Personal Finance Side Hobby: Running

As a little diversion from personal finance, one of my biggest hobbies, stress relievers, source of exercise and general mood booster is running.

I’ve been running for over 14 years, with varying levels of competitiveness- with two years on a city team ranking as one of the top 3 runners in the province for middle distance. I’ve raced probably over a hundred times, primarily in the 800m, 1500m, 5k categories. I once also race-walked (which I found super weird but I could still teach you how to do!) and previously did the Ottawa Half-Marathon (half on a whim).

Now I’m gearing up for my second half-marathon, and the first I have actually trained for! Less than 3 weeks from now I’ll run the Hypothermic Half in Calgary and I’m now only scared about the weather.

I’ve been training since October for this race, mostly because I run 4-6x a week anyways for exercise, and actually having a training schedule makes me feel more motivated for the difference in duration, intensity and difficulty of each run, instead of slogging 4-6k every morning around the same blocks.

One thing I just recently noticed is a change in my attitude towards this training. There was a big part of my life where running was absolutely not a healthy thing- it took up way too much of my mind and worry, and every time I had a ‘bad’ run, or where I didn’t meet my lofty always set a personal-record expectation I would be disappointed.

I just noticed now that every time I am scheduled to go for a long run, I’m treating it as an experiment. It’s not- ‘oh  that run was slow and I felt tired and sick and I’m never going to do this half and I’m the worst’. It’s now- ‘ok so those 5 k were slow- maybe I don’t run before breakfast if I’m running more than 10k at a time’, or ‘that part was really on pace, maybe I should go easy at first and trust that I’ll gradually get faster.’

I’m not a competitive runner and I haven’t been for a long time.

This is my hobby, my pastime and possibly one of my passions. But it’s still running.

I so happy to realize that I can go out there now and just try.

Just see what happens.

Not that I don’t push myself, but to try new strategies or new times of day, new routes, etc and see what works and what doesn’t.

There is no such thing as a bad run now because I can learn from it and get better or more clearly understand my limits.

And this just only makes my relationship to running more balanced and healthy in every way.

Aside from personal finance- what are your biggest hobbies? What is your relationship to exercise and outdoor activities?

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