|Race kit pick up Saturday|
Two out of thee marathons done! CHECK!
(seriously questioning sanity, during last 5km of Sunday's race was planning how to have Ryan take my Disney Bib LOL)
Yesterday I ran my second marathon, 4.5 months after my first one. OUCH. Yesterday's race was a lot different then May's. In May all my training and all the emotion leading up to completing a life long dream kicked into place and I ran an amazing race.
|Ready to go! lucky 3123|
Sunday was a "little" different, but now that I have had to time to digest it I see that it was a really really good experience. For starters, waiting in the start coral, I had Ryan waiting with me. I was so calm and happy to have him there for support. I didn't have the usual race adrenaline and nerves coursing through me. I think because this is the first time EVER that I have gone into a race without a time goal. My goal was to run it with as little pain as possible and cover the distance. The gun went off and it felt like I waited about 15 min before I even got to cross the start line, and yet I was calm and just relaxed.
I started the race off well, settling into a comfortable and slow pace. Not worried about getting through the crowd in front of me. In the beginning I tried to focus on my stride, short stride, feet directly under my body, mid foot strike. The rain had stopped, it was warm out, and I was comfortable. But by 2 miles in my IT Band started to tighten up and my knee started hurting. My mind got stuck on the pain, and I was really worried it was just going to get worse and soon I would be hobbling and unable to finish. My mind went right to the worst case scenario. The mind is so much more powerful then your body and I knew I had to shake this or I would end up quitting. I put on my special playlist, and I started to plan my Richmond Exercise Class, and the exercises we would do. I envisioned the ladies doing squats and lunges and what kind of push and pulls we would do. It did the trick, my mind left the pain and I let go of it and also gave my pre race Advil time to work. I soon found myself feeling relatively comfortable again.
The middle of the race was golden, the weather was amazing, I felt comfortable, and I so enjoyed running in a new city. I did what I said I wanted, I ran with little pain, I settled in and enjoyed it! Near the half way mark we went by a turn around point and I got to see the "elite" runners. I couldn't help but stare at the women, each of them, they filled me with inspiration. I kept thinking I want to be that person! Someday I want to run like that. It filled me with renewed motivation to get this IT Band/knee thing healed and to learn to run mid foot. But what really really filled me with INSPIRATION was when I was on the other side of that turn around and I was watching the "caboose" of the race go by. Seeing the slower runners, running on their own, struggling, and yet pushing themselves with looks of determination that I have never seen before! Now that just filled me with goosebumps.
I think it takes a lot more guts for those runner's to push through then it does for someone that running comes to more "easily". The fact they had to push mentally and physically for all of those 42.2 km is pure inspiration!
At the half way point, I took another advil wanting the pain to stay away. I really was able to run most of the race pretty comfortably. As long as I kept a comfortable pace I felt good. I rarely checked my garmin for pace, which is so weird for me, normally I am constantly checking it to make sure I am on pace and pushing it. Sunday I told myself that I would just listen to my body and run what felt good. It was very freeing. Every now and again a good song would come on and I would speed up to my old pace, and immediately my hips and knees would yell out in pain and I would slow down. But I was ok with it, I was actually so thankful to be feeling good and not limping.
I also did something else I don't normally I do, I walked through all the water stations. I think that 30-40 sec break did my knees a lot of good. Mentally it felt so good, and the aid stations were every 2.5 km's. I broke the race down into those little breaks. Funny enough, I had no trouble starting the run back up, like I thought I would and I always felt refreshed and renewed.
Around 17 miles I got a wicked caffeine withdrawal headache, I was starting to get really bored and thinking holy crap I have a long way to go yet. I pulled out my phone texted Ryan and posted a funny message on FB. It was enough of a little teehee to get me back in the game.
At 19.5 miles I started to wonder, am I going to be able to do this? My hips, IT Band and knees were starting to get tight again. I kept thinking my longest training run for this race was 19.5 miles! I am not trained for this, I'm going to go down hill fast. It was such a mind game, I was talking myself into a bad place. So I had a chat with myself, I may have only been able to train for 19.5 miles because of the knee thing, but I did train, just differently and I could do this. Again, I put on my special music and settled in. I focused on the city and all the cool and different things to look at. Heck I wasn't running down Woodroffe for the ZILLIONTH time :) enjoy it!
I was nearing the end, the 35km mark and I had this HOPE that maybe just maybe if I picked it up I could at least finish just under the 4:30 mark. I tried, oh man I tried and for a little bit I was running at my old pace...my power songs were on..I was feeling good. Then everything froze up and I was hurting. I slowed....SLOWED right down. Honestly, I should have been happy that I was still running, and doing pretty well. There were so many people around me that were going downhill, hobbling and not looking well. But that stupid competitive part of myself was beating myself up. Right near the end of the race there is a BIG HILL, I mean who puts a giant hill at the end of a MARATHON? I'm proud to say I am the only one that ran up that hill in my "group". I'm funny that way, love a good hill, just hate going down and yep going down hurt like hell! At this point I just wanted to be done...and it just seemed to be taking forever. The last 5km of that race was the hardest, the longest, and a total mind fark. My Garmin had me finishing the 42.2 km when in reality the race still had a km to go (the course is marked for shortest distance, tight corners and not zig zagging). I started crying then, the big ugly cry. I was crying because I was tired, I hurt, and I was sad and disappointed that I was over the 4:30 mark. (way over).
At the end of that race I let my mind tell me I didn't do well enough, I let the part of my mind that used to call me fat and ugly take away something I should have been very very proud off. In my defense running for 4 hrs and 40 min really does a number on your emotions. I tend to be "a little" hard on myself. I think I was a little numb after I finished, just sort of processing it all.
I saw Ryan at the finish line, and that made me so happy. He's been there at the end each time...usually just finishing up his own race, but there. Always there! He had a giant crepe chicken sandwich waiting for me. The best thing I have ever eaten! He is just so amazing to have supported me through all this craziness.
My parents called me right after I crossed the finish line.
Driving home in the car, back to Ottawa, with my ice bags, I got so many incredible messages from my friends.
I very quickly stopped feeling bad about my finishing time of 4:39:49 and feeling super blessed (because I did pray very hard for God to let me run and finish that race, and to run with as little pain as possible and I DID)!
We stopped at a rest stop close to home and I was hobbling to the bathroom I passed to other ladies hobbling...and we looked at each other and "KNEW"...yep part of the marathon club :) We laughed and I felt so stinking happy!
I am so proud of myself...I did it! I didn't let my mind take over. I kept training when I was hurt. I kept running when it hurt. I kept going when my mind said this sucks. I had lists of excuses and I didn't give in. (Truth be told I even started writing this blog post while in that first painful 2 miles and was explaining why I gave up and didn't finish.)
I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a time of 4 hrs, 39 min and 49 seconds!!!!!!
|Badge of honor :) Have a few of these LOL.|