Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Run with your heart not with your legs


I had an awful run this morning.
My legs felt like lead and I huffed and puffed like a newbie while enduring side cramps.
 It wasn't blissful or empowering.  
It felt rotten.
 I'm sure this is how a lot of people feel when they first start running, and probably the reason that my husband thinks it is a form of torture. I must admit, running on running on asphalt for hours, isn't really my idea of a good time,  I do enjoy trail running.  Which is why, I am surprised that I have enjoyed training for this marathon as much as I have.
How I have come to look forward to my training runs.
1)   I have an AWESOME training partner ( It makes all the difference in the world.....especially when I am running 30+ km at the crack of dawn, or at 4pm on a hot sunny afternoon, or when I just want to stop and just eat blackberries). She is a much more experienced runner than I am and pushes and challenges me intellectually and spiritually while we plow through our required miles.
I swear that she runs faster up hills than she does on flats. She is incredible.
2) This is the first time that I have trained through the spring and summer. In the past I have always trained through the winter, and endured cold rainy runs. This time I got a tan and never had to contend with soggy shoes. SCORE!
3) I have relished the conversation as well as the solitude. On the weekends I typically run with Nola (my training partner) and during the week I run to the tunes downloaded on my shuffle. Whether I a discussing deep issues or dashing up a hill to my current favorite song, I get to focus on only one thing. There are no extraneous demands, no whining to contend with (other than my lungs and muscles), nothing else to focus on but my thoughts and the thud of my feet hitting the ground. It's pretty awesome, and for a harried mother of two, sheer bliss at any time of day.
I haven't always loved running. My first memories of running were in early high school. I  remember feeling as though my lungs were going to explode and that I was going to black out afterwards
 Somehow, it didn't put me off and I started running  before school with a neighbor. I began to experience that endorphin "high" you hear seasoned runners talk about. I ran a little in University, but only sporadically and without any intention. A couple of years after I got married and sister and I  signed up for a "learn how to run 10km" clinic. THAT is where my love of running began. When I completed those 10km at the Sun Run in Vancouver, I was hooked. I went on to complete a sprint triathlon,  a half marathon, a half ironman and now two babies later, hopefully my first marathon. I would still LOVE to do a full Ironman one day, but I am holding that dream with an open hand. (More on that topic another day)

When I decided to train for this marathon, I did so knowing that it would be the last time I would be able throw myself into something so intensive for awhile.  I also knew that it would be the last time I would have my body all to myself.  Over the past two weeks I have run an estimate of 110km. I don't about you, but that sounds a little crazy!

It sure has been fun though!

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