It has only been a few days since the Blue Nose Marathon, but I am still struggling to come up with any words to say at all. This year’s BN goes on the list as one of the top 5 days of my life.
I was lucky enough to be chosen by the lovely staff & sponsors of the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon to be a Mentor on #TeamMyles2017. As I have said numerous times, I owe my running to this team. When it came time to apply to be a mentor, it was a no-brainer. To help more people conquer their fears and kick-start a healthy lifestyle would be incredibly fulfilling.
Boy was I right.
This team came in as jittery, nervous strangers, not quite sure what they got themselves into. The first training day included 10 mins total of running in -25 degree temps. Week after week these ladies showed up, gave their absolute all, and made massive strides toward their 5 and 10k goals on Blue Nose Weekend. Meanwhile, I became completely re-inspired by this team. How lucky am I to have found yet another family amongst these strong, capable, passionate women!?
What was better was the lifelong friendships that bud when you’re all training for a common goal. People from so many backgrounds, with different life experiences, road blocks and competing responsibilities become your squad. It’s not every day that you find this as an adult – but Team Myles really does create an unmistakable family bond that will never be broken.
Of course all journeys have their road blocks. Work was so busy this winter that I did not feel like I dedicated enough time to training in the first half. I skipped days. I hardly cross-trained. My hip started to get sore every time I ran. Time goes by too fast.
Yet somehow, each week I watched others kill it in their workouts and make massive progress, and this lit a fire within me. I visited our fearless coach and physiotherapist-badass-lady-boss, Leanne Huck, who belongs to Team Myles’ title sponsor, Lifemark often for dry needling and good old life advice. I got my nutrition in check with Amanda Grant, a dietitian and post-run snack provider. Plus I finally fixed my neck and shoulder tension and aligned my hips by visiting Dr. Chuck Dauphinee, a funny, teddy bear esque Chiropractor/cheerleader. Lifemark, along with the rest of Team Myles sponsors (Delta Hotels, Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio, Davis Fitness Consulting, Running Room) are truly to thank for getting me to the finish line.
It was not until my pod members started to out-run me that this fire turned into a lofty goal – to PB on my 10k, even though the route is one of the toughest around. Mentor turned Mentee when my team mate Melissa challenged me to attempt to cross the finish at 1:05 with her – almost four minutes faster than my PB from a much easier course. Game on.
On race day, I laid it all out there. I can honestly say that I have no regrets. Any runner would tell you not to run the first half of the race faster than the later, however this route is fully downhill for the first 4k and uphill for most of the rest, so you really do have to take advantage of the first 4 kms to make up any time. That we did, doing the first 5k in 31:22.
Melissa and I busted it out and had an absolute blast doing it. We waved at every photographer, collected all the high fives we could get, laughed and joked along the way, and even got a few quick hugs from our friends who were there cheering us on.
On the way down the last street before the finish, I got tunnel vision. By the time we were 50ft from the finish, this turned into nausea. At one point I truly thought I was going to puke before I got to the finish, even though it was in sight. Melissa grabbed my hand, I locked eyes with coach Cindy waiting at the finish, and ran to her trying not to vomit (esp on her..sorry Cindy). Thankfully I didn’t.
I’ve never pushed myself physically harder in my life. I am so proud of that.
Although we didn’t quite make it to 1:05, I still achieved a personal best of 1:07:56. I have absolutely no regrets; I laid my entire self out on that course.
What was better, was the sob-fest we had after the finish as each of these incredible women crossed. There are no words to describe how proud of them I am.