Thursday, October 3, 2013

My First Half Marathon!

So as some of you may know, I ran my very first and quite possibly the last half marathon of my life this past weekend.  I signed up with my cousins Lindsay and Craig in February and had intentions to be Donovan Bailey in the “almost a year” I had to train.  Well god knows that only lasted so long and next thing you know, its Easter and I'm downing chocolate bunnies and mashed potatoes like its my day job.  A few more months of Bud Light filled summer nights and next thing you know, this race is creeping up and it started cramping my style.  My friends Jaylene and Kari and myself started some challenges on the Nike Running app (awesome shit, btw) and that helped for a bit until the harsh and painful discovery of shin splints in BOTH legs.  Well, Ive heard of these throughout my somewhat athletic life and thought the people whining about them were just being wimps.  Well, I was wrong.  These puppies suck BAD.  SO after multiple treatments from multiple pro’s, I was in good enough shape to kill these measly 22 kilometres… so I thought lol….  I barely got my ass across that finish line and when I did, I almost tripped, then I barfed, and then I cried intermittently for four bloody hours.

Lets just say, I learned a few lessons.

Lesson #1 – Train properly
Leaving the training for the last minute was obviously a bad call… these races take months to prep for, not just weeks.  When you start cramming, you start getting injuries.  Start waaaay ahead of time and put the effort into the individual workouts. For example, stretching before and after is hugely important.  The lack of that was the #1 culprit of the shin splints.

Lesson #2- The power of ones mind
Seriously!!  The mind games I played with myself were OUT OF CONTROL! The negative thoughts constantly battling positive thoughts would rival a clip from UFC. I was honestly surprised that the jerk of a devil that was sitting on my shoulder had so much to say that day.  Luckily, the angel on the other side won the fight but not without trying. I also learned that I think too much about EVERYTHING.  I learned this  because every time I tried to take my mind off the physical act of running, I had nothing else to think about because everything I could think to think of, I’d already thought about to the millionth degree.   I need to find more resting time for this noggin.

Lesson #3- The Power of Rock Tape and my amazing doctors
Due to some previous injuries, I have been forced to find some doctors to help me get back to my A game and this has not been a fun search.  I am stoked to say now that I have some awesome people who work magic on this old, creaky bod.  Angie at Clearwater Physio helps me with my hip issue and helped me with my stretches and acupuncture for my shin splints.  Connie at Higher Health rubs out these muscles with some intense massage therapy (and an amazing relaxation sesh post race!) and Amanda at Higher Health with acupuncture and cupping.  I am a HUGE fan of the acupuncture and completely believe in finding more natural types of treatment as opposed to just taking pills.  Cupping was very interesting and provided immediate relief so I will definitely try that again if need be.  Final shout out is to my go-to guy, my awesome chiropractor, Dr. Pilling at Core in Sherwood Park.  He answers my millions of annoying questions, keeps me aligned and functioning, and doesn’t complain too much about working on my usually furry legs (lol I swear its just coincidence!)  He used the Graston Technique on me for my shin splints and it also provided immediate relief.  He also taped me up with rock tape the day before the race and I can honestly say that my left shin feels almost perfect.  THANK YOU!

Lesson #4- The Power of Encouragement
I felt like a little bit of rocket fuel shot out my soles every time someone cheered me on.  I also cried every time lol!

Lesson #5- Animals are Rad
This isnt really a lesson because I already knew this, but I saw so many animals on my trek and every time I just smiled and wanted to run a little more.  It was like they were out there encouraging me as well.  They just make me happy so it was a nice little treat to see little squirrels boltin’ around town.

Lesson #6- Don’t Judge
This is obvious, right?! Well its easier said than done.  Every time someone older than me or someone with an ass a little chunkier than mine ran by, I would get all annoyed and think that I should be ahead of them. I had to give myself shit a few times for that.  Those people obviously worked a lot harder than I did to be where they were and they all kicked the shit out of my time.  It has nothing to do with your outfit or the size of your ass… it’s the size of your determination.  While I was drinking beer all summer, they were working.  I am truly proud of every participant out there because that was no easy task.

Lesson #7-Don’t Give Up
It would have been really easy to do.  It was cold and windy and I felt sick to my stomach but this was my journey, and I had to do my best.  Even if it meant walking the last 10km, crossing that finish line had to be done.

Lesson #8- People Like Watching People Puke
Yup, after I almost wiped out trying to jump across the finish line, I barfed.  And people laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed.  And so did I.

Lesson #9- My Friends Are Awesome
Seriously, though.  The support throughout training, on race day, at the finish line, and post race was amazing!   My boyfriend even bought me flowers!  Thanks to everyone for the encouragement! … and all the “likes”!

Lesson #10- What I Got Back
After the race, I got a little more than sore hip flexors and a long sleeved t-shirt. I completed a huge goal and the self satisfaction from that is unparalleled.   It feels really good to have made a goal and completed it, even though I was a bit nervous and unprepared.  Ill definitely never forget the feeling of crossing that finish line!

Taking lessons from experiences is what life is all about.  I had a great time learning about the running community and had a great time laughing in line ups before the race asking the fellow runners if they “were ready to die?!” and sharing my Skittles.   I also learned that running is not just a sport of breathing and moving your legs, but a completely psychological sport of discipline and determination.  I have definitely developed a new respect.

Overall, a great weekend with greater people.  Having the race in my old stomping grounds of Banff made it extra special, too emotional and beyond fun.  Seeing all my old friends warmed the soul and all of the hugs and love tied up the weekend with a big heartfelt bow.   Thank you xoxox

Linds, Craig and I pre race


Post barf session!

My cutest #1 fans

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