TinyPants — tiny pants. big ideas.


Posted in Running by Allie on August 22, 2008

I began running a little over a year ago as the result of a series of challenges I set up for myself.

I did my first run because hubby came back from a walk with poochie one day and boasted that since he’s been walking the dog every day for two years his lung capacity has expanded. He thought, ‘I could probably run home’. And he did. I thought, ‘Well, I’ve been walking her every day too. I can do that’. And I did.

At the same time, I was working as a technician on a student opera, and the director told the singers they should start every day with a jog to wake themselves up and to increase their lung capacity. They whinged. I thought, ‘I’ll show them”. So I actually gave myself a program to follow: running every second day, and every time I need to ascend somewhere, I’ll take the stairs.

And the wedding was coming up and I needed motivation to look good, and I’m not really good at limiting my food, so this was as good a reason as any other to start moving.

My friend was getting ready to have a baby, and I thought to myself, that’s pain you can’t stop. You just have to plough through. I mean, you can take drugs, but it’s just going to continue until that baby’s out. So on the hard hills I thought to myself, ‘I could stop, but if these cramps were contractions I couldn’t stop those, and somehow women get through them’.

And somehow I continued. I slowly worked myself up to 5k. I would feel guilty if I skipped a day, and would feel fat. I got really skinny for the wedding. I didn’t stop when we got back from our honeymoon. I ran through the winter. I got some new shoes, and entered my first two races for motivation. I slowly worked my way up to 10k. Injured myself, took a break. Healed. Now 10k seems easy. My hip doesn’t bother me anymore. I stopped running to get skinny and started running for pace and distance. I run to run.

It’s still a struggle. Every run has something that makes me want to quit. Well, not every run. And that’s what keeps me going. I get through the hard sections by thinking about how far away that hard moment will seem when I’m at the end. It’s sort of like when you take a trip, and on the plane to your destination, you can sit in that seat and think about when you’ll be in that seat again at the end of the trip. Right at that moment it seems very far away, but when you’re in that seat again at the end, it will seem like the time flew by quickly.

There’s a hierarchy out on the streets. There are pedestrians, there are bikers, and there’s us–the runners. Pedestrians are generally nice people and smile, but they have no idea about pace and what stepping in your way really does to your stride. Bikers are usually nasty bastards who try to race with you. Are you kidding me? You’re on wheels. Of course you’re faster. And then the runners. There is a special commradery there. When we pass by each other, we don’t just smile, we wave at each other. I usually wonder what kilometre they’re on, and wonder if they don’t look tired because they’re veterans at this sport, or if they’re just at the beginning of their run. I get smiles from them when I’m running with Addie–it’s the ears.

This (almost) anniversary week has been good. A man clapped when he saw me running down the street. Okay, he could have just been crazy, or excited about seeing a woman in a skimpy top running (hubby’s money’s on that explanation), but I saw a special sparkle in his eye. He was a rolly-polly kind of guy, probably on a couch to 5k plan and he was genuinely happy for me being on the road and running. It brought a tear to my eye. When I got home, my Nike+ running guy/band/thing sent me a little message: 209 kilometers down. You’re closing in on 250. The real prize comes in 41 kilometers more, but we wanted to give a nod to your fine miles thus far. Keep right on running. I bought my first issue of Runner’s World, and for the first time, I felt like I was enough into a sport that every page spoke to me, even though it was mostly about Olympians.

When I entered the two races in May or June, I was fearful. What if I wouldn’t be ready? Hubby said I should enter two 5ks this year, but I wanted a challenge. So I stacked them. I thought I’d do the 5k trail run first (which I was already able to do at the time), and then if I find that really hard, I still would have a whole month to train for the 10k at the zoo.

But I’m ready. For both.



One Response

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  1. calla said, on August 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    i love you and i’m so proud of you. i can’t wait for your runs. i’ll be there to cheer you on just like you’ve cheered me on during the hard parts in my life.

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