One of my rules in life is to try things at least once.
I am not allowed to hate or say I can’t do something until I have tried it. If I have tried it and hate it or can’t do it, I am allowed to freely share my opinion and never do again if I don’t want to.
- What can I say? I am a woman who likes to have an opinion about a lot of things.
There have been things I have tried, thought I would hate or be horrible at and yet ended up loving — hilarious things like playing squash, being a translator and installing toilets. I have tried things I thought I would love or be completely fabulous at and HATED — eating sushi with the fish eggs that explode in your mouth, group bicycle rides in the river valley and baking homemade bread, just to name a few.
You never know what’s going to float your boat …
… and if you’re me, you HATE boats.
Being willing to try things creates a very fabulous thing called a ‘Have Done List’.
I am constantly thinking about what to add to my ‘Have Done List’ because its a fun thing to grow.
Earlier in the year one of my early morning running partners sent me a text telling me she was running in the Edmonton marathon and wondered if I wanted to train for the half marathon.
Here’s the funny thing about running … I kind of hate running … but I love running with fabulous people and the coffee and conversation afterwards is always great.
When she asked if I wanted to run the race, it somehow quickly got put on my ‘Would Like to Have Done List’.
The ‘Would Like to Have Done List’ list is a dangerous list, it is the list that makes me become comfortable being uncomfortable and say yes to doing crazy things. Triathlon? Need I say more?
A training plan was created, a race was picked and then focussed running commenced.
Did I mention that I hate running?
Did I mention that I LOVE putting things on my ‘Have Done List’?
If you want to add races to your ‘Have Done List’, here is some advice from a sturdy woman who is learning how to stop running like an elephant and tends to be a bit of a klutz.
Piece of Advice #1 – Carry water with you.
Once you start running more than an hour at a time, you must carry water with you. I am a resourceful woman and didn’t want to carry water with me because I didn’t want to be one of those runners … you know … the ones with the water belts. I created routes around water fountains in the river valley after being ridiculous and bursting into a Mac convenience store 10 kms from home with salt tracks running down my face and desperately thirsty. I wanted to keep my minutes per kilometre under 6 minutes, but in an effort to not scare the attendant while slurping water out of the bathroom sink, I had to take a really poor time on kilometre number 13, which is hard to swallow if you’re competitive like I am.
Consider me indoctrinated into the subculture of running.
Buy a water belt, they may seem super lame to all non-runners, but in fact they are awesome.
I have one that even has a pouch to hold my phone, cards, and keys – if I fall over dead one of these days, at least the police will know who to contact.
Piece of Advice #2 – Embrace running tights.
I am not the kind of woman who enjoys wearing spandex anything in public, but when you start running for more than 45 minutes at a time you need clothes that suck to your body and keep things from chafing.
I embraced this years ago in the realm of cycling, so why not with running?
My newest foray into running tights came via Superdry – they sent me an email to see if I would give their clothes a try on my running adventures and of course I said, “YES!”
I picked out the cutest and brightest clothes possible because if you’re going to embrace the running tights, you might as well do it with gusto and go all in.
The holy-pink-Batgirl tights (my name for the colour, not their’s) had good things and less than optimal things about them.
- They basically glow in the dark and I got to be the early morning light for everyone else running in the dark with me.
- They are long enough for my long legs – no ankle coldness to overcome!
- Small pocket at the small of your back to keep some essentials in, which is great for running – less to hold onto or lose out of your jacket pocket when you’re trying to find a place to put your gloves once you’ve warmed up.
Less than optimal things.
- They are only one layer and the pink colour showcased the colour of my underwear to everyone we passed by which means several homeless men were keenly aware that I was wearing my dark raspberry coloured underwear that morning. This colour would be great under some other pants or shorts, I have a feeling this wouldn’t happen with the other two colours.
- The sizing was off, at least for my body shape. I ordered a medium as per my usually wearing size 8 US and found myself hitching them up as we ran. This could be more to due with the fact that I don’t own hips, but when you order these go smaller than bigger; that’s the great thing about running tights they stretch!
The running hoodie is fabulous and cute – I have a feeling I am going to be wearing this in the subarctic most mornings that I find myself meeting the women at 6:00 am to go running in the subzero temps that are looming.
It has a hood that cinches up with ease while running, double layer thickness, wicking away capabilities, thumb holes, an inside pocket for my phone and the medium fits my broad shoulders perfectly. It washes great and it dries over night no problem. Perfection!
Piece of Advice #3 – Make fabulous running friends.
Run with people who you like a lot and tell them stories, listen to their stories, laugh, think deep thoughts, be ridiculous and whatever else you feel like – simply share your lives as the kilometres go by.
- In fact, this is the most important thing you can do.
Running alone is horrible, even when you have great music because when you have 5 more kilometres to go and all you can do is think about how you want to be done … it takes mental grit to get your arse back to your car without calling a cab. Although if you’re like me, you don’t bring money along so it really limits your options for being ridiculously lame. I try to create situations for myself where there is no option except to finish – it usually helps and sometimes bites me in the arse hard.
A half marathon is now firmly on my ‘Have Done List’.
And yes, I finally can say with pride, “Half marathon? Oh you betcha. I’ve done one of those.” MEC put the race on at the end of the season and I signed up last minute. It was a race that had 6 epic hills in it, but I finished it wearing some running tights, drinking water from my water belt and finding a few fabulous friends to chase down along the way.
By the time I finished, I was covered in salt and nearly unable to walk, but it was done!
After eating three bananas and catching up with an old friend at the finish line, I mustered enough energy to drive my little standard car home so I could consume half the food in my kitchen and have a very hot epsom salt bath.
Not guts, no glory … or something.