Friday, April 15, 2011

Let's Sing.. "It's my hobby, I'll run how I want to.."


Yeah, it was a pretty feeble attempt at a joke. I am slightly tipsy, which doesn't bode well for tomorrow, but more on that.. well.. tomorrow.

This is about my decision NOT to run the "Vancouver Sun Run" this Sunday.

I wasn't really contemplating running it anyway, but after a few conversations with fellow runners I had been dragged into going. I haven't registered yet, I was going to do that at the expo tomorrow. I couldn't see why I should register earlier in the week, then drive to the expo, then wait in a huge line and pick up my bib, when I could just go to the expo, pay the same fee and go in a very short, expedited queue for those who couldn't make their minds up. Trust me, this tactic has saved me hours of my life in the last year or so.

So on Sunday, I was going to drag myself out of bed. Then I was going to eat breakfast, dress in lycra at 5:30 AM. I was then going to walk to the station and get on a crowded train with another 5 thousand lycra clad people. Then wait around in the cold for an hour HOPING to glimpse the starting line. Then spend the next hour running slower than I wanted to and stopping every 5 mins because the person in front needed a "walk break". Then at the end, I was going to wait 90 mins for a brown banana and cold coffee before going back on a now smelly train with 5 thousand people. Yeah, as you can tell I am NOT selling this am I?

A couple of days ago I was finishing off a blog piece I was writing about my idea of a "Perfect runner". Not trying to give anything away, but I cited that understanding what type of runner you wanted to be is a big part of being a perfect runner. Something on the lines of; realising what type of running you enjoy -either terrain or distance- and then using that as a goal was more important than anything else. Going for a type of race, pace or distance just because in "the running society", that's what you should aim for but hating every minute of it.. well.. that just crazy.

I was planning on doing the 5 Peaks trail race on Easter weekend and then Vancouver Marathon (although the 13.1 distance) the week after. The Marathon is our International Barefoot Running Day event. This would make 3 races in 3 weeks. Three weekends going out and running with the masses. It then hit me. I didn't want to do this race. I did NOT want to stand up with 50 thousand people -I hate crowds, to run a 10K -a distance that doesn't interest me, on the road -a surface I hate. I also DID not want to pay for the privilege of doing it, where all I would get was a little bit of Kudos and a lousy shirt.

So hey, I am standing up and NOT doing it. I am growing as a runner and kicking at the "apron" strings of the running community. I WILL go out and get my ears pierced, I will wear black, I will listen to macabre music and I will go out, get drunk and throw up in your rose bush - oh wait.. for some reason I had flashbacks to being 18 again. Where was I?

This is liberating. After two years, I am, only now standing up for myself. I never thought as a "runner", (which is let's face it a hobby for the most of us), I would have to fight against pre-conceptions of what you should do. As a "runner" -and I use this in the losest terms in regards to myself- you should want to run Boston, run a Marathon, run it quicker, run it wearing as much lycra as possible. You shouldn't have fun - that's for the hobby jogga's out there. You should have a fixed schedule and you should imbibe only strange drinks with grainy, brown, undigestible powder in it. You should have shares in GU, CLIFF and Gatorade (or their competitors). You should only eat boring food unless it's the day before race-day where you can eat so much pasta and pizza, you would throw up if you hadn't spent 6 months developing such strong core muscles that Spinach are looking to have you in their next advertising campaign.

I could go on, and I had better stop myself before I get my "supposedly" low-fat percentage self out of this chair to drag that soap-box from out of the cupboard. I have also realised I am NOT making much sense now.

So here I am... rebelling. I DO NOT want to run with 50 thousand sweaty people, who are all revealing a little too much with their winter running tights and compression shorts. I want to run mountains, with a lady that has egg-sandwiches and a flask of coffee as fuel. I want to get muddy and step in bear poo. I WANT to be me!!!

Okay, enough now.. I think I have ranted enough. I am off to collapse ahead of a weekend of strange events and chilling out at home. Forgive me if I now drool and mumble..

Oh look Boobs..!!!

(Sorry Jason et al.. couldn't resist!)


  1. You are awesome, girl! We must be kindred spirits (I'm commenting on this blog post after a few cocktails myself) and I hear ya sistah! Running with the lady with egg sandwiches sounds like good times! More power to ya. Fiyah!

  2. You go girl! I am slowly becoming what you are. This process has been hard as I have often felt I have to be or do those things you mentioned. In the end I've only gotten injured. I think I may have learned my lesson

  3. I agree! (See my post at which, in many ways, mirrors yours.) I think I've finally arrived at a place where I'm comfortable with running my way, not everyone else's - and I think I'll be a better runner for it.

  4. I keep forgetting who I really am and why I do this crazy thing called running. You said it much better than I would have though.