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.
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.