Friday, May 28, 2010

Blue Nose Half Marathon

I went back to Canada for a few days... to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday, and to run the Blue Nose Half Marathon.

Not exactly part of my Team In Training training.... but a good long run in part of the overall training scheme of things.

I missed my TNT buddies the morning of the race. It is amazing how much psychological and emotional support one gets from participating in a team. Even if you never say the words out loud, it is reassuring to have people you know standing beside you, giggling with nervous excitement.... reminding you to pin your bib on right side up, etc.

Still, it was wonderful to run in a city that I am familiar with.... running past places that already hold memories for me. It was not my fastest race time, but probably my most enjoyable race ever.

As I ran past an old friend's house, I knocked on the door... gave my very surprised friend a sweaty hug, chatted for a few minutes, and carried on my way.

When I reached the corner where my mom and brother were directing runners, I stopped to have a chat and  a laugh with them...

As I ran along the waterfront, I passed my dad's office.... passed the Thai restaurant where I used to work... passed the train station where I first met my youngest (adopted) brother.... through the park where my mom and I ran our first 5km race together....

Coming out of the park I was delighted to see some TNT purple.... even though I never saw the TNT runners themselves, it was great to know they were on the course.

My dad called just as I was passing the 19 km mark to tell me the whole family had come in to see me finish.... my grandad, my aunt and cousin, my sister and her kids, my foster sister and her boyfriend.

My nephew was waiting for me a couple hundred feet from the finish line. As I reached him, he grabbed my hand and ran with me to the finish line. I hung my finishers medal around his neck and he nodded as he held it in his hand and said "i AM pretty fit for a six year old...."

I love that my family is all proud of me and supports my running, even though I will never truly "compete".... I will always be a long distance plodder, and they think that is great.

Every race holds its own special memories, and I have loved (and sometimes hated) them all. But I think this one will hold a special place in my heart for a long long time...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i must be mad...

i've signed up to run with the Team again for the fall season. which starts next Saturday...

i thought i'd take a break, maybe do one Team In Training event per year from now on.... just so i could recover from fundraising fatigue, really.

but, since i'm already signed up to do Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October anyway... (due to medical deferral last year)... and because i know i will find it difficult to train through the heat of the summer on my own.... and because i love my TNT buddies.... and because it is a great cause....

i signed up to be a mentor again. this time for the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon in September.

so... the blog stays open. as long as i'm working to "save lives, one mile at a time".... i'll keep writing about it.

you lucky ducks!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a wild and crazy season...

this last training season has been... an adventure, lets say.

we trained in snow storms. we couldn't train because of unsafe roads and trails and mountains of snow. we trained in pouring rain. we raced in record high temperatures in March... we trained some more, it got cold again, it got hot again...

it's no wonder that on Country Music Marathon race day we had thunder, lightning, heavy rain, heavy winds... and a tornado warning that had us all pulled off the course before we could finish the race.

some people might take that as a sign... as in, mother nature's way of saying "give it up already!"

but we didn't.

a few determined TNT teammates and i decided we really wanted to get that 26.2 mile run in.

this season.

so we signed up for the Potomac River Marathon, which took place last Sunday. just one week after attempting to run Country Music Marathon...

when we left the house at 5 am to get to the marathon start... it was hot. And raining.

it got hotter.... once again, record high temps for this time of year.  and it rained off and on. sadly this was not really a respite from the heat... it just made for an over all sense of running in a steam room.

for hours.

and hours.

people were getting sick from the heat. i gave my gatorade and pretzels to a guy that was rolling on the trail in absolute agony from cramps and exhaustion... he wasn't even coherent to start with. we waited for the medics to arrive to take him off the course.

many of the participants simply stopped at the halfway mark.

our little TNT group didn't all finish together... but we all finished.

what a season!