Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Do It Because I Can, Not Because I Have To

Today I have achieved success.  After running in that Lakefield 5K and finishing in 21:20, and being able to run the hillish course around my house in 21:57 I knew that I could crack 21 minutes if I had the chance. A flat course and strong legs would do the trick.

As we know my stated goal at the start of the year for a 5K run was 20 minutes or less.  For the last while I have been inching ever closer to that mark.  For a long time I have been stuck at just over 21 minutes though and I was mentioning to Jodi that I was not sure if I was ever going to get down to 20.  I think part of the whole thing was that I was doing a lot of my running after work, and really at that time my body has already started into shut down mode.  I’m drowsy on the way home or to the gym or karate and it is by sheer force of will that I even accomplish anything at all.

Today I was ready.  It was Saturday morning, I had gotten a good nights sleep, it was a perfect temperature outside, all I had to do was go.  So go I did.  I ran around my block four and a half times, and that equals out to 5K.

5k route

Do not be fooled by the jagged elevation at the bottom.  The difference in the height of land is only about half a metre.  I finished my first kilometre in just barely over four minutes and simply continued to push the pace the entire time. 

I continued my laps and by the time I was on the home stretch I still had a little bit more to give and I made sure to extend each stride for the last kilometre or so.  I bounded past the stop sign at the corner of Hopkins and Cambridge and hit the time on my stopwatch.  I knew I was going to beat 21 minutes, the question was ‘By how much?’


That translates to 14.93Km/h! (9.28mph)

It’s not 20 minutes or less.  But it is pretty bloody close.  I know it is doable now, it is totally within my reach. I can do this.

This experience and a bit of a discussion at karate this morning got me thinking about why, why do I do all this stuff.  And it’s simply because I can.  No one is making me run, or run faster all the time.  I do not even have to do it any more really.  No to the extent that I do.  I don’t have to set out to win races, I don’t have to teach people things.  But I can, so I do.  It is fantastic!

running me copy


  1. You're so fast that each frame of the continuous photo shooting has you landing on your next foot. It shows your one stride per sidewalk tile very nicely too. Amber

  2. Hi Chris! Great run! I think that doing this "because I can" is kind of like spreading wings all the way. What would a bird be like without exploring the full wing span?! A lot of people never try to get really good at something and they miss out.

    :-) Marion