You want to get high? Just lace em up.
Growing up within 30 kilometres of somebody else playing in the same deciduous forests, swimming in the same cold bay and going to the same movie theatre does not guarantee that you will become the same kind of people.
Take Katherine Moore and I. We both spent our formative years in rural Southern Ontario towns a stones throw from one another, but when it comes to our respective running regimes, Im as quick to toss mine aside as she is regimented about hers.
Lets talk marathons. Moores done a half in 1:21:12 not too far off the time it takes me to run 10km, which shes done in 36:22. She was the top Canadian female finisher at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2011 (with a time of 2:48:48) and broke the three-hour mark for women (2:54) in 2008s Victoria GoodLife Fitness Marathon. By comparison, I broke my gait on the last jog I took when I saw a pub on the corner. Then I popped in for a pint.
The fact is that I love the idea of running. Its so economical, so primal, and so easy to do wherever you are. But it causes me physical discomfort sometimes even pain when I do it.
You have to start with almost a walk-run until your body gets used to the pounding, says Moore, whose yoga classes at YYoga draw a devoted following.
Ah yes, the pounding: the aching knees, blistered feet and feeling that someone has stabbed you in the hip flexor. Or maybe thats just me? Its easy to see why runners do yoga, I comment. But why the hell would a yogi want to run?
Moore snickers. They shouldnt no wait, dont write that down! The real answer is the cardiovascular workout, she finishes diplomatically.
But I know its not the entire answer, either. The true reason that people run is for The High; for that exhilarated plateau that runners inevitably hit when the mind and body hum together in a finely tuned, euphoric state and the endorphins start flowing. You can practically see The High light up across Moores face when she talks about running; the corners of her mouth start to curl towards her eyebrows and her eyes light up. Shes already halfway there just thinking about it.
Moores been running since she was a kid, back in our days growing up in rural Grey County, but yoga she discovered later in life, when she moved to Vancouver for university. My body knew I needed it, she says, reflecting.
Runnings a stress because youre pushing yourself. Yogas the complete opposite. It lets you improve your form, keeps your mind relaxed and keeps you conscious of your breathing. What you learn in yoga is knowing your limits.
To my delight (because Moore is both slender and muscular) she says she doesnt spend a lot of time in the gym: I dont like it, though if my coach says go to the gym then I go to the gym.
But she does train hard. Think: core work, activation drills, hours practising yoga, running, running and more running. When shes in Vancouver she laces up with buddy Kevin OConnor, a fellow Vancouver Falcons Athletic Clubber who placed 12th in this years Sun Run. And she makes trips to Colorado to train at altitude with Olympian and runner Kathy Butler (whose marathon personal best is 2:28:39).
An Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, Moores naturally highly involved in the inaugural SeaWheeze Lululemon Half Marathon, happening on Saturday, August 11. (The traditional yogawear company has forayed into stylish, highly considered running gear over the last few years.)
Shes even developed a 12-week training program that includes running and yoga for anyone who wants to tackle the SeaWheeze and built an iPhone app for it, which launches at the end of April. And yes, shell be running it, too. Though dont worry about eating her dust at the BMO Vancouver Marathon (happening Sunday, May 6; its sold out). She advises that shes focused on short distance right now: five and 10 kilometre races.
I dont know if I could run 2:29 thats so fast, Moore ruminates over her cup of herbal tea.
But I dont believe a word of it because as she says it, The High is already there, stretching across her face.