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Dave
Posted on: 2016/11/10 15:51
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Joined: 2004/6/16
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Invest In The Finish Line
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Local Peterborough writer and runner Emily Downie offers her unique perspective on running exclusively in the Runner's Life Newsletter. Emily is a Financial Advisor, Wife, Mother & Avid Runner including a Boston Marathoner.


Invest in the Finish Line

by Emilie Downie

Anyone who works in the financial industry is familiar with the phrase ‘know your client’ or commonly known as ‘KYC’. After the 2008 financial crisis, the term- ‘KYC’ became all too familiar when bankers were hung out to dry after selling far too complex, risky and multi-layered products to clients that ultimately led to the demise of the market.
As runners, do we have the same challenge of knowing our bodies and understanding our limits? Should we be held to the same standards? Are we listening to the signs? We know what happens to the body when it breaks down- that nagging injury, or the twinge that is shouting out to us. Running is a connection with mind and body going hand in hand; don’t let there be a disconnect.

Last year in the U.S., there were 509,000 finishers of marathons. We push our bodies to agonizing limits. The performance and times of runners continue to be faster but at what cost? Each year there are more and more races available and as technology evolves, the explosion of fitness apps and wearable devices continues to drive the market- but does it really help us to become better runners? Does an app know your body as well as you do? The taglines of magazine articles read, ‘Why do men crash?’ ‘Cramp cure!’ ‘Cadence and injury?’ We need to be intelligent in our approach- listen to your body and dig deep but remember to keep it all in balance.

A few years ago I was faced with the possibility of not running again- I wasn’t exactly born to run but have made running part of my life for over 20 years. I started running when I was working in Washington, DC. Ironically it was while watching TV that I was pushed to run. I heard Oprah talking about running the Marine Corps Marathon and if Oprah could do it, well, so could I. After knocking off a few 5ks and many 10ks and even a half marathon, I attempted the almighty marathon. Although I was ill prepared, I remember fantastic crowd support for the no-name girl from Canada.

I went on to work on training properly for races and embraced running and all the benefits it has to offer. In Sept of 2011, I woke up one morning to find a lump in my leg that my husband described as the size of a grapefruit. In reality it was the size of a pea and thanks to my ‘wunderful’ Dr. Wunder, it turned out to be a benign tumour. However it was a year of MRIs, ultrasounds and many trips to Toronto to come to this result. Had the tumour been cancerous, it may have meant mobility issues for me and possibly no more running. After that wake up call, my running took on new meaning and I have learned to listen to my body.

We are so fortunate in Peterborough to have many places to run and with so many amazing running mates. Running in Jackson’s Park in Peterborough in the fall is always my favourite time of year and my favourite running route. My husband commented last night on the tranquility and peace of our run. We started at Brealey and made our way through the park- spotting a beaver, some beautiful birds and had the pleasure of seeing all of the fall colours in their glory. Running keeps our brains sharp, reduces our stress levels and provides so many psychological benefits I wouldn’t know where to start.

We are all familiar with the movie, ‘The Big Short’. It was the epic fail of the financial system and one that the markets never want to repeat. As runners we are always chasing that next race and working to go faster and run further. So whether you are faced with plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Iliotibial band syndrome or simply not wanting to take that yoga class or get that massage- don’t short your body and be sure to give it the attention it needs.
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