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Pique N' Your Interest

The upward spiral



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Exercising has an addictive, upward spiral kind of effect. If you do a 5 km run, you start training for the 10 km. If you run 10 km, you start training for a half marathon. Before you know it, you’re racing P-Diddy to the finish in the New York marathon, feet crying out in pain, band-aids clamped over your bleeding nipples.

Some people have no problem with this kind of fitness commitment because they’ve based their entire life on exercise. They actually enjoy training for marathons, triathlons, Ironman triathlons, and adventure races because it’s their hobby. When they get to the finish line they’re grinning like idiots because they’ve trained their brains over the years to release endorphins when they reach the point of exhaustion.

Me? I already have a few hobbies that I have no interest in changing. I like playing guitar, I like reading, I like writing, I like laying around and listening to music, I like watching movies, I like watching sports, I like cooking and I like eating.

But something has to give in order to be healthy, I just haven’t decided what. My work life doesn’t have any kind of regular routine to it, so it’s hard to get into a routine in my personal life that allows my to exercise regularly.

I also have to learn to love to exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I like exercise, I have nothing against exercise, but I’m not at the point where I get a rush of endorphins at the halfway mark.

Sadly, my main motivating factor these days is fear. In recent years I’ve made a practice of signing up for long-distance events that are truly beyond my abilities, which in turn scares me into training.

This weekend I’m taking part in the Comfortably Numb Trail Running Race, a 25 km trail run on Whistler’s longest singletrack. There’s over 4,000 vertical feet of climbing, followed by a technical descent.

I’ve never run more than 16 km at one time, and despite almost four months of training I never quite got up to the Comfortably Numb distance. This event will be my longest run, pavement or trail, and I have no idea what to expect.

If I do well, I’ve already committed myself to the Rubble Creek Run in September, and possibly running a marathon in the next two years.

I’m not a great mountain biker and my bike isn’t really built for long distances, but I’m also committed to racing the 42 km beginner Cheakamus Challenge Course in the fall.