Monday, October 25, 2010

I am a Marathoner!!

The Scotiabank Marathon has come and gone. All that training and all the heat this summer and it is over. I can't help but feel a little sad that it is all over. However, I am thrilled that I can now call myself a marathoner.

September 26th, 2010 in Toronto was a perfect day for running. 15 degrees and sunny. Race day was full of emotions. I was crying before the start and was so happy to be doing this with my friends.

The day started at 5:00am. I didn't sleep really well because of all the nerves. I lay awake thinking: "Can I really do this?"; "Have i trained enough?"; "Will I be last?". However, I was so glad that I had talked to my dad the night before because he let me know that as long as I was resting I would be fine. He said it was normal to be nervous and not sleep well at all.

We had all our clothes and paraphernalia all ready to go and we got dressed. Getting ready also included writing the names of those I care about and those I would be running for. Writing those names was emotional and for all of those people who believed in me and always told me I could.
The marathon itself was great. I ran the first 8-10k with my two friends which was actually longer than I expected to stay with them, which was great. I slowed down a little at that point because I thought I may not be able to maintain. I then hung back with the 5 hour marathon group and stayed with them until about 17k. As the 5 hour marathon pace bunny got further away I still felt great and felt like I was maintaining a pretty good pace that I could keep up with. At 20km I saw my friends boyfriend and he took my picture and ran along side me. I felt great at this point. a few moments later my dad called my name and encouraged me. My husband and my mum were right behind my dad and the encouragement at that point was awesome. I felt confident and strong. At about 23k I saw my two friends come around the turn around point they were probably at 25k. It was great to see them and cheer each other on. At 30k I was feeling good but I hated the long turn around in the beaches. The problem was when we hit 30k we could see the 35k marker and at this point it seemed soooo far away. I hit the 30k mark at 3:44 which was pretty good and a 20min improvement over my Midsummer Night Run race in August. I persevered through the annoying turnaround point. I know at the 33k mark I started to slow down and take extra long walk breaks. At 35k I was supposed to see my family, but they were at 36k and I was a bit miserable. My shoulders hurt and I just felt that the 6km that were left were so far away. I handed my water belt to my family and took a few jelly beans and told them I would see them at the finish line. The last 6k were very hard, I tried to talk positively to myself but that only got me so far. The walk breaks started to get longer and longer and I think my last 5k turned out to take about an hour. I remember running along and i looked beside me and there was someone walking faster than I was running. Not pretty but I got it done. At the last 800m I saw a friend who was at Scotiabank to cheer all us all on. She held my hand and tole me I could do it. She ran right there with me and this is when the tears came. I gave her my iPod as I didn't want it to be in the pictures at the finish line. The last 200m I did on my own and heard my friends cheering me on. I picked it up as usual at the finish line. I passed the finish line and it was over just like that in a few steps, I had a brief moment of tears. A few moments letter I got my medal and saw my husband mom and dad, they actually took longer to get to the finish line than!

After I met up with my family all I wanted to do was sit down but there wasn't really a place to sit. We found a chair and I sat. My dad loosened my shoe laces and I realized that all I really wanted to do was lie down. We got back to the hotel and I lied down all sweaty in the comfy hotel bed for about 20 mins. before taking a shower. The rest of the day was spent driving home to London but not without stopping for dinner. The problem with the buffet dinner was that I was not that hungry. My shoulders really hurt from slouching and running with my head down, this is something I need to work on.

It was a big deal to run this marathon for me. I really wanted my dad to be proud and i think he was. I crossed the finish line at 5:46, didn't make my "A" goal of 5:30 but at this point who cares. I finished my first marathon and I will do another one! This whole experience has been a journey, one that I will never forget and one that has changed my life forever. I now see my self differently. I believe that I am capable of more, capable of almost anything! I even may believe that I am a runner!