Running the Seawall in Vancouver was one of the best experiences of my life.Where to begin? We flew to Vancouver with a goal in mind.
Had I trained enough? No not really. This has always been a problem of mine. I get excited about something and then I have trouble with the follow through. My mother had my painting supplies at home (back in the great white north) and commented a few summers ago “Remember when you decided to take up painting? I still have your stuff downstairs.” I moved the painting stuff into my room at home. This summer I brought it back with me to Toronto, and so it sits in my room, paints and two blank canvases.
lululemon did a wonderful job organizing their first half marathon. Everyone was cheerful, helpful and nothing less than I had expected. From the minute that we went to pick-up our race kits, to the moment the fun! concert was over, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. (We even went tandem biking, but that is a whole other story in itself.)
Ashley was running the race with Lizzie and I. She’s faster than us so her corral was a bit ahead of ours. We knew we’d see her at the finish line and wished her good luck! Her husband Michael was going to be waiting for us at the finish line with Leanne.
I have this thing, where I don’t like to know where I’m running. When the route is a mystery, I feel better about it. I think for me, I wanted Vancouver to be the challenge that I didn’t really know about. I mean how big could this hill really be? I remember thinking that at one point. Now, had I known how big the hill was, I probably would have psyched myself out about it and not made it up like I did. I’m finding more and more often that I limit myself because I talk myself out of things. I’m still struggling with it, but I’m learning as we all do, that the first step is knowing that there is a problem hahah
I forgot my iPod at the hotel. I don’t know if this was one of those subconscious moments you see shown on tv where the main actress forgets something, knows it, but then realizes it was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to her.
I always run with music. I work with music playing to drown out the noises around me. For once in my life I was happy to not have any noise, other than that of my own thoughts.
The first 10k was okay. Lizzie’s knee was acting up a few kilometers into the run, so she told me to go ahead. I didn’t want to, because we had said that we were going to stick together no matter what, but she insisted.
I remember getting to the top of the hill of one of the most challenging parts of the race and there was a huge group of little girls dressed in purple cheering us on singing along to Katy Perry’s Firework, and I thought to myself that if my life were a movie, this sure as heck would have been one of those moments when I had a voice-over talking about how I had just wanted to give up, but now I can’t because there are like 100 pretty little cheerleaders singing me up the hill.
When I got to the Seawall, this is when things really changed. I still had quite a bit of distance to go in the race. I paused to take a picture at kilometer sixteen when I wanted to quit (but didn’t) so that I could remember the feel that I had at that moment in time, and how I pushed through it. I thought that any coach that I’d ever had over the years would have been pretty impressed with Rebecca “I can’t”, because I didn’t think I could, and I did. I believe this is where I gave myself an imaginary, but well deserved pat on the back 😉
Surely we’ve all had those moments when you really REALLY feel alive. I mean we’re always alive, but those moments when you feel like everything you see is sharper and the colours are brighter than usual. That’s how I felt when I rounded the first corner of the sea-wall. I saw all of the runners ahead of me, spots of colour dotting the Seawall’ed coastline. It was surreal. I was one of those little dots. I wish I had a picture of that moment.
This moment gave me back my love for running. It gave me back the spirit I had been missing on all those practice runs.
The race happened in August. I haven’t written about it until now. I had another one of those moments like the one I had during the half marathon when I was running the other night with my friend Rae. It was raining and we were those crazy people who you see when you look our your window when it’s pouring and wonder what exactly would possess someone to do something so ridiculous. I could feel the rain squishing in between my toes. I really felt like that was the place I needed to be and nothing else mattered.
I’ve wanted to write this post so many times, but I also wanted to make sure it was right…..-Bexx