Every time I run a big event I have a revelation
Like you, this year I set a goal for the PEI Marathon and I worked really hard towards it all summer. I was extremely disciplined with my running, eating, sleeping and physio, so on race day I was ready. I started out a little fast, settled into position, watched my pace until about 8km in, and then stopped looking at my watch and ran by effort. I was super focused, I pushed myself and it was harder than I thought it would be. What helped me along the way; the volunteers, the crowd, the music, pace bunnies Devin Docherty and Dave Young, seeing Alex Bain and Jenn Nicholson pass me and Stan Chaisson running alongside me at the end with words of encouragement. I ran hard, pushed at the end, passed the 2-hour pace bunny and knew I had my sub-2 Half. I have never run focused like that before. I didn’t look at anyone, I was in the zone and nothing else existed. So you figure I would be elated about it. But achieving my goal wasn’t what ultimately brought me joy.
Race Day Revelation 1: Championing each other is what brings us joy
When I crossed the finish line, I got my medal, caught my breath and kissed my husband. The first person I came across was Woman’s Marathon Winner Jenn Nicholson. She had won the Marathon and I had achieved my sub-2, but what were we over the moon about? Alex Bain running and incredible 2:53:47 and qualifying for Boston! This was where the joy was. It wasn’t about ourselves, but championing fellow runner Alex who is an incredible runner and a huge inspiration to everyone.
Everyone was championing each other. My own run wasn’t even a thought in my mind. I stuck around to the very end and cheered everyone on. The atmosphere was incredibly happy; the runners, the crowd, the volunteers, everyone, and it dawned on me that championing each other is where the joy was. What an incredible experience.
Race Day Revelation 2: I love the Half
Following the Ottawa Marathon in May I decided I didn’t want to just keep training for and running marathons. I wanted to become a better runner overall. I wanted to be faster and stronger. So I asked runner Rob MacKenzie for advice. He advised me to train to run faster at shorter distances to get some speed in my legs and then try to maintain that speed over longer distances. That is why I decided to run the Half this year. I learned that for me and where I’m at with my running, the Half distance is so much more versatile. I could try a variety of training and races leading up to it. I learned more about strategy from Stan Chaisson and gave it a try during the race. I tried running without my fuel belt for the first time. A little thing like that can be seriously daunting! I would not have been confident enough to attempt these things if I had been running the Full Marathon distance. So there’s room to play, and room to try things in training and on race day. Over time I will be able to use what I have learned for the Full distance as well. I love the Half. It’s a great distance, you can run way more of them, and challenge yourself with new goals.
Race Day Revelation 3: There’s no place like home
When you run an away event, the crowds may be bigger, and you may have your family waiting for you at the finish. But when you get to the finish at the PEI Marathon you have the whole running community there for you, hugging you, congratulating you, sharing the moment with you. I don’t think there is anywhere else I would rather run than right here on PEI with my running family. The joy at the finish line is indescribable. Everyone is so pumped. You just have to experience it to believe it.
To all the awesome people who wrote, commented, facebooked, tweeted, or I met in person,
To the Prince Edward Island Marathon and Maritime Family Magazine,
To all of my wonderful friends and family, near and far, who are always so supportive,
To my TechnoMedia family, thank you for cheering me on, on race day and every day,
To The Running Room for being such an awesome gang of buddies,
To Colin Moore and Sports Centre Physiotherapy, I could not have done this without you,
To Michael Gaudet, Rob MacKenzie, Jenn Nicholson and Stan Chaisson for advice and inspiration,
To all of my running buddies. I simply cannot put into words how much you all mean to me,
And to my beautiful children, grandchildren, and my number one buddy, my husband Derek.
Thank you for sharing this adventure with me.
It would not have been near as sweet without you. xo
Another awesome experience that will bring me joy the rest of my life.
Prince Edward Island Marathon Half PB 1:59:34
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