Remember when the wheels fell off my training and I went into panic mode on Friday? I was scared and really I was actually a little terrified, but then I went for a run and Jess my girl crush at Scoot a Doot gave me some solid advice and calmed me down. I was scared about these things:
- What if I can’t find parking?
- What if I injure myself and get pulled?
- What if I feel crappy race morning and can’t pull myself together?
- What if I run out of fuel/water/water and water?
- What if I don’t push myself?
Jess suggested I write on my arms, so I did. I bowed to her wisdom and she was right. It worked for me.
I wrote my pace that I needed to finish with a Personal Best, I wrote PUSH because I can get lazy and NO FEAR so the wheels didn’t fall off and I don’t go a bit crazy with an anxiety attack. All of these worked. Push was a big one that I needed and so was the 10:30 pace because there were moments when I was too fast. I know that sounds crazy but being too fast would deplete my energy stores and I would have to walk the last bit of the race. I was not ok with that. I want to have a steady race pace that would have me running the last 2 kilometers. AND I DID THAT! In Fact, my walk breaks were my fuel breaks because I cannot run and eat/drink/slurp gel. It think it stems from childhood and hearing “Robyn, don’t run with your food! YOU WILL CHOKE!” Well, no one wants to choke, either physically or mentally so don’t worry mom, I walked while I ate. THat slowed me down but not as much as not being able to throw garbage on the ground. I just can’t do it. Finding the garbage can was really important and it slowed me down or had me stop. That is not going to change, I am not so competitive that I have to become a litter bug, therefor I need to improve my regular pace. I am cool with that.
The trip started with me (Robyn 45), Dadeo (my dad – 65) and The Boy (my son – 17) driving the 3 hours to Calgary in the pouring rain. We were prepared to run in the rain. It is better than snow. THere has been snow for past Calgary Marathons, so you just never know what kind of weather you will have.
We arrived at the Stampede Grounds and went to the Big Four for the Expo. It is small by other city standards but huge compared to Edmonton’s Marathon Expo.
The Road Carpet was cool. It was a tribute to the Calgary Road Runners.
That is Dadeo picking up his race package. There was a lot of stuff in there, power bar, noise sticks, magazine, coaster – you know…stuff and junk and coupons.
We went around the exhibitors and my fellas left me to go sit at the end while I explored the booths.
I met Martin Parnell, he took at year off at the age 55 and ran 250 marathons. He was amazing and interesting. We chatted for awhile and he signed his book for me.
I learned more about the Nike San Francisco Women’s run. Did you know they have Fire Fighters in Tuxedos handing out these little gems while giving you a hug? Who doesn’t want to run THAT race? I am putting that on the bucket list. Because I love Tiffany jewelry, I am a medal whore especially if it comes with a blue box and white ribbon and I love hugging firefighters….sigh….can’t wait until I am ready for that one!
I then caught up with the fellas and we went to explore Calgary for a while. The next morning we were up at 5:30am (or stupid o’clock) and got ready to catch to the 6:30 C Train. WHICH WAS PACKED! Apparently there were 15 000 runners headed to the Stampede grounds. Edmonton has 1500 runners this race was massive compared to what I am use to.
We arrived at the Start Line and discovered there were no corrals which is ironic because we were steps away from The Corral where the Flames use to play. We just lined up with thousands of runners.
Dadeo and I were ready. He made me fist bump and the we elbowed each other like we do – hockey style – for luck. He hugged and kissed me then we agreed this was an awesome way to spend a 65th birthday and wasn’t it nice of Calgary to throw him this fabulous party?
Then we were off. We started 30 minutes after the Full and the Half runners. We were doing the 10k with 2500 others. Dad took off like a rocket and about a billion people passed me but I kept running. It wasn’t until I reached the first bridge that I settled into my run and my breathing eased. Why is that? Why does it take about 3k for me to feel like I shouldn’t quit?
By the time I reached the first water table, I needed to stop to drink because I slop and miss my mouth. Soon I was off again. I had ran up the bridge at Memorial Drive and ran past the zoo. By the time I was on 1 ave NW Random walker Steve caught up to me. He stalked to be and said, “I have been trying to catch for 5k. You are amazing.” I said so are you but he said – “no you are unbelievable, don’t forget to smile at the finish because they take video.” I replied with thanks and said see you at the finish. It didn’t really registered why he thought I was unbelievable until people were calling my name and shouting how amazing I am. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I had a lightbulb moment. They meant that because I was a fat girl running I was amazing! AND the fat girl running has a ton of 10k -ers behind her unable to catch up! I am halfway to my weight goal, so I feel less amazing than when I began. It was harder to run 20lbs ago, now I am 90lbs down and running is much easier. I can only imagine what it will feel like when I reach goal weight.
This is me, the fat girl running in Blue with all those people behind me. That felt AWESOME! The purple bibs are the 10kms and the blue bibs are the 21.1kms
When I reached the 6k mark, I was directed into traffic and was nearly killed. I figured out I was on the wrong side of the road and the water table people saved me. THANK VOLUNTEERS! ALL 1000 of you were AMAZING!
At the 7k mark I was the victim of a water fight with sponges. Only in Canada is it considered hot at 8C with the sun shining. Therefore we needed to be drenched with water sponges. It felt great, I had more water…so I needed to walk…then I was off again past more dancers, DJs, crowds and cheering. The fan turnout was unreal. Well Done Calgary, Well done!
I ran to the last mile marker and this it was I saw:
Alberta Blue Sky, the Calgary Tower and runners ahead of me. People were shouting “LAST MILE!” so we ran. we ran back to Stampede Grounds and into the shoot. People kept yelling my name and congratulating me on being amazing. 2 more corners and I was done. Thanks random stranger for tell me I had 2 corners, I hate it when people say “You are almost done!” they are liars. Last corner and a hill/ramp/mountain combination to get to the top.
The grandstand was full and I was the only one in the shoot because I sprinted the last km and pulled away from the pack. I ran sub 10, my tempo time of 9:30 for the final km. I fist pumped as I crossed the finish line and yelled YES!
I was given a groovy 10k purple medal for my efforts and heard my daughter calling me. WHAT??? There she was at the finish holding a present for me. My Trusty Steed brought her down from Edmonton so she could be there. They got up at 4am to make the trip. It really meant a lot to me to have my whole family at the finish line. I was given this because I am a medal whore
Then she took my picture with my Dadeo who was also at the finish (15 minutes before me)
On the trip back to Edmonton, my Dadeo announced that he has retired from racing but not from running. He gave me a big hug and kiss and thanked me for the fabulous birthday weekend. He told me he was proud of the way I am working hard to be fit and lose weight the right way. Slow and steady. Then I had to promise to run a 10k on my 65th birthday.
I promise Dadeo, but YOU have to be at the finish line.