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Saturday, October 15, 2011


Fun Fact:  When I play a computer game (and I'm not saying I play games often, because I don't) and win, I start over again with a new user name solely to beat my high score.

I think I was in Victoria for a total of 33 hours.  That includes sleeping time, getting what I needed for my run time, and race activity time.  The other twelve-ish hours were spent seeing my brother and his family, my Auntie Susan, and my 94 year old grandma.  It had been over a year since I'd seen my brother.  It had been way over 2 since seeing my aunt and grandma.  I miss them all.

I will just start by saying that I LOVE this run.  The Victoria Marathon, or half marathon in my case, was so well organized.  It's a Boston Marathon qualifier.  There were past Olympians, Olympic hopefuls, world class triathletes, a retired NHL hockey players, Kenyans, and slobs like me.  It was awesome!!!

Who wouldn't find a good omen in opening your front door in the darkness of the morning to see a family of three deer standing on the front lawn.  They just looked at me and peacefully walked across the street and watched me from the corner as I got into the car.  I couldn't imagine a nicer way to start my day.
I arrived about an hour before the race, in time to hear the early marathon start........that's for the slow pokes.  They get a two hour head start.  If I ever run a marathon I hope they give me the four hour head start.
I worried about my body.  I ran only once between Melissa's and Victoria.  My ankle hurt.  I spent a whole hour warming up.  5200 other half marathoners began to arrive over the next hour.  There were a bunch of us.  I like to start at the back.  Once the start was signalled, it took me five minutes to get to the start line.  And the run was on...........
I love sea level!!!  I ran so comfortably.  I had the biggest smile on my face at 10K because I could still breathe!!  The streets were lined with people cheering on the runners.  I made sure I passed the two 175 year old runners because there was NO WAY I was going to let them beat me.  I struggled with the old man who kept passing me, but I don't know if he was running or speed walking.  I think he ended up beating me, and if that really was speed walking then I just have no words for that.

Us slow pokes cheered on the winners who were in the home stretch when we were barely past 8K.  At 14K we cheered on the marathoners and caught a glimpse of the Kenyan runner who won by 12 minutes and had won the Montreal Marathon just two weeks earlier.

At 15K I got those darned butt cramps again.  I pulled over to stretch.  I kept on running.  By 18K I started to feel like my end was near and I was so close.  I found a familiar face.  I stopped to take a picture.  Shannon, you were the best police officer on duty along the race route.  You clapped and cheered us all on. Seeing her was enough to keep me going to the end.
And the end came.......2:28:20 was my official time.  I maintained my 10 and 1 run program and only made a potty stop and a stretch stop.  I beat my Melissa's time by 8 minutes.  I beat my first Melissa's time by about 28 minutes.

I loved this run.  It was like a regular Saturday run. The weather was perfect, which made it more lovable.  I find I get a little emotional before a race.  Something about being in the midst of so many people and we all have this same goal......to finish.  I contemplated life on this run.  I missed my running peeps.  I texted them and Facebook status updated on my walks, because it kept things light for me.  Heaven forbid I take myself too seriously.
All sorts of people crossed that finish line.  Some were fit looking and others looked a little marshmallow-y.  Some were young and one was 89 years old.  He was the oldest.  He finished the half in 3:13.  Can you find the inspiration in that?  I sure did.

I crossed the finish line.  I got my medal.  I got my chocolate milk.  Prayers work.  I did not hobble and haven't since.  It's like my ankle was never hurt.
A few short hours after that, I was on a plane back home.  I was greeted by the gang.  I love the gang.

I love to run.  I hate to run.  But I mostly love it.  It is my therapist.  I've watched video of me crossing the finish line.  I look like I gained 20 pounds and I certainly don't look like some of these fresh daisies that finish looking the same as they did 13.1 miles earlier.  But I clean up well.

I'll have to run Victoria again.  I'll use the same name, but you know my only goal will be to beat my high score.

I always have to beat my high score.


ABDO said...

great story. i felt like i was there. maybe one day i will be! mission accomplished, mama deb!

Haddock said...

Its a good feeling to cross the finish line, especially when its something like a marathon.
Congrats on what you have done.
(first time here)