Far North

Firstly, yes I am aware that there are many, many communities further north than ours, so spare me the geography lesson. For the most part, I enjoy small town living. I love the mountains, the trails, the fresh air. I love being able to afford a decent-sized house, a backyard and you know, still have money for food. But there are a few things about city life that really appeals to me. Not even living IN a city, but just being closer than an $800 flight or a 14-hour drive.

  1. Anonymity: Date night or going out dancing is less freeing when you know every other person in the restaurant. Sometimes you just want to dance like no-one’s watching or wear that inappropriately short dress, but knowing that your mail lady, the cashier from Safeway and your daughter’s preschool teacher is sitting at the table in the corner really puts a damper on things.
  2. Movie Night: We have two cinemas in town. So two featured movies. Also, the theatre’s bathrooms have carpeted walls. I’ll leave it at that.
  3. Races: City runners have options! There are regularly well-organized races from 5K’s to ultra marathons. MEC has amazing race series that gradually builds, so you start the season with a couple 5’s and then build up to 10, 15 and 21.1. For us in the north, competing in big city races means flights, accommodation and race entry, so by the end of the weekend, you’re looking at probably over $1000.

Since I’m all about finding solutions to my problems and overcoming obstacles, this is what I’ve found helps. For anonymity, might I suggest a disguise?

Or, alternatively, you can just learn to OWN IT. As my friend Brian tells me, “you do you”. If you want to dance like a maniac to your 90’s jam at your husband’s Christmas party – DO IT. If you want to wear the dress that is too short, just wear the damn thing. Who really cares if your underwear shows? (Maybe don’t wear it to parent-teacher night, but by all means, the DJ at the bar won’t judge.)

As for movie night… Ya, I got nothing. Maybe find a friend with a big TV? The nice thing about watching movies at home is:

a) you can pause when you have to pee

b) popcorn is cheaper

c) no annoying pre-teens talking in the row behind you

d) wine

And this brings me to races! There are a few things you can do to optimize your racing opportunities in the north. Firstly, sign up for EVERYTHING your local running club organizes. The more people run, the better the races, generally speaking. Secondly, budget for a few away-runs. Maybe make a girls trip or a family vacation out of it. Use Airmiles, Hotwire or Airbnb and sign up! Away runs are fun and worth it! And thirdly, and I’m new to this one – virtual races! I recently signed up for Virtual Strides. It syncs with your Strava account and a portion of every race entry goes toward a charity. I did a 10K race with proceeds going toward Doctors without Borders. As soon as I finished the run, I uploaded my results and they mailed me a freaking cool medal.

My goal for this year was to run six half marathons. I have signed up to run 3 away races, but might find a few friends to run the other three locally with me, using the Virtual Strides app! If you want to join me from wherever in the world you are, send me a message.