For me, that is the key to any race. Making it to the start line.
This time around, it was a hard journey. It was an intense journey.
Back at the end of last year, after the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon, and then the Shawnigan-Kinsol half marathon a few weeks later, I was all run out. I was done. I didn’t run at all in December. I had no interest. 2 marathons, plus numerous other races in one year was too much. I was done. DONE!
Then January came around, and my relationship with N hit yet another road block, and my life turned upside down. The Island Race Series started, and a new batch of Running Room training clinic started.
I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what clicked inside me, but something was different this time. After burning out in the last few weeks of training for each of the marathons I ran last year, and then burning out completely in December, when January came, I was re-energized. I decided that 2012 was the year I was going to get my marathon time under 4 hours. A time that started with 3 was now my goal. I used the time 3:59:59 to signify my commitment to my goal, and surrounded myself with it. I was on post it notes everywhere. On my computer monitors at work, in my car and all over my home. When I moved, the post it notes moved with me, and were there before the furniture arrived.
It wasn’t that I actually expected a time of 3:59:59 (although it was pretty close), it was that I needed to be reminded of my goal io a regular basis so that I would keep pushing forward. And it worked. There were so many times when it was the post it notes that got my ass out the door. During tax season, during my move, on those lazy days where I just didn’t want to run. 3:59:59 was everywhere.
Then there was James. I can’t remember the exact story now. But somehow, somewhere, we ended up in challenge to log 200km of training in the month of March. Again, it was another push in the right direction. Nothing like a little competition to light a fire under your butt! All the way over in Toronto, this guy became a great training partner.
And what about Jess. This girl is amazing. Last year, she had to drop out of the marathon mid race, due to injury. This year, she came back strong and determined! Seeing her training away, alone on the (hilly) streets of Shawnigan Lake, posting her DailyMile workouts with such determination made me ever more determined to make this the best training cycle ever.
Now, let’s talk about Kathryn, shall we? What can I say about the incomparable Kathryn? This girl is the definition of inspiration. She took on her first ever attempt at the marathon with such dedication and commitment, not to mention enthusiasm, that it was absolutely contagious! Following the ups and downs of her training reminded me what it was like the first time, when it was all new & exciting. She reminded me that simply having the ability to train for a marathon is a gift in itself, and we should embrace it.
And I can’t tell you the story of all the people who pushed me through training without telling you about my pace group for my training clinic! Paul, Matt, Carly & Christine. These guys were a pleasure to spend hours of my Sunday mornings with. The runs flew by so quickly with all crazy things we talked about along the way!
I don’t quite know how I did it. With the craziness or moving, during tax season, while training for a marathon, somehow I managed to log the highest mileage training cycle I have ever logged and March was my highest running mileage month ever.
The weeks leading up to race day were crazy. Tax season was at it’s busiest, and running was starting to taper off in preparation for race day. Phantom pains were common place, and sitting still for too long was agonizing. The pre-race dreams began, and so did the anxiety, the worry, the wondering if my goal was achievable!
All my worries magically disappeared on Saturday, May 5th, when my float plane touched down in the gorgeous Vancouver harbour, and I found all my run buddies hanging out at the race expo! Being around friendly faces, people who all had the same nervous anticipation I was feeling, somehow made all my worries disappear!
Our group dinner was just what I needed. It nourished my body with amazing food, and my soul with priceless friendships. I think there is a special bond with distance runners. While our friends and family are supportive and do their best to understand, our running buddies just get it, they understand, they know.
I left the restaurant ready for the startline.