This spring, I started running. I started with the Couch to 5K program, which I’d begun but never finished in the Fall. It was pretty obvious that I hadn’t really run for any duration since my grade 9 mandatory gym class 10 years ago.
After a long and busy summer of working at it, I began to really enjoy the challenge and my results from running. By the end of June I had completed the program and was working up my speed and distances. A friend mentioned the Army Run happening in September, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put my running skills to the test.
Throughout August and September, though, my schedule got busy and the weather got colder. I wasn’t running nearly as often, and when I did, I found I was having serious difficulty pushing myself to run more than 3.5km at a time. I was worried, and thought I might not be able to complete my goal as race day approached.
But bright and early on Sunday morning, I headed to downtown to partake in my first ever 5K run. It was a beautiful morning, and I joined over 16,000 energetic and excited people ready to run the 5K or half-marathon.
My goal was to just finish the race, but I’d also set a goal for myself to finish the run in under 35 minutes. My personal best on my own runs was about 36 minutes, and I’d heard I would probably knock a bit off of that with all the energy and excitement of the actual race.
After the Howitzer fired, I waited and waited until my section finally made it up to the starting line – I didn’t realize it’d be nearly five minutes between the starting gun fire and when I actually was able to start running… how anticlimactic!
It was a great day to appreciate the scenic route around Parliament Hill and along the Rideau Canal, although I was usually too distracted trying to navigate through the droves of people to enjoy it!
As I approached the finish line and heard all the cheering, it gave me that final boost of energy I needed just as a side-stitch was setting in – and past the finish line I went. I received my awesome dog-tag from a member of the Canadian Army and wore it proudly the rest of the day.
Oh, and about beating my 36 minute record?
Chip time: 32:13.
One thing I unexpectedly discovered was that getting to meet, learn about and support the members of Canada’s Army was almost as rewarding as the run itself.
Thank you to everyone who offered me support and advice to prepare for this run.
Can’t wait until next year!