Community reporting calls on journalists to step into a community and hear its heartbeat, recording the daily struggles and joys of residents. To take it up a notch, Berea Mail reporter Danica Hansen decided to take part in the Stella Athletic Club’s Couch to 10km Challenge. Watch his journey unfold in The Jogging Journalist’s diary. Today we bring you the fifth article in the series.
On Tuesday, after hitting rush hour traffic, I arrived at the Stella Sports Club just as the Couch to 10k team was leaving.
By the time I parked and started running they were out of sight. The eternal optimist that I am, I decided to catch up. I walked through Bulwer Park, like Rocky running up the steps with The eye of the tiger playing to my imaginary soundtrack.
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I thought the shortcut would give me a head start, but I ended up surprising a few walkers with an asthma-like wheezing session at the top of the hill.
By the time I reached Binns Road I realized I wasn’t going to find the team and decided to race my own…rejected and alone…friendless and without a coach.
Thursday’s practice got me back safely with the peloton and we ran more uphill reps on Acton Road. After a rainy afternoon, the sun came out and we saw a beautiful rainbow on the horizon.
It was interesting to compare the two workouts and test a hypothesis I’ve been brewing for some time – that I run further and faster with the group.
Here is what I learned:
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- Alone, I am more focused on my environment than on my running technique
- Alone I ran faster for shorter bursts
- Running with the group taught me to pace myself and run further
- There is a greater sense of accomplishment when I finish a race with the team
Despite my ‘asthma attack’ at Bulwer Park, I am happy to report that my physical condition has improved. I used to stop running after a few yards, out of breath, now I can keep running (and breathing) until my muscles get sore. Training is expensive, but hey, if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain!
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