My Journey to the ScotiaBank Marathon Benefiting AARCS!

Shogun watching the Bow River crackle

Shogun watching the Bow River crackle – you sure you want to run in this weather?

I start off this cold winter February 25th – by making it my day #1 practice run day.  I committed on the date – but this was based on the warm weather we had received by Mother Nature.  As I stepped out in my poorly dressed self (Sleep Rover hoodie and Lululemon cropped pants) – I soon asked myself, the same question I did when I signed up –

“What did I get myself into?”

If you do not know me, long story short – I have the worst endurance ever.  I was always the last person walking in elementary endurance training.  So slow, my gym teacher always waved me in so that they did not have to wait to watch me finish.  I could sprint – but never lasted more than a minute if I had to go any further than 50 metres.  Over 25 years – nothing has changed!  You would never see me competing in anything – although one thing – I love playing Floor Hockey.  As an avid hockey fan, and having parents that never let me play sports – I have spent my last 5 years playing hockey – increasing my endurance and stamina – a long process!  I also enjoy the P90x programs by Tony Horton – so although I would say I am more fit than I was when I was 40lbs lighter in University – I still have a long ways to go.

Last month – I decided to join the Scotiabank Marathon with AARCS (Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society) to raise funds for their awesome organization.  I learned a few things really quickly- Marathon is business.  Let me list the newbie info list – in case you too, are a newbie.

  1. There are a few distances on Marathons.  ScotiaBank full Marathon clocks in at 42km give and take – and then there is a half marathon (half that distance), 10km and 5km.  Lucky I was quickly advised that – ‘Joyce, are you SURE you are running the full marathon?’ – thinking that 10km is easy schmeezy!  Why are people doubting that I can not even do 10km?  I soon realized from a friend – who said ‘you might not make the time walking 42km at the 3hr mark’.  Oh wait what???  Fourty or Fourteen?  I quickly reduced my Marathon entry from 42 to 10km.
  2. Being excited on making this commitment – I quickly found that ‘real’ marathoners – were upset that I was downplaying my entrance – including a minor jab at ‘if you are not running the whole marathon, do not say you are running a marathon’.  WOW!  I wonder if these people realize that me running any distance – is a marathon for me?  Everyone needs to start somewhere and everyone’s goals are different.  Support each other in any distance – because at the end of any journey, it is not how much further or harder someone trained or completed – but the journey of reaching your own goal.  This journey for charity is not about recognition for me – it merely is completing a task for the benefit of charity – to show support in all they do – and to work as a team to achieve this goal.  Bettering my fitness is just the added perk.
  3. Walk if you must – but GET OUT OF THE WAY!  People are clocking times, people have no time to drink let alone pee during these Marathons – so note to self – stay out of the way!  I appreciate these people are trying to attain their goals – me, I just want to reach my own goal of completion with a smile (in reality I will be gasping for air with sweat dripping down my face and I am sure, a few boogers).  I will respect the participants by not using the bathrooms so they minimize being idol – because all I want to do is make it to the finish line – they, have a time to beat and well – a prize to win.
  4. “Joyce, want to train with me?” – little did I know – that Marathons require strict training.  I quickly got over 20 private messages, to be asked to train with them. I soon realized.. this is serious business!  I was sent running plans and ‘if you want to run a Marathon, you better start training.  If you train now, you ‘might’ have a chance!’.  How quickly I went from ‘i will just show up and walk and run if I can’ – to ‘must start training!’.

So it brings me to today, on a balmy -9 winter day with windchill – that I committed to start training twice a week to start my Marathon training for the month of March.  Today’s run was to scope out a good path to commit myself to.  I have never been an extremity in anything I do – and this Marathon training will be no different.  I always believe in being the best you can be without it inflicting on your personal life – a balance is required for exercise, eating, entertainment, work, your family, you dogs etc.  I am hoping this casual mentality will at least help me finish the race with my best efforts.  My goal by end of March – would be to run 5km in 25 mins.

Strapping Shogun with my Ruff Wear handsfree leash – we walked from Harry Hays to the crisp cold river of the Bow.  He was so excited about this new venture and to start off, we jogged 4 mins straight (I usually can only do 1 minute, I must credit hockey).  A few more steps and we hit Eau Claire.

Eau Claire reached!

Eau Claire reached!

Being that I was in my Lululemon crops and my calves and ears were freezing – I realized quickly that I should head back to the van!  My clocked time for my first run, was 11 minutes at 1.57km with a huge smile on Shogun’s face!  Only one lady leaped away from Shogun almost knocking the man beside her (she would rather end up in the freezing river I suppose than walk past a staffie who was not anywhere near her).. but most of the joggers made it an effort to smile at Shogun.  How could you not, his grin was from ear to ear.

So I am excited to be spending some one on one time with Shogun and maybe adding Bourbon, my rottie to my jogs- in achieving my goal to run the 10km in June.  I appreciate everyone’s support and am overwhelmed positively by it!  Sleep Rover is currently the top donator for AARCS – but we are not close enough to their goal!  I promise an update in a few months time – in hopes to show you all, how much your donation means to me – whether it was $10 or $200 – it has pushed me to commitment.  Thank you!

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