Today was the second run of the Frontrunners Vancouver Island Race Series and it was the Cobble Hill 10k. Some of you after reading that sentence probably thought you were going to read next that I ran it but I didn’t. I am listening to my osteopath and instead I walked the race. I wasn’t told that I couldn’t walk a race by my osteopath and the massage therapist told me it would be ok so I went for it. I was told to do was warm up beforehand but my only question was “How does one warm up for a walk?” I decided just to do the warm up ABC’s that I would do for running without the running portion.
On the way to Cobble Hill I started to get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I was feeling good, my foot wasn’t hurting and it was a beautiful day for a run but I wasn’t able to. I had earlier in the week decided that I would walk the race because I knew that I could still then take part and I didn’t want to stand on the sidelines. As much as it was my idea though I wasn’t completely on board with it.
As we arrived at the school I saw some of my fellow run club friends and our neighbors pulled up in their car next to us. Their little boy Ryder heard me speak while Amanda was getting him out of the car and said “Kyla”. That made me smile and he made me feel better. I carried him inside to get our race numbers and got some cuddles from him. He was just what I needed.
I didn’t have race nerves like I usually do. I was calm and spent time catching up with fellow runners and enjoyed just being chilled. A group of us headed to the start line a little before 11. The race was starting at 11:10am. The announcer called for all the athletes to come to the start line. I don’t think of myself that way but I mentioned it to Cindy who was standing by me that we were athletes and we both smiled.
The countdown happened and away we went. I was mid-way back in the pack and I walked my way over the start line. I stayed to the right of the road so all the runners could pass by me and I was soon walking with a few runners in front of me and behind me. I had my iPod set with tunes and I had put 1h 30mins on my watch because I wasn’t sure how long the walk would take me. I was hoping for under that because I still had to be competitive with myself in some way.
I passed the 1k marker around 7:39. I didn’t think that was good or bad because I didn’t know. As I turned the corner to go down the road that was an out and back it wasn’t long until the other runners started coming towards me. As I did I looked for my friends and others I knew to cheer them on. I then just ended up saying words of encouragement with a big smile on my face to pretty much everyone. I soon realized that this was my reason for doing the race. This was the feeling that I needed but didn’t know I would get. As I encouraged people they would say “Thank you” or “good job” back to me or they just smiled. And from my friends I would get cheers of “Go Kyla” and I was happy for it.
Once everyone was passed by it was soon just me and a few other runners. I turned up my tunes and soon found I was dance walking. My hands were going and I was in a happy place. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day. I took in the sights around me. I loved it and I noticed things that I had never seen in the last three years of doing that race.
As I passed the 6k marker I was at 44:40. I then thought about how if I had been running it I would be done. But I wasn’t done and I still had 4 more to go. As I passed by the water station one of the volunteers said “I like your outfit.” That made me smile and it made me think it would have been something that wouldn’t have been shared if I was running. Her compliment was a bonus.
As I neared closer to the end of my walk I could see two people and I felt like I was gaining on them. I could feel a pain in the top of my foot but my heel felt good. I only had two kilometers left and I was finishing. In the last 500 meters I caught up with the woman and the guy. We were together for a bit and then the guy took off. I boogied myself to the end and walked over the finish line at 1:13:49. I was happy with that. The announcer said my name and then said “Our fastest walker of the race finishing in the fastest time.” This made me laugh. I liked that he did it even though I was the only walker of the whole race.
I headed back to the school where everyone was. Along the way I saw a girl who I had cheered for during the race. I said to her “It was nice to see your smiling face on my walk. Hope you had a good run.” She then said to me “It was the least that I could do. You were walking it as fast as I was running it.” Not the case but nice of her to say.
I enjoyed my walk. I was happy with my time and happy that I could be support for the rest of the runners. The next race is the Cedar 12k on February 9 and I have a feeling I will be walking that one as well. I see the osteopath again on Tuesday night after work so we will see what he has to say.
Like to give a shout out to Warren who ran a personal best for a 10k today. He finished 10th in his age group and crossed the line in 39:47. Whoop!
Have you ever walked a race when you couldn’t run it? Did you like it?