It’s finished! I didn’t get the time i was hoping for and my body hurt a lot after the race was done, but i crossed the finish line smiling and new i had accomplished something i will be proud of forever.
Even though it was my second time running this distance in a race, i felt more stress and pressure while training for the Centaur Subaru Half Marathon. Training while having two children to juggle with no babysitter, lack of sleep and tummy troubles definitely left me worrying about my ability to get myself to travel those 21.1 km.
Race day began very early and cold! A 7am start time meant a 5:30am wakeup to get myself ready and take public transit down the race-finding parking in that part of Calgary is tough-especially when there are 15,000 other people vying for the same spots. When i got there the lineup for the bathrooms was crazy so i figured i would wait until the race started and stop at some along the course thinking it would only take a minute or two-this was a big mistake. The race started out fine-loud music, pushing and shoving by some people. My biggest problem are those folks who plan to walk the race, but line up at the front of the pack in a three or four people wide, forcing everyone to dart around them or risk tripping on them.
I had a terrible start to the race and almost quit and went home within the first 4 km. I just couldn’t find my groove-i was upset about a personal issue, plus i had a very full bladder that was distracting me (sorry for the tmi, but there is more to come). The first bathrooms were not until the 3 km mark and the line was 15 people long. I guess i wasn’t the only one with the grand idea not to go before the race started. I asked a volunteer where the next ones were and found out it would be another 3 km and i knew i couldn’t wait that long. So in the line i waited for 15 minutes watching the race pass me by. I hit a low when i saw a woman with two canes walk by-i knew it would be hard to get with the race feeling back if i was with all the walkers.
So my turn came and off i went-feeling dejected and knowing the race time i wanted was already gone and i hadn’t even reached the 5 km mark. But, i went on and managed to get into a bit of a groove. And i’m really glad a did because i met up with a friend and ran with her for about 3 km. I did want to run a bit faster so we said our goodbyes at around the 11 km mark (with her blessing) and off i went feeling much better. Then i my feet started to hurt and i knew i had a big blister forming on each foot under the arch. I knew my socks weren’t the best choice for the race, but my favorite race socks went missing and i still haven’t found them. So here i was feeling better and wanting to run hard, but the blisters were very painful. I took a deep breath and went on-fast-i really rocked it for several km. I was just about 4.5 km short of the finish and was catching up to finish time of 2.5 hours-i had really wanted 2:15, but knew i couldn’t do it. I was almost there-then my stomach medicine conked out and it make running very difficult. I don’t want to get into gross details, but i saw all my hard work slipping away again because i was feeling so rotten and was hunting for bathrooms again. I found some, but it didn’t help-my race was over. I forced myself to keep going in spite of the extremely painful blisters and a stomach that felt like it was going to fall out at any second.
I heard it, then i saw it…the finish line…i was almost there! My knees were hurting by this point because they were compensating for me running differently because of my monster blisters but i pushed and smiled and completed my race in an abysmal time of 2:45. i was upset because my family didn’t come to see me finish and i admit i shed a few tears because of it as i limped home.
I’m feeling better now about the race and did manage to have some fun. I’m trying not to focus on everything that went wrong and reminding myself that i worked long and hard to get myself ready for this race and should be proud that i continued, and finished, even when the thought of quitting was much more appealing.