Rekindling a Love for Racing

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Have you ever had a hobby or activity that you love and let it get away for a while?

And a lot of time goes by and you start to wonder if you’ll ever get back into it?

That’s sort of what happened to me with running races.

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In 2009, I got hooked on races running two 10k’s, a 10-miler, 3 half-marathons, and a beginner’s triathlon, all within about a year and a half. To say I was hooked on racing was an understatement. I loved the thrill of pushing my body, overcoming mental hurdles, and seeing my time improve. My last race was the Oakville Labour Day 10k and I managed to finish 3rd place in my division with a time of 49:50. It was a great race to end the season.

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Despite my love for racing, I shifted gears in 2011 in favour of other activities. I fell in love with hot yoga and rekindled my love for Body Pump and spinning, after Ange gave me a discounted gym membership for the year. I used to be a gym rat back in university, so it was fun to get back into some of my favourite classes.

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In 2012, I decided not to renew my gym membership, so I’ve been alternating at-home Booty Camp Fitness strength workouts with running outdoors. Because our winter has been so mild and free of much snow, I’ve been able to enjoy running outdoors several times a week. At first, adjusting to running during winter was difficult for me (it’s harder to breathe!), but now I find that I crave getting outside as much as I can, as long as I bundle up properly. I just don’t leave the house without the most crucial piece of winter running equipment- a few tissues! Having to blow your nose is a great excuse to take a walking break, right?

As you can see, my activities have been all over the place over the past couple years! I used to think that I had to juggle everything I love to do all at once, but I’ve since realized that it’s totally normal for passions and interests to change over time and for our focus to shift. I don’t need to do it all at once and it’s ok if I don’t have the “perfect” balance, whatever that means.

After discovering a love for climbing in Arizona, I found myself playing around with the idea of getting back into running races. It took getting to the top and bottom of a steep, rocky mountain for me to realize how much I’ve missed the feeling of accomplishment when it’s all over. It also made me realize how much I thrive on challenges, physical and mental. As an added bonus, these accomplishments also have a positive impact on my anxiety.

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I caught myself thinking, I don’t think I can race this year. I just have too much on my plate…. How am I going to race if I can’t even find the time to _____ right now?

That’s when I realized that being busy is exactly the reason to get back into a long lost activity. We’re all busy. We all have obligations. Life just gets busier and busier with each passing year. Whether it’s racing, volleyball, dance, biking, the gym, or yoga, so many of us (and I think women, especially) let our passions fall to the wayside in favour of work and home obligations. Obviously, life happens and exercise gets put on the back burner at times (I’ve skipped many workouts over the past few months!), but that doesn’t mean I have to give up on a passion all together.

This isn’t to say that I’m going to bite off more than I can chew. I’m going to try to be realistic with the time I will have to race. I’m going to start with shorter 5k or 10k races, that require little training other than the running I’ve already been doing. I’m not trying to achieve a certain time goal right now or win the race (ok maybe I am, bahah). I just want to allow myself the opportunity to get back into something I love. That is definitely attainable.

On that note, I’m excited to let you know that I’ve signed up for three races over the next few months:

1) Sunday Feb 12 (in 2 days!): The Valentine’s Day Couples & Singles 5k, Burlington, ON (I’m going as a SINGLE, anyone want to be my hot date?)

2) Sunday March 4th: Chilly Half Marathon and Frosty 5k, Burlington, ON (I’m doing the 5k)

3) Sunday April 22Toronto Yonge Street 10k, Toronto, ON

I’m looking for buddies…so let me know if you want to join me!

~~~

Is there an activity or hobby that you are thinking of starting up again? Or a totally new-to-you activity that you’ve been thinking of trying out?

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{ 129 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim February 10, 2012

I would love to run with you, but I’m in Portland, Oregon :0( Have a great time at the race this weekend!

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Angela February 10, 2012

Thanks Kim! :)

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Rachel February 10, 2012

I can totally relate! I’m a triathlete and racing is basically my life – it’s been a while because they’re during the spring/summer, and now that the end of the uni school year is in sight I’m getting so excited to get back into it. So true that there’s nothing like the rush after pushing yourself!

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Laura February 10, 2012

Chilly is an awesome race if you haven’t done it before! I ran it in 2010, but I’m not doing it this year…it’s Around the Bay for me instead! I’m loving our winter too, it’s so easy to run outside!

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Kristy @ KristyRuns February 10, 2012

I always love running races, but I’d love to get into weights a little. I have zero upper-body strength and want to change that! :)

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jaimie February 10, 2012

im doing the chilly half!! i did it last year – its hard! and cold!

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Angela February 10, 2012

Good luck!! I can imagine the challenge of running the half in the cold. What temp was it last year? One of my halfs was run in -2C and that just about did me in! lol

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jaimie February 10, 2012

it was just terrible! rain followed by snowstorm the day/night before, and i think it was about -6 with windchill…froze the roads, and the cups of water at the ice stations! luckily this year has been milder and hopefully it will be a nice day on the 4th!

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Angela February 10, 2012

ahhh crazy. I guess you never know what you’re going to get in march!! Here’s hoping for a nice day :)

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amanda February 10, 2012

I’m running the Toronto Yonge Street 10K! It’ll be my first race back after an injury last year and I can’t wait. Hopefully I’ll see ya there!

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Angela February 10, 2012

I hope to see you there too! Have you run it before?

I did a half along that same (or similar route) there are more hills than they lead on…lol. But it was fun running down yonge st.

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Stephanie @ Legally Blinde February 10, 2012

Thanks for the positive message! I also have to remind myself that passions change and evolve, and it’s okay not to do everything all at once. And I was just talking to my friend yesterday about how there will always be an excuse for not having time to go to the gym or do whatever other physical activity you prefer, so it’s essential to make it a part of your schedule just like work or classes. Good luck with your races!!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 10, 2012

Congrats on rekindling your love for racing Ange!! I’m also doing the same this year, and am so excited for the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon in Vancouver in August. It’s been ages since I’ve raced but I really want to do another one! And rock climbing is something I’ve put on my vision board for this year so I’m determined to make it happen. Good luck in the race on Sunday – even though you’re entering as a single I hope your other half will be there taking photos for you! ;)

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Jenny February 10, 2012

Angela this is a beautiful post. I think it is important to take breaks from hardcore training like running. I didn’t realize how important it was until my body burnt out. You are a great role model and a great inspiration! Good luck with training.

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Jess February 10, 2012

Good luck on your 5k this weekend! If you’re looking for a 1/2, you should consider the GoodLife Toronto half-marathon on May 6th. I’m still looking for running buddies :)

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Jasper @ crunchylittlebites February 10, 2012

I am not “re-kindling” a love, rather, kindling a new one altogether! – cycling! – I have always “said” that I want to bike but now I actually am and I have a commuter bike but I am wanting to get a used road bike PLUS I am thinking about kindling triathlon love THANKS to OSG as in your years past, I read, and find inspiration! thanks angela :)

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Jasper Naomi @ crunchylittlebites February 10, 2012

ps I facebook ya AND I tweeted babay!…there’s always MORE to promote about OSG…thazzz why I LOVE it!

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Beth February 10, 2012

Congratulations on getting back into racing! We make time for the things that are important to us. Best of luck to you!

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Shruti February 10, 2012

Oh this post is a reminder for me to get back to running and my other long-forgotten hobby-Painting! Maybe I should get back to it this weekend. Thanks Angela for the inspiration.

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Danielle February 10, 2012

I’m training for my first 1/2 marathon in April! It has helped me to have a purpose for running, so I decided to fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s been a great experience so far, and gives me more motivation to push myself.

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Liz February 10, 2012

For various reasons, I have been on race hiatus since probably July last year (except for a Turkey Trot), but getting back into it starting in April with a 5K and then a couple of 10k’s over the summer. I had wanted to do a half in April, but it’s just not realistic with our schedule over the next two months. My husband has signed up for a 3 race series, so I have to compete with that :)

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Rachel @Balance and Blueberries February 10, 2012

Running! After a severe (unrelated) injury last fall, I’m rebuilding time and distance, slowly but surely. It feels sooo good to get back into it!

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Anna S February 10, 2012

I haven’t been able to run at a great racing pace the last few years – pregnancy put an end to that. But I did run a 10k 4 months after our daughter was born. It was SO great to be running again. Then last year at the same race (Valley Harvest Marathon in Nova Scotia) I ran a 5k just to get back into it. I came across an old race bib and that has motivated me to run a 5k this year (at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax) and try for a personal best under 29:16minutes. Fingers crossed. Good luck on your runs!

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Angela February 10, 2012

Goodluck to you!! That’s so great that you are getting back into it too. I find it’s always hard to start something, but once I do, I find it’s not so bad. ;)

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Cait's Plate February 10, 2012

Congrats on signing up! Sometimes just having something on the calendar gets your race juices flowing! :)

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Leah February 10, 2012

Love this bit..
“That’s when I realized that being busy is exactly the reason to get back into a long lost activity. We’re all busy. We all have obligations. Life just gets busier and busier with each passing year. Whether it’s racing, volleyball, dance, biking, the gym, or yoga, so many of us (and I think women, especially) let our passions fall to the wayside in favour of work and home obligations. Obviously, life happens and exercise gets put on the back burner at times…”

Yup. Especially in the last year. I’m busy with home life, work life (as i’ve taken on more responsibility), social life etc.. that I just think exercise has really fallen onto the back burner – I feel like the old me (exercise 5-6 days a week) isn’t achievable. BUT exercising 3-4 days a week should be, and could be if I made it a complete priority. I feel better about everything if i do.

Good luck with your upcoming races!

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Angela February 10, 2012

I agree that it really spills over into everything. Working out not only makes me healthier, but it makes it easier to concentrate on work and a more positive person in my everyday life. It’s easy to forget that sometimes though! Goodluck with your goals :) I wish you were here to run with!

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Leah February 10, 2012

I know!! Someday we’ll work out together again!

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Kennedy @ Running After Balance February 10, 2012

I’m so excited for you to get back into racing!! I’ve never done any of those races, but I’ve heard about the Valentine’s Day 5k and it sounds super fun :) I look forward to reading your recaps!
I chose Sporting Life (on May 13th) over the Yonge St. 10k this year, but if you’re ever looking for a racing buddy in Toronto, I’m your girl!

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Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles February 10, 2012

Congrats on indulging the running bug again, Angela! I can’t wait to read about your training plan & race prep, since I’m supposed to be in half-marathon mode but am a total newbie! =)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 10, 2012

Good for you! My relationship with running waxes and wanes as well, but I still find there is no better release when life gets busy. There’s just something freeing about it.

Best of luck on the races!

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kaila @ healthyhelper February 10, 2012

All those races sound so fun! I love doing races on holidays…a valentines themed one would be awesome! I definitely want to sign up for some races this year. I haven’t raced since I left my XC team and I am really craving some good competition!

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Vicki February 10, 2012

Love this post – it’s very inspiring! Thanks Angela!

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 10, 2012

I had a baby last month and getting back into racing has been my motivation for exercising post pregnancy. It’s been almost 5 years and I’m so excited to get back into it! Good luck in your races.:-)

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Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes February 10, 2012

I’m not necessarily a runner, but I like it. All those pictures make me want to get into it more! Looks like you’re having fun! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

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Amanda February 10, 2012

Good for you, getting back in the swing of things! I just took up running a few weeks ago (after years of absolutely hating everything about it) and I am totally in love. In fact, I’ve signed up for my first 5K in July! And just as a general life rule right now, I’m trying to make more time for any and everything that keeps me happy–painting, working out, playing piano, spending more time with family and friends. It’s amazing what a difference it makes!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh February 10, 2012

Yay! That’s great! I’m sure you’ll do wonderful in the races. We all need to shake it up from time to time but it’s nice to go back to those tried and true things as well!

I would REALLY love to kayak this year. We’re thinking of buying our own but working out the logistics of storage and roof racks. I’m tired of saying “one day” on some things and as soon as my weight is appropriate, I’ll be ziplining for sure! Really hoping for that this year!

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Ashley February 10, 2012

I just signed up for a running group that will be training for the Portland Marathon in October! Ick!! Exciting, but scary! :)

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes February 10, 2012

how fun!! Good for you girl :)

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit February 10, 2012

Good for you, Angela! I bet you’ll have lots of fun in those races. I too dropped off from running for a bit to let my body heal from a couple of injuries. I just picked it up this week, running 1-2 km every second day and I loved it! I’m taking off to India in a couple of days, when when I return, I hope to register for a couple of races and really get back into the game!

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Rachel B February 10, 2012

I compete for my University for cross county and nordic skiing, but this is my last year.. I’m actually looking forward to not having the pressure of college competition for skiing next year since I think it makes me put too much pressure on myself and takes away from my love of the sport itself. I cant wait to just go for long ski’s in the woods without having “training” in the back of my mind. Congrats for getting back into racing!! Taking the time for yourself to get back into it is always satisfying, even when you feel overwhelmingly busy. I feel like nothing eases the mind more than pushing yourself through a race and the endorphin rush that follows :)

what kind of camelback do you use and is it comfortable?? I’ve never tried running with one but I’d like to train for a marathon this summer and I think it would definitely come in handy!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 10, 2012

im not sure what model it is, but I love it. The only annoying part is that it’s hard to keep clean. I think I bought the smallest model available.

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Allison February 10, 2012

This post really couldn’t have come at better time for me. I woke up this morning thinking about how I used to dedicated myself running for hours training for a half marathon and now I can’t find time to do 20 minutes of yoga in my bedroom! I think sometimes we just need to add that extra kick of motivation (like we get from training for a race) to get our priorities reorganized. Thanks for an inspiring post!

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Melissa February 10, 2012

One of my girlfriends asked me to run the Yonge Street 10K with her…I haven’t run a 10K in almost 2 years… I fell out of love with running and was really into Turbo Jam for a while. But like you, I’ve really been enjoying this mild winter for running (in Oakville). Anyway, here’s hoping for a successful 10K. I will keep my eye out for you at the race :) Good luck on Sunday!

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Jen February 10, 2012

Have so much fun running!!! Unfortunately I live too far away to run with you (Chicago). I’ve just starting training this week for a 1/2 Marathon in Nashville, TN (4/28) and forgot just how much I enjoy running too!

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Kerry burns February 10, 2012

That’s great that you signed yourself up for some races. That totally gives you a goal to get mentally and physically ready for. I am running the Chilly half for the first time this year. I had a baby 9 months ago and have done a couple races in the past few months to rekindle my love of running and racing too. I’m a bit scared for the half though as its been a few years since running a half…not to mention the potential weather factor!! Yikes.
Ever think of doing the Zoo 10km? I think it’s in October? I hear it’s great…wanna sign up?

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning February 10, 2012

I used to run races ALL the time, but haven’t done one in almost 2 years! I just wasn’t interested in it last year, and my part-time job teaching Spinning and Bodypump kind of took over (and left very little time for running). I’m sure I’ll get the bug to race again, but for now, there’s nothing booked. I do like the idea of traveling to do a race though… perhaps to Canada? :) What a great excuse to travel.
Good luck with your upcoming races!

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Carly February 10, 2012

If you decide to run a race in August, I’ll be in Burlington and would love to run with you :) Because there’s nothing more fun than running in ridiculous summer humidity right?

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 10, 2012

That’s exciting that you’re going to start racing again. I have tried so many things over the years; dabbled with a little bit of this and that, and I have found that what works for me is a combo of running and yoga. I love them both, they give me what I need mentally and physically, and I can do them on my own timetable and don’t need a gym membership for since I do them on my own (running outside) and yoga at home.

Can’t wait to hear about your races!

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Wendy Irene February 10, 2012

That is wonderful you are getting back into something you love! This year I have committed to do doing Yoga at least 3 times per week, intermixed with my other exercise activities. Yoga is a huge stress reliever for me, and the more I do it the more I realize just how much it means to me and how big of an impact it has on my life. Have a wonderful weekend!

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