Ready to run

Published on May 19, 2017

CLARENVILLE-Your calves are on fire.  Your heart is pounding.  You can't see quite clearly through the sweat that's dripping over your eyes. 

You come to a stop, bent over, elbows resting on your knees, gulping down as much air as you can.

You tell yourself that you're not doing this ever again.

And then the next night you're at it again.

As agonizing as it can be, running is strangely addicting.  It's almost like a socially acceptable and beneficial form of self-punishment. And I love it.

I began running in earnest April of 2016, just over a year ago.  A buddy of mine told me about an app he downloaded that used his phone's GPS to track his running.  The app broke down your entire workout- how many km you covered, your time duration, your average pace, average and max speeds.  It even calculated how many calories I supposedly burned while running.

So, on April 25, 2016, I tracked my first run.

I covered 2.20 km in 14:21.  That’s an average pace of 6:31 min/km.  Definitely not breaking any world records yet, but it was a start.

Being able to visually see made running worth it.  I could track my progress, set goals, and visually see my improvement.  It made sense of running.

Now, I'm preparing myself for my first organized charity event.  I will be participating in the Power to Hope 5 Km Run/Walk on Sunday, May 28.  Participants have the option of fundraising in support the Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC).

To be fair, I have some mixed emotions about the event.  I guess you could say I'm a bit nervous, this being my first time participating in an organized event.  I don't know the dynamics of running in a large group- usually it's just my headphones and me.

I guess there's also a certain pressure to perform.  I know this is a charity event and not an Olympic event, but still, you want to do your best when you know there are people watching.

The fundraising aspect also adds some thrill to the experience.  I have set a goal of $100, which at the time of writing I'm only $20 short of.

It's really a win-win situation- raise money for charity by participating in something you love doing.

I haven’t yet run the route that we will be running on May 28, but I will likely do that within the next week to get a feel for it.

I usually aim for three 5km runs a week, depending on my schedule and what other activities I'm involved in that week, so this five km event fits in pretty well with my typical weekly schedule.  I can do a 5 km in about 30 minutes, which is basically 'average'. I'm not quite an Olympian yet.

So what attracted me to running?

For one, it's probably one of the cheapest and easiest sports to get involved with.  No membership fees, no special equipment to buy, no expensive gear.  You can run where and when is convenient for you. You just need some good shoes, comfortable clothes, and the will power to pound the pavement.  I recommend a Spotify subscription and headphones but it's certainly not required.

I'm told that running has a bunch of physical benefits.  It's good for cardiovascular health, it burns calories, it strengthens the body, it helps you lose weight.  I'm sure all that's true.  But it also makes you feel good.  Really good.  It feels good to set goals, and break them, and it feels good to push yourself.  Even if it makes you just a little sick too.

It also feels good to be raising money for a worthy cause at the same time. 

If you wanted to donate, you can my YACC profile.