I come from a family of athletes. Champs, all of ’em – running, cycling, triathlons, Ultimate, cross-country skiing. Marathoners. Masters’ champions. Whoohoo! Go, Mom, Go Dad! Looking good! Finish strong! My sister has competed at at least two nations’ national Ultimate Frisbee championships. She’s got a couple of provincial swim records too, I think (Sarah – feel free to set me straight). Me? I’m a champion cheering squad.
I hate running. Always have. It’s just so much work for very little reward. I like my sports to have a little bit of fun factor: Mountain biking, road cycling, canoeing, backpacking, climbing, cross country skiing… all fun and I pursue them with gusto. Running? Not so much.
I don’t know where my deep-rooted hatred of running originated. If I had to pin it down, I’d probably blame it on the misguided provincial cross country ski coach who told me cycling was “not good cross-training for skiing” and that I was “too fat to run.”
I was 15.
He was a jerk.
A year later, I was the fastest female Newfoundland cyclist at the Canada Games – at least in the Individual Time Trial event. (Held my own on the road, finished the criterium and kind of bombed the mountain bike race, but I would like to direct your attention here: That’s Cindy Klassen at #32, and yours truly at #40. That’s right, I competed against an OLYMPIAN. Take that, Coach.)
But now fitness has to fit in 1-hour increments and fun can’t always be the top priority. (Until I get my Chariot that is. Or should I say Sylvia’s Chariot? Whatever. I paid for it.)
But running? Still not my thing.
Cue epic swelling theme music…
I kept “fit” during my pregnancy by walking and swimming and moving house… twice. But Bounce Back is something I did not. We bought a jogging stroller in June, about 8 weeks after Sylvia was born. Our first outing was to the post office, 600m away. I jogged there… and walked back. The next day I jogged there and walked/ran back. The following week I ran both ways. I was ecstatic! Only 2 months postpartum and I could run 1.2 whole kilometers! It was more a thrill of fitness than of running. Because running sucks.
Then in August my friend posts this to facebook: “Alison and I are looking for a team to do the huffin puffin marathon relay!” And I thought “No sweat!” (I later thought, “Oh efff….”)
I immediately called my dad: “I can train to run 10k in a month, can’t I?” And because I wasn’t starting from zero – all those trips to the post office, you see – he agreed.
I ran 4 k.
I ran 5 k.
I ran 6 k.
And after ever long run I would call my parents.
“I just ran the longest I’ve ever run IN MY LIFE!” I’d say, before assuring that no, this does not mean I hate running any less.
I ran 7 k.
I ran 8 k.
The race is eight days away. I know I can do 9.5 k. It’s the first leg of the relay. That will be the longest run of my life. Can’t let the team down. Go! Go! Looking good! Finish strong! Way to finish!
Coming up: A blog contest! No running required. Stay tuned…