Why I Run, and the “Achievements” Attained! :)


After 2 years now running, I ran my 1st chip timed “official”  10k race a couple of weeks ago.  Now, I have been told by my wife, that “normally”, runners will start with shorter distances, maybe the 5k, then 10k, and then work your way to the half and full marathon.

One of the things I decided to do this year was to run more events.  Last year I did a pile of training for just 2 events, a half marathon in June, and the full marathon in October.  So far this year, there  has been a half marathon called the Chilly Half, and my 30k Round the Bay.  So when I signed up for “just a 10k”, I was thinking “this will be easy”.  Boy was I wrong.

Spring Thaw t-shirt, medal and bib.

Spring Thaw t-shirt, medal and bib.

 

Spring Thaw is a local event held in a city nearby called Barrie, Ontario.  I am very familiar with Barrie, yet this was the 1st race that I knew no one else who was running, none of my running team would be taking part.  I immediately loved the “vibe” I felt, as I mingled with a few of the runners before the race.  Everyone was so friendly, sociable and upbeat.  I was a little confused when I heard contemporary Christian music being played from a nearby tent of Life 100.3, the local Christian radio station.  Then while I was talking, I discovered the event was a fundraiser for a local Christian high school, Unity Christian High School.  I have never seen an event so well marshalled.  Every 100-200 metres or so, there would be one or two students fervently cheering you on, and pointing you on the right path.  It was such a motivator.

With the 10k, I wasn’t exactly sure how to pace myself.  I wanted to increase the tempo, but still have enough gas to finish.  By the time I did hit the finish, there was not a spoonful of gas left. And it went very well, I finished 10th overall.  Now before you start thinking Tokyo, Boston, London or any other of the major world marathons, that has 10’s of thousands of participants, and 10th place would have been phenomenal.  This was an extremely well organized local run, that had a grand total of 37 participants running the 10k.  Whether it was 37,000 participants or 37 participants, coming in 10th did not really matter. Yes, I was happy for my result, but more importantly, was just as happy to participate.  I run for the love of running.

When I started running 2 years ago, I did not know what to expect.  My goal was to complete a half marathon (which seemed insurmountable) and to raise money for a charity that helps a village in Africa.  The running did help the people in this village of Africa.  But I had no idea the benefits would also come around to me as well.

1. The 1st benefit of running is how it helps me mentally and psychologically.  Running, particularly the long runs are a “release” for me, as I leave all the stresses and cares of the world behind.  For those who have run with me, know that I prefer to run without any music or electronics of any kind.  It gives me the opportunity to think. In the article “The Mental Benefits of Jogging“, it goes into more detail (all which I can vouch for), of what I have gained mentally and psychologically  from running.

Image solesearchingmomma.com

Image solesearchingmomma.com

2.  The 2nd benefit from running I have discovered is how it benefits my heart and cardiovascular system.  With my dad’s untimely death of a heart attack at 47, my own heart’s health has very much been a focus over the years.  Running has lowered my blood pressure back into a more normal range, which I am very grateful.  In the article “Running Health Benefits“, cardiovascular disease is listed as the #1 benefit.  Our heart is a muscle.  Running is a workout for this muscle, which makes it bigger, stronger and helps the veins and arteries become more elastic.

Image via "jogging-explained.com"

Image via “jogging-explained.com”

 

3.  As if these 2 benefits are not enough, but there is more.  I have really enjoyed the camaraderie and friendships that have come about through running.  Runners always seem to be a very positive, encouraging and friendly group of people.  I have my running team, there are the runners I follow in blogs and social media, but I have yet to find a really self absorbed runner, that the whole world revolves around him or her.  They may be out there, but I have yet to find one.  And once you are a runner, you are ALWAYS a runner.  I found out shortly after joining my gym, that the morning custodian named Bob was a former marathon runner.  Sadly Bob’s running days came to an end after a serious ice hockey injury.  But he still takes such an interest in running, but not just running, in MY running.  It is like Bob was living his running through me.  Always asking how my running is going, always encouraging, and giving some advice only when I seem to ask him.  In fact, Bob talked so little about HIS own running, it took me 8 months to find out he has qualified (under 2:50) for Boston, and has run Boston.   It took me 16 months (just this past week) to find out he has run many of the world’s top marathons.  He was grateful to previously have had a job that had him travel around the world, and if it timed right, a marathon would be also on the agenda.   One of  his toughest races was The Foot of Africa, held in South Africa, the 1st 22 kilometers is off road up a mountain pass, the remainder on asphalt.

Bob with his 1983 Boston medal. I would not wear it, it is something earned.....and well, you just never know!

Bob with his 1983 Boston medal. I would not wear it, it is something earned…..and well, you just never know!

To Bob, a very kind, selfless, personable, humble man.  You are the living example of what a runner is all about.  Thank you so much for making me so proud to be part of this running community.

~Carl~  🙂

Categories: RunningTags: , , ,

67 comments

  1. Comgratulations Carl! It’s nice to have you as part of our running community! And wow! Any chance of you getting a guest blog from Bob?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Rod. You are always such an encouragement and inspiration yourself.
      A guest blog post from Bob is a wonderful idea. Have such respect for this man, it would be so neat to have the world (well at least my blogging community world….LOL) know about him and his achievements, which he talks about very humbly.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Like

  2. Keep on running, Carl! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob reminds me of my very own “senior gazelle”. We can learn so much from those “old-school” runners. With so much information and technology out there, it can be easy to forget what running is all about – feeling great and being part of a great community of fellow runners!

    I really enjoyed this – glad to see you took control of your health! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do remember you writing about your own “senior gazelle”. Bob is not too much older than myself, maybe that is why I have not “embraced” all the science and technology like my younger running peers have. Maybe in time, I’m just slow catching up…LOL!

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Take care friend! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carl, you just highlighted everything I love about running and the running community. You are one of the community members that I have no doubt leaves a positive impact on everyone you come across. I am so impressed by your fortitude and your love for this sport.

    I haven’t run in several months now due to a few years old injury that did not heal right. I may just lace up my kicks and venture out for a short jog. Thanks for the motivation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by Karen, and for your kind and supportive words. I have really appreciated the running community, it is an honor to be a part of it.

      That has really got to be tough to have this injury that just will not heal properly. Hopefully these few months of rest will have been what was needed to be as good as new. Please take care! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  5. Bob sounds like such a great guy! Congrats on all your running accomplishments. I have tried to get into running several times but can never stick with it and get past that initial seemingly insurmountable hump at the beginning. My bf and I have gone once since the weather warmed up though – and the fact that he has more stamina than me from playing ice hockey is making me want to be competitive. Maybe this will be the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and sharing your running experiences. Getting past that 1st hump really is tough, both mentally and physically. That 1st year for me, I honestly did not think I had it in me to complete 5k’s, much less a half marathon that I had registered for. I know you can do it. Start small. It is never about comparing oneself with others, instead improving oneself.

      Bob has such a HUGE heart. When I was unwell earlier this year, and did not make it to the gym for a couple of months, he was really concerned for me. Always looking out for others, and putting them first. 🙂

      Thanks again for reading. Best to you with giving running another shot. I am cheering you on! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations Carl 🙂 Your running journey of two years has made more than just a physical impact right? I especially feel the psychological and mental benefits – the freedom of running! It has been barely nine months for me since I took on running seriously and I feel every bit of what you just said. And the community itself is so inspiring – probably the daily rush of endorphins 😉 Keep training!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is nothing like those feel; good endorphins Prajakta. Hard to explain to a non runner, but they definitely are real, and effective. Wow, somehow I always I guess assumed you were running for much longer than 9 months. That is amazing, you have done extremely well.

      Thank you for reading and your such positive, inspirational feedback. I appreciate having you so much as a blogging friend, (and a running friend). 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your kind words 🙂
        I was never a regular learner till last August. A depressing infection kind of made me take it up for the “freedom”. And now I am all out 😀
        I have started running on hillocks now. Somehow the softer surface is easier on my knees than the roads. Or perhaps the lovely scenes distract me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, I never knew this is what led you to take up running. Am so glad it has helped. Sounds like there is no holding you back now Prajakta. Great work my friend! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love running, it was my escape from the stresses and strains of new motherhood. Haven’t run for a while but hope to change that next week. Thank you for reminding me how much I enjoy running. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome Rosie. Thank you for taking the time to read and share. Always a challenge to lace up if it has been a while, but once started again you will be well on your way. I appreciate your kind input. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

      Like

  8. My dear friend Carl,
    Congratulations for your achievement! It really doesn’t matter if there were 37 or 37K participants, as you hit the finish line, and accomplished your goals.
    Isn’t that the same about our life journeys? There isn’t a better one, as we all go through steps and each victory tastes just as special and unique, as we had wished and dreamed for all the way.
    It is an inspiration to read your posts. Not only it is instructive, but also shows your generosity and kind heart.
    Thanks for the introduction to Bob, such a remarkable man.
    Cheers!
    Lucile

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great job! I get tired just driving that far! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations, Carl! It must be a great feeling to be part of such a supportive and inspiring community. Best wishes for many more wonderful years of running! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carl what an inspiring post. Running has obviously been such a positive addition to your life on so many levels. Congratulations on your 10km and best of luck in the training ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Sue. You are always such an encourager. Am really glad I took up running. Have a group run coming up later this morning @ 6:30 (before the heat hits, supposed to be 29C today in Ontario). It will be fun!
      Thank you again for reading and sharing such a kind, encouraging comment! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  12. what a great inspiring read – especially for someone who needs to get moving and maybe start jogging/running. I enjoy my treadmill time, which I know is not the same as your community runs or that outdoor vibe, but it really works for me. anyhow, best wishes with the 10K – yeah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by. I really commend you for your treadmill time, it is a preference, and in my opinion is just as good as running. Have a treadmill in the basement myself, but it is is hardly used. I just prefer my outside running.

      Just noticed you revamped your blog. It looks great.

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback. Really appreciate it so very much! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done on your achievement Carl and on knowing such lovely people. 🙂
    I wish that I could run but unfortunately between bad knees and the endowment of mother nature, it makes it a little difficult. I often think that running could be like a type of meditation but I am unable to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzanne, thank you so much. It really means a great deal to me, that even though with yourself being a non runner, you have taken the time to read it through and comment. It shows the amazing character that you have.
      Always appreciate your friendship, support and encouragement! THANK YOU! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A lovely piece – charity does indeed benefit the giver as well as the receiver. Enjoy the rest of your journey, Old Fellow!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a fun post to read, I enjoyed it immensely, especially your touching tribute to Bob. And I laughed out loud in your 10th place finish as it reminded me of a 5k I ran recently where my sister in law and I came in 1st and 2nd place in our age group. This was out of a total of 5 mind you in that block but hey, it still counts! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Tricia. There were 3 runners in my age block (male 50-59), and I came in 2nd. The medal that is on the 1st picture is actually an award medal. Just the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of each age block got a medal, so even if I came in last (3rd), still would have gotten a medal. Yes, it all counts. There is something that can be said about these small races, great refreshments from the host school, lots of door prizes, and of course all that camaraderie.
      Bob is such an encouragement, was so happy when he agreed to bring his medal in, and then give me the go ahead, to write some words of tribute.
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing Tricia. It was fun reading about your 5k, and the similarities we had. 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Carl, I love this line, “I run for the love of running”. This is a marvelous post, and always very informative. Congratulations on running and completing the Spring Thaw. I really enjoyed your mention of Bob, such a wonderful example of “what a runner is all about”. Thank you for sharing and writing from your heart. Please take good care.

    Warm wishes,
    Pepperanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Always love having you drop in to share Pepperanne. Your comments are always so full of kindness and encouragement.
      Three years ago I would never have dreamed I would embrace running like this. It has been really cool.
      Thank you so much for sharing. Please do take good care yourself! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I was a runner in high school, not so much for the competition, but for the exercise and the social aspect of it. A lot of my friends were “tracksters.” I still like to get out and run when I can. I love the health benefits and I always feel GOOD afterwards. I have considered signing up for a 5 or 10K in the past, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. Your article is inspiring me to actually look into some of the local events! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • There is nothing like that great feeling after with all those endorphins kicking in, is there Christy? I am so glad you are able to get out running some. Having a young family like you do, it would take a bit of effort in pre-planning in order to make a run happen. I really commend you for this.

      I always look forward to the events. Once you do one, you will be hooked. Makes me proud to be part of the running community. Just the atmosphere, particularly the people cheering you on from the sidelines, makes oneself have a really great run. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing. ALWAYS great to hear from you Christy! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Congratulations on your running accomplishments Carl! I am happy or you 🙂 Running bring positive energy and certainly good health! Thanks for introducing Bob to us, what a spirit both of you have..sometimes it takes a runner to understand the runner’s love of running.. Oh I hope I make sense 🙂 Have a great week ahead Carl!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You certainly do make sense Indah. Even though Bob is not able to physically run, his passion is still there, and ever so strong. He is such an inspiration and motivator. 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. You are such a faithful support. I appreciate you so much. Have a great rest of the week yourself! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Keep running Sir! Congratulations. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I love the fact you run without technological aids in your ears or where ever. I cannot understand people who walk, run or otherwise exercise with music or radio commentary pouring through their ears. When do they make time to think without so much distraction?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Having that time to think is extremely important to me. We are bombarded with “noise” it is refreshing to have time away from it. Technological aids are becoming more and more popular. I guess the phone apps and pace watches have their place to achieve a better time, but that is not the reason of why I run.
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing. Very much appreciated! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Like

  21. You are so darn inspiring!! This makes me want to lace up my shoes and TAKE OFF! But once I do run, I always remember that I’m …sort of…lazy and unmotivated..ah, well. 😉 Congrats on placing 10th–love that it was a Christian school fundraiser!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww. thanks so much April. It was such a pleasant surprise to discover it was a Christian fundraiser. Between the 5k and 10k, there might have been 100 participants. So well organised. I would really love to see this get bigger another year. We’ll see what can be done for next year.

      I’ve seen your motivation as a home school teacher, even a blogger. You are AMAZING April! Honestly, I know you can do it. The 1st few runs are the hardest my friend, after that, there is no turning back! 🙂

      Thanks for reading, and sharing! Hoping you have a great day. 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  22. Thanks for this Carl – I found it very encouraging. I think I mentioned that I’ve had to stop running for the moment as I’ve been having problems with my feet and ankles. I’d begun to think that I might not be able to run again, but this has re-fired my determination to give it another go, no matter how long I have to wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paula, I am sincerely sorry that you have had to put your running on hold. This would be very difficult for you, because I know running has become a bit therapeutic for you, like it is for myself.
      I know every ankle, foot problem is different, what might have helped me, may not for yourself. For my longer runs, I continue to wrap my ankle that I sprained last fall with my brace. It does seem to stabilize it, and it is quite sore after a long run if I don’t use it. My shorter runs, I run without it, as I don’t want to become too dependent on the brace. Ankle injuries take such a long time to completely heal.
      I really commend you for your determination, and respect you, that you have been “listening” to your body. This part is so difficult and frustrating.
      I am SOOO very proud of you.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and confiding in me. I really hope everything works out! 🙂
      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This post is so inspiring to me. I can walk for miles but running is never something i really thought I’d be capable of doing. However, you have given me hope and stirred a spark within me… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hey Carl. I am a bit late here! But I am so happy to see this. You have achieved it. Congratulations 🙂 You are a real inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Congratulations! I’m so very happy for you, Carl! That’s wonderful news. I miss my running days! Ever since I tore ligaments in both knees, I haven’t been able to run more than 2 seconds without my knees twinging in pain! So very proud of what you’re achieving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Adi, I really appreciate this. And I am really and sincerely sorry to hear about both your knees. That has got to be tough, and very painful. Hoping they will heal properly in time.
      Thank you for reading, and sharing! Please do take care!
      ~Carl~

      Like

  26. Very well written… I can vouch for the mental and physical benefits though…have started running since a year i guess and now I am so used to the daily dose of endorphin that if I end up missing it for a few days for some reason then i am visibly depressed! 🙂 your running is very inspiring! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anisha, this is awesome. It is hard to explain these benefits to someone who has never run before. So cool that you know exactly the message I am sharing here. It does make a huge difference.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and share. Have a great weekend and keep running! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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