How fortunate we were at 8:00am today, as we stood at the "Footstart" line, for the clouds to roll away, the wind to die down and the temperature to scoot up a few degrees. When only 20 minutes prior, I was questioning myself if I would be fine in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I’m still learning not to second guess myself. I stuck with my original plan and was happy I did.
Before the start of the race, I met up with a fellow blogger "Runner Leana" for a few minutes. We made introductions, chatted and shared our thoughts on our goals for the day. We extended to each other what was in order for the day "well wishes for a good run" and then headed off to seed ourselves accordingly. Be sure to check out her point of view of today's race!
I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere and the scenery of small town races especially when they are nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains like Cochrane is. Today’s 21.1km had us foot stomping on just about everything except sand. For my feet it was a treat to run on the red shale bike path that meandered along the river for a few miles. Then onto a short stint of pavement through a well manicured residential district which was a delete to the treat for the feet but I still much preferred this over the kilometers of loose gravel, which happened to go on and on and on and on and on and which also happened to be all uphill. We were on a back-country road that went on forever and I could see forever in all directions. I have no idea where we were! My only solace was we would have a long long long long downhill stretch on the way back.
Wow! What a long long long long downhill stretch! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That was my saving grace! I felt like a bird flying, like a boat sailing, like a duck swimming, like a plane zooming, like a..., oh enough! In other words, it was easy, effortless, smooth, quick.
To pass the multitude of minutes of running, I thanked volunteers (without them where would us runners be), I high-fived children and costumed I don’t know whats, thought of a blog title for today’s post, took in the scenery, sipped my drink, gulped my gels, calculated my minutes per kilometer at each marker, thought about the Stampede Half and even mulled over doing the Canmore Half in September. That’s what I thought about, I wonder what others ponder along the way?
I was in better control of my emotions this time as I drew close to the finish! Could be do to the fact I’ve done three half-marathons in seven weeks, I becoming immuned to them! The finish was in sight but it seemed to take forever to get there. It was a tease! As I picked up the pace down the home stretch, I lengthened my stride. I felt like I still had a bit more to give and was in disbelief as I crossed the "Footstop" line that I had taken 5 minutes of my Police Half and Red Deer times.
A youngster presented me with my medal. I wonder when she sees the look of joy and exhilaration in the eyes of the finishers, will she want that some day! Dream Big! Set Goals! Achieve!