I did it!
Okay let’s back up a little…
I got up at 6am yesterday feeling very nervous but excited. I drank lots of water and ate a piece of toast, with peanut butter and a banana. Are you surprised?
Mom, Dad and I piled into the car and headed downtown — the route is along the Toronto waterfront, as the name suggests. It was a beautiful but cold day. Sunny but 5 degrees Celsius (40 Fahrenheit). Eek! I dressed warmly: longsleeve, leggings, jacket, gloves and headband… with of course lots of kleenex in my pocket.
Dad parked and Mom walked with me to my race corral (the area of the starting line based on expected finishing time).
Waiting in the corral was the worst. I got really cold. It was only about 10 minutes but it felt like forever until my corral was called to start. And then we were off… there were more than 25,000 runners running the marathon and half-marathon — crazy!
The first 2km (1.2 miles) were horrible: I could barely feel my feet and my toes were tingling. Not fun at all but I stayed positive and eventually warmed up. I was doing some weaving and passing and soon enough I was feeling confident. My knee was sore but it was not affecting my stride — I told myself I would stop and walk if that happened. But it didn’t.
I did not to look at my watch very often because I just wanted to run and not focus on my time. But when I glanced at it at the 7km (4.3 miles) mark I was on pace for meeting my original goal of finishing in under two hours. If I could do it, I wanted to do it. I continued to run, think, sing, look at the water, trying not to bump into anyone or step on any cups or gels, and just run. I think I can, I think I can.
At 15km (9.3 miles) I was tired. My legs were heavy but I wasn’t feeling hurt or injured, just tired. Keep going, keep going, you can do this. I drank water but did not end up eating the mini Larabar I packed in my belt. It’s crazy what adrenaline and determination can accomplish.
When I saw the 20km (12.4 miles) sign I knew how close I was. It helped that “Heart of a Champion” started playing too. RUN. And I ran. And I sprinted. And then when I saw Mom and Dad waving and cheering me on with 200 meters to go I ran as fast as I could.
I did it.
In 1 hour, 52 minutes and 19 seconds. (My watch was 6 seconds off from my official time). I think that my Dad said it best: “We are not defined by numbers, but sometimes it’s pretty awesome to have a good number to feel proud of.”
Wow. It was truly an amazing experience.
After the race we headed out for a celebratory meal — I wish my sister could have been with us. We went to one of my favorite places… and I threw out my food sensitivity rules for the day. I chowed down on a massive veggie omelette and berries. Pizza and beer just doesn’t do it for me…
…sweets are more my thing. I couldn’t decide so I got both: cinnamon raisin roll and a chocolate rugelach cookie.
After I stuffed my face, I stretched, iced my knee and showered (oh yeah I still hadn’t showered… ew). Then Mom and I headed to the spa for facials and massages. Um…. amazing. Could not have timed these appointments better. So relaxing. The rest of my night was spent eating, icing, eating, foam rolling and sleeping. You bet I’m sore.
What a day and an adventure. I am proud of myself and can’t wait for more races. Like I already started looking them up… Well a little break might be good first :)
I cannot thank you all enough for your incredible support and encouragement. Your texts, tweets, emails, Instagram comments, everything… truly means the world. YOU are the best. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Questions of the day…
Did you run a race this weekend?! Tell me about it!
What other fun things did you get up to this weekend?