I could hardly sleep last night. Worried, excited, then worried some more. Would the rain hold off? Why is my hip hurting? What should I wear if it rains? Will I be too cold? Will I be too hot? Thoughts and questions running through my mind kept me from sleeping.
The alarm went off at 5;30 am. Am I crazy? Getting ready at this hour I thought I must be. Susan picked me up at 6:15 and we heading to Aurora. A grey day. I prayed for the rain to wait until the afternoon.
Pinning on my number gave me a secret thrill. This was the first time I have ever entered a race such as this. They attached a strap with a chip in it to my ankle to officially mark my time. This is serious.
It was almost 7:15, Sue and the rest of the Psychotics arrived to send us off. they were running and would start later. Sue is a trainer at Fitness Force, the Gym I belong to. I am a proud member of the team “Psycho Sue and the Psychotics”. There were a number of other members entered as well.
This picture is at the starting line. Cindy and I are waiting to get the show on the road.
7:15 am came soon enough and we were off. I was surprised there were so few heading out. Perhaps 25. The half marathon runners were to start 45 min later and the 10km and 5 km people later still.
It is still a bit chilly so early in the morning on this cloudy May 1st Sunday. There was a slight wind to add to the discomfort. I knew I would warm up soon. According to my Forerunner GPS, we were maintaining a 6.6km/hr speed.
We travelled out into the country and down Bathurst Street. At Bloomington we headed west along a very rough road. We grabbed a quick water at the 9 km mark. Almost halfway. The route had a few hills to add to the challenge. At this point I was still full of energy.
The route took us along the country roads which was very nice. Susan and I had a great time chatting and laughing, kilometer after kilometer. The road was very broken. So far no rain.
At last.. the turn around. A very welcome sign. We were half way. I was starting to feel it in my hips. Surprisingly, jogging slowly made my hips feel better, we didn’t run far or very often, but we both felt the change in gait gave us some relief. Each time we were on a downhill we jogged slowly.
I had to hold the 15 km sign down for the picture. The wind was quite strong and blowing the sign sideways. I am still standing, I mean walking. I was approaching the furthest I had managed in my training walks. The test was now. I could really hear my hips crying. I could feel I was developing a blister on my left foot. Each step took us closer to the goal, so on we went, no giving up now. It was great to get the encouragement from those along the sidelines. The police at each intersection were great at cheering us on, as were the volunteers at each water station.
By the time I reached the 19 km marker I was beginning to sag. Not much further. I knew by now that I was going to achieve my goal. The last two kilometers were the longest. We were walking close to two other women who were using poles. At times they were ahead of us. We could hear the click click of each step as the poles hit the pavement. Without saying a word Susan and I knew we wanted to be ahead of them at the finish line. This gave me the extra push I needed to finish well.
Finally we rounded the final corner and saw the finish line. A welcome sight.
Crossing the finish line gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. Many others ran the Half Marathon but I am proud that I walked it, especially at my age. I want to continue to surprise myself as the years roll by.
The rest of the Psychotics and several others from the Gym were waiting at the finish line for us. We celebrated with a shot of Sambuca and clinked our test-tubes with a loud cheer. Sue is so thoughtful. We each received a lei as a wreath to mark our accomplishment.
Well done team!!
Most of the Psychotics ran the half Marathon. Well done indeed.
The unofficial time was three hours and twenty-three minutes. Much faster than any of my training times. It is amazing what I can do if I put effort into it. I know that ten years ago I was unfit and unhealthy. Now I am ready to take on the world. What next?
I have plans.. I have goals.. but first: