My Christmas Day run—pain free, breathing the fresh air—was a wonderful joy this year. After three months of recovering from a running injury, to be able to run 10km is a gift that I do not take for granted. I am still awaiting the results from my MRI done on Dec. 21 and I continue to receive regular chiropractic and ART care. I am cautious, as I still experience some pain in my hamstrings, back and glutes. I am however, hopeful that I will recover fully and once again be able to run a marathon. This is not a guarantee, but I will enjoy whatever my body will allow. I will be thankful for each run, bike and swim that I am able to do.
Here is my challenge to myself and anyone else who is reading my humble words:
Remember to Run for Joy and to find ways to keep running and fitness fresh and exciting.
1. Each day that you are active, thank your body for allowing you to move and be healthy. When you push yourself, thank your body for allowing you to work hard and get stronger. When things feel a bit challenging, celebrate the fact that in that moment you are getting stronger.
2. Take in your surroundings. I am blessed to be able to run along Lake Ontario and marvel at the beauty of the Great Lakes. I run up and down the Welland Canal and see Ocean liners from distant countries passing through – running, cycling, hiking are great ways to enjoy your environment and remember the blessings in your life.
3. Be adventurous and always willing to try something new. One new challenge for me this year is to do an adventure race with my son, Caleb and my training partner Nate and her son, Ben. The four of us will be a team (name yet to be revealed!) in Storm The Trent, an adventure race involving mountain biking, trail running and paddling (canoe). The race involves orienteering and the order of the sports is unknown . I am new to mountain biking and orienteering. This will definitely be fresh and exciting!
4. Run with or without your stats. I usually run with my GPS watch in order to know all my stats – my pace, distance, time. This keeps me challenged to keep a certain pace. This can also become obsessive and unhealthy at times. I think it is a good practice to sometimes run just for the pure sake of running, without worrying about a certain pace. I know roughly how far I have gone without a watch (truth be told, I have many distances memorized around my home and city) – but to keep the joy in running, leave the watch at home sometimes.
5. Set goals for yourself to keep you motivated. If races are intimidating, there are local community fundraisers that are focused on participation rather than on racing. So far I have two races set for 2016. Definitely less than my usual goals, but I am being cautious, as I am still recovering from this running injury (which first appeared last April 2015). My goals thus far are Storm the Trent on May 14 and the Muskoka Half Ironman in July.
What new challenges will 2016 hold for you? Please share your goals and aspirations!