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Monday
May302011

I Never Met A Fake Runner

Five years ago I decided I needed to start doing regular exercise. Looking back there had to be someone watching over me, as my main concern was that I needed to do this for my health. I needed to get my body back in shape, shed those few pounds, and lower my stress levels. I may have been active, but I wasn't consistent; especially with aerobic activity. When I decided to give running a try, I used to tell everyone that I wasn't a real runner. It was something I did out of convenience......only because I didn't have the time to put into my sport of choice. You see, at that point in my life, I was a swimmer.

But swimming proved to be difficult to fit into my weekly schedule. My work hours push my time for exercise into the early morning or back to the late evening. With the rest of my precious time needed for loved ones, friends and sleep, I was quickly realizing that I would have to adjust my exercise schedule, and do a sport that required less prep time. The swimming would be done on longer breaks and holidays.

So I started to run. Getting ready to run takes no time at all. Just throw on a pair of shorts and some running shoes, and you're good to go. As you become more immersed in the running world, and you enter races, you may have to add the time to get your GPS set, and the water bottles filled and stored in your fuel belt.

When I started to run, I wasn't in the best of shape. Stressful jobs, and having three young children provided me with more than enough excuses for infrequent exercise. As a result, the Jeff Galloway run/walk program worked best for me. It enabled me to slowly build up my run time versus my walk time. Running 5k.......which was long for me at the time.......was manageable using the Galloway method. Within six months of starting to train (I was also a phase one runner; meaning fanatical) I ran a half marathon.

My three daughters soon took an interest in what I was doing, and the eldest started running with me. Soon after, my middle child came too, and my youngest followed us on her bike. Now, many years later, they have all run in their own running races. Emma just ran a 2k race, and placed very well, and Stephanie and I ran our first 10k race together this past weekend during the Ottawa Race Weekend.

I don't know at what point I stopped telling people I wasn't a real runner. It's probably at the point that I realized I had been a real runner all along. As many a runner will tell you, I never met a fake runner. There are many different reasons people lace up and get out on the road. They range from pure joy of the sport, to health related reasons and even to use that solitary time pounding the pavement to think. My reasons have become a combination of all three.

One thing I do know, is that, without running, I wouldn't have come through a grueling ten and a half hour operation to remove the cancer and my breasts, and rebuild them, in great shape. I would not have had as positive a mind frame in my fight with breast cancer, nor such optimism with respect to the future.  So running presented me with an opportunity to get my body in shape, just as breast cancer presented me the opportunity of a new perspective in life.

Oh yeah..........and, for the record, I now know I have always been a real runner, and always will be.

 

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