Monday, October 14, 2013

The day I ran 42.195 Km.....

Well, I did it!
 I ran a marathon and I didn't die. Not only that, I finished much more quickly that I anticipated. Nola and I had estimated that it would take us anywhere from 5 hours to 5.5 hours  to run the marathon. 
Apparently not! We crossed the finish line after only four hours and fifteen minutes. We were THRILLED, ELATED and EXHAUSTED! 
While I enjoyed many aspects of the race; the incredible weather, the cheering crowds, the salty ocean breeze on my face, the scenery, the funny and thoughtful posters that said things like "when your legs give out, run with your heart" and "toenails are overrated", what I LOVED the most, was sprinting the last 500meters, and plowing through the finish line  listening to the song "Roar" by Katy Perry. Just before Nola and I crossed "the line" she grabbed my hand and we threw our hands up in the air. It was epic. I could have wept with joy.
During the long months of training I often envisioned myself dashing across the finish line - head held high, arms and legs filled with purpose, composed and  strong.
And that is what I did. I finished STRONG
WHAT an incredible race. What an empowering experience! 

I was a ball of nerves the day that Riqui and I drove to Victoria. I kept checking my bags to make sure that I had packed my shoes, running gear and cliff bars. When we arrived, we met up with Nola and Lynn, picked up our race packages and tried on our fancy new race shirts. Afterwards we wandered around near the waterfront.  The empress looked absolutely magnificent.

Originally we had planned on going to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner, but when we saw the line-up we decided to look elsewhere. I didn't take us long to decide on Milestones.  I love this picture of Lynn and Nola trying to decide on a meal. So many tasty options!
We shared this incredible  platter of bruschetta and focaccia bread while waiting for our main course.

I had was a little boring and ordered a four cheese burger, but it didn't disappoint. And besides, the yam fries were delicious! Hello carbs!!!!

By six am the next morning, our alarms were rousing us from a restless sleep. The four of us climbed into our running gear, filled our water bottles, and attached our race bibs. Nola and I didn't start until 8:45am but we wanted to watch our friends start their half marathon. The excitement in the air was tangible. 
A fuzzy picture of Lynn - but I love the anticipation on her face. 

Once the half marathon had begun Nola and I get some coffee and enjoyed the warmth of a hotel lobby. We did a bit of stretching, and had one last bathroom break.
I didn't take this photo, but it is a great shot of all the elite athletes. I was somewhere in the mass of runners behind them. Somehow, my old training partner, Raena found me and we got to chat a bit before our race started. She and I trained for a half Iron Man before I had children. She went on to do a full Iron Man and run the Boston Marathon as well. She is one incredible girl!

Tired, but happy
.Believe it or not, but that white stuff on Nola's face is dried sweat. We were both covered in it! 

Tired feet and legs.

This is exactly how I felt!
One last shot before I took a nice hot shower in a claw foot tub!
Hurray for an awesome training partner!

Her family was kind enough to share their thanksgiving feast with me.


I can't think of a better post race meal.



After dinner I got to ride bareback. I haven't done that since I lived in the Chilcotin!! 

And as it turns out, it was Nola's birthday!  

I finished the day off with a hefty slice of cranberry almond cheesecake dusted white chocolate. 

What an incredible day!!!!!!


Mrs. R said...

Huge congratulations! After all that hard work so great for you to have a wonderful experience that met all your expectations!

Charlotte Almeida said...