From Lone Wolf to Running with a Pack
I’ve always been active, but like many romances, my love of running has been an evolution and did not begin with love at first stride.
I grew up dancing jazz, tap and ballet competitively, and in high school when I stopped competing I began to notice my body and my mood changing. When I removed the constant sweat and movement that comes with any athletic discipline, I felt restless and my sleep suffered. My dad is a distance runner and he suggested that I take up the sport as well as hit the gym, and that’s when my fitness journey truly began! I struggled to run 5 kilometres with him, but I pushed through, and slowly my love of the sport blossomed. With each step and heavy breath, I released stress, allowed my mind to free-flow and create new ideas. I felt the closest I’d ever been or will ever be to flying.
For years I was a lone wolf runner. I would put my headphones in and just go. No watch, no Strava tracking my routes or pace, just me and the open road. Some of my best thinking comes at kilometer 7 while pounding the pavement, running along the Martin Goodman Trail downtown Toronto. Sometimes I would run with my dad or a friend, but that was rare. Mostly, it was just me and I was fine with that.
It wasn’t until this year that everything changed. I have always been the type of person to set goals for myself and after travelling for 6 months around South America, I knew that my next goal would have to be a good one. When I came home in the spring, I decided that I wanted to complete my first half marathon (21.1 kilometers), a physical challenge I had always thought about but never had the courage to try. I had one month to train, not an ideal amount of time, but I knew I had plenty of kilometres in my legs. At this time, I’d probably run a maximum of 16 kms, but completed many 10km races. I decided to join a running group in the city to help me with my distance training and also, maybe more importantly, to meet new people. After travelling solo for so long and meeting new and interesting people constantly, I was craving that element of “new” in my home town. I wanted to connect with a likeminded community while I re-immersed with my regular routines, friends and family.
I joined Adidas Runners Toronto in May 2017 (for free!) and it has completely changed my running and level of fitness, not to mention introduced me to some of the most kind and genuine new friends. I successfully ran my first half marathon in June, and continued running with the group for the entire summer and currently attend Tuesday interval sessions and Saturday morning long runs almost religiously. I quickly signed up for the Scotiabank half marathon to try for a new time goal in October. I saw my progress while running with a group, and I even moved up an entire pace group in a matter of months. Yes, now I’m that annoying person who looks at my pace and my distance, and I’m using Strava, and I have a running watch and all that jazz, but more than this I have found a love for group running. My first group run I remember the pacer trying to talk to me, and as much as I wanted to engage in conversation, I was literally panting. I could never imagine being able to chat while running for 18kms. But, sure enough, I do it regularly now and love chatting and catching up during runs and have the kilometres breeze by (ok, maybe it’s not a breeze, but the time passes quickly!). I never thought I could run without music and yet each group run, I arrive with just my shoes and whatever water or gel I may need depending on the distance.
I achieved a PB (personal best) in the Scotiabank half marathon and have now entered the lottery to run the Chicago full marathon next fall 2018. I am all about setting goals, and yes, a marathon terrifies me, but I know that with the help of a great coach and running group I can achieve it. I am so grateful for the opportunity to run for free with Adidas and get tailored running routes and work out plans. It’s key to seek out the support you need to conquer your goals.
I learned a valuable lesson that as capable as I am to run solo, I don’t always want to. The same is true in business. You can be an entrepreneur and lead your crew, but ultimately, we all need a bit of help and it’s a positive thing to ask for it. Surround yourself with great people and you’ll achieve greatness. The discipline on the road, on your mat, on your bike, in the gym, is a reflection of how you live your life. Stay consistent. Reach out to those who can help you fly and get you outside of your comfort zone.
I would love to be part of your winning team! If you have any questions or for more information get in touch with AWE Legal at firstname.lastname@example.org