Saskatchewan Marathon

Sunday was the Saskatchewan Marathon in which I was running the half marathon. Having only gotten out of a boot cast for a bad sprain two months prior, I started the day with my only goal to get close to my old PR.

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My HEART was a different story. I wanted to break 2:30 for the first time. One of my best friends was pacing the group, and I knew with her encouragement I could do it.

The first 5 km of the race was through residential area. At first I was dreading this as I find residential BORING. However the first 5 km everyone was still close together, it doubled back on itself and there were tons of people cheering. By the time we got to the river trail I thought, oh wow! Its just like starting a regular run, I just have to go a shorter distance now!

Running a 7min/km pace felt hard, but do-able. Around 12km I realized I had to use the washroom and use my inhaler, but didn’t want to stop and risk loosing my pacer. I ate two gels-pretty much forcing them down on Becky’s advice knowing I would need the energy later. By 14km, I NEEDED to stop [I was majorly regretting cutting my digestion time pre-race by half an hour]. I picked up my pace to PAST comfortably hard, hard as I could go to get to the washroom for…

SOME SPECTATOR KID TO SWIPE THE ONLY BATHROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn’t wait. I knew if my pacer passed me, I would have a really hard time getting back to her.

I slowed for a mini-tantrum. HA! My eyes were watering, I had rage inside me [yes, I know, kids can’t hold their bladders…rationally, I’m not mad….irrationally in my “IM GOING TO KILL A 6 YEAR DREAM” head I was RAGING. It was all I could do not to scream at the mother as I ran by. There were literally public bathrooms 300 meters away.] Becky caught up to me and I am sure she could tell I was defeated. She pointed out the bathrooms up ahead and I went for the sprint. I knew if she got more than 30 seconds ahead of me I wouldn’t be able to catch her.

I sprinted along the course to the public bathrooms. I went faster than ever in my life, one minute.  I sprinted back out. I saw Becky in the distance. I ran as hard as I possibly could. Possibly harder than I ever had to try to get back with her and the group. I could see her in the distance for a full 2-2.5km. She was SO close, but I was burning every ounce of extra energy I had to try and catch her. TMI alert: I was running so hard, I vomited in my mouth, and swallowed again in an attempt to KEEP GOING.

I approached the south bridge which has a slow incline. She was at the end of the bridge [thanks to a bright orange tank I could find her]. I tried as hard as I have ever tried for anything. The incline started, and I just knew, I couldn’t keep this pace any longer. I would have to push myself to try my best, and PR as close to 2:30 as I could.

I slowed my pace back to my goal pace and kept going. Within another 2-3 km my pace slowed dramatically. I was 1 minute slower per KM. I downed almost an entire pack of gel dummies desperate for energy. All of that sprinting wore me out early.

I knew that if I didn’t PR at least, I would never forgive myself for giving up.
I pressed on at 90% effort. The hardest I have ever worked in a race, EVER.
In my head I kept calculating how many minutes behind I was. FINALLY I was on the final stretch. I could see the finish line.
400 meters left, I had plenty of time to PR. Becky  ran back for me. All I could say was “I tried so hard to catch you” through tears. I was so emotional I could barely breath. I had to beg her, and a few seconds later, my husband, not to talk to me so I could at least breath and finish strong. Becky took my camel back to lighten the zone and I ran the last 300 meters at a pace around 5:28 according to my watch. If you saw me dragging it in, you probably would have thought I was a robot. I wasn’t smiling. My eyes were on the prize.

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I finished in 2:34:59. 11 whole minutes off my previous personal best. Almost 5 minutes off of the dream I had been chasing for 6 years….and while I didn’t believe I could achieve until mid race, had my heart set on.

Now, I am selfishly bummed. Im trying to be so happy with my accomplishment. I PR’d by such a large amount. I ran the hardest emotional and physical race I have ever run. I all out sprinted 2.5km…..and I can’t stop thinking about 2:30.

I could have done it. I COULD HAVE DONE IT.
The fire is inside me. Now to find a race….

PS. Don’t ask me about aid stations or any of that jazz- the only ones I really remember were at 4km and 14km[with the dang kid], but I was so zoned in and focused I can’t remember. I DO know 14km only had ONE porta potty. I know they were often, I was just trying to run my hardest and zone them out. I wore a camel back with my energy and water.

Perfectly Permanent Birthday

IMG_5477Another year has come and gone, and I am once again incredibly blessed in all aspects of my life.

For my 26th birthday today, I booked the day off, and spent it EXACTLY how I wanted.

I slept in until about 8:30 when the sun was just starting to rise and my Dad called. [He is always the first person to tell me happy birthday-he always beats G because he calls first thing in the morning, I love it.] I had a nice hot shower while I listening to my new Adele CD (a birthday gift from G along with a beautiful rose gold band and my favourite perfume), and put on some simple but pretty makeup and blow-dried and straightened my hair. I got into my favourite cute-comfy clothes.

 

G and I hoped over to the mall where I had a nail appointment for a pedicure. I was pampered and Graeme had his own hair cut and then got us both a starbucks.[BTW. It ALWAYS snows on my birthday..and of course in december-fashion it was snowing a bit when I came out with my sandals on :)]

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Next we went and purchased a variety of gluten free cupcakes from my favourite Cupcake Conspiracy downtown before returning home.

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We had about an hour before our next event which was perfect time for G to shower/shave [clean face just for me!] + put on some cologne [also a big deal, he hates cologne and I love it]. While home I got my Indigo delivery from black friday! Whoooo! Total surprise to receive a package on the weekend (Im assuming long hours for christmas)- but it contained some stocking things for G…as well as 3 candles I got for amazing deals. They all smell amazing! Happy Birthday to me! I also got to chat with my mom on the phone for a bit.(Mom + Dad contributed to our refugee sponsorship for my birthday which I appreciate wayyyyy more than a gift!:))

After we were done at home, we headed over to pick up my brother and then went to Famoso-my favourite pizza place for a casual lunch with a bunch of my friends! [some had to work and what not][the BEST gluten free pizza…and  I have NEVER been contaminated accidentally which is a huge feat at such a restaurant!]

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We had about another hour and a half before we had to head to a very special appointment so we came home. I had a cupcake and tea while cuddling with G watching my favourite show of the week: Last Man Standing on netflix. I was also able to finish up my goal list for the year! Fun things coming up!

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Finally, we went for the most anticipated part of the day. MY TATTOO!!!! Shannon at Alchemy Tattoo was AMAZING,  warm, kind…and didn’t seemed bothered at all by my type-A nature. She stencilled out my design twice, the first one was a bit small, the second perfect, and then she put the stencil on my arm around FIVE times while I hummed and hawed about exactly where I wanted it (I wanted it to be relatively straight even when moving…which is tough on the area I chose). Finally once I had decided, she reassured my fears of the pain, and started. Within 5 minutes, and essentially no pain [I have had paper cuts and running chafe that hurt more], it was done!!:) I absolutely adore it! My only regret is not going sooner. (Keep in mind the photo is five seconds after it was done, so all the blue is just from the stencils, all that will remain in a couple days is the black ENOUGH..and hopefully a  lot less redness. I’ll post a good pic when it is healed up.)

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After the tattoo we came home to do exactly what I wanted- to hang out at home! We are now relaxing on the couch, watching youtube videos, reading, sipping tea.

The only plans left are to watch my favourite movie, Marley & Me, maybe wrapping my final stocking gifts for G for xmas, and bed early for work tomorrow! [I planned a lunch out for this purpose…I’m a morning person!]

I am so incredibly thankful for this beautiful life I have, with so many wonderful people. Thanks for coming along for the ride. 🙂 Here’s to 26!

 

 

STOP IT!

I need to address something here that is very VERY very important.

If I hear one more person tell me the secret reason they have never run is because they are too self conscious…..
I have heard this sad fact from at least 5 people this month. Tiny people, less tiny people, large people. Young people, old people.

PEOPLE! You are beautiful. If you are walking, shuffling, running, darting, ANYTHING, you are doing better than the majority of north americans sitting at home on their couch.

Screw them. Screw the kids who teased you as a kid. Screw the “elites” who make you feel slow. Screw bad body image.

We are all beautiful, and doing the best you can, and running is such a joy and gift because of just that-it teaches you to love yourself, and that you are capable of so much more than you think.

So whether you are 600 LBS, or 90lbs. 10 years old, or 80 years old… Lets get moving. No one else’s opinion should ever determine our health.

(PS. Me and all my ‘running friends’ are commending you…It takes incredible strength to get out there. Starting is hard, we were all there once.)

The End.

Love, Me.