Sunday, November 15, 2015

That's a hard question

Hey all! As promised, here is my introductory blog. I am Andrew Tobin. Ok blog over!

Just kidding!

I am often asked how long I've been running. Some people can answer this very easily, "two years" "oh only a month or so" but I find that question is very complicated. Lets begin.

As a child. I was never really good at sports (I'm still not truthfully), I couldn't catch, I couldn't throw, I wasn't very fast. In grade 4 I kind of had enough of being the worse in my class at sports. I wanted to prove to myself and my classmates that I wasn't the slowest around. So I joined cross country running. I went to several meets and competed in the 1500 metres race. Now it seems like ah that's nothing but I remember being at the Torbay rec centre and fighting through that kilometer and a half like it was hell. Anyways each time I got through it and each time I was not last. Usually second last or third last but never last, and that was the pint. I reached my goal and I was pleased.

After that I moved on, I did it I reached it and I never did it again. I was still trying to find a sport I was actually good at. I tried Swimming and that was no good either. In Grade 9 I tried rowing lessons, they had 4 weeks lessons at long pond at the time. I enjoyed it so much I did a second 4 week lessons. In Grade 10 I joined the high school team. We did a lot of running in rowing. At every practice we would do a warm up run, since I got my Garmin I've been meaning to see how far the warm up marker was. I never did but I imagine it was probably around a km. Also if it was too windy to row (which was more often than not) our coaches would send us on a run either around the pond on the trail (3.8km) or on the road way (6.2). Then I joined fixed seat rowing (what you see in the regatta) and eventually the provincial team. Through all of them we did a significant amount of running as cross training. For years people would ask if I was was runner and I would say "No I'm just a rower that runs", all it was to me was cross training.

Then in the fall of 2012 Kyla (my wife, girlfriend at the time) was trying to find her fit. The Town of Paradise has a learn to run program, separate from PRC that two members of ANE put off. I convinced Kyla to try it if I joined with her. So we joined up. Things never went according to plan however. They had two groups, a beginner and an experienced. They quickly caught  on that I ran before and threw me in the experienced group. Long story short I really enjoyed myself and she hated running. That summer was a tiresome summer when it came to rowing. I would leave the house at 4:45 in the morning row at 5:25am, cox (coach) at 7:10 go to work for 8:30 leave at 4:30 go back to the pond to cox at 5:05 and 5:40 then row at 8:00pm, go for a run, get home around 9:30pm, eat supper, go to bed and do it all again. So once that summer was over I decided it was time for a break, I was going to take a year off rowing and do something I said I would never do, run the Tely.

In order to keep me on track I joined the Paradise Running Club. It was a bit of a rough start trying to find a group my pace. My first night was hills night, it went pretty good, everyone was amazed I came hill night and returned though, I kept up pretty good with some of the runner....until after the hills, then I died. My second night Keith invited me to run with him, Andrew G, Craig P, and Ron. The first km was awesome, then I learned quickly that I was not any of their paces. My third run I started off alone and just clinged on to a group as long as I good. Eventually behind me came Pam, Susanne, and and Sharon. I was about to get lost and then told me where to go. I struggled  but in the second half of the run I managed to keep with them...well slightly behind them. Shortly after I met Joyce and Tanya. After a few run in the girls said "We have a boy in our group! We use to have a boy but he got faster and left us, you're not allowed to leave us". I'll never forget that. They basically wanted me to scare away dogs (which I have done) but their words meant a lot to me and it was then I knew I found my running buddies.

In October I did my first race, after being talked into registering by Tina L and Denise. It was the Turkey Tea 10k. At this point I was still new and still didn't know many of the members. The Thursday before the race was the first time I met Tanya who was also running the race, we ran 6k together. I thought to myself well I know I can run with her for 6k, so I'll try to keep up with her for the first 6 and then muster my way for the final four. Any time I got tired I thought to myself no they told me I could not leave them and I would dig deep to find the energy to stay with Tanya. I managed to stick with her for the full 10k, it was an unbelievable feeling to finish my first race. After that I did several other races, and though my plan of staying away from the pond did not go according to plan, I still managed to fun my first Tely. Planning to break 1 hour and 52 minutes I did it in 1 hour and 47 minutes. I have just entered my third year with the club, having completed most of the NLAA races and rocking two Telys now. I am continuing to improve and meet new running buddies. They keep pushing me and keep me accountable, I know I wouldn't of made it this far with out them. However now when someone asks me how long I've been running I just answer, "well I've been with the club for two years". It's easier that way.

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