As a long distance runner, it should come as no surprise when I say that my favourite runs are the long training runs. While it is nice to run 5km, I don’t enjoy the shorter distances as much, since typically I don’t find a comfortable groove until the 10km mark. Sundays are the only days of the week where I get to run at an enjoyable pace and truly relish in the outdoors. Therefore, unlike the others days of the week when I feel as though I’m running on fast-forward, Sunday is when I get to hit play and enjoy the ride. Like last year, I decided that I would use the run/walk interval training (run for ten minutes and walk for one) instead of running continuous. I’ve only been running for about twenty months and find that I’m still learning and experimenting with what works for me. As such, I figured it would be best to stick with what I know and simply enhance my speed using the interval training. If you’re new to running, I very much encourage this method of training. It takes time to develop the mental capacity to run longer distances and I find running in shorter increments and having a break to look forward too really helps build that mental stamina needed to conquer the longer distances. But that’s just me!
Today it was -3C, but it felt like -8C. It was overcast with no wind which meant it was time to break out the spring gear! I know what you’re thinking, according to the groundhog there are six more weeks of winter and I’m being overly optimistic. For me, “less is more” as I rather be cold than hot any day; in addition, I’m one of those people who sleeps with my bedroom window open when the weather is -30C. I decided on a spring long sleeve with a light jacket, yet when I showed up to run club the other runners thought I looked a little underdressed. Of course, I assured them that someone would likely be in shorts and sure enough there was. There was even a woman in a tank top!
Sunday is typically the day of the week when most runners hit the pavement and get their big kilometres in. While the city sleeps, runners conquers the roads and sidewalks. Although some might think waking up early on a Sunday is the worst idea ever, it has many advantages. First, you get to invent stories about what you think “went down” on the streets late Saturday night. Street evidence such as human made puddles and smushed street meat can add dramatic flare to your tale. “While Timmy lies at home sleeping, unable to move from a heavy head, I’m wearing spandex and burning calories”! Second, you never know who you’re going to meet or talk too during a run. I’ve met some very intriguing people on the road and I’m always fascinated to know how they started running and why they continue to do it. Typically, new people join run groups every week which allows for one to constantly change their running buddy. Some of the greatest friendships I’ve made are with people I’ve met through running. And what I really love is that it doesn’t matter your age, race, body type or professional background, no matter who you’re running with, you’re instantly connected with that person since you’re sharing the experience together! Third, running cleanses the mind and soul. It doesn’t matter how I feel when I wake up, as soon as I hit the pavement I feel weightless. My troubles, worries and frustrations wither away without a word. I begin to see my concerns in a new way; like a challenge that requires determination and will power. I suddenly become powerful and feel my courage growing even if it’s regarding something small and insignificant. We all have our reasons for lacing up our shoes and squeezing our butts into spandex, but mine is really focused on empowerment. And my Sunday long runs really help put things into perspective so I can get out there and conquer the world!