Published on August 9th, 20130
Everyday Stories: Just RunBy Sean Kinden, Aud(C), SAC Board of Directors, Director from Newfoundland and Labrador This article has been republished from the Summer 2013 issue of Communiqué. Please note that this article was originally published when Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) was called the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA).
I chuckled to myself when I was asked to consider writing an article from the perspective of a “running enthusiast”. Those who have known me over the years are probably having a chuckle as well. Up until about a year ago the only running I did was from the couch to the fridge; the physical act of running was not in my vocabulary. As a father of two boys who play hockey, I would spend countless hours sitting in the stands at our local arena with my Tim’s, watching these crazy people make me dizzy running, jogging and walking around the indoor track.
Life, however, is not always full of sunlight and strawberry bubble gum. After a particularly stressful fall and Christmas in 2011, I decided to take some time off work to make myself healthy again. My daily routine as such did not change, other than instead of going to work I would hit the treadmill. I very quickly found out that running was a great way to lower stress, forget your worries and ease your mind, albeit for the short length of time I was in motion. After a while, I decided that it was time to get off the treadmill and join those crazy people at the track. Even though I felt like a hamster in a cage, I started to realize that I could run for sustained periods and 15 minutes turned into 30 and subsequently into 60! Then, on a sunny day in March, I got enough confidence to take my running outside. It was wonderful: the sunshine, the fresh air, the sounds, the feel of the wind on your face all contributed to the beginning of an addiction. I began running every day, signed up for a race and in early May I ran my first 10K in 44 minutes. I subsequently followed it up two weeks later by running a half marathon, completing it in 97 minutes. I had no idea that these were actually pretty good times. I just wanted to run, to get that runners high, to think of nothing but where my next step would land or whether there was a hill around the next turn.
As last summer progressed, so did my running and all that goes along with it. That’s right, all that goes along with it. I’ve found out that running simply isn’t running. There are running clubs, running communities and running rooms. I began to read running magazines, purchase running shoes with a specific heal to toe ratio (who knew???) and plan meals around specific amounts of proteins and carbohydrates needed to run X number of kilometers. Living in rural Newfoundland, a great deal of our summer camping is spent in the local parks. Previously, camping meant sleeping in late and for the rest of the day sitting around a camp fire with friends enjoying a beverage, pretty much all weekend. Now it’s up with the sun and I run the 16K back to my house just to get a shower! (Yes, there are showers in the park, just too close to my campsite for a good run.) I convinced my wife to start running with me and we ran the trails around the park. In August, we hiked Gros Morne Mountain, the highest mountain on the island portion of Newfoundland. She now accompanies me for the first few kilometers of my run, two to three times a week and is perhaps becoming a running enthusiast as well.
I had never thought of, or considered myself, a running enthusiast; however, after writing this, I am starting to believe I may be. In one year I have logged over 2000 kms (15 of which were around the Rideau Canal during our CASLPA fall Board meeting), ran four races, lost 40 lbs and worn out three pairs of sneakers and it has certainly been the catalyst to regaining both my physical and mental health. Recently, I set a goal to complete a full marathon. And, on the Victoria Day holiday, I ran the Run for the Red Marathon in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, completing it in 3 hours and 22 minutes, a time that qualifies me for next year’s Boston Marathon! I have already registered and plan to train for and complete Newfoundland’s first ultra-marathon — the Deer Lake 67 — a 67 km race around trails, old woods, roads and rivers.
All in all, running has me in the best shape I have perhaps ever been in my life. I can’t wait each day to lace up my shoes and hit the road. It’s my time to clear away the day’s thoughts and just run.Photo: Sean Kinden participating at the local Commander Gander 10K road race finishing first in his age category.
Sean Kinden, Aud(C)
SAC Board of Directors, Director from Newfoundland and Labrador