Sunday, January 27, 2013

Running Lessons: Sometimes you just gotta have faith

I spent a good part of my weekend embroiled in an on-line discussion with a group of old friends about the meaning and purpose of "faith" in today's world. It was an animated discussion that I suspect left many of us thinking a little harder about the values and beliefs that have shaped our lives.  

As I pondered this post, it occurred to me that faith has played as big part in my running career too - faith in my body's capacity to get stronger, faith in my ability to overcome fear and insecurity and do things I never thought I could do, and faith in the wisdom and good intention of the many fellow runners and coaches who've offered support, encouragement and advice.  

Whenever I take on a new running challenge, I remind myself that I can't know for sure that I'll be successful. Lots could happen to prevent me from attaining my goal. All I can do is work hard, pay attention to what my body's telling me, take whatever good advice I'm offered, trust that my friends and family will be there to support me, enjoy the process as much as I can and have faith that things will work out. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't but, whatever happens, holding onto to that faith helps keep my spirits up and my nose to the grindstone.  

I suspect there's a good metaphor for life in there somewhere but I'm too pooped to try articulating it tonight so guess I'm going to have to leave it to you to figure out.  ;-)

I'm pooped because we had a relatively busy weekend in the country. In addition to two runs (a mellow 8k along the river on Saturday and a challenging 10k trail run through the snow today), Husband and I went snowshoeing, did some renovation planning and toured the South Shore.  

We didn't venture far on our snowshoes - just spent a pleasant hour wandering the four wooded acres we own behind our house. I intended to take a bunch of photos but got distracted by discussions of where we should build the gazebo and whether any of the big old pine trees needs to come down.  They're gorgeous, majestic white pines that reach 80 or 90 feet into the air so I'd prefer to leave them where they are forever. Unfortunately, they're also very old and several are showing signs of rot so eventually I'm afraid we'll have no choice but to fell them. However, I'm pleased to report that we concluded it needn't be this year - which is good thing since I spotted a pair of eagles soaring overhead Saturday afternoon. They'd be very disappointed if their favourite perches disappeared.

When we'd had enough snowshoeing, we grabbed a snack and headed for Mahone Bay to do some shopping. Husband has begun work on his next project - the addition of a half bathroom - so we needed to select a toilet and sink.  While he's at it, he'll replace the shallow old-fashioned tub in the main bathroom with a nice deep soaker - perfect for warming up after a wintry LSR.

Shopping out of the way, we meandered along the Mahone Bay waterfront for a bit while I grabbed a few shots with my shiny new Nikon. The sky and ice really looked this blue!

Mahone bay is one heck of a picturesque little place. I love how people paint their houses different colours. 

Husband borrowed my camera for a minute to take this photo of me. 

Speaking of the camera, I've really been enjoying my photography course. This week's assignment was to get more comfortable with the zoom lens so I went on a photo walk on my way home from work one evening to see what images I could get. Here are the two I liked best from that walk. I've got lots to learn but I love the way the camera captures so much colour and light!

It's time I signed off now and tucked into bed. I've a busy week ahead - though I won't be training much. I hope to run the Falmouth Freezer Half Marathon next weekend so plan to rest my legs as much as possible between now and then. Stay tuned for a race report next weekend.  I hear it's a terrific little local event and the forecast is good so I'm looking forward to it.

Before I sign off,  here's a quick summary of my training over the past couple of weeks for the running geeks in the crowd:

Week of January 14-20:
Total # of runs: 3
Total distance: 32 kms
Longest run: 18 kms  (half of it up some freakin' big hills!)

Week of January 21-27:
Total # of runs: 3
Total distance: 24 kms
Longest run: 10 kms
Other training: 2 yoga classes

Have a great week everyone!  If you feel like leaving a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on where "faith" fits in your life,  and when and how you express your creativity.


  1. I liked Mahone Bay well enough, even though the kayaking nearly killed me. The shots are very nice. A photography course. An actual course. I hadn't really realized they still did that. Is it worth while for you? Are you learning stuff?

    Faith. Hmmm. That isn't a word I use much, mainly because it is so intertwined with religion, but I see that you aren't using it that way at all. Hmmmm.

    1. Yes, the photography course is worth it, Keith. It had been ages since I used anything but a point and shoot and I wanted to learn what my camera could really do if I took it off auto. The course is a beginner's course so is just scratching the surface but I'm loving having homework - i.e. a reason to go shooting.

      Faith - yes, one of our big points of contention this weekend was what we meant by the term. Many people wanted to use it interchangeably with "religion" - and the most heinous forms of dogmatic religion at that. I don't obviously. Here, I guess I meant something closer to "belief without proof".

  2. I love that first picture of the Walk-About Photography Adventure, Janice (nice composition). Good message on faith - and applicable to all aspects of life. I'm a bit like Keith when I hear the word Faith, tending to look at it with religious connotations - but I get what you're saying. I think the majority of us rely on faith (or hope, if faith is too religious) in our everyday lives. Without it, whether we believe it that's what it is or not, most of us would curl up in a ball and not venture forth in our lives.

    You'll be happy to know that I ran Crescent Beach on Sunday - wind chill and all :) Glad you had a good weekend!!

  3. Thanks, Janet. And, yes, you're right that I meant something closer to hope - see above.

    Glad to hear you managed to run outside this weekend but Crescent must have been bitter on Sunday morning. Brrrr. David and I ran along the trail where we were relatively protected and our faces still got pretty darned cold. You definitely earned some bragging rights with that run!!

    Hope the rest of your weekend was good as well!

  4. Once again, more beautiful photos. :)

    Any new races planned?

    1. Thanks! Not quite sure what I'm doing this spring - maybe a full marathon in Fredericton. In the fall, I'd like to run Cape to Cabot in Newfoundland. It's only 20k but it's a tough 20k.