My Relationship with Running

As a Massage Therapist and a Kinesiologist, I’m often asked what I do to keep fit. I strength train, but I also run. However, I do not consider myself a runner. I just run.

I started running back in high school for the cross-country team. That’s when I fell in love with it, maybe more so for the scenery , getting to miss school once a week and hanging out with my friends and teammates. Once the cross-country season ended for the year, I always found it tough to continue my running schedule and would just put it on hold until the end of August.

Me and my friend, running side by side at one of our cross-country meets.

Once I went off to University, I completely stopped running. I would have the intention to run, but I always found excuses not to, because in my mind I had to beat my running time. Every.single.time. and when you don’t beat it, you really don’t feel like running.

Once I moved to Ottawa, I discovered the Ottawa Race Weekend, and I thought this would be a great way to get back into running. Finally, I have a race and a goal to look forward to. I did my first Ottawa Race Weekend 5 km in 2017. I ran a few times a week and was proud of myself for finishing it and finishing it quickly. So, for the next year, I decided I was up for the challenge of running 10 km. I love running 10 km because it gives you a chance to run slower when you need a break, but you still have the time to “catch up” if you have to. When I started working at Whole Therapy last year, I met Richelle the physio, the “Running with Richelle” ( Follow her on instagram and facebook if you want amazing tips on how to run and injury prevention). Learning some things about running from her changed my running game. I was running more frequently and doing strength training. This led me to have one of the best race times for a 10 km yet.

Now, fast forward to this year. Typically after I finish the Race Weekend at the end of May, I take a break until January. I learned how to run during the cross-country season when it was cooler and I don’t like to run in the heat. BUT after the race last year, I kept running. Kept up my running schedule. Discovering new trails to run. And then the pandemic hit. And the race was cancelled and all motivation for running stopped. I couldn’t even muster up enough motivation to run 2 km. Because what was the point? The race was cancelled and I wouldn’t have any times to beat. One of the RMTs I work with, Mel, would continuously check up on me to see how my running was going and eventually, her asking, gave me the push to start running again. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run far, or fast. I could only run 3 km in the beginning, very slowly. But something was different this time. I no longer felt the need to go fast and beat my record every time I ran. I could go slow, I could be relaxed while running. I could stop and take a break. As long as I’m running, what does it matter?

I still have bad weeks of running and good weeks of running. Two weeks ago was an awful running week for me, I felt like I was getting slower and I was losing the want to run again. But last week I put on my running clothes and shoes and just went for it. And it felt great. I didn’t have any pressure to run fast, I just wanted to go on a relaxing run. And once it was over I was happy and proud I did it.

My relationship with running has been on and off for a long time now, but I’ve going strong for the past 12 weeks of running. I believe changing my mindset of not running fast every single run has made this sport a lot more enjoyable for myself.

The hardest part is putting on your shoes, so just do it.

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