Monday, September 6, 2010

I can actually run

So, last weekend I was suppose to run 32 Km. Meg and I met at Springbank park to run 4 loops of 7km each and then a bonus 4 km route for the 32km. Megan was only going to run 18km in her prep for the Toronto half so I went early and completed 1 loop before she got there. We did 2 more loops and felt pretty good. She had bought us some new chews to try - some sort of organic honey things that were recommended by our leader at the Running Room. Needless to day on my 4th loop I started to feel AWFUL!!!!! I had to sit at 26 kms and then walked the final 2km to get to the car, drive home and pretty well spend the rest of the day lying down.
I was very discouraged as I thought - if I can't even run 28km how the hell am I going to be able to do 42. I really believe I was tired, too hot and the chews killed me.

I was in a huge panic for this week as we had 32 km to run - no way was I going to be able to do that. Then Lindsay e-mailed to say that she and Lish were running the Runners Choice stores Lambeth to Port Stanley run. I remember hearing about this cool thing where Runners Choice lets you start where ever you want along highway 4 - 5k, 10k, or even longer and everyone then runs into Port Stanley to touch the beach. Lindsay said that if we leave from Lambeth Coops store it is 32km to the beach. They signed up and were scheduled to leave at 7:09am. I called the store and signed up too - $5 - pretty cheap for a training run. John, the manager of the run asked what my pace time was and I said 7 minute km - really that is fast for me but I knew that Runners Choice poo pooed slow runners. He said my start time would be 6:55 and I had to reach the beach by 11:15am - that is only 4 hours and 15 minutes - no way could I do that so I planned to leave earlier. He said there were 11 water stops along the way so I did not panic able running out of water.

I spent Saturday preparing - drank lots of water, bought my chews that I like - the Guu Blueberry, bought new glide for any chaffing, ate a good meal at 4:00pm and rested the rest of the time. I had Lennie drive me to Lambeth and drop me off at 6:30am so I could give myself 4 hours and 45 minutes - plenty of time to complete in the required time - a big fear of mine is not making the 6:30 time allowance for Chicago.

I felt great as the temperature was about 10 degrees and I had a great sleep. Before I knew it I was at highway 402, then highway 201 at the Stoneridge, then Ford Talbotville, then Pecards Peanuts, then the railroad tracks and right into the St. Thomas turn - how could I have run all this way already and feel so great? I had great music, tons of water and was running so well - no back pain or anything.

Up the hill into St. Thomas I went with Lennie passing in the car every once in a while. Then I passed the Tim Horton's corner of St. Thomas, then Canadales nursery, then the psyche hospital. How could this be happening? I feel amazing, are well over half way and feel so strong. The other weird thing is that I have not been passed by anyone - I know there are a ton of people who started after me and are so much faster - what is going on?

As I left St. Thomas I see a sign for 10km to Port Stanley - are you kidding me!!! Only 10km to go. Slowly people start passing and the road gets busy with runners - this is really fun. I can feel the beach - cooler air and it was slightly down hill. I hit the last water station that several people had stopped at, grabbed some G2, watermelon and went on my way. One last corner until the downtown strip - I can do this.

My buddy Ron passed me and we laughed as I wanted to stay ahead of him the whole way - I am still not sure where Lindsay and Lish are but how cool would it be for me to finally be cheering then across a line instead of them always waiting for me.

Final turn on the main drag, across the steel bridge onto beach lane. I can see everyone at the beach, Lennie waving and the final round-a-bout to the famous sign you have to touch. I passed all the cheering people, ran through the sandy road and touched the sign - 4:24 - are you kidding me - oh my God I feel so fantastic and made a good time too - maybe under 6 hours is possible in Chicago. As I walked back Lennie and several friends were there and we got to cheer Lindsay and Lish finish strong. What a terrific day.

We took some pictures, Lennie drove me home, I took a long bath with Epsom salts and relaxed. I actually ran 32km from Lambeth to Port Stanley - I ran!!!!!! Maybe I am finally a runner after all.