Well that was a real whirlwind of a weekend!
I had a hectic week going into this year's STWM, hence why things were quiet around here. I had 3 really long days on my feet at the expo, which is not exactly ideal race prep. And when I woke at 5:30am on race day feeling a little wrung out I definitely had a moment, where I questioned "what the heck I was doing".
But this race wasn't about me. I was just running for kicks. I was heading down to the start line with 2 of my favourite guys to support them while they took their big distance plunge. Jamie was running his first Full and and my Father-in-Law was running his first half. It was a big day for the family. And I was there for moral support more than anything else.
I toed the line knowing it was kind of silly for me to be out there. I always want to run hard and run strong, but I am 2 weeks away from surgery #7 so having all kind of great expectations isn't exactly justified. And as I passed Queens Park, I found myself thinking about this journey I have been on.
I ran my first half marathon two and half years ago, and now here I was running my 8th. I knew that this was not going to be my strongest, fastest, or best race. And when my chest started to ache, and when my arm started to swell (despite my heavy duty compression gear), I felt that familiar twinge of frustration. It would be easy to consider this race a failure, to feel negatively about my body, and to be disappointed with the situation. But instead I chose to be grateful.
*You can see how swollen my left side is post-race, and I got a close up my my sausage fingers for you! Your Welcome!*
I am grateful to be running and racing just a few weeks before surgery. So I listened to my body and I walked when I needed to. I high-fived everyone who offered a hand. I thanked every volunteer I passed. And I spent those 13.1 miles thinking about how lucky I was to be out here. My body was strong enough to carry me through and I am healthy enough to be able to just casually run a half marathon (*this is not the girl I was a few year ago*). And even though my body needs a little extra healing, I am grateful for all that it does for me each and every day. I crossed the line, smiling, swollen, and a little slower than on most days, but most of all GRATEFUL.
After I finished, I grabbed my bag and hustled back to the course to wait for Jamie. We started running together all because I convinced his Dad to do a 5km with me. And now here we all were - Bruce finished his first half marathon and Jamie was tackling his first full. Being able to share this with them has been so special. Being able to geek out and talk running together over the past year and half has been amazing. Sharing Sunday long runs and post-run coffee dates with my husband has become my favourite weekend activity. And watching him get a bazillion times faster than me (stung a little at first, I won't lie) has been a huge source of pride.
So as I saw him turn the corner and running strong to that line (at 3:29:57 no less), I cheered that an absolute crazy woman. And I teared up a little too.
It was a big day for everyone. And I am so proud of how far we have all come.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,