I woke up Saturday morning feeling well prepared for the 10k on Sunday, but still SO nervous as well. The weekend before the race the Team Myles 10km crew ran the race route so I knew I could do it, and I knew the route, but it wasn’t the same feeling this weekend.
This weekend was the weekend that we trained for over the course of 10 weeks. This was our big moment. Our big moment to showcase the hard work, dedication and blood, sweat and tears we’ve put into our training.
It was extra nerve-wrecking for me as I received a message the day before the big run from the head coach asking if she could run with me. As soon as I read the last sentence of her message asking me that my stomach started to twist into a knot. Why me? What if I have to walk? What if I can’t make it up the crazy hills at the end? After the twist in my stomach started to go away I replied with how I was feeling before the run and joked that I didn’t mind if she was with me as long as she didn’t mind walking up Cogswell St as I wouldn’t be able to run up the hill.
Skip forward to the next morning where we’re all walking up to the starting line together as a big group. Some of us were emotional before we even started because of how far we had come in our training. As I walked through the people at the back of the line to a spot by a pace bunny where I felt comfortable maintaining that pace I got nervous all over again after Leanne telling me that she wanted to run with me, not because I needed the push (although I did at the end), but because of how much I put into the training and that she was so proud of my progress. Being proud of yourself is one thing, but being surrounded by people who were strangers 10 weeks before the big run who were proud of you is an entirely different feeling.
As the race starts and I start running through the streets of Halifax my anxiety started to calm down. I no longer felt like I was going to throw up on the side of the road, I didn’t worry about not being able to run the entire distance, I didn’t think about other people being faster than me knowing I’ve had a better pace in previous weeks. I just focused on strangers on the side of the road cheering the runners on, the little kids’ who’s faces beamed after you high-fived them, and I focused the most on taking in everything that was happening around me. I kept looking around at the crowd that stood in the heat just to cheer people on, most of them they had never met before.
I felt okay until we got to the final stretch of the route – the hills. This is where I struggled during our practice run the weekend before. Thankfully Leanne and Bonita were with me to push me to Giv’er up the hill. I made it without walking. Cue the flood of emotions. I started to tear up before I had even made it to the finish line. After making it up the beast of a hill I continued to run with my support team to the finish line where I could no longer control my emotions and I full on ugly cried. I couldn’t stop it – and that was okay because I had earned it. I ran 10km without stopping. Something I never dreamed would have been possible before this training program. I didn’t care what I looked like for pictures at the finish line because I worked hard the past 10 weeks for those tears! The icing on top of that amazing moment was sharing a group hug with Leanne and Bonita where Myles joined in too. And then sharing hugs with the rest of the Team Myles crew that was waiting on the side line for the others to finish.
The flood gates open for tears thinking about what I accomplished yesterday. Not only physically, but mentally. I can now say that I will be able to achieve anything without telling myself I can’t. Because I just something unthinkable!
This was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to do it all again in 2020!