Monday, January 10, 2011

And Snow It Begins.....

It's been 9 days since my incredible and inspiring New-Year's day run and though I am still pumped about running, I haven't gone as much as I had hoped. I went out a week ago Monday and ran 5.26 km  and then ran another 6.19 km on January 5th. Since then, no runs. Initially, my goal was to run every second day, but my enthusiasm has been dampened by the curtain of snow that is now covering the city. You see, I am not a Winter person in the sense that I absolutely hate feeling cold. So the idea of covering my body in layers (17 pieces of clothing to be exact), strapping on my shoes, and gleefully heading for a run in the middle of a cold, snow-stormy kind of day is not my idea of fun (the word "torture" is more acurate).

4 layers to keep me....warm....I hope....

Some people will say that a run in the cool of winter is invigorating and makes you feel alive. I'd rather hide under a mountain of blankets and hibernate! The only thing that could perhaps motivate me to go out in Winter is the presence of sunshine. When I see the sun shining on the snow, I might get inspired to go out and "enjoy" the outdoors (cursing for the first 15 minutes while my body adjusts to the shock of the wind slapping my face with "invigorating" energy). The truth is that I wasn't raised in a cold-climate so I was never forced to live with it. My memories of childhood in Winter do not involve spending whole afternoons skating outdoors or playing hockey, or even making snow forts with runny noses and red cheeks to show for it. The only snow I encountered was when my parents took us skiing in the Alps, and even then it wasn't really cold (I remember skiing in a t-shirt!). 

My challenge therefore is: How do I motivate myself to go out even when my entire body is screaming at me to not dare put a foot out in the cold, or else! The reality is that I can't avoid Winter and it's grand display of snow storms, freezing rain, and insane cold weather. The dummer reality is that I chose to live in this country so I'd better suck it up and adapt quick because Winters won't disappear (it's fairly predictable that for three months of the year, at least, it will be cold and the roads will be crap because covered in slush) and I can't afford (both physically and emotionally) not to run anymore.

I think the only way I can truly motivate myself is to shut up the princess voice that wants me to stay indoors warm and cozy, put on my layers and my running shoes, take the first step and run. I'll bet you I'll run a lot faster cause I'll be dying (literally) to get back to warmer temperatures. And on those days when it's really aweful outside and I'm worried about safety, then I can always workout indoors (no treadmills here, but I have a decent collection of home workout videos). I must also keep my goal of running consistently front and centre when I waver in my determination.

So bring it on Winter! Me, myself, my many layers of clothing, my shoes and their trusted ice-grips are looking forward to running with you.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Beginning

Look who's back at running!

It's been seven months to the day of my last post on this blog and the reason for the lack of post is simple: I stopped running. From the highs of completing the half-marathon to nothing in just one day. There are many reasons/excuses why I stopped going out, but the main one is this: I had met my goal, which had been a priority in my life for four months, and once I crossed the finish line, I put running at the bottom of my to-do list. In doing so, I also put myself last, the result of which, at the end of seven months, is a mix of weight gain, reduced self-confidence and a dash of self-loathing.

Looking back at 2010, I can say however that I am still extremely proud of my running accomplishments. If you had told me last January that five months later I would be running 21.1 km, I would have looked at you as if you had three heads and a barrel of monkeys. Yet, a year later, I have run 259km! In fact, in the last five years since I started running, on and off, I also have completed two 10km races, a 5km race and the half-marathon. These are a few accomplishments I want to be proud of. And while I could continue to focus on the 7-month hiatus, I have chosen to look forward instead.

So what better way to move forward than with a symbolic run on a gorgeous, spring-like, New Year's day. Outfitted with my brand new running shoes (thank you Santa Tyler), I headed out the door this morning with purpose and optimism. Though we didn't have a specific goal in mind, we knew that this run had to count. I was secretly hoping to manage a 10 km but wasn't sure how much I would be able to do, especially when my legs started feeling like lead. Tyler pushed me through the physical stumbling blocks, and we finished our run totaling 12.5 km. For someone who hasn't run in 7 months, it's not too shabby, don't you think?

Though tonight, I have a hard time moving and my left knee is screaming at me, I am blissfully happy. One of my running mentors asked me today if I was going to run another half-marathon this year, but for now my only goal is to run consistently all year long. Another race would sure feel great, but becoming a consistent runner would be pretty sweet too. I'll need all the encouragements and support I can get, so don't be shy and leave a comment.

Stats from the first run of the year

Until the next run!