GUEST BLOG #4 – Why do you run?

Hello – Happy Friday! Are you racing this weekend? I don’t know about you, but my Instagram is FULL of folks running races and I am loving seeing goals being smashed. Gives me all the feels.

Guest blogger number 4 is the fabulous Charles – check out his Instagram here.  What I am loving most about this blog series is getting to know more about the runners than just seeing their awesome photos on Instagram. Its so interesting to hear how others got into the sport and what they love about it most. Enjoy!

1. Why did you start running?

The journey I have taken was slow and at times very painful. However, my off-loader brace for my right knee is now sitting in my closet, the bottles of Lipitor are now sitting in your local drug store rather than my medicine cabinet. I haven’t smoked in the past 3 years and that alone is quite the achievement. Running became my new addiction – nothing like a runner’s high.

2. What motivates you to keep running?

I wanted to improve me; mentally and physically. It’s too easy to sit on a couch, eat, drink and not think about our health and wellness.  When the doctor sits you down and looks you mano a mano and says “If you continue down this path you will have a heart attack by age 60”. Well we’ll just say it makes you think.

3. What is your favourite distance and why?

There is no favourite distance, I enjoy them all. During my journey of 2km – 45km, Mother Nature gave me a beautiful backyard to play in, either in Victoria BC, or in Ottawa ON.

During my stay in Ottawa, I met a group of people I have the pleasure of saying are true friends. We are now scattered around the world, but with the assistance of Facebook, Instagram, and email, we are still a close family.

4. Tell me about your most memorable race.

My most memorable race had to be Ottawa Race Weekend marathon. My initial goal was Boston qualifier 3:40, then Canadian Armed Forces qualifier 3:45, and finally sub-4 hours. We’ll just say that I was very proud to finish 3:55:03 with a very bruised heel, and to this day I’m still wondering what drove me to complete the race. I was told by several runners before me that if there is something to go wrong in a race, it will occur during a marathon. I started slow and it felt great (5:30 splits), at 15km I opened up the octane (4:05 splits), and by 30km I was in pain.

Rule of thumb, know our pace. It truly does take time to understand when to speed up and when to slow down.

5. What did you learn about yourself training for this race?

Training taught me that there is no distance out of your reach, you just need to train your body and mind at the same time. Music or no music, eat healthy or don’t eat healthy, we all get there on our own merits. When I was preparing for the marathon I was in the gym 1 hour a day and running 100-150km a week. The weather conditions did not matter, and I ate healthy.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Chuck’s top 10 list:

  1. You are not alone, to get assistance go to your local Running Room or Frontrunners,
  2. Set goals that are achievable (ultimate, capable, finishing),
  3. Hydration – every 30 minutes roughly,
  4. Nutrition – before, during and after,
  5. Layering – don’t over dress,
  6. Footwear – have multiple pairs so you can rotate,
  7. Music or no music, your choice. I’ve been told music will improve your cadence,
  8. Charge your phone before you run, so you can call in an emergency,
  9. Know your route,
  10. Have some cash on you just in case….just saying.

I never thought after 30 years of smoking that I would run 5km, well I’m proud to say that as of 1 Apr 2018 I covered over 8,000 km in just 2.2 years and heading to my 3rd Nationals in Ottawa.

Running is not for everyone, but you should at least give it a chance.


Gillian x


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