Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rekindling an old flame...

As some of you know, I have a passion for running. I'm definitely not an accomplished runner. In fact, I'm not even an accomplished novice, lol. A couple of years ago (pre-pregnancy), I thought I'd try my hand at this sport that always seemed so intriguing. I joined a running clinic with my hubby, which involved learning to run for a 5K. It was in the middle of the smoggy, sweltering summer here in Toronto, but I made a personal commitment to lace my shoes up and give it my all.

Sigh - I remember those runs with hubby, after I begrudgingly dragged him out of bed before the sun got too hot on Saturday mornings. He's a sleeping-in kind of guy, so he was always a bit grumpy for the first little while during our runs. His eyes were squinty, and facial expression in semi-scowl mode - but he was there in body.:-)

I always wondered about running, and why I pursued it. There are so many wonderful things about it. The scenery whipping past you, the sense of freedom, being at "one" with your breathing. For me, I love listening to some great tunes, feeling the blood rush through my body, and the great sense of accomplishment after a good run. But let's not be overly unrealistic about things either. The muscles in my legs would sting like mad. My lungs would be burning like a raging fire. The idea of running for even ten more seconds would sometimes feel impossible, and I'd have to convince myself to make it to the next tree, and then the next, and so on. Let's face it - running is painful and hard.

But then I realized - that's what I love about it. The fact that I'm driving my body to do something so athletic and powerful, and that I'm pushing through the burn. It's a bit masochistic to want to feel the pain - but what's that expression involving gain?;-) It's true. I enjoy running, because I enjoy the labour of love. And if the labour of love involves some burning and stinging, then so be it.

Right, so back to the clinic. We ended up being able to run a 5K at the end of it all. Miraculous, really. And we signed up for our first race. At the end of that summer, I crossed my first finish line.

So, a pregnancy, a baby, and 50lbs-to-lose later, here I am. A few months ago, I was advised against running because of potential stress to my muscles after pregnancy. It was disappointing, but I paid heed to all the advice. But when I see runners on the street now, I can't help but pine for that feeling again.

With that, I've decided to start back with the C25K again. I think I'm ready. In early August, I'm going to start a running clinic for women only. Boys - nothing personal, my last experience in a running clinic with you lot was a bit too competitive.;-) Plus, I'm a bit self-conscious about my body at the moment. Will this story end with a race? Not sure. But a finish line will get crossed, even if it's in my own head.:-)

12 comments:

Christy said...

I love this post! I never knew why I loved running so much, but I think you cleared it up for me. I just feel so proud afterwards, proud to say how far/long I ran and just darn proud of myself for doing it. Not everyone can run, and it's definitely a fabulous accomplishment. People can go to the gym to socialize and just say they're at the gym, but people who run, they are doing it for themselves, not for anyone else.

GOod luck!!!

Kim said...

This post makes me want to lace up and hit the trails!! :) Good for you for getting back out there!!

Anandi said...

Yay, you totally described how I feel about running too. And motivated me to get going again. Woo hoo!

Living to Feel Good said...

Great post. I wish I was as passionate about running, but I have found that I am a speed walker.

How cool to start your own womens only clinic!! Go you!! :D

Veg*Triathlete said...

You ARE a true runner! I think it's so important to do exercise you love, and it sounds to me like you really love running! Even through the hardest parts!

I picked up long distance running when I was in graduate school, surrounded by people who were smarter than me (well, some of them just thought they were!)... It always made me feel better in class to be able to think, "Oh, yeah? Well, maybe I can't quote Derrida and Foucault off the top of my head, but I just ran 8 miles. Whaddya think of THAT?" It's doing the most difficult things that makes us feel the best about what we've accomplished...

I can't wait to read about your journey back to the starting line (and finish line!) of a 5k.

Teresa said...

Good for you, its nice to have a passion for your sport. All the best in the 5k.

As per your comment. Exactly, you would think we'd have learned by now!


Have a nice day.

Cowgirl Warrior said...

Good for you, I have to admit I don't think I've ever loved running but after completing a half marathon and marathon walking with a wee bit of running and another half marathon in July. I'm seriously thinking of taking it up. I downloaded the first session of C25K but having an Ipod shuffle I can never find it when I want it. I will encorporate that into my last few weeks of training.

jodi said...

i think its great that your starting a running group in august - i loved running w/mine and already miss it... guess i need to train for my next race... :o)

angelfish24 said...

(came here via another's blog) So hello!
I too have taking up running, well really slow jogging. I am still calling it 'sweaty torture'. I am not doing the couch to 5k but have heard good things about it. I still need to increase my distance and speed but it is taking a long time. What I do like about running is that after high or euphoria you feel like you really worked out hard.
Good luck with you running.

Chris H said...

Woo hoo to your commitment! I hope you thoroughly enjoy your running.... I hate running! Never have been any good at it.. and no amount of listening to others describe how wonderful it is helps motivate me to give it a go!

KleoPatra said...

Sonya, this was SUCH a great post. i feel like i was with you big time as you trudged along at first but learned to love the pain (well, love may not be the right word... accept? deal with? sorta like?)... and more like your hubby's love for you to join you...

i'm so proud of you doing this and excited on your new adventure/re-adventure into the wide and wild world of running (or jogging, whatever!).

i've been a runner for over 25 years and have a definitely love affair (that sometimes goes awry, like when i'm injured, grrrrrrr! and sometimes when i do the unthinkable and cheat by just walking or hiking or inline skate!)...

Go Sonya!!!

Salma Gundi said...

Go, Sonya, Go!

And I totally here you on the whole "competitive men" thing. My husband is a pain to run with - he complains the whole time that it's a slower pace, and then marvels later that he both did more distance and does not have shin splint pain like he usually does.