Picture it. Halifax. May 10th, 2016. 6:30 PM. Team Myles runs the Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon Goodlife FITNESS 10K route.
The coaches and the mentors said we were ready for a practice run. The farthest I had ever ran was 6.22K and that was the previous Saturday. Run the full 10K route?!??! Are they crazy?!?! I was so anxious the night before, that I cried uncontrollably for at least an hour. Then the next day, I had a circus of butterflies in my stomach. Throughout the day, I learned that I was not the only one anxious about the run and that pretty much everyone had having the same feelings I had. We’re a team, we’re in this together. Even though we were all nervous, we all supported everyone else.
One of the biggest causes of my anxiety was that I am a very slow runner. I was upset that since I was going to finish last that either no one would be there at the end or that I would make everyone wait for me when they just wanted to go home after running. I still have absolutely no problem with being slow and with being at the back of the pack. My mantra throughout all of training has been ‘Endurance first. Speed later’. Hey, I get to enjoy the scenery longer while I run. Plus the ocean smell in Point Pleasant Park is beyond amazing. There are benefits to being slow.
There was no getting out of this so I strapped on my new Brooks Adrenalin sneakers (which are amazing by the way!!) and headed to meet everyone at Sackville Street. We all set off at 6:30 to run the route. My running buddy Kelly and I decided we would run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute until after Point Pleasant Park and after that, we would play it by ear on what we wanted to do. Getting to the Park was no problem as it was mostly downhill, but let me tell you, the Park was rough. We are used to starting in the park, not running 2.5K to get there and then run it. The biggest hill on the race is in the Park on Tower Hill Road to Maple Road. We hit the hill and still had 4 minutes to run. I didn’t know if I could do it. All of the sudden Kelly started chanting something along the lines of ‘one more step’ over and over. Hearing those words got me up the hill and we made it to the top without stopping. At this point we also had Coach Cindy with us who cheered us on the whole way all while running BACKWARDS! Having her with us for the run was amazing.
Kelly and I got out of the park and back onto pavement. At this point, we decided we would do one more walking interval and then run the rest of the way back to the finish at the Scotiabank Centre. On the way back, I was having trouble catching my breath and at one point said I might have to stop to walk. The ladies told me just to slow down my pace and my breath would regulate. Guess what? They were right and I was able to keep on running.
Once we rounded Citadel Hill to Cogswell St, we knew we were on the homestretch. Someone very awesome wrote messages for us in chalk to tell us we were almost done and to keep going. It was amazing to see and gave us that extra push to the end. What was even more amazing was to see a sea of yellow shirts waiting for us at the end. We could hear them cheering all the way from Cogswell Street. EVERYONE WAITED FOR US!!! All of my anxiety was for nothing. These people are beyond amazing and I am so thankful to have them in my life.
That’s when the realization set in that we had just completed the full 10K route. It took us one hour and 57 minutes to complete. I couldn’t hold in the tears of pride and thankfulness as I crossed the finish line. It was so amazing to see everyone there so excited that we done it. I wish I could have seen others cross the line too, but I know they had similar moments to mine. I’m so proud of everyone. We were all nervous and we all did it. I know that when we set our minds to something, we can achieve anything.