The Comeback, Volunteering, Being Better

What if everybody ran?


It’s been a couple months since posting last, so I thought I’d take a moment to write something up.

Since my last post, I started and ended the dreadful walk/run program. Let me tell you, listen to your body, don’t over push yourself to the point of injury, and do everything in your power to remain injury free. Walk/run programs are so BORING! Honestly, who likes going for 30second runs with 4:30minute walks in-between. If you do, there is something wrong, as that is gross. Ugh, and imagine 2 months of slow progression, doing that junk. It’s seriously the worst! Anyways, screw that stuff, back to real running.

Ever since my injury in February, I’ve learnt different ways to get quality training sessions in, without enduring the harsh impact the pavement plays on your muscles and joins. Those training sessions include getting into the weight room (NOT CROSS-FIT JUNK), spending time on the road bike, and jumping into the pool for some water runs. Every one of those activities will help to improve strength, stamina, and endurance; as they are all complimentary to the sport of running.

While I was going through that recovery period, I decided to volunteer at some local races. At first, I thought it would be a good way to get out of the house and help out within the community. Volunteering is exactly that, but it is also much more. During some of these events, I noticed a couple things. I noticed how blotchy and gross we all become when we push our bodies to the limit (Just saying. It happens to me too), but I also noticed how genuinely happy others are to be out there, enduring the conditions. This was especially true during the Calgary Marathon. Holy smokes! I had more fun as a volunteer than I usually do as a competitor, seriously. Our street corner had coffee, food, music, and puppies! The race itself was amazing to be apart of, as I got to see a friend every 5 minutes and got hugs & high fives from some of the worlds best athletes. The amount of gratitude I got coming back my way was unbelievable. In the end, I think volunteering was just what I needed to get my head back on my shoulders to be the best I can be, once again. Seeing the smiles and joy on peoples faces during last weeks marathon has taught me to appreciate the sport of running for what it is; a way to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

Now that I’m back to running on a full time basis, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to stop running on a set schedule, and literally just have fun with it. If I feel like running, I’ll go for a run. If I don’t feel like running, I’ll still go, or go biking. It’s such a simple concept, and I believe it will help to alleviate some of the mental pressures that come with a scheduled program. Physiologically, when you see “Thursday: 15k tempo” on a schedule, it pressures you to complete that, and if you don’t complete it to the expectations that you have, you go into a lull. So by not having a schedule, it should be much easier to get out for runs, and to do workouts when you want to. I call it the “feel run program”, as it’s just running off of how you feel. Over these next 3 months, I’m prepping for the Dino Dash 10k. I plan on finishing in 1st, somewhere around that 32 minute mark. In saying that, if those goals don’t come true, that’s alright because running is all about having fun, and if you aren’t having fun, you’re running for the wrong reasons. So, if you’re a runner, and still reading up to this point, good luck with training, and I’ll see you out on the pathways. Stay humble, stay true, and have fun.