209 km of Lessons Learned.

Last month, I made a slightly crazy promise to run 200 km to Caitlin and Craig. 200 km meant that I would donate $200 to Joel’s family and that both of these wonderful people would be matching me dollar for dollar.  Well 209 kilometers later I’m happy to say that this month has been a challenging but amazing adventure. I figured I’d make this blog a photographic journal of my runs, the amazing people I got to know, and the causes I supported. Over the past month I might have had three runs that were either by myself or with the dog. I’m so thankful for the amazing group of people I get to share my life with every single day and our collective passion to get outside.

MillCreek

I started May month off in one of my favorite places in Edmonton: Mill Creek Ravine

This ravine has always been my quick escape from the every day hustle and bustle. Exercise is my meditation; whether it’s lifting weights or hitting the trails, my mind clears and I simply only on the task at hand. So it seemed right to start May 2015 off with a trail run.

Dave Run Monday

It’s absolutely awesome what happens when you throw out invites to run on Twitter: Dave took myself and the Wolf Pack through a familiar trail along the River Valley, but showed us an entirely new set of single track trails that I have never explored. Always explore. The old becomes new again when we look at things from different perspectives.

Hawleark Park

Sometimes “Off the beaten path” takes you to really cool places. When it does, hang out for a bit and take it in.  Give the best gift to yourself: the time to enjoy life.

MEC November Project Run in St Albert

I signed up for a 15 km MEC race 2 days before because I knew these amazing people from November Project were running in it. Seeing so many familiar faces, high fives, and encouraging words make me want to run fast. Community is what has made me the person that I am today, and is what continues to surround my life. If you’re feeling like you’re on the outside looking in take the first step and get in, trust me, it’s worth it!

Seawheeze Whyte Ave lulu Run 1

I never refuse the opportunity to combine my passion for photography, fitness, and community. So when I was asked to shoot for the Seawheeze Kickoff  event at lululemon Whyte Ave with the Run Collective of course I lept at the chance! If you want to do interval training, try sprinting in front of a lead pack of runners and setting up to snap pictures. I don’t think my camera gear has ever been that sweaty!

Edmonton City View Seawheeze Whyte Ave lulu Run

Yes cameras are expensive but they are tools. You can put a price on a camera but moments like these are priceless. It’s worth putting the camera in harms way by running with it in hand for 5 km.

NP Hills Friday

5:30 am runs are have started to grow on me that’s probably because of the great people I get to hangout with at this time of day. Only let your alarm go off once and never hit snooze; there’s a reason why you wanted to wake up so do it.

5 Peaks Run with Topher Rob and Jen

I love trail running and the 5 Peaks Terwillegar race definitely re-inforced it!

Saturday Hawleark Park Run

When I get excited about something, I want to share it with everyone. I ran this trail with Kyla (see the third picture from the top) a few weeks before and then had to share it with a group of friends. It was a little crazy to do this run because I just ran the 5 Peaks Race in the morning and had appointments all afternoon but the reward was sharing an experience with others. Not to mention eating everything I could after the runs to refuel!

Thursday Night Running Group at Blitz

My Thursday night run group is something I treasure the most out of the past few months. It’s a social time where we all get to head out and enjoy the beautiful weather and great conversation. It’s such an inclusive group and everyone is welcome to join. I’ve learned that you don’t find time for things like this, you make time for it.

November Project Commonwealth Stadium May

Yes it snowed in May, and Topher and I ran to the Commonwealth Stadium and did stairs with November Project. We committed to it so we did it. Besides, a little snow never hurt anyone. I’ve rarely backed down on anything that I’ve promised to do. I show up because I said I would no excuses.

Jen and Sean Really Long Run

Words hold meaning. Whether it’s a text message, a tweet, a “Good Morning” or “You have Multiple Sclerosis”. Words empower us to change our lives and those around us. I met Sean a few weeks ago and told him I’d run 20 km out of his 86 km run with him as he was raising funds to help find a cure for MS. I ended up running 29 km along with Jen Ference. What I didn’t realize before the start of the run was the life-changing effect it would have on me.

Sean Van

Words without action are meaningless. Sean committed to completing this run and even after cramps, dehydration, and a few visits to the ambulance, he managed to run across finish line into the arms of his wife and kids. Sean, his family and friends have managed to raise over $21,000 for the MS Society. But the number is merely a reflection of all the people who have been personally touched by the words and actions of one man.

Kids in Action Michael

My last 5 km was spent with this little guy, Michael, and the Kids in Action 5 km Race. I say little… but he’s about the same height as I am. Yet again another powerful time spent in running shoes. My friends from River City Runners held a 24 hour treadmill challenge in February in order to equip each of the Kids in Action athletes with a new pair of shoes.  This event was a culmination of multiple things: from the kids who started their running programs in September, to a community of runners who have rallied to support these kids in all aspects. Michael didn’t chat much but we shared this passion for running… or sprinting… which happened more than the running bit.

My goal in June is different. The M.S. Bike Tour is this month and Brett and I are riding tandem (yeah that’s right two dudes, one bike) so that will take a bit of my time. I also miss the gym, HIIT classes and weight lifting have been a central part of my fitness lifestyle so bringing a bit more of that back will be great. But I’m still expecting to hit about 150 km of running so get ready for some more run pictures on your social media feeds!

Related posts:

About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

Share your thoughts