And So We Run

During the summer after my first year of university, 2004, I started to look at what I was eating and started paying attention to what I was putting in my mouth and exercising. I went with my Mum to see her personal trainer and she had me doing running, elliptical and bike intervals along with lifting weights.

Throughout my second year of university, 2004-2005, I would go to the gym 4-5 days a week and do a  combination of cardio and weights…I loved this new lifestyle. During exams of that year I got into running, just a little bit here and there…I would switch between elliptical and running for 5 minutes, it was a nice start to what would turn into a great relationship. During the summer after my second year of university I started to love running. I can remember the day I ran for 20 minutes without stopping, I was so giddy and proud!

When I started my third year of university, 2005-2006, I kept up my running and weight lifting…soon I was running more than I was biking or spending time on the elliptical. I was in love! At this time I also looked into The GI Diet by Rick Gallop and fell in love, this was no diet my friends, this was a lifestyle change, and I loved every minute of it!! During that year I got my running endurance up and was so happy with what I was doing!

When I got home after exams I did a training session with my Mum’s personal trainer and she mentioned that she was doing a 5k race with some other clients and asked me if I wanted to go with them. I said no at first, but by the end of the hour I realized that I had no reason to say no. I remember that 5k so well, it was fun and easy going there was no pressure! That day someone asked if I had considered doing a half marathon, at that time I started looking into training plans and what went into training for a half marathon!

That summer I ran another 5k, this time with my boyfriend, and I must say he really pushed me! The pictures that our parents took of us that day are some of my favourite pictures there are of us!

Later that summer (late July-August) I started training for the Prince Edward County Half Marathon (PEC), to this day it is my favourite half marathon route for sure! My boyfriend and I ran that half marathon in October 2006, we didn’t run it together because we wanted to run our first races as our own. It was great day and I felt so amazing!

After that, during my fourth year of university 2006-2007, I ran and did strength training and in February 2007 I joined the Running Room for a Half Marathon Clinic to train for the Ottawa Half Marathon. In late May 2007 I ran that half marathon a little injured, plantar fasciitis, but it was still fun…it is a much bigger race than PEC so I was a little thrown off, but I still enjoyed myself.

A week later I graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in English Literature (I just always remember running the Ottawa Half Marathon and then going back a week later to celebrate graduating).
During that summer I started doing more yoga, I got a month of unlimited yoga to a local yoga studio from my parents for graduation and I spent that month running and doing hot yoga, it was pure bliss! Of course I could not keep up those kinds of payments so I enjoyed my month and then took what I learned with me.

I was still a little injured, but continued to run all the time, this was NOT smart! Regardless I trained for the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon because it was a flat course and I would be running it with a friend who wanted to complete her first half marathon. The training went very well and the Thursday before the race I pulled a muscle in my groin area (sorry I had to write that, it’s the truth though) and we ran the race at the end of September, it was fun and hot, but I was in pain.

After my 3rd half marathon in one year I knew I had to take a break! During the rest of the fall of 2007 and most of 2008 I spent time in spin classes, on a stationary bike, and the elliptical mixed with weights and yoga. I did some running every now and then, but mostly picked it up again consistently in the summer of 2008, sadly I was not healed and it wasn’t always enjoyable. I decided that my hope of running the PEC half marathon in October 2008 was a no go, and I was ok with that. During December of 2008 I started running again, everything was good and I felt no pain. I took it slow and only did what made me happy, I didn’t want to push myself.

During 2009 I ran and discovered amazing workout videos: 30 Day Shred, Core Fusion, and many yoga videos, my favourite being Shiva Rea’s Creative Core and Upper Body.

Finally in the summer of 2009 I was ready to train for another half marathon! I trained for and ran PEC with my boyfriend, this time we ran it together and it was so much fun! Near the finish line he took my hand and made me sprint, and we crossed the finish line holding hands. It was amazing! I will always remember that moment!

I just put this board together and it is on a wall in my kitchen, it makes me smile whenever I see it!

WOW! That is a lot of information about running and very little about nutrition, I guess I will talk more about that later. So what am I doing now you ask? Well I am loving running and am looking forward to being able to run outside all the time again. I was going to do that today but the huge snow storm that hit last night put a damper on that.

As for strength training, I have reworked an old plan and I love it, at the same time I just bought The New Rules of Lifting for Women and am looking into doing the plan in the book. I still love doing yoga, if I don’t have time for a full video I always do some stretches for runners to ensure I don’t injure myself again.

I am currently on my reading week until March 7th so I am going to spend this week running, yoga-ing, doing strength training, reading, and I should probably do some school work! I have been looking forward to this week off for so long!

Happy Running!

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