So the other night I was sitting at the pub waiting for my friend and a few other people to show up. I figured I start writing some stuff for the blog. I had quite a bit typed already when they finally arrived. However the stupid software on the phone crashed and I lost all I wrote. So here is the second crack at it:
I felt bored a few days after the ride. I needed to do something new! I was playing around with different ideas; perhaps another triathlon end of August or beginning of September. But I did not have time to get back to training, specially for the swimming. I wanted to be ready for the swimming the next time I did a triathlon. So why not a half-marathon. I had enough time to train for it and it was a great idea at the time: to prove to myself I am ready for a half-iron. It was convenient that the Victoria Half-marathon was coming up in October. With just over three months of time left for training, it seemed like a great opportunity.
So the training started. I had to quickly get back up to my 10k distance since I didn’t really run regularly for a few weeks. From there it was just a simple fact of following a training schedule that was put together with the help of my great running coach and friend, Monica. I even managed to fit the 14K COHO run from Kits to Ambleside which was a fun and very wet run!
I managed to get through the training and was as ready as I could get for the run. I headed over to the island a couple of days early to be able to relax and enjoy the beautiful city before the race.
So like most other athletes (I guess I can call myself that), I like to listen to some inspiring tunes before an event to get in the zone. The type of music changes for me depending on the event. I felt like listening to some slow tempo house music that day. So I step out of the back entrance of the hotel which is half a block away from the start line with my headphones on listening to a trusty Jody Wisternoff mix. It was around 6:45am and the streets were packed. It was hard to try and concentrate on the run ahead. Everywhere you look people were getting ready to run 21k. I did my best to forget about the chaos around me and not get too excited (and nervous)!
7am sharp and the race starts! we slowly walk towards the start line as 5000+ people start their 21k adventure around Victoria. I am usually not a morning runner. So the first few kilometers was a little rough. I started getting in the groove by the 5k marker. People who have never done a run distance run, will find this interesting. I usually zone out right around 6k. The running because automatic and the unconscious mind takes over. I start thinking about the past and the future. It is a great feeling. It can be pretty emotional at times.
I started thinking about what I have been through in the last 2 years. The big changes that I had to make and the changes I wanted to make. I was thinking about the support of my family and friends. Without them this would have been impossible. I would have never got here. So I run, sometimes with a smile on my face, sometimes having tears in my eyes, and doing this while looking around and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
I look at my trusty Garmin watch and it is telling me I have run just over 19k. It was hard to believe since the time had flew by. The 19k marker on the side of the road confirmed that. I started to come out of my running high. The pain suddenly appeared. My poor legs and feet were feeling pretty awesome at this point. I was left with a tired body and 1.5k to go. It was time to dig deep, really deep! This is the mental part. I can do this! I did not come this far to give up. I turn the volume up on the shuffle to distract myself from the pain. This worked for a little bit; but the pain came back. Thankfully I had less than a kilometer to go at this point. I was pretty much on track as far as the pace I planned for the race. So I figured I turn the pace up a little bit. It wasn’t a good idea. It was too early. so I slow down. I take it easy until I hit 400m. It didn’t feel like I had much left, but I have to give it all; every ounce I have! So I start sprinting, well what would be considered sprinting at that time. I could see the finish line. I went even faster. I was borderline screaming at this point. Made it to the finish line and gave it all I had. I could barely stand but I was happy, the happiest I have been in years.
It was a great accomplishment for me. Just over a year after I started running, I ran a half-marathon and finished it. I proved to myself anything is possible. No dream is unreachable!!!
It was time to start thinking about the half-ironman. I had proven to myself I could do the run. The next step is the half-ironman. Bring it!!!