Are you ready for this??
It's funny because as a gymnast, the longest distance that I ever ran was 24.65 meters - and that was full speed ahead down the vault runway. In fact, 3 running steps was ingrained into my brain since I was 6 years old (for those of you who don't know, 3 running steps is what guys are supposed to take into their tumbling passes).
So, to my surprise, I have become a little bit addicted to the activity of running.
I don't remember how I started to run. I think it was something that I thought I was "supposed" to do to work out like a normal person and feel like I was staying in shape. But running has become so much more than just a fitness regime to me. It has literally been a sanity saver.
One of my life requirements is to move my body. I don't think I really realized how important this was to me until I retired from gym and I wasn't training for 6 hours a day. In fact, I used to be able to lie on the couch all night after second training and not feel an ounce of guilt because I knew I had earned it! Haha. But now, I no longer live a life of flipping, twisting, swinging, tumbling and iron-crossing. I am now sitting in front of a computer, I am having meetings, I am standing in front of audiences, I am in front of the camera ect. None of these things are all that physically exerting. In fact, I feel like I am getting a pancake ass half of the time because I spend so much time sitting on it.
Anyway, one thing became very clear to me: my thoughts are not clear and concise and I turn into a real A-hole when I haven't taken some time for me to simply move my body. It's amazing the difference it makes in my mood and my overall sense of accomplishment in a day. Running helps to ease my mind, it helps to clear my thoughts, it helps me to sort things out, it helps me feel consistency, it helps me feel improvement...just like yoga, I have never returned from a run and felt like it was a waste of time.
But one thing I realized about running is that I can't just do it for the sake of doing it. I want to do it well. I need a challenge and I need a goal. I need something that I can work towards or I will make every excuse in the book to get out of it! It's embarrassing to admit, but sometimes I make deals with myself - I think we all do it - and I try to convince myself that tomorrow will be a better day to take action. Boo! In fact, it was the same way in training. If I didn't know what I was working towards then I felt lost and my purpose was blurry, but as soon as I found a meaningful goal then I could turn it on and make every day count.
So, knowing that I needed something to "run" towards, I decided to sign up for my first 10K race in May and it was the Mother's Day Race here in Calgary. This was a really big step for me.
I absolutely loved the race! I ran it in 49:01. My goal was to beat an hour so I felt pretty awesome. But what I loved the most was the feeling I got afterwards when I knew that I had set a goal and accomplished it. It gave me momentum. It gave me purpose. It affected my confidence and it started to trickle into my daily life.
I also noticed the competitor coming out from inside of me. I was setting people as targets through-out the race and I would set little goals to run past them. When I did then it was on to the next. I felt a sense of determination that I haven't felt since I was standing in the corner of the floor ready to compete in Beijing. I felt like I was pushing myself far out of my comfort zone and I felt like I was connecting with the "athlete" version of me. It felt good. And it wasn't like I passed the people and tried to trip them; I would pass them and give them a big smile, a thumbs up and a mouthed "keep going, you're doing awesome"!
So my first race led to my second which happened this past weekend. It was the Stampede Road Race. I had a goal to beat my time from May.
Well, guess what folks. I did it! 46:45! YES!
I also convinced Kristin to run her very first 5 Km race. Her goal was to run the whole time without stopping and guess what?! She accomplished that too!
It was a pretty productive and powerful way to start off a Stampede Sunday. Most people would be hung over as hell, but we were out there kicking our goal's asses. Not too shabby!
So, I have come to the conclusion that running more than 25 meters is a good thing for me. In fact, it's a great thing that I am really enjoying!
Now, if only I had booked a massage for the day after....