Monday, January 10, 2011

About That 'After' Photo (and why I started this blog)

The 'After' photo showing me in a running shirt with bib number was taken last May at the Ottawa Race Weekend .  This is Canada's national marathon, held every year at the end of May.  The smiling guy in the matching shirt behind me is my husband.  We both ran 10K.

The reason for starting this blog is because last year my husband declared that this would be the year (2011) we run a half marathon.  I still haven't committed as to where and when yet: could be Ottawa, could be the Marine Corps Run in Washington D.C. at the end of October or even here at the Toronto Marathon in October.  Wherever I decide, this blog will be a witness to it.

My husband didn't accompany me to Weight Watchers those four long years ago after the skiing incident but he ate what I ate and has lost something close to 20 pounds.  He was fine with the idea of eating healthier and smaller portions as long as we could still have beer!  And we do!   I appreciated his support - he never complained about any of his favourite foods been banned from the house and never brought any banned substances home.  He did complain once that the amount of cheese I was planning to put on a pizza was not enough but now I use even less and he doesn't even notice.

More than all of that kind of support though, is the fact that he has become my fitness partner.  I find that an enormous help.  We are very competitive and race each other as well as seeing who can do more sit-ups or push-ups, etc.  I bought him an Ipod to take to our fitness sessions and filled it with his favourite 70's classic rock.  Every so often I slip in something more current from ITunes though.  I think he might be all the way up to 1998 now.

So, when I suggested he begin joining me in the competitive running I was doing he agreed to try.  I had previously done a 5k, an 8K and a 10K, all for cancer research.  I figured I was good for one more 10K, and besides which, my best friend lives in Ottawa.  (She took the picture.) It was a huge gathering of people; nearly 10,000 in all, and a close tight bunch to run with.  There were flying elbows all over the place and it was hard to break free of the pack.  The whole city had turned out for the gorgeous Spring evening to watch us run and the route itself was wonderful.  It began in downtown Ottawa and followed the Rideau canal out to Dowse Lake and back.  The spectators cheered us on at every turn and when I made my final move out of the pack and up toward the finish line hundreds of complete strangers wen nuts cheering me.  What was most exciting about that run was not my time, which was unspectacular just under an hour), but the fact that I placed 28th out 158 women in my age group.  I had to remind myself that four years ago it would have been impossible.  Never sell yourself short or assume you know what you are capable of, because you really never know.

Coming up in another post: how I began running.

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