When I signed up for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon back in June, I was excited. It had been three and a half years since I ran my last, and first, marathon. My goal was to set a personal best, and try to shave about five minutes off my last time. But after dealing with a foot injury that also sidelined me for a few weeks during my training, I’m now readjusting expectations. [Read more…] about Readjusting Expectations
Last week, I restarted my training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which takes place in October. At 3:30 in the morning, the streets are practically empty. And it’s what I love best about early morning running: calm and quiet. Running again, I wasn’t focused on my pace or distance but on gratitude—to be able to run again. But after a two-week hiatus, I had to resist the urge to train as if nothing had happened. And that meant accepting that sometimes it’s better to go slow to go fast. [Read more…] about Go Slow to Go Fast
When I stepped into those jeans—a size 38 waist—I was horrified that they fit. The other times my then partner tried to hand them down to me they were too big. Now I was shocked into action. I had to do something, but there was just one itsy-bitsy problem. Too self-conscious about my own body, the odds of me joining a gym were a million to one. I never had a six-pack or anything close to it. I did everything to avoid changing in public locker rooms. Take my shirt off? Pfft. But I had to lose weight, so I did the only thing that seemed ‘doable’: I started running. [Read more…] about How Running Changed My Life
It’s not a secret anymore. I’m registered for the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which will take place on Sunday, 15 October 2023. Running the marathon wasn’t on this year’s goals list. The decision to participate in the race came after I realized I was willing to be ordinary—too scared to take a risk, too scared of failure. But I’ve never liked being ordinary or doing ordinary things. Always looking to grow, to challenge myself in some way, it was time to move back into my discomfort zone. [Read more…] about No Ordinary Life: Living in the Discomfort Zone
I’m starting from zero. And it’s hard. It means ‘forgetting’ everything I’ve learned, everything I know. Especially when my instinct tells me to just press on, to keep going as if nothing has happened. As if everything is normal. But everything isn’t normal. Because I screwed up. Royally.
Running Through the Pain
I don’t remember when exactly the pain started in my foot. I just remember how, when my goal was a 15-km run, my foot began to throb when I hit 12 km. At that point, I still had to get home. And as the pain seared my foot with each step, I slowed my pace, eventually running with a pronounced limp. Maybe no one else noticed that I was limping, but I did. And I couldn’t wait to be home.
Stubbornness. That’s what told me to keep running through the pain. Running has become as big a part of my morning routine as my morning cup of java that I didn’t want to give it up. Didn’t want to go through ‘withdrawal.’ I pressed on. Mistake!
I wanted to believe my foot pain was a result of worn out shoes. So, I bought a new pair. The pain didn’t go away. Bought two different pairs of insoles. Still … pain. Yet, I kept running. Even when my first steps in the morning (plantar fasciitis) brought tears to my eyes, I ran. Until running even ten kilometres required multiple stops. That was when I knew I couldn’t, like with previous injuries, just run through the pain and hope that everything would be okay. I had to stop living in denial mode. Time to face reality. Starting from zero was the only option.
Starting from Zero
I stopped running. Well, I did for five days. On the sixth day when I ran again, the pain was less but it was time for a reset. As hard and frustrating as it is, I’m running about every second day, and no more than five kilometres. I’m being more intentional about pre- and post-stretching sessions. Getting back to basics, per se.
Starting from zero gives perspective — about what’s working and what’s not, and what needs to be done differently. Not just with running, but in so many areas of my life. It’s an opportunity to assess where I am and where I’m hoping to go, and if the plan to get me there is the right one. Or are adjustments needed? But the hope, as I slow things down, is that I’m come out on top stronger and better off for it.
Have you ever had to start from zero? What was its biggest lesson? Click Reply to share your thoughts.