Global Running Day 2016

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Happy Global Running Day! Per the organization’s website: Global Running Day is a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. Participation is easy—just pledge to take part in some type of running activity on June 1, 2016. It can be a solo lap around the block, a long run with friends, or even a game of tag with your kids. The key is to share your passion for the sport and inspire others to get moving.

To celebrate the day, we each made sure to get out for a run today (despite both having some tired legs!). Megan did a slow, easy 8km in the morning. Steph headed out on her lunch break for a leisurely 5k.

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In honour of Global Running Day, Steph contributed this word of the day (which she absolutely does not snicker at every time she reads it) to her co-workers’ office whiteboard.

In the spirit of sharing our passion for the sport, here are some reasons why we love running!

Megan

  1. It has strengthened friendships and given me kinship with strangers. I love waves, smiles, and nods shared by runners. It’s a great way to practice loving kindness.

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    Early days of running with Kevin and Steph!

  2. It gets me outdoors and allows me to explore and experience the world in a special way. I have so much fun as a run tourist.

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    Exploring the Trans Canada Trail.

  3. LEG MUSCLES. I love building strength in my quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
  4. I am able to set and achieve goals. I have proven my inner critical voice wrong.

    Like that one time I ran a MARATHON.

    Like that one time I ran a MARATHON.

  5. I am able to learn from setbacks, unexpected changes, and failure to achieve goals.
  6. It deepens my understanding of my body and encourages me to listen to it.
  7. ENDORPHINS. Feeling dopeyhappyloveytired.

    Giddy after running a sub-2 hour half.

    Giddy after running a sub-2 hour half.

  8. Races give me a thrill. Anticipation. Adrenaline. The support, the cheers. And what I’m about to say is super cheesy, but I call it “the triumph of the human spirit.” Finish line joy makes me weepy just thinking about it.
  9. It’s a source of gratitude. Running is a privilege. Bodies are amazing.
  10. It is fun. I do this for fun!

    From my run this morning, surrounded by wildflowers.

    From my run this morning, surrounded by wildflowers.

Steph

  1. It feels good.
    Running makes me feel good. This wasn’t always the case; when I was younger, I hated running. It was overwhelming: my legs would burn, my lungs felt like they would explode, I could taste blood in my mouth. But a few years ago, after easing into running with Couch to 5k, I realized that I could run and it didn’t have to feel like death. All I needed was some training!I like the way I feel during a run: free and alive! I like the way I often feel after a run: full of endorphins and a happy kind of tired and satisfied. I also like the way running makes me feel about myself: empowered and capable and strong.

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    Feeling good during a race!

  2. Self-improvement.
    I’m a fan of setting goals. I like the sense of accomplishment that comes when I achieve them. Setting goals (race goals, cumulative distance goals, etc.) is a big motivator for me. The flip-side to this, of course, is that I don’t like it when those goals are not achieved. This is a bit of a struggle (and I’m finding the solution is that sometimes goals don’t have to be number-oriented!), but it’s still one of the things I love about running.
  3. It gets me outside.
    There are few things as nice as a good run on a sunny day with a breeze! Running gets me outside and has been a great way for me to explore different neighbourhoods in my cities and while traveling.

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    My run today took me through this lovely little cemetery.

     

  4. It’s a great way to socialize.
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    Shot by Mandy. From our very first run and brunch!

    For many people, running is a very personal and individual activity. It’s definitely like that sometimes for me as well, but I also find running to be a great way to socialize. Megan, Mandy and I are fond of “run and brunch”, where we would do a run together on a Saturday or Sunday morning and rotate through having brunch at each other’s houses. It’s such a great way to catch up and hang out while getting some physical activity in. Also, running can be pretty gross, and I find talking about things like butt chafing really brings people closer together.More recently, since I’ve been working in a different city during the weekdays, I have found running with some of the groups around here a nice way to meet some new people and familiarize myself with some good routes.

  5. The swag.
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    My race bling occupies the right half of the hooks. (The left half is Kevin’s race bling.)

    Maybe it’s because I wasn’t super athletic when I was younger, but I get such a kick out of all the race medals I’ve received over the past five years or so. They’re all hanging on a coat rack that hangs from my bedroom door and it makes a tremendously satisfying clangle when I open and close the door. Juvenile? Maybe, but I still love it.

 

Did you go for a run on Global Running Day? What are some of the reasons you love to run?

Long pace test run

Sunday was my last big effort before my race in 2 weeks. I wanted to hit 20km and get a sense of where I was at in terms of pacing and time. I’m so pleased with how it went!

I didn’t know what to expect because I had been in a funk since Friday night. It was like a cartoon, where I had a personal dark gray rain cloud directly over my head. (Depression sucks.) Jump forward to Sunday morning, after tossing and turning from 3:00am – 6:00am thanks to screaming neighbours. The weather was a bit crappy (not unlike my personal raincloud from the days before) and I had convinced myself to run without music, since headphones aren’t allowed at the race. I left the house feeling pretty good, and somehow just managed to laugh as hail came down from the sky.

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Views from the Leslie St. Spit. I had this lyric from “Ms. Jackson” stuck in my head: You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.

Everything clicked into place in a natural way. My body felt good, my thoughts were innocuous, and the heavens didn’t open up above me. I stuck to a run 20/walk 1 schedule and managed to keep a pace around 6:15 for the first 16km. I was convinced that when I slowed down I was going to bonk, but I only went to 6:30/km. When things were getting tough, I spoke to myself out loud. These legs have done this before. These legs have run a marathon!

I’m happy now that I have a race plan for the 29th. From the start, a specific time or PR has never been the goal. I want to have fun, show myself that I can still do this, and not feel physically or mentally destroyed at the finish line. I’ve run this race once and spectated once, and it has such a positive vibe. The course is primarily in my backyard on trails I now know well. I think it’s a great choice for my first race in a year and a half.

But if I’m going to have a time goal? I think I’d be pretty pleased if I finished in under 2:15. I didn’t put in the training that I was hoping for – a good week would be 2 shorter runs, a spin class, and a long run. A few weeks just had the longer run. Since March, I also started a new job and a new volunteer position, which were pretty huge for me. I’m actually at peace with where I’m at in terms of training!

And check out this post-run selfie! There’s someone who feels good. There’s someone who can do this.

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Hill advice

I wanted to start this blog on a happier note, but more importantly, I want to be honest here.

I had a very mentally difficult run yesterday. It was all the more frustrating because I felt primed for a good run. I had been looking forward to it all day. The weather was perfect – sunny and warm, with a light breeze. Sure, my hamstrings and calves were still sore from a Sunday yoga session. I hadn’t really fueled properly and had some menstrual cramps all day long. But I really wanted to make it work.

It started with getting dressed. Choosing running shorts has been a real stressor lately. It feels like I have to decide between the feel of thigh rubbing with looser, shorter shorts, or the look of sausage casing. I wish I only cared about function. Practical Brain knows that nobody cares and nobody notices except me. Anxiety Brain likes to override Practical Brain and go into a loop of loathing.

I was still optimistic when I started my run, but about 10 minutes in, something in me cracked open. All of my thoughts were negative. I wanted to quit and give up. I envisioned myself turning around and walking back to the hill in the park to forlornly watch ecstatic dogs playing. My muscles ached with every stride. Every time I glanced at my watch, my pace was about 20 seconds slower than I thought it was. Practical Brain implored me to stop looking at my watch to check a pace that really didn’t matter. I kept looking at my watch. I felt like I was almost on the verge of tears, but I knew I wouldn’t cry. Oh, so I’m failing at crying now?

Somehow I didn’t give up. And honestly? I don’t know why I didn’t give up. I even ran up the hill at the park on my last kilometer, which I do quit on regularly. As I focused on my form running up the hill, I realized it was good advice for facing any challenge.

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Slow down.
Take lots of small steps.
Lean into it a little bit.
Keep your head up.
Look at what’s directly ahead of you.
Don’t forget to breathe.

Maybe there’s something in me that’s stronger than Anxiety Brain. Maybe Practical Brain is tougher than I think.

Introduction

Hi! This is sweatyandhungry. We’re also sweaty and hungry. Sometimes we’re clean and full, but it’s a rare occasion.

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