My half marathon goal was set at a time when I was at a high in my running ‘career.’ I use the word career lightly because I am still particularly new when it comes to running. I am not a pro by any means. I have come quite far from my first real race running experience in high school. I ran in university, sometimes dragging unwilling roomies with me on the neighbourhood hills. I ran through the woods with my roomie Jay and got frustrated when he schooled me with his speedy feet. I ran when I moved to Jasper, sometimes on the treadmill and sometimes on trail around Lac Beauvert. I ran when I moved home for four months trying to figure out what to do after university, making 8pm winter night runs my snowy friend.
When I moved to Toronto, I didn’t really know that many people. I met up with my big sister Andreea from my sorority and we reconnected. Aside from the overall excitement of actually realizing that I knew a few people in the huge city (being the small town girl that I am) much to might delight, she mentioned joining a running group. Having already run solo for the longest time, the idea of sharing one of my passions with someone else was awesome! (as corny as that sounds.) We joined a women’s only Learn to Run clinic through the Running Room downtown and the rest is history.
At first I was skeptical about the whole clinic idea. I mean it’s easy to run, right? Step 1: Put shoes on feet. Step 2: Move feet faster than walking pace. (At least that’s how I always thought of it…) However, after a quick introduction to running in my clinic I realized it was much more than that. For the first time I was learning how to build a running base that used the right techniques and introduced me to ways in which I could really use my body to maximize my overall performance.
If you had told me that I would ever be running 5k I would have laughed. If you told me I would be running at 10k I would have laughed and then asked if you were crazy.
I ran three times a week minimum. At first I did 2 minute running stints in between 1 minute intervals of walking. I thought I’d never be able to run for 10 minutes, let alone complete a race. As I am sure you can imagine though, my bad attitude quickly changed; I met people who felt the same way as me at first, and made it to half marathons and marathons. I wanted to be like them.
I ran my first race with my friend Kim. I met her through the Running Room. We ran the Nike 10k from Rosedale. Man I thought I was going to die. We had trained, but the race started with a huge hill. Kim kept pushing me through some of the hardest parts. Her positive attitude helped me, since mine can waiver at times when I am running slowly like a turtle up a hill 😉 I was glad to have her there. My first race was over an hour. I had wanted to get under an hour, which I realize at the time was quite the lofty goal.
I learned a lot from that first race:
1- Train more
2- Train with more hills
3- Run with someone who helps you improve your own attitude
4- Don’t beat yourself up about your time, be happy that you finished
5-You may not be the best runner, but you’re doing much better than the old you that used to just sit on the couch and watch Ironman’s on TV.
I did it.
I wasn’t fast, but I had a place in a race. I had a t-shirt to prove it, and really… what’s better than that? 😉
This led, years later to my very first half marathon. *happy dance* 😀