|fran, kelly and me at the start line|
Honestly the first 5 miles flew by - love the adrenaline of a race where 50min can go by and you don't really notice! I liked that the course was both on the road and on trail - I love to run on trail. Miles 5 through 9 were still strong - I drank at each watch stop and started eating after mile 5. I had sports drink in my pack for in between but around mile 10 I had sugar overload from the sports drink and the sport chews and got the shakes. I came close to throwing up at the point just to get some of the sugar out of my system. I stayed ahead of the 2:30 pacer until just after mile 11 - I tried to keep up but I was starting to hurt at that point. We had a downhill and then on to a trail and I prayed for Steve to run with me - I just kept saying "run with me buddy" in my head and kept moving. Then there was this mass of people and balloons as you made your way out of the bush - everyone slapping your hands and telling you to keep moving. Two little girls with the signs "toenails are for sissies" and "you're fast and pretty" made me smile! Just after mile 12 was the hill that killed me - I literally stopped at the bottom of it and said "what the F*@!" out loud. I tried to dig deep but I only made it half way up and then I walked up the rest and then kept running. My hip didn't hurt until the last 200 feet - just past the 26mile marker so I kinda just favoured my other side and looked for the finish line.
Coming up that last straightaway I started to choke up - shoot, typing this I start to tear up too! It's not that I ever doubted I could do it - I did it before so I knew that I could - but it still felt like such an accomplishment to me. Everytime I wanted to stop along those last few miles, I just kept saying to myself "it's just you and the road, you can do this" I shaved 17 minutes off my previous time - I walked only through the last few water stations and up that damned hill. I crossed the finish and the tears started. I thought of all my inspiration like Emma & Steve that helped get me through. The man placed my medal over my head and congratulated me and I just felt so proud of myself and sad at the same time. I don't really know how to explain it - I guess I just felt alone with this great victory. So I grabbed a bottle of water and tried to compose myself since I really hate people seeing me cry. Then at the end of the finishing corral I looked up and saw the face of a friend waiting to congratulate me which, at that moment, was exactly what I needed. I'm sure he'll never know how much that small gesture of support picked me up. I realized that as much as this was my first real accomplishment as a newly single girl and as much as I did it on my own, I wasn't alone. I am blessed with friends and family who I know will always be proud of me. I did it. I am proud of me. And I know that whatever this new adventure brings, I can do it.
|cheese plate with fig puree and butternut squash risotto w/prawns|
It was a great weekend - Kelly, Fran and I all completed the 1/2 and Peggy cheered us on! It was a great course and I'd certainly do it again. Now to rest up a bit and then start training for Detroit this fall. Thank you again to everyone who helped me support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society... I guess I better start on those thank you notes!