Tag Archives: racing

Scotiabank: 36 hours later

It’s been more than a day since I called it quits on my first ever DNF half marathon. I am pleased to report my mood is no longer down in the dumps. I’ve had time to think, and reflect, and sleep … and to really, truly understand just how amazing my support group is.

Seriously.

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A small grouping of my supporters.

From family, to close friends, to running friends, to social media acquaintances, and the blogging community, I have felt so incredibly loved over the last day and a half with phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages and emails. From my big, big brother getting me into a fit of giggles moments after the tears started  with his chastising comment about how he finished his marathon the night before – 26.2 beers! – to a friend offering to punch my pancreas in the face (as long as it wouldn’t hurt me), to others telling me their stories of not finishing races, to the simple xoxo’s, to the many of you virtually kicking me in the butt for my comments of feeling ashamed.

And that’s where I am now.

Let me be clear. I do not fancy myself an elite athlete, I am far from being anything close to that, but I do have goals. Yes, I run because I enjoy it, and yes, I run because it keeps me and my diabetes healthy as can be, but I also run because I have competitive juices flowing through me that want to succeed, want to be better than the last run, want to finish upright and smiling. And whether I run for fun or anything more, quitting has never been an option.

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I know. I know. Dear Diabetes got in the way. Dear Diabetes fugged my race up. There is nothing, in that moment, I could have done about the evils of Dear Diabetes. But don’t you see, when I set out on a run, I don’t view Dear Diabetes as a crutch, I don’t consider myself special, different, exceptional because of Dear Diabetes. When I’m lined up in that starting corral, yes, I am testing my blood sugars, yes, I am constantly adjusting and readjusting my insulin pump on my waistband or fuel belt, yes, I am doing the carb/depleted energy math in my head, but for me, that’s always been the normal. And until yesterday, it had never stopped me before.

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Dear Diabetes does not define me.

So, while I 5,000 times agree that there are more important things in life than finishing a race, for me, in that moment, and for hours after, my heart broke because I felt I had succumbed to a diabetes weakness I never ever felt I had. And honestly, regardless of what any of you say, I did quit, yes, I quit for the right reasons, but I quit nonetheless. Tell me how many of you enjoy quitting … anything. (Well, unless it’s smoking!)

I waited at the beach yesterday for more than an hour for my Rings to pick me up. In that time, even with the tears, I was already thinking ahead to my next races, and plotting my racing, diabetes and finishing strategies. Quitting is not an option.

Thank you to every single one of you. Your kindness meant the world to me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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Race Day: Bellingham Bay half II

So. Where were we? Right, the race itself…

When I signed up for this race, I essentially considered it an at-home race. Bellingham is about an hour away, without the border lineup, and over the years I’ve been there countless times. But mostly only for Costco runs or other such cross-border shopping. No exploring. And so, when we arrived at the start in downtown Bellingham, I was immediately taken in by the cuteness of this town; its history, unique eateries, gathering spaces, beauty.

And the course itself, while it had all the beauties of B.C., there was still an element of mystery for me to feel like I was exploring new territory. We ran past Little House on the Prairie style houses, along romantic, tree-canopied trails, around the bay jostling for position against the forceful breeze coming up off the water,  past clusters of enthusiastic cheerleaders; one a girl about four-years-old vigorously shaking a cow bell as she high-fived me with her free hand. I imagined Little Ring doing the same a couple years from now 😀

The first 10 km of my race was pretty awesome, so awesome, in fact, I didn’t look at my mileage for the first nine of those 10 km and had no clue how far I’d run because my math conversation skills from miles to km are non-existent. I was having fun out there. I was enjoying the scenery, the people around me, the movement of my legs. And my time showed it. When my Garmin alerted me I’d run 10 km, I was on pace for a 1:55:00 finish. Holy freaking awesome!!!

Sigh. If only the race could have finished there, I would have had my perfect rainbow race, but no, that’s not how the running gods would have it. My run started to fall apart in probably the last 5-7 km. I got a side stitch in which I struggled to get rid of. My stomach and throat started to feel a little pukey. I got stopped by a train – A TRAIN!!! – seriously, stuck standing there for a minute and a half and then trying to weave through the huge throng of social runners once the train had passed. Are you freaking kidding me??? And the last three km, they were tough as hell.

Hills. Pukey belly. Brain.

I wanted to stop, oh man, did I ever. Doubts creeped up into my head, and it took everything I had not to cave in, to keep telling myself I had made it this far, why the hell would I stop now, the distance was nothing, I could do that distance in my sleep, easy peasy, don’t you dare stop, no way you can stop, just about there, keep going.

With just about 500 metres to go, I spotted my Rings in the finishing chute, which was all I needed to amp up my speed. I ran so hard I could barely stand at the finish. I ran so hard, I thought I would puke at the mere smell of the food lining the finishers’ corral. I ran so hard I had to be held up by the kid wrapping the heat blanket around my shoulders. I ran so hard, I finished with a smile 😀

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Running to the finish, no idea if I’d made goal or not…

BELLINGHAM BAY HALF MARATHON

  • 9:15 a.m. BG before: 9.2
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: none
  • Time: 1:59:10 NEW PB!!!
  • Distance: 21.1 km
  • Average pace: 5:36 min/km
  • Average cadence: 86 spm
  • Fuel: @30 minutes: 2 Clif Shot Blocks @ 60 minutes: 2 Clif Shot Blocks @ 90 minutes: 1 Clif Shot Block
  • 11:45 p.m. BG after: 10.1
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent

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Proof: finished with a smile 😀

NOTE: Garmin is the time I’m going with. I may be criticized for this as Garmin is not Chip, but because there was no one at the train to document the train stoppage, I don’t feel Chip’s accuracy can be trusted. Whereas Garmin was stopped and started the second I stopped and started, so, for me, that’s the accuracy I need.