Even though I’m very active, I never thought I’d be a runner. Compared with the speed and smooth rolling of cycling, running seemed like it would be too slow and plodding for me. It took the invention of the iPod shuffle and a contest to try all the equipment at the gym for me to even consider getting on a treadmill. I was surprised to find I kind of liked it.
So occasional 30-minute treadmill trots became part of my workouts. One day, somebody kindly posted the miles-to-kilometres conversion on the machines. I was trotting along to my tunes and coming up on the 30-minute mark when I realized I was close to 6 km. So I figured I’d keep going to 6 km. I got there and my song wasn’t finished. So I figured I’d finish off the song. Then I was nearly at 7 km. So I decided to keep going to 7km.
But it occurred to me that if I could run 7 km on a treadmill, it wouldn’t take much training to run the 10 k in the annual Blue Nose Marathon. It’s such a wonderful event in this city – the biggest street party in Halifax! It was great to realize I could be part of it.
The energy of the crowd – the runners, the walkers, the cheerers, the volunteers – had me sailing through the city streets with wings on my feet and a huge grin on my face. I finished in under an hour. It was pure awesome.
Since then, my time is improving and I’m working at running without hurting my knees or aggravating my Achilles. This involves lots of stretching and moving with better alignment – part of my New Year’s resolution, you may recall. In a nutshell, I have to run as if I have a ball between my knees. If a heel clips a leg, I know I’m being lazy and have to straighten out those knees.
Tomorrow, I’ll run my fourth Blue Nose 10 k. And if I ever needed to run, now is the time. The paperwork is currently making its way through the divorce process. And just a few days ago, we marked the 10th anniversary of my brother’s death.
That morning, I forced myself out of my cozy bed to run just under 9 km around my new neighbourhood. I thought about my brother. I thought he’d love that the first song on my running playlist is Bat Out of Hell. I thought he’d be proud of me for making the difficult decision to get out of a marriage I never should have gotten into. I thought he’d like to know that I’m as human has he was. That I, too, make monumental mistakes.
I also thought that maybe if he were here today, he’d be running with me. We’ll never know. But the fact is he can’t do this. Lots of people can’t do this. And I can.
So I run because I can. And I am thankful for that. So thankful, in fact, that I’m toying with trying the half one of these days. Giv’er!