Every other Tuesday, Svveat Stories brings you Svveatspiration: an inspiring series of first-person narratives from our fitness community’s unsung heroes. This week, runner Lynne Trieu shares her journey from race spectator to full-fledged marathoner. 

In July 2009, I was exposed to running while cheering for friends at the Boilermaker 15K race in Utica, N.Y. I was amazed at the sheer number of runners and their various sizes and ages. A month later, I registered for a learn to run clinic at Running Room.

For the first couple weeks I hated running, but it wasn’t long before I began to love it and was up at the front of the pack. Since I was already running more than five kilometres by the end of that clinic, I skipped the 5K clinic and registered for the 10K, followed by the 10 miler and the half-marathon. I was no longer leading the pack, but I was just happy to be running.

Army Run 2016

My new-found love of running came with its challenges, of course. I experienced shin splints and other injuries I didn’t even know existed. My training for my first half-marathon suffered immensely, but I still completed the race despite injury. I didn’t run for months after that, and when I finally got back to running, I was much more cautious.

In 2012, I decided to share my love of running by coaching the very same clinic that started my running journey.

I really enjoyed coaching and seeing the progress of each runner, so I went on to lead a total of three 5K clinics the following year.

Lynne's group shot

In 2014, friends convinced me to run the Around the Bay 30K race in Hamilton and join the marathon clinic at Running Room—we all registered for the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon as our first full marathon. The training started in early January, and we ran through freezing rain, blizzards, wind and temperatures in the -20s.

As luck should have it, I sprained my right ankle a week before Around the Bay, but I didn’t let that stop me from running the race. The rest of my marathon training had to be reduced to allow my ankle to heal, but I kept active with lots of spinning and yoga.

I ran the marathon with a sprained ankle, along with injured piriformis and IT band. At the 23-kilometre mark, I struggled to keep up with friends and told them to go on without me. At 32K, I hit a wall and almost gave up, but an encouraging sign (saying I could beat Oprah’s marathon time) kept me going. I ended up being two minutes shy of Oprah’s time of 4:29, but I was absolutely elated to finish upright and smiling.

I never would have embarked on a full marathon on my own, but tackling it with friends made it an amazing experience.

Spring Runoff 2017

After the marathon, I was in severe pain and I probably should have stopped running at that point, but I had the Sporting Life 10K the following weekend—a race that’s dear to my heart. For the first time in my running journey, I thought I was going to collapse on the course. I finished the race in a respectable 54 minutes, but I knew my ankle in rough shape. A visit to the walk-in clinic the next day led to an MRI and the discovery that I had a stress fracture. After intense physiotherapy, I healed up quicker than expected and I was back running again a couple months later.

Since then, I’ve completed many races and I still love running. I’m not a very fast runner, but for now I’m just happy to be able to run. I usually run alone or with a few friends, but you can also find me out with the Run-To-Beer crew, guiding the middle of the pack. How can I say no to free beer at the end of a run? Plus, it’s a friendly group and the runs are very social, with no pressure at all to maintain a particular pace. You should join us!

Author: Lynne Trieu. Follow her on Instagram.

To find out when you can join Lynne for a fun run and a brewski, visit the Run-To-Beer page on Svveat.

Leave your comments