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Streams and Falls

Streams and Falls

Playing chess with Oatis, losing and still not running. (Photo credit: @eh_kay22)

Follow Nick's progress as he trains for the UTMB’s CCC, a 100-km race through Italy, Switzerland, and France happening in August 2018.

“An empty mind is a dominant mind.” - Bruce Lee

Anyone who’s ever tried running—anyone who actually “gets it” and continues to do it—will undoubtedly, at some point, go through the undulating rollercoaster of physical health as a runner. Unless you are an elite superhuman athletic god, you will eventually have some injuries. If you don’t? There are a number of us who are very jealous of you. The key with all injuries is continuing to stay mentally strong, focused, and—most importantly—adaptable to your current athletic condition. No matter how frustrating it may be.

Your situation could be as follows:

Streams: No injuries. Logging as much time as you need or want for training. No current physical setbacks to your performance. Body feels great (no matter how old). Get out there! Get running! Enjoy this beautiful time in your running when good health is present. You are healthy! But beware, this can be fleeting…

Falls: Something is wrong. You sprained an ankle. Can’t sleep for some reason. Your toe hurts. You pulled a quad doing lunges on the beach. A dog bit you. Shin splints. Common cold. Fell off your roof shovelling the five feet of snow on it. Got the plague, leprosy. Scurvy can be annoying.

All are fine excuses to skip your 2K this morning due to “injury,” but truly…

How much time should you take off? Do you need any at all? First and foremost, we all need to listen to what our bodies are telling us. If it is screaming for rest, take a day. Take two if you need it. If your body is injured, take as much time off as you need. Do not push yourself back when know you aren’t ready. Don’t let the stubbornness of a runner’s mind overpower the smart decision to get healthy first. I have been guilty of this on several occasions.

I’m currently choking back a bit of my own medicine, as I’m currently on Day 9 of rest after a chronic pain in my right hip forced me to shut everything down. No running. No gym. No core exercises. Nothing. Light stretching only. After chiropractic care, massage, ultrasound, and more chiro, I am currently on a waiting list for an MRI after my ultrasound revealed no cause for concern, but the pain remains. So, I won’t lie to you. I’m a little scared. Most of you know I have a little race coming up Labour Day and I need to be training. There is some anxiety with this current “fall.” I truly hope this won’t even be a topic when I write to you next month. Fingers crossed.

man looking at shoes

Missing my shoes but not running. Photo Credit: @eh_kay22

In the meantime, I have a very clean house due to boredom and the time to pen this little journal entry for you.

It’s April 6 and there is a blizzard outside my window. I still have about four feet of snow everywhere around my house. It feels like winter has decided that it doesn’t want to vacate the current seat at our seasonal table. Spring isn’t even knocking. It’s terrified to even come near this mess of a season right now. Every time it tries to peek its head out the door, it gets slammed with another 20 cm of snow. Spring is staying outta this, for now as winter throws its final tantrums at us. In fact, I hear spring itself has actually commented to Soo Today about this lingering winter, saying:

“It’s between Winter and the humans. I’m not getting involved” - Spring..
Cutting remarks, only a bold, brisk Northern Ontario Winter could elicit from a usually shy and submissive Spring. 

- Soo Today Staff

Don’t worry everyone, by the time you read this I’m sure things here will have warmed up to a balmy 0°.

man reading

Reading my new book and not running. Photo Credit: @eh_kay22

We have to believe it’s coming.

The warmer weather. The snow melting. The wet and muddy streets. Rain after rain. I just know my sump pump will break again.

I can feel it.

I have to be on guard daily for this. Backup pump in box and ready for install if necessary.

Living in the mountains always has all of the winter’s snowfall melting and trickling down into my yard. Great for filling up my 367-foot-deep well! Bad for my sump pump, which has to seemingly work more overtime than a snow plow driver in the Soo from December to March.

The point is, I’m looking forward to it all. Even the bugs that come with the season. Come on back guys, we’re waiting for ya! At least not many bugs can catch us as runners and I’m certain I’m not the only one to have inhaled a fly, mosquito, June bug or two, but I’m fine with it. We need winter to leave, so we can start progressing to the always sloppy rebirth of the picturesque greenery we call spring. Then, we can savour the days as we gently immerse ourselves into the fleeting beauty that is our June through October.

This late in the winter season usually has me running roads, whether it be in town or doing my hill-acious Goulais River road runs, but for the time being, I am sitting still. Trying not to lament the fact I am injured, but more so to embrace this rest period as a cross-training mental exercise in which I can focus on work, family, friends, and some writing I’ve been procrastinating on.

man at computer

Writing this article, clearly not running. Photo Credit: @eh_kay22

Sending warm and heartfelt vibes to all the runners out there feeling healthy and hitting their stride, as we endure these final weeks of our seemingly never-ending Northern Ontario winter. 

In running, streams and falls will always be a part of this sport. It is easier said than done to remain even-keeled, but the better we identify our current state, the better the chance we have to manage the expectations we put on ourselves.

Be healthy. And if not? Be strong.

Chat soon.

For a breath of fresh air, I thought I would share with you my quick hit video I took from Harmony Beach out in Havilland on September 30 last year. It was one of the hottest days of the entire summer season, which came as the perfect exclamation mark to an unusually warm September in Algoma.

One week after I had to drop out at km 5 of my 10 km 2017 Trail Trot run at Hiawatha Highlands after another sprain of my right ankle. I chose some light recovery running out at Harmony and tried to soak up the last remaining warm day of 2017. I believe the next day it immediately went to -15°C.

Just kidding, but up here? You never know.

Today the temperature in Reykjavik, Iceland is 10°C. Here? -14°C. Who should rightfully be named Ice-land? I think we have a valid claim.

Enjoy this pretty stretch of beach, knowing it’s coming for us soon.

As always, thank you so much for reading.


Any questions? As always, hit me up:
Instagram @bearinmindrunning 
Race blogs and some other fun stuff can be found here:

Thank you to all of my sponsors who have so graciously lent support for my journey to France this Labor Day Weekend.

Dan Grisdale Photography - Instagram @dangrisdalephotography

Massage 4 Health - 705-255-8788

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