Two days later and I’m still baffled… 21.1 freaking kilometers.
Despite all the doubts of my knee and with soo much personal stuff going on, I didn’t think it would happen or how well it would actually go. I think I may have slept 2 hours the night before, completely had myself in a tizzy… Was I ready? Would I be a mess without proper sleep? Would today be the day of all days that my knee would go? I stood in the kitchen at 4:30am while making my smoothie, trying to give myself a prep talk… ‘you’ll feel better about this when you get there, go throw on your gear and grab a coffee… and let’s get this show on the road.’
There is something amazing about walking into an event on race day… I was surround with people that were planning to do the exact same thing as me and from what i heard in the days before, no one really seemed truly ready. Most of them felt like they were in the same boat as me. The energy is always hard to explain on race day, other than just saying it’s inspiring. Youth to people that could have been my grandparent, it brings out all walks of life. If they can do it, why can’t I? attitude starts to kick in.
Calgary Marathon, let’s do a few more porta potties next year. Or have the 10km runners let the 42/21km runners go before them.
In the mad dash to find the shortest line to pee, I ran into Tina (one of the other ForeRunner girls)… and she gave a prep talk without me asking her to. She seemed to know what I needed to hear. We laughed, we bitched about the lack of bathroom facilities, we took a selfie, we peed and we headed for the start line.
I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I was when Ben asked if I wanted a run buddy a few days prior… I’m sure he is the reason I made through this distance on Sunday. Knowing he was around, kept me going when mentally I was ready to break… this was at 12km and definitely 18km.
It seemed to take 2km to get into the groove of a solid stride… Through inglewood, to the zoo, to brigeland, to east village, thru to 17th Ave, to 14th street, thru to Kensington (oh hey, Euverman), to Memorial, to Centre Street, back to East village and to the FINISH line. On 17th Avenue, I almost rolled my ankle on the crack in the road that I did try to avoid. I discovered that Vega endurance gels aren’t as gross as the ones from Power Bar. And who doesn’t love the dramatics of drinking gatorade and throwing the cup onto the street, especially when Eye of the Tiger pops onto the ear buds.
I ran a steady 11km… then walked a bit when the bad knee started to make a little noise. From then on, it was run with a little bit of walk and repeat. Until we hit 18km… Memorial Drive… This where my feet and right knee (funny enough, not the bad one) decided that they were over this distance we were doing. The point where I wasn’t sure if running or walking was more uncomfortable. The moment I had the hardest mental battle of the race, ‘you’ve gone too far to give up now’ and “I know we’re hurting but we can do this…’. I ended up walking the 19 to 20km and only finding the fight for a sprint at the end for the finish line.
Ooo… shiny medal but more importantly, why is it soo far to get my flip flops? To me the greatest reward of a finish line, is getting to remove your runners.
2 hours and 45 minutes… not bad for the first half marathon.
I truthfully don’t know if a full marathon will ever be where I want to be. Perhaps one day. I’m currently happy at 21km. Two more Half Marathon are in the works for me this year so far… The Vancouver Rock and Roll Half Marathon and The Canmore Rocky Mountain Half.
Two days later, both my knees are fine… My quads are still giving some grief… I’ll be back to running in a few days. (After I recover from being ridiculously sick, finally feeling better but not close to 100%)
Like I said, I still can’t believe I’m a half marathoner.