if you are in a pinch, McDonalds fries and  Junior Chicken burger can be your pre-run ‘carb’ meal…

this might gross out some of you ‘pure, clean’ eaters out there but my stomach is used to this and accepted it just fine…

the farmer, our daughter and myself arrived in Saskatoon Saturday evening before the big marathon event …  our boys both had hockey and baseball in Regina and we left them with other families and came to Saskatoon and checked into a hotel…

strangest feeling getting ready for something for me, not one of my kids…  I’m sure I was far more nervous than they have ever been for anything but it was great to put myself in their shoes a little bit and understand what it’s like for everyone to be getting up to attend something you are doing…

the Warriors game was on and as I water logged myself (again, I’m not a nutritionist so I really have no idea how to prepare properly for a run), I watch Klay Thompson have his best playoff game ever…  hitting 11 three’s and helping Curry beat OKC… he happens to be my favourite player and seeing his determination was truly inspiring as I went to sleep…

I had no idea what to expect at the start line Sunday morning…  the only other run I’ve participated in was the Bridge City Boogie 7 years ago, at which I ran a 10 km…  and my memory was not good enough to remember what it was like…

the farmer and Sienna hung out with me for a bit and then they left and I was standing alone…  not sure if I was where I was supposed to be…  worried I was too close to the starting line and faster runners were probably annoyed that I was in their way…

I got my Nike app all set to start so I knew how to keep track of my pace… and thought I’d get my music going after the race started…

and the run began…  I thought I was going to throw up…  we all began running and I noticed two older ladies that were obviously  seasoned runners and decided I’d try to follow them and keep their pace as they look like they know what they’re doing…

running on pavement was a new thing for me as well…  and I felt like a kid that had bought new ‘fast’ shoes and I felt like I was flying…

one thing I was not expecting was as we ran through neighbourhoods, families had come out on to their lawns with their coffee, dogs, kids and lawn chairs…  it was like we were a parade… and they were cheering us on…

which I could hear clearly because I hadn’t started my music and was too afraid to stop running to get it going…  I was too afraid the entire run to stop and never started my music … so the few hours it took to make that playlist was well worth it…

and there were stations that had free gatorade (well, obviously free… people weren’t stopping and pulling out their wallets to pay) and energy packs filled with some sort of gross pudding thing…  I couldn’t do those things but definitely took the gatorade…

when I told the boys you got that stuff for free it almost made them want to run someday just to get the free stuff!

I’ve never attempted to run while drinking gatorade out of a cup… and this showed… I tried to pretend like I was wanting to douse myself with gatorade to cool down…

speaking of cooling down, I had layered up a hoodie type thing because out in the country I generally need it with the wind whipping through…  but at about mile 3 I was starting to overheat… I thought about taking it off and just tossing it… but then remembered I had pinned my ‘bib’ with the timer chip thing onto it and would need to keep it with me…  so I took it off and wrapped it around my waist…  all while running…  very awkwardly… and then thought it probably looked like a had a cape on…

watching other people run keeps your mind occupied, especially when it is the first time you have ever seen anything like this, and when my headphones told me another mile had passed it surprised me because I was so lost in people watching… I noticed some of the good runners had an odd way about their running… it was like they were barely moving their arms and it was more of a shuffle…  conserving energy perhaps?  I actually tried to copy the one lady in front of me for awhile…

I thought this older gentleman was saying good job to me at one point and I told him ‘you too’… turns out he was just signalling that he was moving over to his right and was not congratulating me at all…

but the energy you feel with that many people running was overwhelming to me…  many times I teared up, just thinking about everyone out there, how much training had gone into this day, how everyone here is dedicated to living a healthy life and everyone cheering us on are part of a joyful community of people who want to see the best for others…  truly inspiring…

towards the end of the run, I had a man behind me that was not loving the experience quite as much as some of us…  he kept letting out these loud groans like he was in the most pain he had ever been in…  I actually looked back at him once and was hoping I had sent him a look like – quit with the groaning – but he was mid groan and had his eyes closed…  it motivated me to run faster to get away from him…

I had a man in kilt pass by me…  lots of things went through my mind as this happened…

as we ran up the last hill and were getting close to the finish line, I was wondering when I’d see the farmer and Sienna…

and there they were… with their signs and smiles… and so many emotions flooded up in me…  wishing my boys could have been there too…  I stopped to give her a hug and him a kiss and have never felt it more clearly that he is my best friend and I was so happy he could be there to see me finish something I didn’t know was possible…

my in-laws were there as well and I realized how important it is to show up and cheer people on…  how every time a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend has shown up to cheer on my children how great it must make them feel… that someone cares about what they are doing…

going through life with people in your corner is wonderful…

personal best is pretty easy to achieve when it is the first time you have attempted something…  I ended up running it in 1 hour and 52 minutes… my goal was 2 hours… so that’s why my smile looks like it’s cracking my face…

some stats… because I love stats…  and might want to look back at this blog post someday and I know I’ll love the stats…

Marathon

119 men, 59 women

(only 6 women in my age category… maybe this is a hint that you should not run marathon’s????)

Sergii Vashurin 2 hours 31 minutes (Male 25-29)

Erin Gardiner  3 hours 4 minutes (Female 25-29)

Half Marathon

333 men, 472 women

Ruslan Kramariuk  1 hour 12 minutes (Male 25-29)

Nicole Bletsky  1 hour 33 minutes (Female 40-44)

10 km

278 men, 612 women

Ibrahim Mohammed  34 minutes (Male 20-24)

Jennifer Souter   37 minutes (Female 30-34)

5 km

156 men, 239 women

Iian McCormick  17 minutes (Male 30-34)

Jodi Souter   18 minutes (Female 25-29)

best thing is there was an ice cream truck that we bought some Maple Walnut ice cream from and it was the best tasting ice cream I have ever had…

the main thing I have learned over the last few months of running, is that when you push yourself past your comfort zone, you find that the things you were doing before are not that hard…

I can enjoy a 5 or 6 mile run now, but only because I have ran 12 or 13 miles…  and this applies to life in the fact that you truly can only enjoy success if you know what is is like to fail…  you can only appreciate a deep love in your marriage if you have made it through the valleys…  I can only feel like having children was a choice because other women have chosen to not have children…  you take your health for granted unless it has been taken away from you at some point…

so running the longer distances has taught me that the farther you push yourself, the more life opens up to you…  push yourself beyond what you know and see what is out there…

still don’t think I could ever do a marathon though…  that boggles my mind…