TORONTO March 5th 2014. Digital Champion Jennifer Wilson started running in the summer of 2010, completing her first race ever at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. After crossing that accomplishment off her list, she resolved to never run again. Luckily, that one didn’t stick, and with the help of a good running buddy, she got off the treadmill and into the streets and never looked back, finishing a variety of races including her first marathon last year. Jennifer is thrilled to be a TYS10K Digital Champion this year as she also trains for what will hopefully be a sub-four 42.2K and her first triathlon. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter @jenwilsonTO and on her blog.
Running Relationships. By Jennifer Wilson
When I first laced up my trainers, it was to run away. I was going through a divorce and wanted something to get me out of the house and make me feel accomplished. What started as a few trips around the block led to my first half-marathon three-and-a-half months later at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Then, I swore I’d never run again. It took too much time, and was boring. I’d crossed it off my bucket list and that was that!
Months passed and my runners gathered dust until a friend asked me to join her for a run. I figured a quick 10K would do no harm, so I headed out. That fun run quickly turned into my second half-marathon, and one of my closest friendships. Those weekly runs became a chance to vent and brag about ups and downs in careers, romances and life in general. Three years later, we’ve both survived some major ups and downs, and we’re still putting work out dates in our calendars.
A little over a year and a half ago, I expanded my running buddy roster. After a stress fracture meant I was sidelined, just weeks before what was supposed to be my first marathon, I was inconsolable. My (fairly new at the time) boyfriend, grasping at ways to make me feel better, offered to train for my next race with me. After cautioning him that it was the 30K, notoriously hilly Around the Bay, my late-sleeping, non-running boyfriend started learning the joys of slippery sidewalks and long, slow runs. A year after our first run, we crossed the finish line of the Niagara Marathon together. Running as a couple provides a great way to de-stress together and discuss our days, plus an awesome way to explore our city and the places we travel.
Running keeps me healthy, for sure, and I love the thrill and camaraderie of race culture. But it’s also become an essential part of some of the most important relationships in my life. How’s that for motivation for getting out for a training run with a friend?