Thursday, May 24, 2012

23km's with new friends in Yellowknife

One of the things that I love most about running is the opportunity it provides for connection. Depending on where you’re at, you can connect to community, to people or to yourself.

Chaim and I hanging out at the Trade Show
I was in Yellowknife over the May 12/13 weekend to sign autographs at the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce trade show and to visit with young gymnasts from the local Gymnastics Club. While I was sitting at the autograph table with my buddy, beach volleyball extraordaire and giant, Chaim Schalk, I met a really nice couple who were telling me about their son, Mike Argue, and how he used to cross country ski on the Canadian National Team. They also mentioned that he just ran the Boston Marathon. My ears perked up with excitement.

“Did I hear you say Marathon??", I asked. "Is your son here today?”

“Yes, he’s right over there” they said as they pointed in his direction.

And that was the moment I met a new running buddy.

It couldn’t have been more timely….

You see, when I woke up on this fine Saturday morning, I felt a lot of resistance to doing my long run. The excuses were flying pretty rampantly.

First excuse: I usually do my long runs on Sunday, but because of my schedule, I wouldn’t have time to squeeze in a 3 hour jaunt on Sunday in between my professional commitments, a flight home and Mother’s Day festivities. Therefore, Saturday was going to have to be the day of suffering and my saboteur really liked to attach itself to that ammunition.

Second excuse: I didn’t know how to get around Yellowknife and I was a bit afraid of getting lost, attacked by a cougar or running the same loop over and over and over and driving myself insane. 

Third excuse: I was a bit tired – I’m curious why that one always comes up!

And my final excuse: the artic air is brisk and my running attire might not keep me warm enough.

So, to cure this sense of (seemingly too common) resistance, I set up a meeting time with my new found running buddy, Mike, and there was no backing out. Amazing how some accountability can push you, isn’t it?!

After a great afternoon at the trade show, I met up with Mike and his friend Cory (a sub 3 hour marathoner, btw) at 3:45pm for a 23km run around Yellowknife. 

They were awesome tour guides and slowed down their speedy pace to keep up with little ol' me. I’ve got to say, seeing a town by foot is really the best way to do it. I saw Old Town and Ragged Ass road. I ran the Frame Lake loop and saw the sight where Prince William and Princess Kate made their remarks last summer. I even saw the Tim Hortons (Canada’s busiest!).

This was my first trip to the Great Canadian North and I must say that I loved it. The people were incredibly nice and hospitable. The food was amazing (Bullocks rocks!). And the running was spectacular.

Thanks Mike and Cory for leading the way and thank you Yellowknife for an awesome weekend.



Anonymous said...

Good Luck with the race this weekend! There's no pain quite like the 37km mark of your first marathon. It was only in my first marathon where I was super miserable and had the "I am never doing this again feeling." Don't let that feeling stop you, know that they do get easier. I loved my second marathon!

When you get a chance, I'd love to see a blog post on your opinions about Nationals. Especially in relation to one of your previous posts about the code of points favouring insane difficulty at the expense of artistry & execution. In watching the men last night I really noticed the high number of falls (especially vault) and a lack of attention to detail. I would have preferred to see the difficulty scaled back in favour of better execution & artistry. In my opinion, Nathan was the only one who looked remotely ready for the Olympics. Jackson was a far 2nd in my mind, granted I'm going to assume that he was injured since he warmed up vault but didn't compete, and maybe he could be ready if he trained hard & got healthy. I was definitely a little disappointed with the men, but the women looked great!

Have fun racing!

Kyle Shewfelt said...

You called it. Km 37 was intense! I was definitely feeling the "I'm never doing this again" vibe. So you're telling me I need to do a second marathon, hey?? How long did you wait in between your first and second?

As for Canadian Championships, I too thought that Nathan looked the most prepared. The current code really rewards and demands difficulty. My hope is that in the new code they add the mid-3 execution scores together to put more of an emphasis on quality. One can dream…