The sun shines on the stack of medals sitting on my filing cabinet. I add the Kelowna Marathon medal to the pile and start counting – 10. Strange, thought it was my 9th. I reached my goal without even knowing it! That’s weird. I calculate, figure and plan – how could I have not known that I was running my 10th?! I would have trained harder.
I had approached this as a ‘filler,’ a less important run. That was the mistake. I didn’t give it the respect it deserved since I had hoped #10 would be Chicago or …
My brain wasn’t fully in the run. That’s the difference between feeling eager and feeling indifferent. I had a thought of ‘giving up’ – I wasn’t going for a qualifier, so the apathy seeped into my psyche.
As I was beginning my last 10 kilometres, along the path by City Park (for the third time), I heard the announcer call the time of 3:06 – and a muffled name – it was the first woman to finish. I so envied her.
I felt hopeful – there were cheers and people holding signs and a couple of runners going at my pace. But suddenly, as if the plague had struck Kelowna, no one was around. I was alone in a deserted industrial area. Noooo! I have run alone for my training runs – I needed people around me and inspiring scenery too. Where’s the Lake?
I almost didn’t have the will to continue. And I shamefully admit that I walked twice – which I never do. A disappointing reality.
Well, I take that back. I did meet the 4:30 pace bunny.
‘Are you a solid 4:30?’ I asked the bunny.
‘No, I’m a bit faster.’
I took a breath. I wasn’t that slow after all. A hint of hope hung over me and the bunny. I stuck with him for the last 4 kilometres. Then another pacer came by and joined us. I was with a group again – it made all the difference. Once I felt the energy of runners beside me, and I knew the finish line was within reach, I became a runner again. I could see the red timer ahead, so I pushed past the 4:30 bunny, apologized and surged across the finish line, leaving the bunny in the dust!
Now that I relive the race, it wasn’t so bad. And not to make excuses, but – it was cold, the route was complicated – the fast runners kept passing by intimidatingly close AND I didn’t have a spinach salad with my chicken dinner the night before the race. So there!
Ok, enough self-pity. I still reached my goal and so, on to the next! Number 11!
Thinking back to the start line, a woman mentioned she had just completed the Berlin marathon – hmmm, sounds like a good new race destination to aim for.