The Little Running Story: Part III

Well now this has been a hiatus hasn’t it? I’m sorry to take so long to get to this, but I’m in Vancouver for internship things, and well seeing lots of old friends takes up lots of time! It’s been great, it’s been fab, but I do think I need to get the last bit of this story out there. Parts I and II.

Ahhh, falling in love with running again.

It was about three years ago when I remembered I loved running. I’d had some other adventures before that, I went tree planting, got into the best shape of my life, fell in love with strength training (a short relationship that sometimes makes a short come back).

The fall of my fifth year of university (I’ve been in university a long time) I felt like going for a run. So I went for a run. As I was running I didn’t feel like stopping, so I just kept going. The time passed and soon I realized I’d been out for a good two hours. Simply running.

No agenda, no training schedule. Just a fantastic run.

It was then that I began to get the itch to do another half marathon. Everyone around me was talking about doing one. I totally thought, wow, I know I can do it, but do I want to? It took me a while to commit, but when I did, I was right back into training. My runs weren’t hard, I took an easy pace, nothing too crazy. My training schedule was a weekly thing, while I’d made a long term plan, it was still fairly flexible and most of the time I didn’t feel rushed or forced out for a run.

One day I went for a run with a much faster friend of mine, and blew my time out of the water. I was pretty much shocked by how fast I was capable of being and realized I’d been holding myself back for quite some time.

So my goal changed from simply running a half marathon, to having a serious personal best.

And boy did I. Not only did I have a personal best, but in comparison to my last Vancouver BMO half-marathon, I actually took a whopping 30minutes off my time. I could barely walk down the stairs after that. During the summer following the half marathon I ran more out of lack of creativity for a different workout. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it and it was something to do.

Then my heal started hurting, and as I had come from a family of runners and had seen my mom go through an  injury I was pretty suspicious. It didn’t hurt consistently, often it was an ache when I’d stopped my run. I kept running well into the fall after my half, until I finally went to the doctor and physiotherapist.

My suspicions were confirmed; I had plantar fasciitis (as the most simplistic explanation I understand it to be when the arch of your foot collapses). My running was on hold. I continued to go to the gym, but gyms have never been motivating for me.

But for the first time in a long time, while I continued to be active as I could, other things popped up and being a little less active was not a cause for panic. I was much busier in school, and busier with extracuriculars like residence advising as well. I would go for an occasional run, but not sticking to it consistently for anything over two weeks.

I spent the summer cycling between school and work. I went to Kenya where we would sometimes run with the local kids (who were fast, let me tell you). But still inconsistent. I started Hot Yoga in the fall when I started internship, and consistently did that for eight months, with some skiing thrown in for good measure. It was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Recently I began trail running and love it. Not really for the running, but for the being outside. My mileage is small compared to what it used to be, and if I want to one day run longer distances I’ll have to work up to it. But mostly I’m just enjoying getting out for a short, tough, beautiful trail run now and then.

Do I have a moral for this story? Not really. I guess I’m always just surprised that sometimes I’m more motivated with running and exercise when I have no agenda, when I follow no rules about running x number of days, and cross training y number of days, and resting z number of days. I honestly could keep writing about all my experiences with exercise and being (and keeping) fit, but that would take forever, so for now I think I’ll end it here.

What is your favourite thing about running? Or what is your favourite exercise (especially if you aren’t a runner)?

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