I can’t believe it’s been 18 months since I ran my first 5K race.
Since that time I have run an 8k (that almost killed me) and two more 5k races. And despite my best intentions of working hard at my training and graduating to a longer distance…it just hasn’t happened yet.
So that’s how I found myself running alone this past weekend in the 5k event at the Scotiabank Half Marathon weekend. With a goal of running my first sub-40 minute race.
I was running solo in my race but I was not alone at the event. My husband and one of my best friends were both running in the half marathon.
Lindsay was running to raise money for the MS Society in honour of her dad who is battling the disease. She was the top fundraiser at the event – raising nearly $2,600! I’m so proud of her.
I dropped them off at the start line for the Half Marathon at UBC with a slight feeling of regret. I’ve been working towards my goal of being “real runner” for more than 2 years now and I really thought I would have been able to tackle a half marathon at this point.
I have no one to blame but myself of course. And I know it’s not like I haven’t accomplished anything. I’m proud of the medals I have earned…but still. I would have liked to have been running along with them.
|Next time…red bib (?)
After dropping them off I drove over to the finish line at Stanley Park and snagged one of the last few parking spots available before they closed the roads.
And – amazingly – I got to see the first half marathoners cross the line. Just 1 hour and 10 mins after they started! I mean that’s just crazy.
As I was making my way over the start line for the 5k race I ran into my favourite morning radio team – Kevin & Sonia from The Peak. They were MC’ing the event and running for the first time.
We chatted for a while and I pretended to be a veteran 5k runner – I mean this was my 4th event – and they were kind enough to listen to what I had to say as if I was actually some kind of expert.
Then…it was time to start.
And we were off. My first kilometre was great. I was in a good rhythm. My playlist was rocking all my favourites. I was in the shade for most of the time.
Then we hit Second Beach and moved out onto the seawall and the full sunshine. Did I mention that it was almost 30 degrees out…at 9:30 in the morning? And the tide was out so the fishy/seaweed smell was pretty ripe.
My pace slowed considerably. My breath became ragged. And I got a wicked stitch. But I kept going…grumbling with every step.
And that’s when one of the runners slightly ahead of me fainted. Another woman and her teenage daughter were right behind her and immediately stopped to help. And I did too. The lady who fainted was clearly suffering from heat stroke. She didn’t have any water on her so I gave her some of mine and we tried to figure out if she was running with anyone.
I offered to run ahead and notify one of the race course marshals that there was a runner that needed first aid help. There had been marshals all along the course up to this point so I figured I wouldn’t have to go far to find one with a radio. I was wrong.
For the next 2km I ran (slowly and still with a stitch) looking for someone that could help and worrying about the woman I had left behind. Finally…just past English Bay as the course moved up onto Beach Avenue…I found one and was able to relay the news.
But to be honest…the whole thing had totally messed up my run. I was off pace and stressed and hot and sweaty and the sea-smell was starting to make my stomach turn.
Of course…puking at the finish line of a race is kind of my thing…so the turning stomach part was not surprising. But I really wanted to end that tradition at this race because I was pretty sure my husband and friend would be at the finish line and that’s really not the way I wanted them to see me.
Alas…that was how they saw me. Being assisted by the first aid attendant and wiping off my face. Oh well…at least I’m consistent.
Finish time: 45:21. 656th out of 1239 women that entered the event. Given all that I battled through…I will take it.
And it was really great to see both faces waiting for me at the end. They had both battled the heat and exhaustion through their race and I was frankly in awe that they had both run more than 21km and were still standing (and puke free)
It was time for our reward…
All in all…I have to say this race was a disappointment to me. Because I really wanted to do better. I wanted to beat that 40 minute mark. I wanted to cross the finish line with my hands thrown triumphantly in the air rather than covering my mouth.
I wanted a lot of things I didn’t get. But I did get this:
And that’s another one to add to a collection of medals I never ever thought I would have the strength or will power to earn. So there’s that. And it will have to be enough.