Sunday morning I woke up and headed off to London after opening (with my new band) at a house concert in Staffa the night before (yes Staffa is quite excited about live music). It was freezing out so I added tons of extra layers and actually contemplated not getting out of bed at the bright and early time of 8:50am. Then I realized my “walking coach” and good friend Kim (or “Commander Kim”) as I have mentioned her before would be crossing the finish line from her half marathon around 10ish, give or take a few minutes. So exciting as earlier this year she was doing around 8-10k, three times a week and this is a 21.1km run! I personally have gotten myself up to being able to walk 10km, so this to me is just simply impressive and inspiring!! My friend in BC ran a full marathon last spring just before her 50th Birthday in the winter! I was telling this to Robyn (Commander Kim’s Husband) and we decided she had a good 20 years to train for a full marathon, since she has convinced her kids and anyone else who will agree she is 29 (still).
In the spring of I knew I needed to do something, (after quitting for good my “social” smoking) and had put a few extra mid-life pounds on and was feeling in a bit of a complacent rut. The release of winter had me wanting to walk! I started walking and taking the trails and I loved it and felt much better! I had even started to attempt to play tennis which was a hoot! I knew Kim was a runner and with her daughter taking music lessons from me for years we got chatting about exercise and walking! She hooked me up with “RunKeeper” an App to put on my phone, I loved it and she convinced me with her positive and “commanding” presence to get my arse in gear and to walk EVERY DAY! Regardless of the weather or my mood or how I was feeling, and with my new App I could prove that I walked, ( I also couldn’t fake a walk, although I thought of strapping it on my dog some days and sending her for a stroll!) Soon it became something to strive for and beating my own records and moving forward, and taking pictures of nature. On every level this was so good for my body and mind. I found walking in the rain was peaceful and proper attire would allow you to walk at any time of year. Clothing made for cold weather actually works.
I could also see the Commander’s performances which also made me start moving forward, knowing she was running so much farther than I was walking, and it showed me I could do more. I began to see all the runners in town, I began to know all the walkers, it was like another dimension. And the best advice CK gave me at the early stage was no hills or inclines for 2 months, people would ask me why and I’d say, who cares why! Are you nuts?? Who wants to do hills!! And of course in St Marys this can be a bit of a challenge, but this is why the experienced runners can be so helpful, you can do 10k without incline if you head in the right directions! The loop is great and going across the Sarnia Bridge keeps you on flat ground. On the weekends for our visit time and walk time we go around 7-8k and now a year later there are lots of hills involved, which don’t phase me for the most part! The question of me getting out of bed and parking my butt in a car seemed to be a rather sad question, as it required no running! Her best friend took the morning shift to cheer her off into the race, her husband and three little girls found her halfway and I met them at the end waiting for her, the kids (and hubby) half froze from the freezing cold spring morning and wind! Robyn and I agreed we had both contemplated our concern about the walk from the parked cars which was rather pathetic, considering Kim had just run 21.1K! I was cutting it pretty close but I saw runners with her same “gait” around the University, so I knew she was about 20 minutes away (something I know now of how long it takes to get from point A to point B running or walking) I knew that with my green light luck that morning and the parking space dillema I would be cutting it seriously close if she were to cross the finish line in what she anticipated to be the 2 hourmark. After reading her last 19k run on the app, I knew she may be a couple minutest over and Robyn guessed 2 hours and 5 minutes and he was bang on within seconds. It was well worth getting my butt out of bed and so inspiring to see her coming down the final stretch, she looked un-phased by the run, and arms up and smiling the victory smile as she ran by us to the finish line and at that time I knew… we will be watching a full marathon next decade, because that just looked Way To Easy for the Commander!!