At the end of 2011, I was assigned the following blog topic: “Your hopes for 2012”. Naturally, I went for a run and drafted a blog post in my head (making sure that my run was exactly 21.1 km long — the same distance as a half-marathon). I wanted to become an ultra-runner, and I resolved to run a 50K trail race to give me a sense of achievement and a newfound love of the sport. Sure enough, completing that race was a proud moment, and I wore that 50K Haliburton Trail Race medal proudly. I endured nearly 10 hours on a cold and muddy trail that saw even the most experienced ultra-runners wind up with a DNF (Did Not Finish).
But when the endorphins wore off, instead of counting down the minutes until my next run, I found excuses to stay indoors. To me, more miles didn’t mean more happiness. My pal Trisha said it best in her post, “How the ultra-marathon killed the runner.” More miles meant more guilt and slower times and a whole lot less fun.
You may have noticed that running posts appeared less often on this blog — and then not at all. As someone who always identified herself as a runner, it left me wondering if I could still be a runner if I didn’t run at all.
Now, at the start of 2013, how does this Run-at-home mom top last year? 2012 was a year of amazing running achievements: I actually WON a race and was asked to be an ambassador in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on behalf of StreetHaven and Operation Soul Food. Right now I can barely make sense of the feeling of dread in my gut every time I think about lacing up — I do not believe I have another 50K or marathon left in me. Reading everyone else’s 2012 mileage tallies and race goals for 2013 (with 100 milers being at the top of everyone’s list) isn’t helping me.
Maybe it was never been about running. Stepping back from the minutia of training schedules and nutrition, running has been about embracing an active outdoor lifestyle. When I took a break from running I rediscovered my love of snowshoeing and might even give snowshoe running and racing a try. I’ve always wanted to mountain bike and race cyclocross. I’m inspired by Sharon Devellis’ speedskating stories and there is an outdoor oval minutes from my door. Ice climbing, long distance open-water swimming and, of course, trail running are also on my list. The sky is the limit (OK, but I’m ruling out skydiving).
This is how I will live my 2013: I resolve to not be obsessed about anything that can smother the joy that can be found outdoors. To be brave and fit for all adventures is how I will live my year.