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Saturday, 5 October 2013

HalfMara Milestone: Victory Can Be Found in the Finish

Well. I finished. It all ended in tears. BUT I FINISHED.
Today was my 20th halfmarathon since 2011, Bit of a milestone. Not sure how that happened. In May 2011, I thought it might be a fine idea to run my first half. And, in August 2011 I did. And, I kept running. The past few years haven't be easy for me. It's been said (not just by me) that my life is a bit of a shitshow. So, in order to cope I run. Long Runs, preferably. Perhaps not the best thing, for a few reasons. Firstly, while I have drastically improved my 5km and 10km times since 2009, but since my first half mara, my times haven't improved so much. I have had a couple good races both in 2012. Since then, haven't matched that time. Came close in May...but since...NADA. But when i run a half i generally clear my mind. So BONUS. After a disastrous half in Edmonton in August, I thought MAYBE today I could crack the elusive 2:24. 
NOPE. Instead, today's run was brought to you by the letter G. G for GRATITUDE. The run wasn't my best time. It was NOWHERE near it. But it's done. And despite the tears and the frustration, I learned a valuable lesson today (yes, it's cheezy).

Shall we start at the very beginning? 

Woke up this morning at 5:30am feeling like a dishrag. Spent 3 hours last night cramping out and having good times on the white throne...courtesy of good ol' GI issues that plague me (and to think up til May I thought maybe I had conquered that "issue") HA!! oh nooooooooo.  Still, I thought I can maintain a certain pace and come through to beat my best time of the year. Its very do-able. I know this.

So I go get Michelle and off we go to meet Cori. And stand in line in the loo. 

And then along comes Tara (walking her first half!!!) and Sue! And we are ready to get this party started.

Michelle kindly offered to be my pace bunny. VERY kind of her since she could probably run this half in very close to 2 hours. As the run went on, and my energy waned (despite having HoneyStinger jellies) I KNEW this was not my day. I think we started out strong, but I was not strong enough to fight and maintain the pace needed to come in at the 2:25 mark.The last few weeks have not been the best for me. Very distracting and stressful. I got out for runs, but want really feeling IT. Had a decent 15km race, then a very awesome 10km race last weekend. Which led me to think 'I got this!' Whatever everyone has shit in their life, not sure why I am not coping so well...BAH!

Anyways, as a pacer Michelle was ACE! She came up with a race plan. Super helpful tips and a lotta peppy. And, don't laugh...she talked more than me for the race. Let's be one talks more than me! But funnily in a race I actually shut the hell up. But she was invaluable. FREAKING AWESOME. And helped me to dig deep and carry on. This race was not easy. Lots of rolling hills. Sure, it is overall a net downhill. But there is some definite uphill. An the large hill at 17km mark slows one own. Gotta say we rocked the last 4.5km. Felt stronger there than most of the other miles. Sheer determination. EFF YOU halfmara, you won't win...And as we came up the last stretch Cori snapped this shot. Not soooo flattering of me, but still full of grit!
And we finish! 

 At first I thought, OMG, we finished at the goal. Then I realized nope. And I was really f'n off pace. As I crossed the finish the numbers were transposed in my wee brain. HA! FAILURE. I SUCK. And insert several expletives. All the ones your mother grounded yo for using. YUP. And some tears. Just feeling like I cannot measure up. That I failed AGAIN. Clearly I am doing something wrong. Back to drawing board. Again the hills defeated me. So we need to kick some hills ass and speed train like a demon. If not, I am never getting better.

And I am such a shitty friend was so self absorbed hardly congratulated Tara on her finish of her first half.

And despite Michelle and Tara trying to tell me otherwise, I still felt defeated. Such a lame-o.

Off we went to Starbucks. To meet up with some fellow bloggers. Where I proceeded to pout a bit about the shittay run.

Then Cori said I have a present for yo. Beaming she announced it was my 20th Halfmara and had a present. I protested. And she said READ THE MESSAGE. On the back it says, "Congrats on your 20th! Always be proud of how far you've come!" And I burst into tears. Seriously. I have come a long ways. Rarely would I ever use the word proud when it comes to me. But she made me stop for just a sec and quit being a self-absorbed tw*t.

And have a moment of reflection. yesssssss. I didn't have the run I wanted. But I have some pretty freaking  awesome friends and with their help an encouragement (and with my OWN hard work) I have done some pretty FAB things.Yes. my run wasn't even close to my best time. But I have lovely wonderful friends who remind me it is how far I have come...who hugged me and tell me in that ass kicking way that doing is a feat! HUGS all around. AND therein lies gratitude.

And a vow to fight on.
I do wish i had run faster, but I sure feel blessed and VERY grateful !

HUZZAH for running friends tweetups and the asskicking one's friends can provide. Cheezy? Yes. True? Very.  Yup. Gratitude. LOTS of it!
After Run TweetUp with
@khourianya @dothingsalways @FineFettle @KeithCartmell

I do love the run. Maybe I do not work hard enough. I am realistic. I am not going to win my age group. I am not the front of the pack. I am, at best, mid-pack. Does that matter? I want to get out and run. I love how I feel WHEN I run, AFTER I run. I want to run when I am 60. THAT is more important than any BQ (let's be clear, THAT ain't happening an I am OK with that!) But I want to see progress. In my heart I know it will come. But I am frustrated. And, not a patient person. That said a little more WORK is in order. And, with my own steam (and the help and encouragement of my supercalifragalistic friends) it will come. One mile at a time. 

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