Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Suck It Up

It’s 5:45 PM.  I’m hydrated, fed and fully dressed.  And staring at the PRC Runs feed waiting for someone to post “due to the anticipated apocalyptic rain, group run has been cancelled for this evening”.  It’s the message that rarely comes.  I get in the car, turn on the arse warmer and make the 75 second trek from my house to Peter Barry Duff.

This is the part of winter running that I hate.  It’s clucking ridiculous, really.  For a person that spends most of the day wearing two bejeezly sweaters with the heat on “cremate” in her office, I warm up freakishly fast when I work out.  The majority of last winter I wore nothing but my infamous blue pullover with the pony-tail accommodating hood and a pair of long pants.  I love running in the cold.  Rain even.  Why do I go through this ritual two evenings a week?  I don’t seem to have this problem on the weekend.  The weekday runs require a lot more effort.  I’ve started keeping groceries at work so I can have my toast with PB&J at 3:30 - it's all the other prep work that sends me over the edge.

If hubby is home, I’ll have to take my running gear with me in the morning so I can change at work and drive to the community centre or PBD.  This becomes a burden when I’ve already used 95% of my decision-making capacity deciding what I’m going to wear for the day four hours before I actually get dressed.  You see, when said spouse is home for two weeks, I get back into my regular routine of going to the gym before work.  Eighteen years later and I’d still rather be hit in the head with a ball of my own knit than pack my gym bag.  And guaranclukinteed I'll forget to bring a change of underwear.  Or a bra.  There is nothing worse than wearing a sweat-soaked racerback bra all day, only to change into another racerback bra after you've been chafed to Bebus.  Take my word for it, fellas.   

If hubby is away, I’ll have to leave work at 4:30, pick up the child at his afterschool program, drop him off at mom’s house (God love 'er) and then drive home to change.  This is the sketchy part of the program.  I could have 1-1/2 hours alone in my house.  One-and-a-half hours.  Alone.  There are gym bags, back packs, garbage bags and laundry baskets everywhere.  The dishwasher is full of clean dishes.  The counter is full of dirty dishes.  Oh, the progress I could make…

Unfortunately, as tempting as it is, I wouldn’t get any satisfaction.  Because anxiety about the state of my house would be replaced by the fear that I’m headed toward a permanent hiatus from running.  And a clean head feels much better than a clean house.

So I choose to run.

And if we’re going to start using weather as an excuse, we’d never get out there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I Think I’m Going To Like It Here…

My name is Tina Savoury and I began running in 2010.  Initially, my goal was to burn off some steam…get the old stress level under control.  I’d been hitting the gym for about 15 years, but was feeling like I needed to up the ante, so to speak.  I figured that struggling to breath for a half hour would be more productive than obsessing about what made me go home dissed off every day.  So off I went, all alone, to the Running Room and joined the learn-to-run program.

(As a side note, I have a penchant for swearing, but apparently this is not allowed.  I hope the not-so-subtle substitutions aren’t distracting.)

Life was grand until week three – run for three minutes, walk for one.  Sweet baby Besus.  All I could think about were the runners I would see on Sunday morning as my sister and I drank coffee and Bailey’s from the deck of her house on Empire Avenue.  They looked like they were having fun.  They didn’t look as though their lungs were afire.  And it’s not like they had started at the Dominion across the road - they would have ran all the way from the mother-clucking Running Room.  As I finished up my fifth 3-and-1, I thought “when is this 20 minutes of shell going to get easier”?

After completing the LTR program, the most I could muster in the years that followed was a 4.11k jaunt around Topsail Pond.  I found that doing this three times a week kept me in good enough condition that I could throw in a 5k fun run here and there.  But then in the spring of 2015, it happened.

The humidity hit me…and the Tely bug got me.

My cousin told me she was going to have a go at it and had joined PRC.  Interesting, I thought.  After pondering this for a couple weeks and trying out some longer distances on my own, I realized that running any longer than 4.11k alone is clucking boring and joined the group as well.

This is probably a good time to let Shelly Gosse know that (in my head) every time I see her, she’s wearing a white gown and a halo.  Not in a sexy way...more saint-like.  She got me through my first long run last June (13k to Skanky Tim’s) and the rest is history.

I’m never going to place in my age group (unless something catastrophic happens to the ladies in the 40-49 age group) or achieve PB’s race after race.  And that’s okay.  I realized last fall that isn’t my goal.  At the time, Andrew Tobin was heading to Florida for a half marathon, so I said I’d join him for a long run.  When we returned, soaked to the skin and thankful not to be lost anymore (that’s another story – sorry, Andrew), another member asked what I was training for.  I replied “nothing”.  Then she says “why are you running 18k”?  I thought about it and answered “because I can”.

Never again do I want to feel like I felt during week three of LTR.  Since the spring of 2015, I’ve done the Tely twice, four half-marathons and a handful of other races (including a little end-of-season jaunt known as the Cape to Cabot).  I don’t particularly enjoy the actual event itself, but the end of each race brings a sense of panic that keeps me signing up for more.  I’m terrified of falling off the wagon.  Of missing the group runs with my peeps.  I would rather keep doing the work and be able run 17k on the weekend for mitts and giggles than ease off and have to “start over” again.  Cuz that feeling clucks.  And I like where I am.