This week I’m celebrating my runniversary.
One year ago I was a ‘me no run’ person. I barely worked out, and I hated it. But then Verna talked me into running a 5K. I bought my first pair of bright purple New Balance shoes and downloaded ‘Couch to 5K’ onto my phone. I set out with great trepidation, barely expecting to like it.
Darn, I’ve learned a lot in the last year, and now on the eve of the eve of my first half marathon, I am enjoying the cessation of my training. I ran my last gentle four mile joke of a run yesterday morning, and today I’m enjoying laziness and a bit of nostalgia.
Oh, and McDonalds. Here’s me celebrating the last day of training by eating a QPC BLT at 12:30 at night.
Here are 10 things I didn’t know before running:
- Compression tights are pretty awesome. Practically indecent, yes, but probably my favourite type of pant. I didn’t own a stitch of athletic gear before taking up running. These days I have a drawer full (and random pieces hanging to dry on most spare surfaces in my room).
- How complicated running shoes are. Who knew so much technology went into two pieces of fabric and rubber? No wonder they’re so expensive. My Mizunos are hands down the most expensive pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. They’re also my constant companions, so they’d better be good.
- A mile is not that far. I celebrated (and cried) the first time I ran a full mile, and not without good reason. These days I eat miles for lunch.
- A ‘Runners’ High’ is one of the best feelings ever. Its that unstoppably feeling that kicks in a couple miles in, and carries me for a couple hours.
- Exercise can be enjoyable. Not only do I love to run, but I genuinely enjoy the gym–even after shift at midnight. Me a gym rat? Hard to believe.
- Running is the best way to get a tan. Forget the beach. Training for a half marathon is a sure recipe for a solid tan before summer has even officially started.
- What a sports injury is like. I didn’t know I had weak knees, or a weak chest until I pushed them to full capacity. I didn’t listen to my chiropractor the first time I got a hint of a knee injury, and ended up with double knee injuries. Fortunately, caught soon enough that I’m more or less recovered three weeks later. Now I’m doing my exercises.
- I can be athletic. Bumblebees shouldn’t fly but they do. Short, stocky people shouldn’t run but I do. I grew up believing that I wasn’t athletic and that being in shape wasn’t my thing. That was a lie. Maybe I have to work harder for it than some, but I am in shape, and I’m kinda, sorta athletic. Still can’t believe it.
- Running is a mental game. Mental toughness is a precursor to physical toughness, and the miles are won in the mind, not just on the pavement. I used to think that ‘real’ runners floated above the pavement, but now I know that it gets easier but it never becomes effortless.
- Miles hold memories. Specific spots on the road bring back pictures and feelings, like I’ve stepped on a button that plays back a little movie. Some are awesome, some are sad. There’s the Hespeller mile, the first I ever ran. There’s ‘the cairn’ that marked the finish line of my first 5K run. There’s this place on the bike path where, one cold February morning, I stopped and bawled because I was in the depths of depression and running couldn’t make me feel better.
This summer I plan to encapsulate memories in new spots. I want to explore my province by racing in different cities, with different people.
But for the next two days I get to relax, eat carbs, and drink lots of water. Well, actually I get to drink water, eat carbs, and be a angsty ball of nerves.