ask at get-togethers about my running. I didn't think too much about it then, but I think deep down everyone wants to be active, athletic and healthy. Maybe the fact that the fattest guy in the room started to run, made people think.
After finishing the start-up program I looked for something else to do. I was terribly slow and could not run very far in 30 minutes, so I picked a Hal Higdon program to prepare for your first 5K race!. Well no way am I going to race - I am embarrassing! I'll just take the course to improve my running ability. Then the voice that was listening to my reasoning when I said "You can't quit" spoke up and said back "Then sign up for a race dummy!". So I did, to be run on my Birthday about 100 days from the June 15th date.
This blog contains most of my adventures and learning in the training time.
So I did my training and I ran my race on Saturday on my 45th Birthday. Now what? Well I want to get faster! I want to improve my fitness level. I want to run longer races to understand my endurance abilities. But I want this to be a good part of my life, but not the only part of my life. So I won't be doing stuff that affects my family too much.
I am so very grateful for so many little gestures that have told me that the angels are taking care of me. My wife blessing me before I left the door to go running, people from school sending me advice about eating and hydrating, people in the blog world giving advice and being a great source of commiseration and cheering, my family especially my nieces making up race shirts for my first race. When I look at it this way. This was a very very big thing - and I was ONLY the guy doing the running.
Then on race day I saw about 300 people who were in different stages of their own running, plus volunteers and people from the community. I felt so grateful to be with them and to be given an opportunity to run. If you read my race report you know I was feeling very down on myself and I felt that I was screwing everything up and then in the last K of the race I started to realize that I have never ran this fast before. People have told me that sometimes your best races are the ones where you descend into the darkest feelings while running.
I also have at least 4 people in my family stating that they will try to start running with me soon.
So now, it's your turn. You heard this very simple story of putting one foot in front of another and how it has linked people together. Why don't you give it a try? One step at a time.
I can help you as much as I can, but I think you will help many more with your actions.