I am not a runner. Or so I’ve told myself for the past 20 years. I ran and competed in track in high school, but I was only good at the 100 meter sprint – anything long-distance I hated. And so, I decided I wasn’t a runner.
This January, a colleague of mine decided to put together a corporate team for a local 10km run. Her and I are friends and she asked me if I’d run. My first instinct was, “No way, I’m not a runner!” but then I stopped myself before those words left my mouth. And thought for a minute. No, I’ve never liked long-distance running before, but why not push myself into doing something I’m not good at? Why not try? Why not get better?
And so I said sure. Sure, I will do this thing that I think I am terrible at. Sure, I will risk making a fool of myself. Sure, I will push myself. Sure, I will try.
So since January, I have been running at least twice a week – our training plan started us running only 1 minute intervals, and I remember that first run thinking “This isn’t so bad,” and then the next week running 2 minute intervals thinking, “Hmm, maybe this is going to be harder than I thought.” My emotions fluctuated from thinking I could do it, to thinking I was crazy for signing up.
Last weekend was our 10km race. My adrenaline was pumping; I was on a high. It was a beautiful sunshiney day, and running with 40,000 other people was exhilarating. It was hard, and my legs ached, and I had to stop and walk a couple of times, but I ran so much of the race with a smile on my face, feeling so happy that I had conquered something that I didn’t think I was good at. I ran the race in 1 hour 7 minutes, beating my goal by 8 minutes, and it felt so good.
Tonight was the first night I didn’t go on my weekly Tuesday training run. It feels weird. So maybe I don’t have to love running to be a runner. But I’m definitely going to keep at it.
These Maple Dill Carrots are a recipe I make often – they’re simple, full of flavour, and we usually have all the ingredients on hand. The carrots are pan-fried in a little olive oil and butter, and then drizzled with maple syrup and a lot of fresh dill. I made them for my pre-run dinner on Saturday night, so maybe I can partly credit my speediness to these carrots ;)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 nub of butter
- 6-8 carrots, peeled with tops cut off
- 1/8 cup real maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (or to taste)
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. While it's melting, halve or quarter carrots lengthwise into roughly equal slices. Add carrots to pan, and occasionally toss while cooking, approx 20 minutes.
- When carrots are tender, drizzle with maple syrup, fresh dill, and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Serve.
- One of my favourite TV cooks, Chuck Hughes, uses the term "nub of butter" and I love it. A "nub" is approximately 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon. But if you're like Chuck, it's always best to err on the side of more butter!!