Disclaimer: I wrote this post in my head earlier today while running my first marathon! I’m proud to share that I completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon under 4 hours!
I haven't written a post in a while. I've been busy, busier than I've ever been before. I won't bore you with the details of my crazy hours and never ending work load because the truth is that I'm loving every minute of it. I know part of the reason is because I’m finally pursuing a career I’m passionate about but at the same time I’m convinced running is to thank.
As a lifelong athlete, I've always enjoyed running but during my sophomore year of college that hobby turned into a full on passion when I signed up for my first half marathon. The race took place about 6 weeks after the end of our hockey season so it was a refreshing change to have something new to train for. For a type A organization crazy girl like me, I loved the feeling of following a set plan to accomplish a final goal, race day. As my runs got longer, I was able to explore and find different parts of Plattsburgh and what I quickly realized was how much mental clarity running gave me. I've tried yoga, I've tried meditation, but nothing helps me clear my head, organize my thoughts, and beat stress like running.
I'm competitive. It's the first word I (and most people who know me) would use to describe me. I struggle with the concept of just doing things for fun because to me everything is a chance to win which is why races have always appealed to me. When I retired from competitive hockey, training for a race gave me a purpose to work-out and a chance to beat my favourite person....myself. Unless you're an elite runner, most people don't actually focus on winning a race because of the high number of entrants, different starting places, and the mix of genders and ages. For these reasons, my focus is not on actually winning the race but achieving a specific time to beat my personal record.
I didn't realize the significance of running in my life until I couldn't run. In 2013, I was training for my first full marathon when I injured myself 2 weeks out from race. What I thought was a strained hip flexor ended up being a torn hip labrum. I needed hip surgery and I couldn’t run for an entire year. The timing of my injury couldn’t have been worse. It came at a very difficult time in my life when for the first time I wasn’t playing hockey, I was living in a new city, and I had just started my first Masters program. Needless to say I was lost. And I felt even more lost without my long runs to organize my thoughts. Finally, after a year I was back running and everything started to come together.
Today, three years after my injury, I ran my first full marathon and crossing the finish line was the proudest moment of my life. My training for this race has kept me sane during the first six weeks of my Master of Sport Management degree. During my long runs I was able to plan out my to-do list, think about work issues, and just beat stress. From my personal experience, I believe that running and exercise in general are great ways to improve mental health and that’s why I’m encouraging all of our bronze & gold readers to sign up for a race. Elle Woods may have said it best, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy...” Training for and completing a race, regardless of the distance, is an incredible accomplishment and an amazing feel good moment. For our Ottawa followers, Run for Women is being held on May 7th and consists of both 5k and 10k run/walk events. All pledges and donations will be supporting women’s mental health programs at The Royal. I really think that training for this non-competitive fun run/walk will be a great way to beat the winter blues! I really hope you will all consider participating :)
I’m always here to help with training plans so please don’t hesitate to ask.
But as for right now, I’m ready to enjoy a glass of wine and hot bubble bath!
Lots of love,