While 45,000 people from all over the world, including our own Mark Sutcliffe, took to the streets of New York for the ING New York City Marathon yesterday, I joined more than 1,000 of my closest friends in Hamilton, Ontario for the Road2Hope Marathon.
A bit of background for you:
Marathon #1 – fall of 2008. I had an injury and didn’t finish my training but was too stubborn to stay home – so I ran a bit, walked some, then hobbled the whole second half. It was horrible, but I finished. Moral of the story: I can do anything I put my mind to.
Marathon #2 – started to get dizzy and sick, still don’t know why. Not wanting a repeat of the Death March of 2008, I dropped out at 30K. Moral of the story: I don’t need to learn the same lesson twice.
Marathon #3 – was doing fantastic until about 23K when I had a bad asthma attack. I ended up sitting for a while, walking for a while, and finally trotting the rest of the way, and while I finished quite strong, all things considered, I never did get back on pace. Moral of the story: do the best I can with what I have on that day, and I will have no regrets.
Fast forward to yesterday, Marathon #4 – all I wanted was an uneventful, drama-free, downright boring day; I just wanted the gun to go off, then I would run, and then there would be the finish line and I would stop, and that would be it – please and thank you.
Well, I am happy to say that I got my wish. Of course there is more to say than that – the weather was outstanding and the volunteers and spectators were awesome. I ran most of the race with a woman named Darlene whom I met for the first time less than 1K in. We saw some fun things, we got really tired and sore – after all, it is a marathon for Pete’s sake! But that’s it. No body parts fell off, my lungs behaved, I wasn’t abducted by aliens part way through or attacked by rabid surrealists with brightly-coloured power tools. All in all it was an excellent day.
I got a shiny new Personal Best, but somehow it doesn’t feel right to compare it to my previous results. I mean sure, I had finished two marathons, and yes, those victories were all mine. In no way am I saying those results were somehow inferior. But this time, it somehow feels different. This time, I feel like I finally have a result that reflects my ability rather than the kind of day I had.
P.S. A big thank you to my family and friends who were there with me, either physically or in spirit! You are the best!