This past Sunday I ran my 6th half marathon in Ottawa. As I was running I was writing this post in my head. The weather was great, much cooler and less humid than what I had trained in this summer. I felt strong and my first 5K was faster than I expected. The story was going really well and I couldn’t wait to write it… and then I hit kilometre 16! In all of the runs I have done I have never “hit the wall” like I did at kilometre 16, and it was literally in front of the kilometre marker sign. My head was telling me I only had 5K left but my legs were telling a much different story. My hip flexors stopped working, the forward motion of my legs was barely happening. I had no idea how I was going to finish those 5 kilometres. I did finish but it was S L O W.
So, as much as I couldn’t wait to write this post at the beginning of the race, by the time I finished I had zero interest in writing it. Why? It wasn’t because I had a tough race or because I hit the wall. The reason I didn’t want to write about this – EGO. I was very unhappy with my time and I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want you to know. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a personal best but this run was significantly slower than any other half that I have done. My ego didn’t want me to write this post because people would know how slow I really was. I thought, if I just don’t write about it I can just forget about it.
The other night I was putting my nephew Alexander to bed. He did really well in his recent cross country meet. As I was leaving his room I said “Good Night Mr. Third Place” and his response… “Good Night Miss Half Marathon”.
As the week has gone on, I have been a little kinder to myself about the run, thanks in part to Alexander.
I RAN 21.1 kms.
I pushed my body when it resisted.
I had a difficult run and got through it.
I know most people have tough runs at some point. I’ve witnessed others go through it and thought more of them for facing the adversity than I might have if they had an “easy” run. And so I’ve decided to be proud of myself and stop beating myself up.
So what was my time? 2 hours and 23 minutes.
When you run the marathon you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time. ~ Haile Gebrselasie
Thank you to everyone who is reading this. Having this avenue to express myself helps push me out of my comfort zone. I would have much preferred to ignore how I felt about this run, it would have been easier. But the result of being uncomfortable and writing this is that I gain better perspective, I am less angry and I realize I can run another one anytime and the next one WILL be better.
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Mahatma Gandhi