The Exercise Pill
First up, congrats to our racers on the weekend! Fran, Annick and Meagan who ran the New York City Marathon!!! No one had a seamless build for this one everyone really maximized their potential and performed on the day. Wow. And back home we had Carol, Zoe and Jordan who raced the Hamilton Half Marathon. Way to go everyone!!!
For some reason recently I’ve been reminded of a Who’s The Boss episode I remember watching when I was a kid. Angela was starting her day and had just come back from a “jog” and Tony handed her her orange juice so she was ready to start the day. I don’t know why this scene is still in my mind – oh the brain space taken up by too much ‘80’s television! But anyway, I was thinking about how running and exercise were presented as something virtuous which high achievers did as something to be checked off on their to do list. Like taking your vitamins. Angela was the successful, organized, achieving woman, so of course “a jog” was on her list of things to do. We have been told that if we want to extend our lives, improve many health indicators and look better then we should exercise. And I think that some people do mechanically approach it this way. I also think that if many of the folks who exercise this way could take it in pill form, they would.
But that’s not what I see in our group or what we’re doing. We’re not “exercising”. What I see when I’m watching the icons of runners I’m tracking moving across a screen in the Boston or New York City Marathon apps, is so much more than a figure progressing towards the finish line. I see the months of uncertainty, tears, joy, laughter, pain, dread, determination, culminating and playing out in real time. There is so much vulnerability and humanity and self-discovery that are revealed through what we’re doing. It is so the opposite of Angela’s two-dimensional “jog before work”. The running IS the story! Every one of you is writing your own story through running and I find them fascinating and want to read them all. I actually feel lucky that I mostly get to from where I sit. What we’re doing means something and adds something to all of us. We don’t do it for health (many of us are doing it despite doctors’ orders to cut back), or beauty (hello hours of sun and wind exposure and extra daily gravitational forces), or to be better at work (ahem … naps under the desk anyone?) We do it because it is real. And if exercise ever does end up coming in a pill form, I’m pretty sure I know who won’t be taking it.
So I just wanted to let you all know that I appreciate all of you and watching the unfolding of your stories. And if there is someone in this group whose story you don’t know, ask them out for a run – I promise it’ll be more entertaining than an ‘80’s sitcom.
This week we’re back on tap with hills! I don’t care if you’re not training for a hilly race – the strength and power you build through hills will serve you. You’ll recruit muscle fibres that you’ll call on whether you’re running a hill later or not. They just make you into a more efficient runner.
Runners new to the group: some of us meet at Pottery Rd, and some at a hill in the beach (to coordinate if you want to attend that one, ask Tanis).
For Pottery, get there anytime between 6 and 6:30 (heck, earlier if you want to – you do you!) and run hard up, easy down. I’m liking mixing up the full and half hills. Let’s do this: 2 full, 1 half. Repeat 2-3 times. I was going to add a little tempo or pick-ups at the end, but let’s save that – just work on the hill part for now.
I’ll aim to be there around 6:05.
See ya in the am!