Yesterday was a great day for me and I am still feeling a high.
Tanya and I ran the Bear Mountain 10k race. The day, weather wise, didn’t start out the best but it wasn’t too bad. By the time we started running we had rain and wind but by the 1 or 2k the rain had stopped and there was only wind every now and again. As Tanya and I arrived at the start line I saw Warren standing at the front of the line and he made the motion for us to come and stand with him. I had told Tanya that we could go and stand with Warren and she said ‘And get trampled at the start?’ So, we headed to the back. It felt weird for me to be at the back of the group because I will typically start a race at the front of the group.
As the announcement was made to start the race we made our way up, and as we crossed the start line we synced our watches and away we went. I had put 1:30 on my watch because that was what she said she wanted to do it in and I was running as a motivator and a friend for Tanya and not as the competitive person I normally am for a race.
As we ran along and came to the first hill I told her ‘Push your elbows back and run on ball of your feet. You got this T!’ We made it up and then came to a downhill. As we ran along we chatted a little and I was encouraging. I was trying to distract her at different points of the race to help motivate her along. Around the 4k mark I told her that the golf greens next to us was full of rugby players without shirts on and she needed to keep running to see them all. She loves beer and I told her that the 5k marker had a guy with a beer in his hand and that she just needed to get there and she could have it. She then said ‘Where is the guy with the bacon and egg sani?’ I said that he was at the finish.
As we ran I asked her how she was doing. She said she felt good but would love to stop. I then told her what I do to get through runs. If I get the feeling like I want to stop I will pick a point to run to, maybe it is a telephone poll or a house and then I can give myself permission to walk because I have made it that far. Typically by that time I have made it through the slump and I don’t stop. I told her that she could walk at the 5k mark if she wanted to but she had to make it there first. She did and she didn’t stop. She didn’t walk once through the whole race and I am so very proud of her.
During the race there were two points that were marked with timers where if you got the fastest time through them you would win $100. One sprint was 700m on a downhill. The second marked area was on ‘Mama Bear Hill’ and it was 100m sprint up the steepest hill on the course. I like hills and seem to be good at them so I had told Tanya as we went through the first marked area that the hill one I might do. She said ‘Go for it!’ As we approached it I said I was going but would be back. I took off and it felt good to power up the hill. I then turned around and she was mid way up doing great.
We reached the 7k mark and I had 37 minutes left on my watch. I told her that we had 10 minutes per kilometer to finish the race if we needed it. As we ran I threatened to dance at certain markers and a few times imitated John Travolta and his disco moves. It had her smiling and distracted so it was a win win situation.
As we passed the 9k marker I asked her, of the group of people in front of us who do you want to pass? She told me the person who was behind us. I laughed and said we would need to find someone in front of us. As we approached the finish line there we two people in front of us that I told T that we needed to pass them before they crossed. She said ok and we took off. We passed them and I crossed the line with a huge smile on my face. I was happy she pushed herself a little bit more even though I know she left everything out on the course.
We got our medals and Warren was there to congratulate us. I gave Tanya a hug and told her congrats and I was proud of her. She had done a great job. She later told me that we ended up passing all of the people that I had asked her who she wanted to pass in the group of runners. That made me happy because I hadn’t realized it.
So, yesterday was a great day for me for a few reasons. Even though I thought I was running for Tanya, I ran for me too and I learned more about myself. I am a competitive person and it was hard for me not to run faster and not to push harder but the overall feeling that I have is worth it and feels good. I know that I was still competitive in trying to get her to pass people along the way but that is just who I am. Tanya mentioned about me being that way and I said you can’t take it out of me completely. I know that I was there for Tanya and that she appreciated my help because she told me if it wasn’t for me she would have stopped and she wouldn’t have done the race. I will be back next year and try it on my own.
When it came time to giving out the awards for the top finishers and the sprint winners, Mark, the owner of Frontrunners Westshore, said that they wanted to have the sprint markers because they wanted to give an opportunity to non-elite runners to have a chance at winning as well. Well…it ended up that I ran the Mama Bear Hill the fastest in a time of 29 seconds and I received the $100 for my efforts. That came as such a shock to me but made me feel great. I look at it as karma for doing something nice for someone else and if I hadn’t have been running it for T, I probably wouldn’t have had the legs to sprint it that fast.
Congrats to all of my friends who ran yesterday! You rock!
Have you ever ran a race as a motivator for a friend? Do you think you could if you are a competitive person?