We’ve written about some of our travel adventures, love of beer and love of beer while travelling, but not really mentioned anything about our love (well, somewhat need) of running.
Having just reached the milestone of running 500 miles in 2015, I thought what better opportunity than to talk about our year of running, and firstly, how we got into it…
The term ‘a runner’ was something I never thought I would attribute to myself.
I’m neither lean or fast, and to me running revolved around playing sport while a runner was an elite, competitive type who ran marathons in two-hours-something.
My first attempt at running was in 2007 when I started out covering about a mile, a few times a week. I didn’t really progress far.
When we moved to London I pushed myself, increasing to 3kms and eventually 5kms. I was stoked when I started regularly running 5kms. Living near the Thames and regularly running past Big Ben was a big motivator.
It wasn’t until we were back in Australia that we signed up for our first charity run. The 10km Bridge to Brisbane, the city’s biggest annual organised charity run.
We trained and although we couldn’t run the whole way, we got close. We even enjoyed it. So to stay motivated, we signed up to a trail-running event, which I soon realised that I love much more than road/path/treadmill running.
It was an 8km mountain down and back in Tamborine Mountain. We were prepared for all weather types, except torrential rain, which is what we had. It was slow and wet run, the slippery clay-mud tracks were hazardous and a lot of people fell and hurt themselves.
We were lucky to complete it unscathed, but I was disappointed because of how slow we did it. Never mind.
In January 2014 we ran the 11km Resolution run, a fast circuit in Brisbane’s Southbank. It was a great event and one that gave us confidence in our ability to run the 11kms non-stop and a time we were happy with.
In May, we ran in the unofficial Schnitzel Run, a 10km run that ends up at the German Club in Brisbane. Probably our best ever run in terms of speed and purpose… beer and schnitzels, with proceeds going to charity… love it.
We then didn’t run again until we arrived in Seattle at Christmas. Our friends were runners, completing a bunch of half-marathons that year, and had challenged themselves to run 500 miles for the year. One wasn’t even close, the other, made it with a last minute two-mile run on 31 December 2014. Awesome.
So it got us thinking, lets aim for 500kms in 2015.
We tracked every run – paved, treadmill and through forests around Vancouver (and Whitehorse), we also signed up to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle half marathon, a new challenge in itself.
This one we had to train for. Getting to 5km took me a while, then we reached 10kms, and our best the 14km in Australia mid-2014.
We started building up our distances and fitness, although the idea of doubling our usual 10km seemed impossible. We slowly extended our weekend runs, 14kms, 16kms, 18kms, 20kms… Okay, maybe we can do this.
Our first half marathon
Then June and the Rock ’n’ Roll run came around. It was hard. Our dream was to run it in 2hours 15mins. Our reality and more hopefully goal, was to do it in less than 2hours 30mins.
Tahlee did it comfortably in 2hours 23mins 57secs. I struggled. It was a hard, long run, and while the bands every mile or so helped, it was hard. I couldn’t quit, and kept going, eventually coming in, at the very awesome time of 2hours 29mins and 11seconds. Done. Goals achieved. I wanted nothing more than to sit down, drink water, eat anything and everything and wait for some energy to come back… It did, slowly.
After that weekend, it was actually hard to stay motivated. We’d achieved our goal of running a half marathon and doing it in the time we wanted to. It was our longest run to date, and we humored the idea of continuing to run long distances, but our motivation wasn’t there. We turned our attention to shorter runs to keep a base level of fitness.
Seemingly out of nowhere, I reached my goal of running 500 kilometers in mid-July. I was stoked, so I turned my attention to running 500 miles (800kms) by the end of the year.
At this point we also signed up to run the Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in late-October.
Tahlee struggled, but still did it in 2hours 24mins, while I felt a lot better, and we crossed the finish line together. I got my PB, while mid-way through the run Tahlee reached her running 500 kilometres target. Not a bad way to reach a goal.
Running 500 miles in 2015
Now, in the shorter, wetter and increasingly colder days in Vancouver, to reach my goal of running 500 miles I had to spend a lot of time on the treadmill. This week was the first time I’ve run outside since the half marathon.
At some point running around False Creek, I reached my goal, officially now running 500 miles in less than one year. I honestly feel a lot less fit than what I have in a long time. Maybe it’s the cold dark winter days, maybe it’s the beer, but either way, I’m pretty happy to have achieved a pretty big goal of running 500 miles.
I still can’t come to call myself a runner, but in 2015, I guess I was. And if I can run a half-marathon (twice) and run 500 miles in a year, anyone can.
What do you use for motivation to keep running? Do you set goals like running 500 miles? Or sign up to organised events? We’d love to hear what motivates you?