Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A slow learner, but a fast(ish) runner

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now; starting a blog that is. I attempted to do it several years ago just to talk about sports in general, but I wasn't committed. I think it's time to give it another try where I spend the majority of my day running, working, and spending time with my two children, I've finally learned to be a good albeit not great time manager. Again, I'm a slow learner, but I'm getting there.
I've always loved running, spending a lot of time running all over soccer and baseball fields for most of my early years. Once I entered junior high school, I was introduced to cross country, my first real organized running; up to this point it was just something I did because I liked it. I took to it right away, and spent most of the next 5 years doing little less sport wise, except for basketball. My senior year, the school's team was being led by myself and another runner (who I was determined to edge out as the #1 runner). I started training for my senior year not long after I finished grade 11, and again I spent a lot of my summer running. I came into the year in the best shape I felt I could be, and doing a regional race placed right behind our best runner. This built my confidence, and showed me I could to it. Provincials were set, and I continued pushing myself to get better, and this is the point where the wheel became loose (not off yet, but close).
I ended up injuring myself two weeks before the race, and my doctor suggested no running for 3-4 weeks. I strained a couple of my intercostal muscles, and the only way to help them heal, considering you use them during breathing is no strenuous exercise or deep breathing; basically no running. I was 17, I was dejected, but stubborn. I told myself that I would take 1 week off, and ease back into a couple of light runs, because I'm 17 so I'd probably heal quicker than the doctor thought. I did just that and felt fine during my shakeout run the day before the race. I got off to a slow and tentative start but worked my way through the pack, and was in striking distance of 4th, 5th, and 6th with about 1.5km to go (5km race) when the wheel came completely off. I strained the muscles again, and was barely able to jog my way in, and finished somewhere around 24th. I was completely defeated, I had trained so hard for this to get derailed by an injury, and my stubbornness quit on me. Really I quit on myself, and only ran for exercise for the next 8 years or so.
I was living in Ottawa, and my friends introduced me to Ultimate Frisbee, a sport I quickly fell in love with. Having a background in running, soccer, and basketball I took to it right away. I started running regularly again to get back my endurance, and this is when I remembered how much I loved running, though I wasn't running everyday, just more often then before. Once I moved to Halifax I signed up for my first race in almost 10 years. I had run one race when I was in University, but that was completed just on ability, and wasn't very fast. I ran this same race in Halifax three years in a row, and got faster every year. After the third year where I ran the 10k in 38:53 I felt the competitive fire starting to catch again, but it was still only flickering. It wasn't long after this that my wife and I moved back to St. John's, and I signed up for the biggest race here in NL, the Tely 10. I began training, or what I felt was training, in truth I really just added in a long run to my easy runs, and wasn't doing any workouts. I completed my first 10 mile race in 63 minutes basically with minimal training, and paced on feel. I added some more distance to my weekly mileage and ran the 4th leg of a marathon relay in September (10.6k at 3:38 pace), and then I signed up for the Cape to Cabot in October. During the C2C I learned another lesson; nutrition, and how it can make a huge difference in your performance. I ran well until 15k then I bonked, I jogged the final 5k and was happy to finish in 1:27.
This brings us to the fall of 2012, and I'll cover 2013-2014 in my next post as I don't want these dragging on too long.

Thanks for stopping by.

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