I know I still have my Spartan Race recap to get done, but I have a lot of emotions about the LRPS Race I did on Saturday that I want to capture it all before I start to forget. I will be back tomorrow with the Spartan Recap. Also, just a forewarning that this may get wordy, so grab a cup of tea and settle in.
I’m so thankful for the amazing blogging community that I’ve become a part of. Blogging for me was just an outlet to share my random thoughts and has turned into something so much more amazing. In the past few years I’ve come to be friends with a handful of other bloggers within the province who are such amazing, strong, supportive women. I’m so lucky to have these girls to call my friends. Awhile ago, a group of us decided to get together to run the Lethbridge Regional Police Services race. It just so happened that a handful of us were celebrating birthdays in September so it was a perfect reason to spend a weekend together.
I gave myself the lofty goal of running my first 10k. I was lucky enough to have the support of my coworkers to help me train during lunch breaks a couple times a week, since getting out to run regularly with my schedule is nearly impossible. It was still difficult to get in training runs at work, being limited on time, having to juggle my schedule and sometimes having to miss a run when things came up. I was getting nervous since time didn’t permit actually upping my distance past 7k in the one hour I had to run, and busy schedules meant missed training in late August.Then there’s fact that I struggled on each and every training run, no matter the distance. Part of me wanted to drop down to the 5k since I had felt so unprepared, but I knew that each of us running had our own struggles for this race so I would suck it up and do my best. I wanted to go in with no goal aside from simply finishing my first 10k and enjoying the weekend with friends. I told a couple of the other girls that I could run with them if they wanted since I wasn’t concerned about my time and wanted to support the girls as much as possible. It was a different story when I got to the starting line.
I was a giant ball of stress standing at the start line. I hadn’t got much sleep after spending the night listening to a whining, gassy toddler. My alarm failed to go off and I woke up half an hour later than planned, leaving me with less than an hour to get race ready, eat and get my toddler fed and out of the house. Of course it was tantrum city waiting for the daddy day care that would be watching Liam and I was worried about him misbehaving for Chad and Adam. Oh, and I forgot to attach the bag check tag to my bag so another (small) stress figuring out what to do with that (thanks Danielle for taking care of me). When the dad’s arrived it was time to line up and all I could do was thrust Liam into one of their arms and walk away quickly. I feel so bad every time I have to leave him with someone he doesn’t really know. I had lost all of the other girls aside from Tawnya and was thankful I had her to tell me that Liam would be just fine and would be there waiting for me at the finish line. We snapped a quick selfie before the sirens went off signalling the race start.
Tawnya was one of the girls I originally said I would run with, but I told her I was having a hard morning and wanted to go at it alone. I was fighting back tears crossing the finish line and waving to Liam when we went past. I knew all I had to do was give it my all and I would see him at the finish line in no time.
My plan was to run 8 and 1 intervals, just like I trained all summer. I had my interval timer all set up but my Nike Run app kept pausing on and off which got super annoying. I ended up just turning it off, which means I had no idea of my pace or exact time at all. Oh and remember that awesome playlist I made? Yeah, I forgot to hit sync and none of the songs were on my phone. I was so looking forward to that playlist pumping me up and keeping me motivated. I remember Chris, my coworker that trained me all summer, saying his new motto for when things go wrong during a run was to just say ‘F*** it’. So despite my app not working, no playlist, a rough start to the morning, and worrying about my kid, I said ‘F*** it’ and just ran.
The scenery was amazing and I definitely did my best to take it all in. I thought that Red Deer was a beautiful city to run in, but Lethbridge is just as beautiful. The course itself was fairly easy, with some little rolling hills that I could sprint up and down with ease. I was alone most of the route, which made me wonder how far behind I was but always keeping my eye out for my friends crossing paths. The volunteers were plentiful, cheerful and helpful and I literally could not get lost if I tried. I always worry about accidentally going the wrong way, so I was thankful my route was well marked. Somehow I felt great the entire run. My breathing felt good, my legs felt good, everything felt easy. Maybe even too easy. I told myself at the 5k mark I would try to pick up the pace a little (even though I had no idea what my pace was).
Halfway point selfie
Around the 6k mark I saw Alycia pass on the out and back stretch. I probably waved a little too enthusiastically as she ran by, but I was super excited to see someone I knew. By the way, she crushed her 10k in about 57 minutes which is amazing! Shortly before the turnaround I saw Danielle and made it my goal to catch up to her before the finish line. Since I was feeling so good I knew I could kick it up to catch her. At 8k I really revved it up and caught Danielle just after my last walk break. As soon as the finish line came into sight I sprinted as fast as I could. I missed seeing where Tawnya, Adam, Chad and the kids were standing at the finish line, but was told Liam was super excited to see his mama when I came into sight. Tawnya brought him over to me once I got my medal. It was the best feeling finally having someone there at the finish line for me.
Chip Time: 1:11:28
Overall Place: 95/115
Category Place (10k age 20-29): 15/20
Gender Place: 65/83
When I became a single mom I was scared for all of the things I would have to give up because I simply did not have the time to do it all by myself. I was scared to register for any races this summer because I couldn’t fully commit to train for them. With the love and support of my friends, I not only reached my goal of crossing the finish line of my first 10k race, but I did it in a time I could have never predicted. I am ecstatic with that time considering I ran intervals the entire way and was predicting closer to 1:30. The other girls also did amazing and are truly inspirational for me. Tawnya ran the 5k even though her breathing has been affected from some health issues. She finished in about the same time it would take me to run a 5k and I’m super impressed that she did so well. Danielle finished her 10k after taking a break from running this summer due to some health issues of her own. Alycia crushed her first 10k even though she felt unprepared like I did. Leighann finished her half marathon eight weeks after having a baby! Kaella finished her second half marathon in six days (fifth half marathon total), beside Lindsey who had finished her seventh half marathon! Each and every one of these women is an inspiration. What I love is that we were all there cheering each other on and offering the best support a girl could ask for. I couldn’t have done this race without all of them.
This race and these girls really showed me that we can overcome our obstacles, in a big way. I’m thankful that I had my friends there to show me this as well as cheer me on while I conquered my goals. This group of ladies has changed my mind about being a ‘runner’, I think I am one now. I can’t wait to find my next (non-obstacle race), to continue setting and meeting goals and hopefully to return to Lethbridge next year to run the LRPS Race with these girls again next year.
Oh and Liam? Yeah he was the ‘sweetest boy’ the whole time. Figures…