I've been getting down on myself for not writing more often, and then when I think of something I should write about, there's this silly little voice in my head that's like, "No one wants that!" and then I don't write. You know the voice. It's awfully discouraging.
So I'm going to write about something completely different than what I normally focus on and has no impact whatsoever (I think) on my career or current projects.
I used to hate running. I'd rather hike, but since I moved to Toronto (delightfully flat Toronto), my hiking opportunities have been rather limited.
Way back in the day, around ten years ago, I tried running. I signed up for the Nike Women's Half-Marathon in San Francisco and joined Team in Training for coaching. I could barely run a quarter mile when I started, then promptly injured my IT band, managed to finish the half marathon by mostly walking, and announced, "I HATE RUNNING" and promptly stopped doing it.
So, years upon years later, I moved to Toronto and needed to make friends, and during my search for activities, I found RunTOBeer, which schedules runs around Toronto ending at a brewery. Totally free, and you get a free beer at the end.
Hells yes, I am motivated by free things (and especially free beer.)
So I started joining random runs with them about two years ago. There were a few runs were I was the last person to finish the run. My pace wasn't great (~12:30/mi, ~7:30/km), there were a few runs where I quit halfway through, but I'm still motivated by free beer so I kept signing up for them.
This summer I finally started improving, and started signing up for races. Finished a 10k in early summer (1:07:39), and in a fit of madness, signed up for a half-marathon this October.
(Another shout-out to RunTOBeer, who delivered me a beer right before the finish line of the 10k.)
The other big thing that has helped me out was The Adventure Zone podcast. I tried music or random podcasts, but I couldn't quiet the little voice that kept whispering, "I hate this, I hate running, why am I doing this." But I've been loving listening to those dudes play D&D and craft awesome stories and now I look forward to going out to run so I can listen to TAZ.
I think it's funny to note that while I've been doing all this cardio, I haven't lost a pound and am still overweight. See the whole motivated-by-and-loving-food thing. 😅
So yeah, I've been reflecting on how much I used to hate running, but finding the right group of people to run with, combining that with the right distraction to listen to while running, has made it into an enjoyable activity. I'm still slow, but I'm finally seeing some improvements in my speed the last few months. Woohoo.