Learning to Run (again)

I have a love / hate relationship with running.  On a beautiful spring or fall day, or when I accomplish a distance goal by participating in a race – those days I love it.  On the rest of the days, not so much. 

It took many attempts for me to actually get into running.  I tried off and on at university, and again when I was a recent graduate living in Toronto.  But my attempts never lasted beyond a month or so. 

Then, the summer after I met P a few things happened that led to my first successful 5 K.  First, P is a very active individual and he was (and still is) very encouraging when it comes to me being active.  Second, my friend J (who is also a personal trainer) took me up on a statement I made that I wanted to run a 5K one day.  That July she committed to running in the Run for the Cure the following October.  There was plenty of time to work up to a 5K distance so I had no excuse.  I found the Couch Potato to 5K training program online and followed it.  The day of the 5K, J ran beside or behind me the entire race, shouting out encouragement along the way and P was at the finish line to congratulate me.  I was extremely proud of myself and celebrated by proceeding to not run for another couple of years. 

Fast forward to 2 years ago when I joined a Learn to Run clinic at our local Running Room.  I completed two 5K races and decided I really wanted to try a 10K.  Unfortunately, I got injured and could not compete in the first 10K I signed up for.  After recovering from the injury I returned to running and finally completed a 10K at the annual Zoo Run.  This time, J was again by my side.  We even dressed up in costumes (a popular practice at the Zoo Run) as the tortoise (moi) and the hare (J).  She even let me win! 

It’s been just over a year since I completed the 10K and since then I’ve run off and on.  I found it challenging to keep up with the running once Kona arrived at our house as running had to be done separately from her daily walks.  Unfortunately, running isn’t recommended for dogs in their first year.  The reason for this is that the puppy’s joints are still developing and exposing them to distance running at that age will greatly increase the likelihood that they will develop hip dysplasia

Now that we are nearing Kona’s first birthday we’ve decided it is time to slowly ease her into a running regimen.  I’m going back to basics and I’ll be applying the Couch Potato to 5K program with her by my side.  Only this time, I’ve found an app (Ease into 5K) to guide us on each run – it will even track our distance and pace.  Tonight will be Week 1, Day 1 of the program – fingers crossed it all goes well (I have a feeling she’ll do better with it than I will)!