Returning runner focused on finding his full fitness again
CHALLENGE: Experienced athlete inspired by 14-year-old daughter
There’s a difference between trying to become a runner and just being one.
After three months of being a runner on The Province BMO Vancouver Marathon team, Sean Cauley found the difference is on the cushions of the couch.
“The hardest thing about the midweek run is getting off the couch. Once you’re out there, it’s fun,” he said.
“If something is really important to you, don’t try to do it. Do it.”
Cauley and four other runners from across the Lower Mainland were picked by The Province in late December to start a four-month training regime in preparation for the May 6 BMO Vancouver Marathon.
Cauley, 50, came to the team as a former marathoner. He began running in college and completed his first marathon in 1985. He has 15-plus marathons under his belt. But his last one was in 1996.
Watching his daughter — an athletic 14-year-old who’s a competitive swimmer, club volleyballer and gold-level soccer player — Cauley decided to return to the athlete he once was.
“I see how athletic she is and I know that comes from me,” he said, “and I’m thinking, well she got that from me and maybe there’s still an athlete in me somewhere.”
In the fall, he began dipping back into running. He changed his dietary habits. He dropped 35 pounds.
Cauley recalls looking at the more strict running schedule in January and thinking it was going to be a difficult couple of months. Turns out, it was about improving weekly on an incremental basis. Turns out, he was going to be just fine.
“You look at someone doing it and you say, ‘Oh man, I could never do that,’ and then you train toward that and one day you realize you’re there and you can do that,” Cauley said.
With a little over a month left to Cauley’s comeback marathon, the active lifestyle has now consumed his household. He runs four times a week, his daughter is involved in her various sports, and his wife frequents the gym almost daily.
Cauley averages 12 kilometres weekly, with a long run of 32 km on Sundays. He’s suffered no injuries but nurtures stiffness.
He says he’s confident going into next month’s marathon, albeit a little nervous.
“My very first [marathon] was the unknown. This one is sort of the unknown because it’s been so long,” he said.
Officiating his daughter’s swim meets and being involved on the sidelines of her sports, Cauley reflects on the change about to come.
“She’s used to us going to watch her at a big swim meet or volleyball tournament and now she’s going to come down in May and watch me run,” Cauley said.
“I’m a marathon runner again, not someone attempting to come back.”