In Training (Day 108)…The Long Run, kinda…okay, the 10 KM


You saw my gear in the previous post.  I was ready to get out there and show my support and represent which is exactly what I did.  This was an emotionally charged Sun Run.  Reflecting on the events in Boston some 48,000 plus strong stood in a moment of unity with our neighbors to the south.

I held my sign above my head and bowed it during the moment of silence and when it came time to sing our national anthem I did so with grateful appreciation of what we are afforded here.  And then we began our run.

I had some issues immediately of the wardrobe malfunction variety.  Now my ensemble was made up largely of lycra and nylon.  Smooth and light fabrics that have a ‘slippery’ feel to them.  And yes, they were new.  On Saturday evening I recalled that I had my wind-breaker from the Rick Hansen Relay.  It is yellow with blue piping and is made up of nylon as well.

A kilometer into the run and I was warmed up so I took the jacket off and tied it about my waist.  So began my odyssey.  Another 1/2 km and the jacket had shimmied down my past my bottom and was threatening to make a run for it.  Dutifully I hoisted it back into place but to no avail. Once more it made the attempt to extricate itself from my body.

Being the industrious runner that I am I hoisted the jacket up over my bib to be tied off right under my boobs.  Nope.  The jacket would have none of it.  So I removed it tied it about my neck.

I most likely looked like a demented woman trying to emulate some long-lost superhero with my jacket now flying out from behind me. I pranced along in this fashion for the next kilometer but found it rather uncomfortable particularly when the wind would change direction and I found myself with a face full of yellow.

What to do?

I would tie it to my spibelt I decided.  If you are not familiar with a spibelt, they are a light belt with a small, stretchy zippered pouch for such things as keys and cell phones.  It is actually a very discreet little thing and I had this under my shirt.  I slipped my hands up under my top and shimmied it down then back up over to the outside of the garment then removed my jacket and tied it onto the belt.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

That covered the first 3 km of the race.  My poster was folded in hand I decided, that should I become so moved, I would just open it and share the message.  I headed down Beach Avenue which is adjacent to the English Bay and Sunset Beach so the delightful ocean air infused my senses.

The local radio stations have booths set up along here and I pulled out the poster to share it with them.  I opened the sign for JACK FM and as I approached ROCK 101.1 the announcer began to comment on my sign.  A gust of wind came up just then causing the sign to blow up in the air and my hat flew off.  Laughing now I ran back to claim it.  Yet another malfunction.

The energy of the crowd was fabulous as always.  I decided at this point that coming in under an hour would not be possible so I would just enjoy and absorb the event that I was partaking in.  The events at the beginning had negated this goal.  Next year we’ll try again for the elusive one hour mark.

The thing about the Sun Run  is that it is more of an event than a race.  When running amidst the masses movement can be limited and speed most definitely can be compromised.  And yesterday the crowd was out in force. It was fabulous!

I am no speed demon either so I just drank up the energy that surrounded me.

I came up onto the Burrard Street bridge and began my trek across its span.  To my left a woman stood alone cheering on the runners.  As I got closer recognition kicked in for both of us.

Siobhan.

I ran over to her and reached over the concrete median and offered her a hug.  I told her how good it was to see her.  She was sporting her Boston Marathon 2013 jacket and I congratulated her and asked her if she was okay.  Siobhan smiled tremulously and said she was fine but she had never been so scared in her entire life.  Understandable.  I showed her my sign and I had tears stinging the back of my eyes, as did she.

She shooed me off now and for the rest of the run I was rather contemplative.  The bombings had not only taken lives and injured others but had forever changed the lives it had touched.  For the runners that were there all their hard work and countless hours of dedication and tireless efforts were stripped from them to some degree.  They were made to feel vulnerable and likely far too mortal.

But take heart.  We might well have seen the worst of humanity that day but we also witnessed the best of humanity as well.  And to admit how scared someone felt takes a lot of courage as well.  To put that out there.  I for one admire the strength that it takes to say that.

As I finished up the race I took my sign out and held it over my head as I crossed the finish line.  A TV camera and microphone were suddenly in front of me as I looked for my daughter.  I don’t really remember what I said.  I was asked how I was feeling at that moment and well, far too many emotions were rolling around inside of me.  So  I can’t say that I recall too much of what I said.  Something about solidarity and being united.

My time was 1:15.  Not the best time I’ve ever had, but that’s okay.  I don’t typically run with a poster in hand and I typically do not have wardrobe issues.  Once again the energy fed me and as my daughter and I walked back to the car to go hunt down some breakfast I knew I had shared a very poignant moment with everyone else that was out there that day.

Running has given me freedom.  That is what it represents.  Despite the times when I want to quit I am propelled forward.  I have been rewarded with so many things since I began this activity again and I cherish the insight it has given me.

Yesterday we stood together in unity and will continue to do so.

Peace everyone.

 

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