No Category selected I was injured. So I took some time…

    I was injured. So I took some time…


    This is a continuation of my last post. I am telling my run story from pretty much the beginning, the previous post is here.

    I had no idea if running was right for me. I finished with a really respectable time at the Calgary Half, but hated so much of the race and the pain of my injury, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to run any more. There were two things that kept itching at me though, that didn’t let me just let go of running.

    • I loved racing
    • I loved the idea of the long run


    My ego wanted me to race. It really enjoyed the crowds and the cheering and the start line. My ego had a burning desire to race. against people. against myself. To toe the line was the ultimate reward for me. No matter how hard the effort was, just being there at the start was the reward. It was my social interactions, my competitive drive, my feeling of self worth, that I was actually doing something that made sense to do! Do you know what I mean?


    The long run. This was interesting to me. I didn’t understand why I was so drawn to enjoy the difficult longest runs of the week. Later on in my running career I would figure this out. Sunday mornings was my time, it was my church. It seemed like a place where I could lose myself, in myself. I enjoyed preparing for it the night before. Laying out the gear, mixing the drinks, planning the route. It was all part of my own personal little bit of life. Every where else I am something to others, where I lose control and am needed. When out on that long run there was nothing I could do for anyone, and nothing anyone could do for me. Just go lose myself for an hour or two each Sunday.

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    So as my feet started to heal and get better (due to the no running 2 month recovery), I started to look at training again. I started by showing up a few times for run club, which was nice, but it was out on a camping trip that I finally got back on the wagon.

    We were staying at Sinclair Canyon in Radium Hot Springs. I hadn’t done a long run in quite a while (since the Calgary Half) when I decided to run up to the hot springs. I had my gear with me on the trip, so on went the shoes and up I went. I say ‘up’, as there is probably 600 feet of elevation in the 6kms to the tunnel. I ran simple 10 and 1’s, didn’t push myself, got to the top and felt great! Coming down was nice, I actually walked the steepest sections down as I had no reason to push myself at this point, it was just all about enjoying it. I did! This run was a real turning point for me, an enjoyable run! Woot!

    Best part of that run? A street sign that normally read “Citizens on Patrol”, was vandalised to read “Citizens on Parole”. Still makes me laugh. That simple sign, partway back down the hill to complete the 12km run was a… ahem… ‘sign’ to me to not take it so seriously. That if I wanted to run, that I better figure out how to enjoy it.

    I ran a number of rave runs that summer. 14kms in Kananaskis from Mount Kidd RV Park to Nakiska and back was a highlight for sure, as was the 20km river valley run in downtown Saskatoon.

    My feet continued to be a bit of an issue. The PF flared up as soon as I started running again and just never went away. I figured that it was just a part of my running life. I have the little nubby stretching ball for my feet, as well as a 2 foot sized bucket that I would agonizingly use to ice my feet after long runs. I just thought that was the way. I was enjoying the running apart from the daily pain, so I just kept running…

    That fall I started to race again… and I had a real breakthrough.

    More in the next chapter. btw… this is all taking place in the summer of 2009.

    Wanna know more about todays version of me? Follow me on Twitter and at my Barefoot Neil Z page on Facebook! Let me know if you have any questions or if this connects to you in any way. Thanks for reading!

    This is an actual shot taken during that run in Radium Hot Springs… a true rave run!