35K Weekend: WE CRUSHED IT

I am still feeling a high (and a slight sense of exhaustion) from our 35k weekend! I can’t believe we did it! WE DID IT! When my friend Linda suggested we run back to back races of 10k and 25k Saturday and Sunday, I was a bit skeptical. I had never run back to back races before, let alone a 10k and then my LONGEST RUN EVER. Before Sunday, I had never run more than 21.1k in a half-marathon.ZOO RUN with Linda

The Zoo Run 10K on Saturday was awesome. Despite the cold and rainy weather, we had SO MUCH FUN. Linda and I wanted to dress up so we found leopard print tights at H&M and some fun animal accessories at Party Packagers. I think our costumes turned out pretty awesome and the tights, which are not actually running tights, were very comfortable to run in.

We didn’t plan to run either of our races on the weekend too fast, but before we knew it Linda and I were picking up the pace and holding it. At 5k I realized we could finish our race in a hour if we maintained our 6 minute/km pace. Up and down the hills, through the ran and mud, we held on to it and finished in an official time of 1:00:17 – right on time! I was SO proud of us, especially on such a challenging course. This means that a 2 hour half-marathon could be a reality next year and I am very excited about that!

The RBC Run For The Kids 25k on Sunday was definitely one of the most challenging runs I have ever done. There were hills EVERYWHERE which I was not expecting at all. Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be another hill, we’d see one in front of us, taunting our tired legs. I am not exaggerating when I saw that there were probably 12-15 hills along the course. During this race, I started to feel fatigue and soreness in my knees settle in around 15k. I know if I had come into this race fresh, I would not have felt this way.

Linda and I stayed close the entire race and she was such a great motivator. I don’t think I could have done this race without  her. We crossed the finish line in 2:55:03 and I immediately made a beeline for the food. I was incredibly hungry and a bit dehydrated, I think. After 2 muffins, a smoothie, and a banana, I was feeling like myself again. Not sure if I would do the RBC Run For The Kids again as it was a really boring course and there was no one around to cheer us on, but I am still glad we did it and completed our 35k weekend challenge.  Next up: Road 2 Hope half-marathon!

RBC Run For The Kids

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Why I Won’t Stop Running

This weekend someone told me I shouldn’t run so much. While commenting on how great my running pictures are on Instagram, this particular person also told me, “You shouldn’t run so much. It’s going to wreck your body when you get older.” Interesting. I contemplated this thought for about 2 seconds before deciding it was rubbish and that I would NOT stop running so much. Over the weekend I did a lot of thinking and came to the conclusion that my life would be incredibly different today if I was not a runner. I shudder to think what my life would be like without the friends I’ve made through running, the amazing volunteer and employment opportunities I’ve received through running, and most importantly the sense of personal satisfaction and peace that comes from accomplishing great things like running half-marathons!today run

I know I won’t be a runner forever. Every runner has seen countless motivation posters with the quote “There will be a day when I can no longer do this. Today is not that day.” See the picture above for an example I made with one of my own running pictures. As the years have gone by, I find myself becoming more worried about the future and what it will bring. I worry about my health and my family, and sometimes I do even worry about not being able to run one day, but I’ve never let that stop me from lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement. Even on days when my anxiety has been the worst, and I know that I’ll probably be facing a panic attack post-run, I’ve pushed through it.

Although some of these thoughts are scary, the scariest thing to me is what my life would be like without running. Three words immediately come to my mind: overweight, depressed, and housebound. If you know me today, you probably wouldn’t associate these words with me, but 10 years ago, that was my life for an entire year. Without a doubt it was the worst year of my life and I never, ever want to go back there. Did running help me break through this darkness? HELL YES. Will I ever stop running because I’m scared it might “wreck my body?” HELL NO.

No one can guarantee that my body will hold up to all this running I’m doing. I’ll probably get injured in the future, wreck my knees a bit, and maybe even have to deal with arthritis (it runs in my family), but I’d rather take my chances and do something I know 100% is helping me both physically and mentally than stop because something bad might happen to me in the future. I wonder if the same person who said this to me also says the same thing to every person they see smoking, drinking, eating badly, etc.. Running seems like a weird thing to pick on and this person obviously didn’t know how CRAZY we runners are 😉