The shoes were a life saver and the pacing has now become a crutch. I say it has become a crutch because it served ultimately as a tool of laziness. The original plan of ‘run 4, walk 1, run 5, walk 1, run 4, walk 2′, has never changed when it should have progressed into longer runs and no walks. Truthfully, I wanted to run but could not find a way to truly love running. Running does need to be a sport of love. I bike because I love cycling and it is my preferred method of commuting. However, running hurts and it requires time and knowledge that a pseudo-busy life does not allow for.
Recently I began doing the ‘couch to 5k’ program. Truthfully, I felt silly about the entire program at first. I saw its potential for others but felt far too advanced for the program of ‘walk 5, run 1, walk 2, run 1, walk 2, etc’ Two weeks into the program, I set off for a solo run on a tree lined path in my neighbourhood. I ran for 5 minutes and my breathing was fine, I continued on for 8 minutes and my legs felt fine and when I stopped after 12 minutes, I felt no worse than my 5 minute run two weeks earlier. I had hit a milestone and felt wonderful. I ran home for a total run of 25 minutes/3.9km.
The very next night, I felt the urge to run. The path I run follows the train tracks that cut through the Mile-End. It is a balance between shaded greenery and industrial sites covered in spray paint. The path is gravely and sometimes loose but feels good underneath ones feet. It is a distinctive run that offers many motivational landmarks. This time my upper body felt stiff but I pushed through. I stopped at the 18 minute mark and took a minute to rest. I had already run further than I ever had and I was a great distance from home. At the 19 minute mark, I started again and found myself in a neighbourhood I had never visited. I ran past industrial bakeries and bars, through quiet streets and after several confusing turns, onto my street. I stopped after a total of 34 minutes and had ran a record of 5.5km. Breathing came easy and muscles felt great.
In the grand scheme of things, a 5.5km run is nothing. Most serious runners do this as a warm up. However, this run and its preceding run were the first two runs I truly loved. I loved the sweat, I loved the dull ache in my legs and the way my mind could empty itself. My cooldown walk found me with a huge smile on my face and I felt proud. I did not see its potential, but the simple training program I ran put me ahead tenfold and has done wonders for her as well. It is a great feeling to finally progress after a stagnant 3 years. Finally, it is interesting that the more I’ve progressed, the harder it becomes to motivate myself to run. At this point, I know that any run shorter than 5km, will not feel like a good run. Silly thinking, I am aware.