Today marks an important date for Hubs and I. Is it our wedding anniversary? No, although our wedding anniversary is approaching soon on July 23rd (little reminder for Hubs nudge-nudge-wink-wink!). Is it the day Hubs and I met? No, we actually met in July of 1994 at General Motors, where Hubs works now, and I was a summer student in university.
June 29th actually marks to me an equally important anniversary to the ones mentioned above. It was four years ago today that Hubs and I sauntered into our local Whitby Running Room to sign up for the "Learn to Run" program. Little did we know how much our lives would change as a result.
Prior to starting our running program, Hubs and I lived a mostly sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle. We would have the odd bout of joining a gym and attending for a few weeks, but eventually fell out of the habit before any routine was established. No exercise or diet regime seemed to stick, that is, until we began running.
Running has enriched our lives in so many ways. In my opinion running has strengthened every aspect of our lives. We are in the best shape of our lives, and we have met and made some great friends because of running. It has strengthened our relationship with each other, with our families, and with our close friends. Running has had a direct impact on who we are and how we live today.
I thought I would celebrate this date by reflecting a bit on our 4 years of running.
June 29th, 2004
Hubs and I signed up for our very first running program called Learn to Run. We received t-shirts as part of the registration for our program, which we tried on as soon as we got home and snapped some BR (before running) photos. I'm kinda hesitant to post these, but one thing I want is for this blog to be honest, and this is what Hubs and I looked like, four years ago today.
As you can see, I could have been a contestant for the The Biggest Loser. I wasn't always that heavy, but I poured my heart and soul into my teaching job for the first five years of my career and battled stress with greasy food and sweets. The result is depicted above. And Yes, Hubs was a total Hippy. :)
Starting the Learn to Run Program involved a 20 minute workout, beginning week one running for one minute and walking for one minute, building up to 10 and 1's (running:walking). I remember that first 1:1 week thinking, "How will I ever run for 10 minutes without stopping?!"
September 2004 - Our first 5K race -CIBC Run for the Cure
It was so much fun training for our first 5K and these were the people we trained with. Hubs and I were hooked. We had such a blast at our first race that we immediately signed up for the half marathon clinic. And yes I completed the race running 10 and 1's in 28 minutes, 4 seconds. Not bad for my first race ever!
December 2004- Training for our first half marathon
Drastically upping our mileage in such a short time caused the pounds to really begin melting off of my body. It also unfortunately caused me to experience painful shin splints. In fact, there was one day when I almost couldn't walk when I got out of bed. It was a small price to pay for the fun we had training for this race. Every run represented a new milestone as our distance kept climbing and climbing. This winter had many snow storms. I remember many cold advisory alerts (i.e-stay inside and don't be stupid and venture outdoors). I happily ignored these and I remember having my fluid freeze in my water bottle during long runs. I was determined to keep with it. It was the beginning of an obsession that sticks to this day.
February 2005 - Our first Half Marathon, Peterborough YMCA half marathon.
I ran my first half marathon in two hours and thirteen minutes, below my target goal of 2:15. I went on to run three half marathons with a goal of running under two hours. I finally achieved this in May of 2006 at the Mississauga Marathon. Later that month I also ran my first full marathon in Ottawa. Hubs went on to run his first full marathon in May of 2005 in Ottawa.
May 2006, Ottawa- My first Marathon
My first marathon was awesome, although it was a humid hot day, over 34 degrees. I was so proud when I crossed the finish line. It took me 4 hours, 37 minutes. Not bad considering the extreme conditions. The photo above was taken by our good friend, Paul at kilometer 36. His wife Suzanne also ran the half marathon that day and so the whole family came out to cheer us on.
Since I have started running I have run nine half marathons and seven full marathons. Hubs has run 16 full marathons and five half marathons. I am running my first ultra marathon this July in Vermont (53km). We have run races in Ontario, Tennessee, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. I hope to one day complete the 50 state marathon challenge.
I was going to snap an after picture, but I haven't gotten around to it, so here is a photo taken this March when we were in Napa Valley wine tasting. Another hobby... :)
I can't wait for where the sport running takes us next, and I am thankful to have this blog to document my experiences. Hope everyone has a great week of running. Thanks for reading!