A Few of my Favourite Things (About Running)

Community

From coaches and teammates to strangers that you pass on the street, there’s a sense of camaraderie and friendship no matter where you go in the world. Give a wave and say hi, it’s nice.

Accomplishing goals

Distances, times, events, attitudes – the opportunities to set goals and work towards them are endless.

Participating in nature

Look around. Take it in. When it’s beautiful it’s awesome and when it’s not, it’s hard to top the feeling of completing a kick a$$ workout despite the pouring rain, wind, and other elements conspiring against you.

Exploring new places/revisiting old ones

A new city, an old town, somewhere aboard, a travellers destination, a work trip, your elementary school, the track you ran your first race on, the place your family went on the weekend… Running is fluid, faster, and more personal than any other way of commuting.

Challenge

Running is hard. You can do it.

Escape

I wouldn’t call it running away from your problems… I’d call it running through your problems. Thinking about them, solving them, putting them in perspective, it’s easier when you’re running.

Feeling your body living/working

Be kind to yourself and appreciate what your body can do. It’s pretty neat.

Accessibility

You can do it anytime, anywhere. Get going!

 

Learnings from XC Provincials

I ran at the BC XC Champs on the weekend and it was HARD. When you’re not in good shape running is tough. Running cross-country in any shape is tougher.

That said, it was a beauteous day in Abbotsford, the cows were mooing, the sun was shining, and there wasn’t a puddle in sight. I had a blast taking over the Brooks Canada Instagram story for the day, seeing friends at the course, and witnessing some awesome performances. Special shout outs to Jack* and Kirsten for qualifying for their first senior BC teams to compete at Nationals later this month!

My goals for the race were to finish strong, be positive, and get in a great workout. Mission accomplished. The course was shy of 6km, and I ended up running 22:05 and placing 47.th. My coach and I agreed that while I’m lacking fitness (especially strength), it was a good starting point for this time of year.

However, I felt frustrated for the remainder of the day. Whether it’s running, school, work, board games, (anything really),  I’m always competitive. Weakness or not, I tend to only place myself in situations where I know I’ll excel, and if I don’t, I make changes. Being so far off the front pack isn’t excelling. I know that being competitive wasn’t the point of running BCs and that if I gave into the impulse to only do things I’m good at I would never improve. But I still hate being out of the race – and that’s OK – I’ll need to hold on to this motivation for the long months of winter training ahead.

TTYL,

DW

*Jack came out of nowhere on the final lap and grabbed the bronze in true William’s style. He then “went to the other side” and was basically dead for 40 minutes. It’s (almost) funny now, but at the time it was super scary. Imagine the drunkest person you’ve ever seen (and not “funny drunk”, call 911 and get them hospitalized drunk). That’s what Jack was like after busting out a stellar 8km after a two year XC hiatus. He was swaggering all over the place, disoriented, and viciously determined not to eat any yogurt-covered raisins. Thankfully, after electrolytes and care from family/friends he returned to planet earth.

Why I’m Running XC Provincials

Yes – you read that right. I, Devan Wiebe, a whiny 800m runner*, will be participating in the BC Cross Country Championships this weekend. I was going to write “racing” but I think “participating” is the better word choice. As while it’s unlikely that I’ll be battling for gold, (unless the leaders take the first 5.2km really, really, easy), I’ll be tackling the same course and mixing it up with some of the best runners in the province.

I’m not a cross country runner. (Side note: is anyone? Or are some distance runners just a lot tougher than others?). My mileage is feeble, my “long run” is an hour, and I consider any interval over 400m to be “distance” running. However, I’m healthy, have been easing back into training since mid-September, and I’m injury free – so what’s the harm (excluding to my ego)?

Reflecting on my (disappointing) track season last year, it’s easy to find excuses for why I didn’t perform as well as I wanted. But the bottom line was that I didn’t take opportunities to challenge myself. I had good reason (aka. a stress fracture), for not doing so, but still – I chose to avoid placing myself in situations where I didn’t have confidence that I would perform well. I shied away from exposing my weaknesses. (Examples: I’m not “ready” for indoors, it’s too soon to run a time trial, I can’t do a V02 max test, I don’t want to drive all the way to Coquitlam for one 400m, etc.). I doubt I would have run better in the summer if I had pushed myself into these scenarios, but I would have given my coach more information, which always adds value.

So – in the spirit of information and community fun, there will be no hiding this weekend! My weakness is going to be out and about on a 6km course, but that weakness is going to be a lack of fitness – not a fear of trying.

*PS There are lots of 800m runners who are awesome at cross country, I’m just not one of them (yet).