Your humble blogger started to run again this week.
This is because I’m planning on running again in the annual Pride and Remembrance 5K Run at the beginning of July.
What is the Pride and Remembrance 5K Run? It’s is (according to their website) “a 5K fundraising run that coincides with Toronto’s Gay Pride Week. It was dedicated to partnering the themes of PRIDE and REMEMBRANCE with community celebration and personal achievement.” This year’s Run proceeds will benefit the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) and The Triangle Program.
I like the Pride and Remembrance 5K Run because it seems like one of the healthier parts of Pride.
Now your humble blogger has run at different times in his life. During my twenties I ran all the time. In those days my Sunday long runs were 15 kilometers and my daily short runs were 8 kilometers. Back then I used to live with the daily pain. I had chronic shin splints and would usually sit in the evening with ice on my shins. I became one of those obsessive runners. I HAD to run every day.
I recall that on a month-long backpacking trip to Europe in 96 I ran down the cobblestone roads and over the bridges in Spain and Portugal trying to find the most scenic routes (the locals looked at me like I was some kind of a nut). Back then I actually considered writing a book on the best running routes in Europe.
But I hated running.
No really, I just HATED running. I hated it from the first step to the last. Other runners (yes I was in a running group back then too, we ran on Saturday mornings) would tell me how much they loved running and how was supposedly “no more stressful than walking briskly”.
Were these buggers serious?
Because even when I was a ‘runner’ I found running was always very physically stressful for me. I thought I had ‘bad lungs’. My breathing was always laboured; my own running was never as easy as it seemed to the others runners I worked hard to keep up with. And I was certainly never in the top 1/3 of athletes when running 5Ks.
In short, I was a lousy runner.
So after a couple of years of hating my daily running, somehow the obsession left me and I stopped (and my European running route book was never published). But like an old habit, I would always turn back to it over the years; sometimes for a few months and sometimes for a year or two.
Then a few years ago I was diagnosed with asthma.
“I just always thought I had bad lungs,” I said to my respirologist.
“You do,” she said.
“So I shouldn’t run?” I asked hopefully.
“No, you absolutely should run,” my respirologist said. “There’s no reason asthmatics can’t run. Why there’s even been Olympic runners with asthma…”
“Dang,” I said.
So now I’m back preparing for another 5K. And your humble blogger is hoping that this time his running will be a little laboured as he crosses the finishing line (since I’ll using my asthma medication (inhaler) before I start). It has, thus far in my training, allowed me to run much easier (less laboured) than I did in my 20s.
After just one week of training I’ve already doubled the distance I’m able to run.
I’ve also began using the iPhone app, RunKeeper (since I can’t do anything without an iPhone app this days it seems) to help me keep track of my runs – and then of course I must post the RunKeeper info on Twitter and Facebook (because if you don’t post it – you never really did it, it seems these days).
So I have all the tools to get me back into 5K shape by the beginning of July. My legs are getting stronger, my endurance is getting better…
I still hate it though.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom