There is nothing that screws with the mind more than a double loop race. Running the first lap, and seeing the markers for the second are enough to make you want to cry silently. Especially when you are not 100% feeling the race.
Rubber Ducky Half is 2 loops around Burnaby Lake, which is a flat trail-ish run that isn’t that bad, but wouldn’t be one I’d want to do all the time. I crashed at Melissa’s the night before, and we headed out early and met up with Tina and Bea at the start.
My goal was to run the best race I could, as this was going to be my first solo half race, as well as the longest solo run I had ever done. Both were weighing on my mind, and I tried to not let it bother me. Met up with some other running friends before the race, snapped a few pics, and away we went.
A friend was volunteering that day, so as we rounded to start he was clapping and cheering (never underestimate the volunteers cheering. They are the best part of the race when you need an extra push) and I put my head down and went. Loop 1 was hard on the mind, I felt slow and sluggish and wasn’t sure I would make it through that first lap. My stomach started acting up around 8k and I debated DNF after the first lap.
I came out of the woods saw where the 7 milers went to the finish and went straight for my 2nd lap. I got a high 5 and head bop from my friend and encouragement and my comment was “I feel like puking”. And then I came upon my “crew” Kendall and Molly standing on a hill with signs and cupcakes cheering for me. I yelled I love you and pushed past.
I gu’d again at 14k, and had a hard time keeping it down. My body was really not happy and wanted to throw up, which was unusual for me. All I could think of was trail running with Jared when he threatened to puke on me, which made me smile and push on.
The biggest faux pas I did with this race is my play list. I had set my play list for 2:31 and my last 2 songs were Shine by Collective Soul and then 4 Minutes by Madonna. I knew when I hit Shine as long as I pushed it I would get around my Surrey PR, if not better. One of 2 things happened. I hit 19k and that song came on, and I knew there was no way I was doing the last 2.1k in 7 minutes so I stopped, took a selfie and cried a bit.
And then the faux pas happened. Madonna’s song didn’t come on. I had messed up on what I thought was the order and still had songs left!! I could still make sub 2:30!!! I was slow, and tired and pushing it as best I could. Came out of the woods to the last stretch, pushed past my friend and headed to the home stretch. Kendall and Molly were screaming and I dug deep, sprinting the last bit to the finish line.
I crossed with my garmin saying 2:27:46 which put me 30 seconds behind my PR but I was so happy that I didn’t care. I got my medal, hugs and Melissa’s boyfriend Tristan gave me a recovery shake. I have them most awesome friends.
I knew Tina and Melissa were still out there, so we wandered over to where Addison was, and waited. My plan was to run them both in, as it was one time I could do that for my friends. Tina came first, and Bea’s husband got one of my favorite shots of us from afar.
Tina is such a strong, independent woman and I am beyond lucky to have her in my life as a friend. She was cramping and sore and being there to cross with her was a moment I will never forget.
Melissa rolled her ankle on the course so her hope of PR’ing didn’t happen. But she ran a strong finish and didn’t give up. I had told her that I would be there to cross the line with her as well so as soon as we saw her, I ran down and brought her in. I love that girl to death, and she holds a special spot in my heart for how big a heart she has.
And then we ate cupcakes!!!!
Turns out my official time was 2:27:19…. 3 seconds off my Surrey Half time and 4 seconds from a PR. Frustrating to see I was so close when I know if I hadn’t given up at 19k. But for my first solo half it’s awesome. And as one friend said, it’s a PR for a trail run.
Each race I do gives me insight into my strengths, my weakness’ and makes me appreciate my running friends in ways I didn’t think were possible. Bea and her speed demon legs leaves me in awe with how she is capable of doing what so many can’t, and she has less than 50% lung capacity. My friends who didn’t run but came and cheered and brought me cupcakes, to the people I met and hugged and just cheered along. To the friends that had bad runs and never gave up, I love you all.