Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chilly Half Marathon 2014

Chilly for me this year is a mixed bag of memories. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. To be honest, there were more worst of times in there than best, but hey. That's life. As one of my customers would say, any day on this side of the earth is a good one.

Race day arrived and with it came freezing temperatures and snow. Seriously, I booked the day off work for this?! Oh well. Just like I always say; Blah blah blah. Work. I ate my oatmeal, drank my tea and put on my twenty layers of clothes. Ok, maybe not twenty but enough to have me sweating on the way to pick up Patty. Apart from the weather, things were looking good. My PF was feeling decent. I hadn't forgotten anything at home. I didn't have the race morning scoots. I felt like I was dressed perfectly, right down to my throw away winter jacket and dollar store leopard print mittens, and they were playing George Michael at the starting line. Woohoo. I had been doubting that I'd be able to actually run for a 1:50 finish with Emma and Nicole, you know with my lack of running and all thanks to PF, but maybe this was going to be my day. My last race was a crash and burn so obviously this one is gonna be a keeper right? Right?! *cue ominous music*
"Oh?! Is this George Michael? I love George Michael. I had a WHAM! tshirt you know!
Then some boys threw it up a tree.
 FREEDOM! FREEDOM! You've gotta give for what you take"

The first three km flew by like they do, and I felt fine except for the fact that my feet were numb. I literally felt like I was running on stumps. The only trouble with running on stumps (other than the obvious) is that as soon as they warmed up I realized that my PF was not happy. At all. I had gone into this race saying that I would stay with the girls for as long as my PF would let me, but at the first water station I had to be smart and slow things down. I did the usual things to keep myself occupied now that I was on my own. Listen in on conversations (people were boring this day!), count the VPL, wonder what the hell I'm doing out here. You know. The usual. I quickly regretted not having my headphones with me to at least give my mind something to do other than focus on the fact that my foot was hurting and this race was sucking. "I could be at work right now!" I thought to myself more than once. You know it's a dark day when you'd rather be at work refilling coffees and yelling at the kitchen for putting cheese in your omelette when you didn't order cheese in your omelette. I kept thinking about Nicole's race in Picton and how she realized that her goal wasn't going to be met so she just focused on having fun. Sure I can do that. No problem. Yep, this is fun. Fun. Fun. Fun. PF is on fire. My feet are wet and cold. Fun. Fun. Fun. Oh hey. Is that Emma's husband in front of me?! Maybe I should run with him. I wonder how he's doing. It's his first half marathon. Maybe he could use some pep. Oh wait. That would mean I'd have to be the one giving the pep. Okaaaaaay. So I'm just gonna go ahead and walk and take a gel here and let him get ahead of me a little bit. Walking, walking. Oh hey Jauo. Hmmm, do you think he noticed I was walking? Hope he sees the empty gel wrapper inside my pocket. Alright, the leaders are coming back the other way now. Time to get my mind on something else. "Mike! Woohoo, Mike!" "Kenny! Yeah, Kenny!" "Looking good, Chilly!" "Atta girl, whoever you are. Woohoo!" I was yelling to everyone I could wondering if it was obvious that I was trying to make it look like I was having an amazing time clomping along with my Frankenstein foot out here, channeling my inner Nicole. I played back and forth with a few people, letting them pass me as I walked all the water stations (what the hell, I'm out here to enjoy myself right?) and then passing them back when I was ready to remember that I was in a running event again. I saw Richard who veered over to give me a high five and I totally missed his hand Revenge of the Nerds style. I saw Emma and Nicole. I saw Phil. I saw Patty. Ok, Patty saw me. I was in my head remembering that this race was sucking when I passed her by. I saw Father what's his name as I passed his church and took a banana which was the last thing that I wanted, solely out of Catholic guilt. I saw the meat wagon sweeping up the stragglers all the while counting down how much time I had left in this God forsaken race. Oh, and there I saw the 1:55 pacer pass me by. Better and better. I wonder how close the girls are to the finish line? Are they almost done? I wanna be done. Yep, thanks person on the street. Almost there. Yep, not almost there but thanks any way. Hey Sharkey and Pikachu. Thanks, man. I know my skirt rocks. Oh, you were using it to pace yourself? Thanks. I guess? Oh. Is that Brant St?! Yay Brant St. Oh darn. Not Brant St. Ok. That's Brant St. Yeah, Brant St! Ok, time to start picking people off. Starting with this girl right in front of me. Vroooooom! Yeah, I know. Run it in. I've done this once or twice before. My favourite part of the race. Well, except for at Scotia, but they put out quicksand or something for us to run in there so it's not the same. And there it is. The finish line. Thank God that's over. Got my medal. Thanks. Oh there's my friends waiting for me. "That was ugly. Let's get the hell out of here".
Aaaaaaaand that sucked! Where's the beer?!
Nicole, Richard, Peter, Robert and me and my pink hat. Photo taken by Patty.

Lessons learned in this race. 1) It's always a good day on this side of the earth. 2) If things are looking up at the beginning chances are they won't stay that way 3) PF sucks 4) I'll always have George Michael.