Posted by: Kennedy | April 1, 2010

How I went from ‘fair-weather’ to all-weather

It all started with one conversation.

Last fall, my esteemed friend and colleague Joanna and I were chatting one morning in our office ‘pod’ about how we wanted to start running. Not just going for the odd outdoor jog when the mood might happen to strike – my pattern for the last five years or so – but really making a commitment to become runners. Jo, having run quite a bit in the past, suggested we sign up for a training clinic with the Running Room. This enthusiastic group of experts of all things running always have programs coming up for any skill level.

After a quick scan of the website, I ruled out the Learn to Run and 5K training clinics. Thanks to regular spinning classes and treadmill workouts, I was in good enough shape that I could already handle a 30-minute jog. We toyed with the idea of joining the half-marathon group, once we noticed they didn’t begin by going for an ‘easy’ 12K run on the first night but built up to the longer distances over time. However, I was deterred by the fact that it began in November, meaning that the bulk of the training would take place in bone-chilling temperatures and blizzards. I didn’t think it was wise to start my career as a long-distance runner in the dead of Canadian winter…. especially considering my tendency to head for the treadmill at the first sign of drizzle.

We settled on the 10K clinic. It was perfect, in my mind, for three reasons:

1)   It would be challenging. I’d always been a polite treadmill runner who respected the 30-minute time limit at the gym. This means I’d probably never ran more than 5 or 6 km at any given time. Running 10k would definitely push me out of my comfort zone and give me a real goal that I would have to work hard to achieve.

2)   The weather wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. I was very nervous at the thought of running in snow and ice. The 10K clinic’s goal race was in mid-December, just before the weather gets too ridiculous to bear.

3)   I would have running buddies! This is a biggie. Whenever I ran in the past, it was because I had motivated myself to start. But I could never keep the momentum going for more than a few weeks. As a result, I would run infrequently, never building up enough endurance or commitment to really become a runner. When I joined the Running Room, I had a group of people making the same commitment, working with me and noticing when I wasn’t there. I had coaches to help me along the way. And of course, there was my biggest encouragement: Joanna. When your running buddy sits four feet away from you all day, it’s pretty tough to bail on her! She’ll know you’re full of crap if you say you ‘just can’t make it’ at the last minute. She’ll also make the whole training experience a lot more enjoyable – we’re not just working out, we’re socializing… it’s all about multi-tasking, right?

I’m convinced that this last reason had the biggest impact on my success. Over the past six months, I’ve discovered something about myself: I’m a runner. What started as a new activity to try with a friend has turned into one of my biggest passions.

I always knew I enjoyed running… but I’d never stuck with it long enough to realize I actually need it. I need it so much that I will run when it’s -30 outside. I will run with blisters. I will get up at dawn after a night of partying and run 10k. Who AM I?!

I’m a person who’s experienced the elusive ‘runner’s high.’ It makes you do crazy things! But friends, I’m afraid there’s no going back now. I’m hooked. And I might never have realized this if it weren’t for Joanna and my dear running buddies.

So… a big SHOUT OUT to those of you who have motivated me to start and stick with it – you know who you are. You’re all amazing and I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

My Running Room buddies at the 10.8K Egg Nog Jog - ready to race!

Celebrating the last night of our 10K clinic

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Responses

  1. You’re right, it takes more than one person to successfully workout.

    I basically never have anyone I workout with and so I go in stints of a good exercise program for a few weeks, or maybe a month and a half, but that turns into a solid two weeks of nothing afterwards.

    It takes someone to tell me to quit being a pussy to keep anything up long term. Hold on to those running buddies Kennedy.

  2. Well in that case… Next time I come home, I’m taking you for a run. And if you say no, I’m going to tell you to quit being a wimp. And probably punch you in the stomach. Deal?


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