1st Half Marathon Post Heart Attack- What an experience !

My First Half Marathon Post Heart Attack !

 318778_199854622_XLarge

It took me a while to write this.  I had to sort through all my thoughts on this race.

I trained hard, I was dedicated, I pushed when I wanted to give up, kept going to the gym even when I didn’t feel like it.  Every moment leading up to the race was a challenge.  I was as ready as I was going to be.  My mind, my body felt strong.

Now, before I dive into this further please understand I am very proud of finishing the race and no one can take that away from me.  The pride and the finish.

I spent time before the race meeting friends, taking photos and having my photo taken many times thanks to people loving my race shirt ! The Shirt….that is for another post.

JUNE2015NEWPH 3832 JUNE2015NEWPH 3833 JUNE2015NEWPH 3834

To say I was nervous would be the biggest understatement of the day. 

I was ready to take this race and make it mine.  In my training I had felt amazing, was running an 11:45 min/mile.  I only had a few blips while training but worked through it smartly.

Smart.  That here is the key word my friends.  I trained not for speed, I trained to be smart, healthy and to ensure I was having fun.  Trained not to think too much about my heart attack and what could go wrong.  I felt so amazing !

Then came race day.  Up at the crack of crazy ( 3am) for a start time of 7:00 am.  I never publicly stated I had a goal but in my head I wanted to finish in 2:25.  That is what I trained for.

I won’t detail every kilometre, I promise. 

The course was amazing, flat, scenic.  The weather was cool at the start and quite warm as the race progressed.  The first kilometre and a half I ran with my friend Susan but realized her 9 min per mile pace was too much for me and out of my training zone.  I let her go ahead because I did not want her to stay behind for me.  I really wanted to do the whole race with her but realized she was a lot faster than I was.  Respect the pace, respect the distance is exactly what was going through my head.

318778_199569242_XLarge

The first 5 KM I felt amazing, was matching my 12 min/ mile pace and just before the 5 km mark I stopped to see my friend Danielle who was waiting kindly for me by the Starbucks in Bridgeland.  It was so good to see my friend Danielle on the course, it gives you a little boost to keep pushing forward.  I took a photo with her and off I went.

Danielle and I :)
Danielle and I 🙂

 

As I ran back across Memorial Drive I was loving the race having fun with other runners and was still keeping a 12 min mile but  that was not to last much longer.

It was slightly before reaching 17th avenue that a little fatigue had started to set in.  This was between kilometre 8 and 9.   

17th Avenue.  What do I say about this part of the course ? It was definitely the worst part of the entire course.  It was 2.5 km of uneven roads, pot holes and a narrowing of the course.  Pedestrians crossed at a few points from the sides of the street.  Just before Kilometre 10 is when my race started to go downhill.

I went to pass 3 runners who were running side by side by side.  As I cut to the right I hit a dip in the road hard, twisted my knee, tried to brace myself from falling right over ( BIG MISTAKE !).  It took about another KM before I started feeling immense pain.  Now in theory this could have absolutely ruined my race but something great came out of it.  The Injury?  A Sprained Knee which I am still battling the pain of a few weeks later.

I MAY JUST BE IN A LITTLE PAIN HERE :(
I MAY JUST BE IN A LITTLE PAIN HERE 🙁

 

As I went to walk to the side once the pain started, I bumped into a young woman, apologized and we laughed.  This woman would be one of 2 that I ran/ walked the rest of the race with.  Her name was Lindsay.  The other girl was Shona.

The rest of the race we paced each other, taking walk breaks and although I admitted being in pain, I downplayed it.  I remember at one point,  Shona had said I was the reason she was running and staying in it.  That was awesome to hear and yes, it motivated my ass to keep going.

318778_199751586_XLarge

318778_199516843_XLargeMy pace slowed to between 14-16 minutes per mile.  There were far more walk breaks than I had hoped for but I knew pushing harder would have made this injury worse.  So I did what I seem to do best in hard situations.  

I laughed.  I danced.  I chatted with those around me.  I posed as I ran past cameras.  I hugged a random person.  I pretended to be Superman, only, I was missing my Lois Lane.  My Knee was my race kryptonite but it would not wreck my spirit.  I kept repeating encouragement to my run mates as they did with me. This race was still mine.

 

The final kilometre was upon us and yes I continued to run/walk right up until the final corner where I ran, in tons of frickin pain but I ran.  That finish line looked so close and yet so far away.  The three of us kinda split at the end.  I would run into Lindsay again at Bag Check and a few days later on Instragram.

Crossing the finish line.  OH. MY. GOD.  So much awesome that it is hard to put into words.

I Crossed, I Cried ( that is again  for another post), crouched to my knees after crossing, got up and walked up to… and this is where it gets really cool.

 Her name is Sarah Lynn Stephens.  The day before the race she saw me at the packet pick up and told me I would finish and do amazing. Little did I know til later that the girl I got my medal from, who’s shoulder I cried on was the same girl who had encouraged me before the race.  A Girl who’s sister is actually on one of my Dodgeball teams.  Small World.  318778_199763060_XLarge

Seriously such an awesome finish, I would not have changed a thing.

The Race was fun, tough, but fun.  My Heart felt amazing, not once was I worried about my heart. It was my heart that got me through to the finish.  My body was up to the task at hand and I had fun for the entire 21.1 km.  I made a couple new friends, experienced brief emotion ( again a different post), finished a race and became very proud of what I accomplished even if it wasn’t the goal time I had hoped. 

 

 

 

So what else is there to say?

 

318778_199841262_XLarge

 

 

When you set out to accomplish a goal, No matter how hard you train, how prepared you are…..Sometimes things don’t go as you had hoped or planned.  Sometimes we search and try for one thing but discover another.  There is no reason to be disappointed if you don’t get your time or PR and complete your goal.  Use it to move forward but don’t beat yourself up, be proud of what you did accomplish and look for what made the experience great. 

 

For me, it was two women who made me laugh, crossing the finish line, crying on the shoulder of someone who said they were proud of me and in the end……Kicking Heart Disease’s Ass for yet another day.

-MINI-

 

318778_199881081_XLarge

Dodgeball- My True Love Story.

D9

 

7 years ago I entered into a sport, a child’s game really.  Little did I know from the moment I picked up my first Dodgeball that my life would forever become more enriched,  more playful and yes have more bruises, bumps and injuries than ever !  It has all been worth it.  What I also did not realize is how close and important my team mates would become  in my life.

Its started with my first team – Dishin It Out !  which has evolved over time to The Incrediballs, The Dodge Brawlers, Dodge of the Dead, Jolly Dodgers, Jolly Dodgers 2.0, Not you, Fat Jesus and many different team names for tournaments.

D10

Over the years I have tried to become a better player.  I am not the strongest arm on my team by far, nor the best catcher, I am a pretty good dodger I think. Dodgeball does actually take some skill and there are some pretty good athletes playing….umm not me.  I have had the privilege to watch many of my team mates grow and get better over the years.  We have won divisions together, lost together had a lot of fun along the way.

Every week, twice a week and through tournaments I put myself through a little punishment.  I have lost count of the various injuries I have had over the years.  Arguably, if you ask my team I am by far one of the most injury prone and clumsy players out there.  Ask my team mates they will be sure to tell you a “Mini”  Story, there are numerous. !    So why do I keep going back for the punishment

My friends.   Old and new.  Some of who are like an extended family to me.  I love these people and would do pretty much anything for them.  As the years have gone by and I have become more entrenched in the Dodgeball community making countless friends I have become hooked on the social aspect of my sport.  Are there times we get annoyed with each other.  Of course !  We are friends throwing rubber balls at each other, there are bound to be disagreements.  But in the end we still forgive and move on…usually over ice cream or a beer.

It is this community of players who have supported me in two charitable tournaments which would not have been successful without those amazing people helping to raising almost $5000.00 to date for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Next year brings my third annual tournament and I want to make the experience even better to show my appreciation for my Dodgeballin friends.  We are all great at supporting each other in our endeavors.

Collages 3

Dodgeball has saved my own sanity a few times .  In tough years when my personal life was in shambles the 2 hour a week of game time became my escape.  It was the one place for an hour at a time I could cast my own worries, fears and cares aside and just be free, if even for a brief moment. It was a chance for me to be with people who I care about and hopefully cared about me, having fun.  There were definitely odd moments during these times –( Remember the Percocet incident Brawlers ) but these nights helped me so much to not fall into a hole that could have been tough to come out of.  Over time I got better and the game was no longer an escape but a place I went because I truly loved playing and i loved the people who I played with

DODGEBALL 2 006

So why share all of this?  I LOVE DODGEBALL !!!    I have had to take the most recent season off from playing and I have missed playing immensely.  I have missed seeing my team mates and many others that I use to see on a regular basis.  I have spent time watching my team and photographing them, but it is not the same as being out there on the courts with them.  This season off has truly shown me how important this game is in my life, how important my friends are and how much I love all that Dodgeball encompasses.  Ya it’s just a game, but many of these experiences and people are forever.

To my team mates directly.  Thank you for all these amazing years and experiences.  Thank you for supporting me as your friend in highs and lows.  Thank you for being so much fun, a little crazy and the most amazing people one can surround themselves with.  I love you guys and look forward to my return to playing with you all in 2014.

It’s not just a game, it is has become so much more.

 

Mini

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...