Day 39 – 42.9 km (total – 773 km)


Me and Koona, walking the TCH!

Yesterday was a tough day.  There was a sense of anticipation in starting the day… Corner Brook to Port-Aux-Basques was the homestretch.  Granted, a long homestretch of over 200 km, but a homestretch nonetheless.  By 15 k, the side of my knee was hurting again.  By 25 k, I was in more pain than I had experienced in the last 3 weeks.  I sat on the side of the highway, discouraged and disheartened.   And then it was decision time – go back to Corner Brook and have someone tell me I need to not run for a bit, or carry on…maybe without the running part for a bit.

Injuries can be a strange thing.  When I run forward, the IT Band is having some issues.  I can run backwards and I can run sideways without any pain (which I have done a few times… must look ridiculous to cars driving by.  Wait, I’m pretty sure they already think I’m ridiculous).  And I can walk without pain as well.  In fact, when I walk, I feel like I have two strong and healthy legs.

On a personal side of things, I have had this dream of running across Canada for a long time.  I have trained hard to get to where I am now, but it has always been running I’ve enjoyed, not walking (no offense to the walkers out there!).  So making the decision to take a break and walk for a few days is not an easy one.  But I guess the rationale in my head is this… if you talk with any of those crazy ultra runners who do 160 km races in one shot, they will all tell you that there are moments in the race when they walk – whether it’s going up a hill, walking to consume food or just taking a break to give the muscles a rest.  Even in marathons, runners take walk breaks.  And in both these instances, these runners still “run” their race.  I guess in my head I view the run across Canada as my own 7500 km race.  I’m not clocking my intervals or aiming for a specific time goal, but in my personal journey of these 9 months, this is my race.  And if I have to walk a couple hundred kilometers within those 7500, I’m okay with that.


The homestretch!

That’s the personal side of things.  But more importantly, I realize there’s something greater at work.  The message that Take Me Outside is trying to promote as we go into schools is just as important regardless of whether I’m running or walking.  I’ll admit it’s hard to swallow my pride on this one… but the emails we’re receiving on a daily basis from students confirms for me the need to press on – the need to keep going.  I was in the bank the other day, and a teller told me that Newfoundland “needs” to hear this message of getting outside and active.  In fact, Canada needs to hear this message.  And I will continue to do my small part, so long as I can put one leg in front of the other.

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