For Mother’s Day this year, I was in Toronto where I ran a full marathon. And for Father’s Day this past weekend, I was in Langley where I ran a half marathon.
It was brutally hot. As the race was in the valley, the temperature was a few degrees warmer than in Vancouver. I initially signed up for the full, but I’m sure glad I changed it to the half.
We were bussed out to Pitt Meadows for the race start and ran back to Langley for the finish. The surface was mostly gravel/ trail. There was close to a mile over the Golden Ears Bridge, which was an extremely long bridge, but the scenery of the Fraser River was gorgeous. And the bridge was quite majestic. It is funny how different your perspective is when you drive versus run/travel by foot. I completely soaked in the River views as well as the scenic mountain views. Despite this, I still couldn’t distract myself from the steepness of the bridge, and unfortunately after reaching the midpoint of the bridge, the decline was not exactly equal to the ascent. And towards the end, we came down about four spirals which made me almost dizzy!
The trail was rolling, and for the most part, exposed. The sun was very direct. Not much shade at all. The heat really slowed me down, but coupled with the fact that I had already run 2 marathons this month, I accepted my finishing time. Plus, this was my 11th half for the year, and with the Dopey Challenge, an ultra-marathon, and 6 full marathons all within the past year, my body is beginning to feel the fatigue.
But it is all good! Racing is always good. They are way more challenging than training runs, and when you have to go at it back to back weekends, it demands a different kind of athleticism and determination. Believe me, until one tries, one will never comprehend the level of hardships it encompasses.
Summer running has never been my favorite. Maybe I should take it easier for the next little while. But then again, fanatics and maniacs never take it easy! We really are half crazy and full-out crazy!
We are a bunch of runners who can’t stop racing, for the love of the sport. But some of our fanatics and maniacs also love to race for time and speed. They are most definitely speed bunnies! Unfortunately I do not fall into that classification.
I race because I find them enjoyable. The pleasure far outweighs the pain.
To me races are like battles. As Jesse Owens once said “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, the inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it is at”
I will be in the “battlefield” for a long time to come!
By: Mabel Fong