Saturday, March 23, 2013

Turning myself back into a Runner

Turning myself back into a runner has been a sweaty, heart-pounding, noisy affair.  While I certainly have endurance, running is much harder work than hiking.  Since the New Year, I have been huffing and puffing my way around the trails of Banff with a big smile on my face. 

It has not been easy.  As well as my cardio being surprisingly poor, in between trying to gulp down air I am finding that running is just plain hard work.  The good thing is that I'm having fun.  I have way more "Woooo-hooo!!" moments running, than I ever do hiking.  While hiking you always get lots of Ooo! and Aaaah! moments with a side of  Whoooooa!  But rarely am I actually hootin' and hollerin' and wahoooo-ing like I do when I'm running. 

The good news is I'm improving.  And I'm improving quickly!  Slowly my body and brain are dusting off the cobwebs and I'm learning how to pick up my feet.  Finding my stride and the wonderful rhythm of running. Unfortunately, I already got carried away with my Mach-1 Crazy Descending style of mountain running that I love so much and my shins have flared up a bit.  Too much Woooohoo, I guess.  So, it's back to moderate terrain for awhile and getting my body used to all of that impact.  Without a doubt, running is hard on the body.  My body had been kind to me - considering I've been running since I was a child, I've been very fortunate on the injury front.  The injuries have appeared the past few years, but have been mostly manageable.  I now know what it takes to be running happy and healthy.  For me, it's all about the other stuff.  So, I focus on the rebuilding.  Gym.  Stretching.  Core.  Flexibility.  It's essential to keep the Leslie Machine working properly.  I've been working hard on it all because I know it's the secret to my bliss.  Summer is coming soon and I want to be able to go on my all-day adventure runs and have full trust in my body!  Plus, when your strong and happy and running healthy - the adventures are just way more enjoyable.  You get to focus more on the Wooohoo and less on the pain in your back/butt/hips. 

And so I rebuild a new Leslie.

It's also good to get reacquainted with the trails in my own backyard.  It's like getting to know an old friend.  For me, it's all about balancing the suffering with the right amount of Woooohoo.  Running these trails gives me a whole lot of pleasure! Even as I'm huffing and puffing and chugging along, I'm enjoying turning myself back into a runner.

 The Fairholme Range

 The Bow River

 The Bow Valley - home!

 Mount Rundle

Hoodoos Bench

 The ski runs of Mount Norquay

Tunnel Mountain aka. Sleeping Buffalo