Victoria Marathon (#11)

Waiting in line for the 11 o’clock ferry to sail across the Georgia Strait to Victoria. Drizzle. Rain before a marathon gives me a minor panic attack. Skies clear on the eventful ferry ride – orca sighting on the port side of the ship!

After the ‘whale’ excitement wears off, my usual anxiety before the race (even though it’s my 11th) sets in. I struggle to picture the first step of the 42 kms in my mind – do I remember how to run?

Thinking about eating the right food, wearing the right outfit. Need to buy new socks – back of the heel has worn threadbare (see I’ve trained enough). Don’t need to get a blister at 37 km – my least favourite kilometre.

*

Beautiful race day in Victoria – great temperature 9 degrees, cloudy with the sun peaking through (no rain!)

And I remember how to run – feeling strong.

I take in the stunning scenery: ocean view, stylish houses, friendly cheerleaders. And a deer at 11 kms through beautiful Beacon Hill Park.

Then… at 30 kms things start to fall apart.

The positive course features are overshadowed by: how am I going to finish?

Walking (I don’t usually), but I keep moving … is it the last hill? There have been soooo many! I don’t care if I finish or not. I hate it! Please be the end.

Hills, hills and more hills – why didn’t I study the route more? Why didn’t I do more hill training? Too confident? Yes.

I notice a guy in blue ahead of me – then behind me – then ahead – we’re running at the same pace. I don’t acknowledge him until the 38 kms mark. I’m walking again and so is he.

‘If you get to the top of the next hill it’s downhill from there.’

‘Really? I don’t believe it. The hills are killing me.’

‘I’m walking to the top – see that woman in white – up to her.’

‘Ok. Can I stick with you?’

‘Sure.’

We walk up the decent sized hill (they all seem like mountains now).

‘Three, two, one – go.’ We start running together.’

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My Brain Towards the End of the Marathon

Do I have it in me – where’s my will, my passion to finish with my head held high. I had lost that conviction. I… DIDN’T … CARE. That’s the death of running a marathon – you have to care!

500 metres to go. The longest, stupidest, ugliest metres I’ve ever run – it felt like a never-ending amount of metres the distance seemed to be getting longer – I was on a treadmill going nowhere.

Turn the corner – I can see the FINISH line. OMG – I’ve got this. 100 metres out, the announcer says: ‘and Dr. Janet Green is finishing her 400th marathon!’ What? 400?!@! A humbling/motivating moment – I will finish my 11th.

At the last 10 metres, I find my burst of speed and pass my new partner, then he passes me. I finish just behind him, feeling powerful.

My big disappointment: betrayed by my mind. It made me think that there wasn’t a finish line – that I’d be running forever…

So, I have to do another.

Not that I’ll finish 400 marathons, but I will train better. I’ll focus my mind more and do hill training until I can’t bear it, even if it’s for the flattest course ever!

About Organized Bohemian

The Organized Bohemian is me, Dana M. Petric. I am a person who writes, runs, travels, designs websites and... has self-published two books: Growing Iris and Budding Iris (a series). I live in Vancouver, BC with my partner Eric and daughter Cleo.
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