Saturday, October 18, 2008

Run run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm.....

...well turns out I'm not the gingerbread man AND you can catch me if you need too. BUT....

WE DID IT! Our very first half marathon is officially under our belts. We came. we ran. we did it!

Moranda, Angela and I headed over to Victoria on the ferry last Saturday morning. We got there nice and early thinking we'd have at least a 2 ferry wait. (any of you who follows the BC news knows we have some serious trouble with our ferry s. They're expensive and break down a lot.) But we, surprisingly got on the 9:00. HURRAY!

Yikes. How pasty white am I?!
This was our girls weekend with a twist. The twist? It involved running 21 km with 5000 other crazy people. We'd run 20km the weekend before so I knew we could do the distance. It was just the actual race and the time that were in question. Would I make it in the 2 hours we hoped? Would I hit a wall? What if we had to pee? Or worse? (seriously, for a runner this is a big deal. All the bathroom related issues. And were were NOT stopping to go potty!)

After picking up our run packages and hitting the line up for free Gatorade I was hit with realization, "Crap! We're really doing this thing!"

Here we are checking into the hotel with our good friend the hotel bear. What? Weird!

We spent a wonderful day, wandering the crowded streets of Victoria crammed with thousands of other racers and their families. It was pretty cool to think that all these people of different races, shapes and sizes were here to declare their love of the long run, or to prove to themselves they could do it, or to support someone who just loves to torture themselves in this particular approved method of self flagellation :) We shopped and ate and talked for hours. The only thing missing was a glass of wine at dinner as we gazed out at the harbor and tried to eat our pre-race carbs.

So here's where I stop and rant a bit about my running bff, Angela. She hardly trains. I mean the girl runs but not regularly like Moranda and I do. At dinner before the race, she had two beers and meat loaf. Seriously, MEAT LOAF! I'm not kidding you. The morning of, she had a coffee and maybe some water? Took one bottle of juice with her AND beat the pants off me! SO ANNOYING! Really though we are proud. I mean, how could we not be?

Look at her, putting on her iPod, not even pretending she going to run with us!

Moranda, tiny little thing that she is...sets a mean pace...

....and me. I'm the cheer leader. I get the troupes out, sign them up and brow beat them into running with me in bad weather and then....well they all beat my time! What?! Actually I'm pretty proud of them all! Woot woot!
Here I am, having my pre-race pbj. YUM!

We crowed into the street a block from our hotel and waited for the race to start. My thoughts at the time? "Oh no, I have to pee. There's no way I'm going to stop to pee. We're really doing this. YIKES!"

And we were off.

The course wound it's way through the harbor area of Victoria and then out towards the ocean. It's all kind of hazy for me but we seemed to run up hills and down hills loop around and then up more gradual hills, into neighbourhoods and up more hills. I kept expecting to loop back and run back along the ocean but we kept turning corners and running up hills. The first 15 kms went really well. I actually found the first 12 pretty easy. We had a fast (for us) pace going on but we seemed to be okay. Moranda and I ran together for most of it and she was just on a mission.
I ran into trouble running back along the ocean at about 16 km. I had to walk to take a gel pack and Moranda couldn't stop. I tried to catch her the rest of 5 km and I could even see her but couldn't quite make my time up again.
Those last 5km were so tough! I had no idea what a mental game the whole thing would be. I was giving myself serious mental slaps upside the head. Everything in me wanted to stop or just to walk. It was so crazy! When we got nearer the end people standing on the side cheering would say, "you're almost there. Only one km!" And then you'd run for a km and someone would say, "only one km!" They were playing some seriously mean mind games! Those last 2.5 k were the longest I've ever run! When I first finished I was pretty disappointed in my time but looking back....not bad at all!

Angela : 1:57:42
Moranda : 2:02:50
Shalagh : 2:04:42

Look how proud weird hotel bear is of us!

We were pretty elated and quite emotional. While were were running all of us were wondering, "why are we doing this exactly?"

After, we still couldn't tell you why, but there's something about training, running, struggling and finishing....

So we signed up for another one. In February. Anyone want to join us?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Remembering ....

I feel as I start to write this that I have many thoughts swirling around in my brain. As I run in the morning one will twist around and come to the surface. "I need to write that down", and when I get home, something else has swirled to the surface.

A beautifully written post by my dear friend, Kristen, brought this one up. She lost her much loved daughter before she was born, 5 years ago. Kalila would be six now. I never said this to Kris, but I'm sure she felt it, as our kids played on the beach together this summer, I felt someone missing. There should have been two girls almost 6 and almost 7 playing in the sand, rather than just the one. I don't understand why God allows these things to happen but I do know His heart breaks with ours, that it was not in His original plan to have children die. It wasn't in His plan to have any of us die or experience pain, actually, but He did give us that darn free choice...and we used it...sigh.

My dear friend Heather phoned two days ago. It's been 9 years she said. "Nine years?!" I was instantly back to that day. The day that she kissed Sadie for the last time, left her heart with a complete stranger and trudged off to work. It was her first week and she wouldn't have to do it for long. The company was heading for consolidation and she would get a buy out. Sadie had a cold and she didn't like her bottle much...but what else could she do.
She told me she knew something was wrong when her desk phone rang. She thought maybe Kain had broken his arm at school. How could she know her world would stop in that moment?

I still remember where I was standing nine years and two days ago today when my phone rang. When Heather's aunt blurted out, "Heather's baby died!" My brain couldn't process the words but I started to sob instantly. It couldn't be true, not Sadie.
We miss her still, her mother and I. We remember her beautiful smile and the fact that she'd just started to sit. Her laugh bubbled up like a brook when you tickled her chin with her toes. I think she'd be too tall and too thin for her age, like her mom and her big bro. With red highlights in her hair. I bet she'd have skinned knees and be able to run like the wind, much like her crazy mom.

Here she is in one of the last photos taken of her and that's her mom at the age Sadie would be up in the corner....

God has blessed us all with more children but there are some that we can only carry in our hearts. I am waiting for that day when I will be able to see my two dearest friends reunited with their daughters.

Until then....

I remember.