Monday, October 17, 2011

The Half of It....

Prepped and Ready to Go!
I ran the Scotiabank Half Marathon.  I know, I broke my rule about training in the summer but I actually didn't start training until the end of August.  I was given time off of pacing the BRC to jump in with the half marathon group.  I did hills and the long slow distances, as my knee, would allow.  It kept me out of the speed work but I had already done a fair bit of both hill repeats and speed work during July and August.  I was, as prepared as, I could be for such a spontaneous race entry.

Me with the Brooklin Run Club
Did I regret my impetuousness?  Hell no! It was the best race I ever entered.  It was so crowded.  I don't do well in crowds but I had my club with me so I just followed them through the masses of people flowing one way, then the next.  Once in the corral I settled in.  I'm not nervous about races.  I get nervous over getting to the race.  It's the same anxiety I get when travelling.  Once I'm at the starting line it's just a matter of falling into step.  Which to me is just as effortless as walking off a ledge.  I just let momentum take me.  There are no longer any more decisions to be made. My race plan never really changes.  I drink at nearly each walk break.  I take a gel at my scheduled distances.  I just keep on keeping.

What made this race so wonderful....the energy!  The crowd was excellent.  So many people out there supporting loved ones and their fellow runners.  Cow bells, clappers, bull horns, car stereos, bands, dancers and balloons and flags.  I clapped and danced my way through those cheer stations.  I thanked supporters along the way.  I took in the sights. I enjoyed myself, shamelessly.  

The best part of all!  I got to speak to my hero.  Ed Whitlock.  I spotted him in the return elite group.  I was lucky enough to be running aside of the divide and I yelled to him when we were 10 yards apart.  He called back to me.  I just hope that was ok to do?  Nonetheless, it was so cool.  I loved seeing the elites run past.  Relished their form.  It's inspiring to see someone practice the sport they were born too.  A graceful display of skill and experience.  The raw competitiveness.

My friend Charmaine put it so well today after I recounted my experience on the course, as we were spinning. She very frankly said "What other sport can you participate where you share the course with World Record Holders and Olympians?"  It's so true.  I've never been a star struck girl.  I don't think I'd ever cross the street to gush over a celebrity.  I don't really identify with them.  However, if given the chance I might have been all tongue tied and nervous getting out more than just a few crazy fan girl comments, should I ever find myself in a conversation with Ed or Paula Radcliffe.  

I finished stronger and smarter and quicker with a few more stars in my eyes, this time around.

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