It was 5:30am. My alarm had just gone off. I think to myself, why do these races need to start so early. I’d rather be sleeping still, in a warm bed mind you. I was cold. We camped out in our motor home for the first time. We didn’t have the heater on and it was chilly. The kids were excited to sleep in the motor home, and our youngest was up several times through the night.
Sleep deprived, Jenn and I make our way to the Calgary Marathon. It was her first marathon, and I had signed up for the 10km. I hadn’t trained. Although I figured if I could walk 3 km in a half-hour, then I should be able to do 10km in around an 1:40 walking.
We get to the grandstand and the morphic field of the race hits me. I’m suddenly energized. The music, the other racers; I’m ready to go.
The marathon and the half start first. Then a half hour later, the 10k starts. I start out with another friend. I sacrifice the shivering in the beginning knowing I will soon warm up. My strategy is to finish and to walk any hill.
The first hill is a short one at the 1km marker. I walk it and loose my running partner. I start to get my groove and move past my stiff legs. Once I get going they loosened out.
Close to the 4km marker the song Live Like You Were Dying comes on my playlist. I start to think of Jenn dedicating each kilometer to her friends and family. Then I think of all her breast cancer friends. I decide to push for it and run through the song for all Jenn’s breast cancer friends. Thinking there were some who may have been too sick to run.
Shortly after the 5km marker, my daughters’ 3 favorite songs come on in a row. First, Reika’s favorite, Everything At Once; followed by Reese’s favorite, Let It Grow; followed by both their favorite, I’m a Monster. I look at the time and saw it was around 8am. I figured the girls were just getting up and were with me at that point of my run.
Close to 6km, I remember thinking, I’m hungry. I reach for a jelly bean then think how delicious the pancakes were going to taste at the end. And they were mighty fine pancakes. Thanks to the Calgary Stampede Caravan for those.
I cross the river and reach one of the largest spirit hubs. I was trying to figure out what my distance was as the last couple markers were not clear. I round the bend and I see the 8km marker and think, “Sweet! Only 2 left to go.”
I dig in a little further and round the final stretch. I give it my all to cross the finish line. I looked at the clock and saw 1:54. I thought, “Ok, that’ll do. What do I expect for not training.” I then realized it was the time for the half-marathon and to knock 30 min off. I was then happy and proud of myself. My official time was 1:22. I text my husband to let him know I finished and my time.
My kids were excited and Reika thought her and I were twins since we both had medals. Hers from soccer, and mine from running.
I was happy to meet up with my family to enjoy the day and cheer Jenn across the finish line.
It’s not about the race, or the shirts, or the medals. It’s the fact you chose to get out and be active. It is simply having the power to start and cross the finish line, no matter your time. It is about inspiring yourself to become a stronger person. You can do it, you know you can!
Right foot, left foot.