Back to Running and Back to Work

….running is like riding a bike, once you start again it’s like you never stopped

On Sunday I started running again. I didn’t plan on it, it just happened.

My husband, Frances and I started on our usual morning walk but we barely left the house when my husband started to run. Frances kept putting on the brakes when she didn’t sense that I was right behind her so I started to run as well. And I kept running and running and didn’t stop until I hit the 4k mark.

We stopped at the Tim Horton’s in the park, where I bought a small coffee, asked for a cup of water and used the restroom. K wanted to run some more so I agreed to take the dog and the two of us walked the remaining 2k home. I was amazed that I was able to run so far after not running for about two months.

Today we started with a walk and started running at the entrance to Col. Sam Smith Park. Again, once I started running, it felt so natural and comfortable that I continued to run until we reached the point, turned around and ran all the way home. Another 4k of running and 1k of walking.

If someone had told me 18 months ago that I would become a runner I would have scoffed at them. I remember trying to run with my husband when I was in my 20s and put my back out. I was about 50 pounds lighter than I am now and I just couldn’t get into it. So why is it easier now? Shouldn’t it be harder? After all I’m 30 some years older and heavier.

I think the difference is that this time I started out slowly. Literally, I started with only running 50 metres on the first day and then going 100 metres the next. Slowly I added more distance and as the weight came off it became easier. The other difference is that I had a goal. I was coaching young girls to run and we were all training to do a 5k run. My goal was to finish the race and try to run half of it and walk the rest.

My first 5k wasn’t pretty but I did finish. I was exhausted, emotional and anxious about my health, all at the same time. When I realized that I wasn’t going to die from running, I continued to run periodically for the rest of that summer and in the fall I ran with the cross country team. It got easier and easier. During the winter, when running became too difficult my husband and I walked regularly in the evenings despite the cold and  the record breaking amounts of snow that we encountered last winter.

I agreed to coach the girls at school again this spring and we worked toward completing another 5k race. This time I wanted to run the entire race without stopping and in under 45 minutes. It turned out to be a very warm day and I needed to stop 3 times, once for water and then again a couple of times to re-energize. Each time I walked I went for about 100 metres and then started to run again. I finished in 47 minutes and ran most of the 5k.

My plan was to run over the summer but for some reason it just didn’t happen. I did a lot of walking, especially when we were in Ireland and we continued to walk when I was in the city but for some reason when I went to the cottage I didn’t run at all and some days I didn’t walk very far either. As some of you know, we’ve had bears inhabit our island this year and even though I’ve never seen them I do know people who have. My biggest phobia in life is meeting up with a bear. I don’t know where that comes from because I’ve never had an encounter with a bear but I think the possibility of meeting a bear in the woods or on the beach kept me from wandering too far from the cottage.

This fall my goal is to run with the cross country team again and I think it’s time to search out another 5k race this fall. I started back to work today but I got in that run before I left for school. Next week it won’t be as easy to do that because I have to be at school earlier but I know in the first week back the gym teacher will start recruiting the students for this years cross country team. I’ll be right there with them at 7:45 every morning.

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