Rekindling a Love for Racing

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 10, 2012

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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!

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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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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

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Lia February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

You know, this is a great post because so many people DO leave things they love due to the busy-ness of life and look back, decades later, and wish they had stuck to those things that made them so happy. I’ve been feeling that way recently actually. Though, I’ve been feeling something like what you said about feeling like I have to find a way to get everything in in the same period of my life. I’ve been getting more involved in big cooking projects and hopefully moving it into the professional sphere, and I’ve almost finished yoga teacher training, another activity that fell to the side for years. Now I’ve been wondering what happened to film editing (an expensive, time intensive, years of my happy life activity I was so adament about making my career once upon a time), and botany, which has also dwindled in its presence. But recent circumstance has conspired to lay these opportunities on a platter for me to pick up and place back into my life. These are the coincidences we should all learn to see, appreciate, and take full advantage of.

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Melissa Shirey February 11, 2012 at 8:21 am

My sister asked me to run a few 5k’s with her this summer. I havent run since high school track, which is 20 years ago!!! I had been tossing around the idea of adding running to my workouts (weights/pilates/yoga), so I start “Couch to 5k” training the first sunday in March. I am nervous but excited!!!

Good luck in your race in 2 days~ talk about overcomming anxiety :)

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Thea Brown February 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

First of all I LOVE your blog! I never write on blogs, but I just love yours so much. I honestly have cooked so many of your recipes and your pictures are always so fun and beautiful! So thank you because I know it takes a lot of work.

Second, your activity over your life is my life exactly. I was a mega gym rat in university, started running, loved running, started running in winters (not so easy sometimes). Got into bikram yoga, and moksha yoga, and am now back to running and doing Bodyrocktv!

I would totally run with you, but I am in Halifax and don’t return to Oakville till the 15th! But best of luck and go get em and keep on with the amazing blog! LOVE IT!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

Thank you Thea, you are so sweet! I would love to run with you too. Sounds like we’d have lots to talk about being fellow maritimers and all!

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Thea Brown February 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

I am actually from Vancouver originally and have lived in toronto/oakville for 8 years and now 2 out in Halifax, coast to coast!

I will be in Oakville from the 15th to the 21st right near appleby college if you up for a run!! I am sure I will head out for a lovely lakeshore run on the 16th!

Have a wonderful sunday!!!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

Thats wonderful that you rekindled your love for running!! I need to rekindle my love to exercise! I’m burning out!!!

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Drisana (SoulShineBlog) February 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

Sounds like you are going to be a busy gal filling your life with awesome stuff!!

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[email protected] February 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

ah, awesome Angela! I guess we all have things that we naturally stop doing for a lil short while b/c of other things that are happening~but I think that hiatus is good in some ways b/c it rekindles everything, and we come back stronger! :D It used to be like that with running for me. Now I’m back into it although I wasn’t super hard core back then, and I’m not hard core now….I just–run! And I run because it’s enjoyable and a great challenge. Maybe I should think in even more simple ways like Forrest Gump and run forever lol.

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Michele February 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I’ve been doing triathlons for 3 years and was runner before that. I recently did Ironman Arizona, which required A LOT of training last year, and after the Ironman, I was tapped out. I tried to stay on a workout schedule, but 3 weeks after the race, I ended up suffering a horrible calf strain jumping rope with children! The irony! I was on crutches for almost 3 weeks and since then haven’t done much. I know it’s the “off-season” but i need to get back to doing something and sometimes when you’ve had a break, it’s hard to get back into. But you have to listen to your body – and your mind – and now I’m at the point where both my body and mind are ready to get moving again. Sometimes it’s good to have some distance from something to let you miss it for awhile…thanks!
Kick some butt at your races this year!

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Meg February 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I was actually supposed to be in Toronto tomorrow and woulda loved to join you for the race however the baby blizzard that hit my city has deterred me from the drive.. Have fun! Good for you on getting back at it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

leave it to me to pick a race when it storms and the temp drops dramatically! haha

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Kate February 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Glad to hear you are getting back into racing – its a HUGE part of my life and I love it so much.

I’ve been trying to get into dance classes lately, I danced when I was a kid and let it go when I started to grow up! I took my first salsa class last week!

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Jessica @ Hungrygems February 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Sometimes you lose attention in a hobby because new ones surface that you want to pursue instead, and sometimes you lose focus on a hobby because something in your life has taken away your ability to do it. Either way, it’s important to be involved in something that fulfills you and if you ever want to go back or are given the chance to be reunited, it will be there waiting with open arms. Enjoy your run and kick some butt!

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Nikki @ Active Vegetarian February 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Congrats on reconnecting with something you love…

I know the feeling, I used to train/teach Kickboxing/Muay Thai and
got away from it for several months…I trained a few weeks ago
and it was awesome!

There are lots of beautiful mountains in BC to accomplish ;-)

Good Luck with your race tomorrow!!

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[email protected] Mother Runner February 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Congratulations on resparking the racing bug. Good luck tomorrow!

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Elly February 12, 2012 at 12:40 am

I’m so excited to hear that you are racing again! I’ve recently re-kindled my love of racing as well (I had a 6 year hiatus though!) and I ran a 10k in November last year and I’m running a half marathon in July this year. I would love to be your racing buddy – but I’m in Australia, so maybe we can be virtual training buddies :)

Good luck with your races and your training! Would love to hear updates and hear how your training is going :)

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LizAshlee February 12, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks for the inspiration to get back to doing the things we love! I have let running distance fall by the wayside for a couple reasons but when I think about starting it up I feel as though I don’t have the time…but now perhaps I can let that reason go!

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Nathalie February 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

Horseback riding. I never realized how much I missed it until I started again recently! And I want to enter my first 10K this year…running that is, not horse racing ;-)
Firstly, congratulations on the cook book!!! I am so happy for you and always thought it was a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’!
Most importantly ;-), I just made your vegan brownies. The 1.5 hour wait is just cruel, sooo cruel, so I may have just tried a little bit while they were still warm-ish. They are PERFECT!!! I lightly roasted the walnuts beforehand, I find it gives nuts even more flavour in baked goods. I am thrilled because for some reason my brownie baking attempts always kinda flopped, even when following tried and tested recipes. These won’t last long in this house :-) Thank you for another fantastic recipe!

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Ashley F. February 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

I can totally relate to this! I’m starting my 2012 season with a 7k on St. Patrick’s Day. There’s free beer afterwards so I thought it would be a nice way to ease back into racing :)

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Nia Sayers February 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I’ve always wanted to get into rock climbing but for one reason or another it’s just never happened. And running too. I have a good friend who is running 40 races in 40 states this year to celebrate turning 40. I’ll be 40 in July and would love to cross something off my list. Is it too late to train for a marathon???

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

i dont think it’s ever too late! good luck with whatever you decide :)

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Carolina February 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Angela, you are so fit! Do you do weight training for your legs, or is it just from running? I’d kill for legs like that!

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Jen February 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Absolutely, it’s so easy to get distracted with life when making sure to follow passions like exercise makes us feel so much better, great post, very inspiring :).

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Truan February 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I’d really like to take up some form of dance, or maybe pilates. I tried adult ballet last year, and I really felt in over my head! Might give it another shot though…? :)

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Triathlonbabe February 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

Ahhh the rekindling of racing…I love the sound of that. I ran a 5k last Nov. for the first time since March, when I ran the Dallas Rock n Roll. I hadn’t trained at all and actually ran the 5k faster than I thought I would and that was with no training, no running, just kickboxing. Weird…but I felt like I rekindled it then but still didn’t run again until this past Sat. when I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k with a friend that had never run a race before. This was her first and of course, the weather was very cold, which has not been the norm for the N TX area as of late. I totally get the rekindling and thought about getting back to triathlon again but just haven’t found that mojo. I’ll continue running and kickboxing but I also want to get back to hot yoga again. Thanks for the inspriration to get back to things we’ve wanted to for awhile!

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Jennifer February 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I have always needed a goal of some sort to keep working out interesting and worth doing. Most of the time it has been running races. But this year I have signed up for a tough mudder race and I can’t wait. I’m 39 and know that this will be by far a great feat to finish. I am already training and the race isn’t until Sept. 8. Give it a look see, they have them all over: www.toughmudder.com

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Jennifer February 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

By the way, the tough mudder is all for a good cause as well: Wounded Warrior Project

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Aryn February 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

That is great that you are rekindling your love for racing! I am looking to run a 10 K in the spring but can’t decide whether I should register for the Sporting Life 10 K or for the Toronto Yonge Street race!

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K.Lee July 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Hey that’s awesome! you’re actually near me???! i ran the ottawa half marathon last year, and the whitby half this spring. but i’m hoping to do the toronto scotia bank half in oct. will you be doing that one?

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