Last year I did this run, I was excited and nervous. It was the first time I was ever going to run further than 10km (I had signed up for the 12km race!) It was ambitious. It was doable, but I had butterflies. I finished in a respectable 1 hour 31 minutes.
This year was going to be different. I weigh almost 40 pounds less than I did a year ago. In that year I have ran 7 half marathons, and am two weeks out of doing my first marathon. I am in WAY better shape. I am much more of a runner than I was.
So yeh, I was getting somewhat cocky knowing I would CRUSH my time. And show myself how MUCH better I was. And then last week happened. A week of terrible GI Tract upsets, terrible runs and self doubting/loathing. My hip hurt. Turns out my Sacroiliac is the issue. Its pained me to run for over a week. I had awful dreadful runs while running. oh Joy.
So by Thursday I was panicked. Could I do this? Or would my hip/glutes give way? Would this just show me that training for a Marathon WAS too ambitious?
After stopping in at a FAVE running store - Strides - to pick up a Bday pressie (a Moving Comfort dress they special ordered for me), I spoke with Allen, who is la runner guru. He gave me somewhat of a peptalk, and I left feeling better. Then Calli called. Who promptly kicked my ass via a long distance call. Feeling Pepped, I went off to volunteer at the RMS bib pick up. Where I gave out few hundred bibs to a few hundred very excited women. And I left with a new perspective. Just run it. Soak in the scenery. Let it be just another training run. So, a few nose breathes and one nagging doubtful moment that I let creep in, I thought...dammit, I CAN!
So Back to Saturday. And Canmore.
It's a gorgeous day. I am so ready. I feel good. Damn I feel great. Even stretching my SI Joint wasn't aching or twinging. Hmmm.
|Jenn and I wearing sparkle |
to celebrate the run!
Gun goes and I am off with a few hundred women. Bit of a gong show to start, but I dodge and weave my way to the front third of the pack (um holy shit...I am usually in the last quarter). I feel great. And then I see that the trails, which are compromised of paved and unpaved tracks of the Canmore Nordic Centre, are rather hilly. Well, there genius, you ARE in the mountains....
Anyhoo. I say to myself, just giver. I don't stop a faster than usual pace until after 3km where i grab some water. Throughout the whole first little bit my iPod keeps stopping and starting. P me O! So i yank it out, and restart it only with tunes. Sod it. This is gonna be a fun run, I just want some tunes to go with the amazing scenery. And off I go back down the trail. Then it 6km for a loop back up to that first water station. And i keep thinking to myself, I am not very tired. Or winded. Odd cause the elevation is even higher than what I am used to. Then I hit the 3rd and final water station. And realize I have 3 more Ks to go. And I am kicking ass and taking names.
During the last few kilometres I realize something. THIS is THE RACE. The ONE. The one where it's easy. It feels amazing. There has not been one moment where I wanted to stop or slow down or walk. I am running relatively fast for me. I feel free. I feel fabulous. THIS is what running is SUPPOSED to BE!!! Holy Shit. I have arrived. Wait. How did I get here. At this point i tell myself to shut the hell up and ENJOY the ride. I mean this is something. I feel amazing. Smart, Fabulous. Ah hell. I even feel graceful.
The. Best. Run. of. the. Year.
Honestly, I am not sure I have ever felt this good running. EVER.
And then i realize I have run the last incline and I have less than 500m to go. I let er rip and finish. I am not sure of my time, but I know it is way better than last years. And then I almost start to cry. Not for any other reason but because for the first time in a year since I have lost all this stupid weight, I am actually swelling with pride. And I have done something awesome. And I let out a whoop. Hell yeh. I have arrived. And not cause i crushed my time by more than 15 minutes. But because of how I ran, and how I felt while running the entire course.
Oh, and by the way, I didn't have one twinge or pinch or pain the entire race. Maybe endorphins, maybe my mind is starting to do what I want it to do and not be distracted. But now more than 12 hours after finishing, I still feel great and don't really feel any discomfort. I am looking forward to relaxing and enjoying my first marathon. Taking in the grandeur of the city sights and revelling where I have come from. And THAT is what my Marathon should be about.
|I haven't had a smile like this in a LONG time...this was a hellova race! |
No wonder running is addictive.