I DID IT!
This was my mantra throughout 21.1km.
“I’m doing it. I’m doing it. I’m doing it.”
“I’m bleeping going to DO THIS!”
I share this sentiment with others along the way too.
“We’re doing it!” I encourage, as we trudge up yet another hill on a very challenging course.
Which usually results in a “YES!” or a fist pump and sometimes just a slight smile, the only added exhertion somebody DOING IT can get out.
It was a great day my friends.
After over a month of discouraging injury, illness and decreased motivation, the day arrives in spectacular fashion, practically screaming, YOU CAN DO THIS!
The sun arrived. Sun! Finally! And oh, if I had pictures for you, you would simply gasp. In awe. Simply stunning scenery. Look up stunning in a thesaurus and it’s all those words too.
But really, no words can fully articulate it. Photos wouldn’t either if I had them. How about local artist Chili Thom’s art presented to all the finishers? Yes, this gets closer. We ran surrounded by snow-capped peaks, along rivers, lakes too, and under immense conifers. But Chili is a master at creating art that sings. This, to me, sings of power and peace. Immensity and simplicity. Flow and rhythm.
Which is exactly how the race felt to me.
Everything just came together on this day and worked. My knee was strong. My lungs were too busy gasping in awe to become overwhelmed in exhaustion. Side stitches stayed away and I found a pace that worked for me. I felt strong and positive.
I was doing it.
There were other forces at work too. A mamma bear and her cubs came out to watch the show. Birds sang. A gentle breeze cooled at just the right times.
And it was freaky how in tune my music was at playing what I needed when I needed it!
- Avett Brothers ‘Road Full of Doubt’ Not your typical running song. Slower tempo but I love the song and turns out, I needed to hear it. The song arrives as I’m on yet another hill. The first 8k was crazy hilly. “There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out”
- Lady Gaga ‘Highway Unicorn’ I had never heard this song before and have no idea why I put it on my Half Marathon Baby playlist besides I liked the name. But this is what kept me going: “Run run with her top down, baby, she flies
Run run with the fury of a saint in her eyes.
Run run ha cha cha cha baby she goes
With blonde hair and a gun smokin under her toes”
- Another hill, another moment of negativity creeping in when Paul Simon’s ‘So Beautiful or So What’ comes on and I am reminded “life is what you make of it
So beautiful or so what”
- Spirit of the West’s ‘Another Happy New Year’ is just fast and inspired! Looking at my run map, I’m almost positive my burst of speed as a straight stretch began was because this song was playing!
- At about 17km, Kanye West’s ‘Stronger’ came on and I thank him for it.
- At 20km, my body was tired. I thought maybe I’d take a short walk break but as soon as I stopped that running motion, my hands shook, my hips swayed and my knees wanted to collapse so I forced my body back into the motion it knew so well at this point. 1.1km to go, I couldn’t stop now! Which is when 50 Cents ‘Disco Inferno’ came on and encouraged me to “Lil’ mama show me how you move it,
Go ahead put ya back into it,
Do ya thang like there aint nothin to it,
Shake… shake… shake that ass girl. ” Listen, I abhor 50 Cent. At the last minute I added a bunch of Dance Mix songs onto my playlist and that’s how he got on. I’m sure he’s talking about sex or stripping or something but I have to tell you, it kept my legs moving for that last kilometre and for that, I am grateful!
Then music was no longer necessary as the crowd cheered down the final stretch. As I approach, I hear my brother who had finished the race too, “Way to go Kari! Stay left! Bal and the girls are up there!” and oh my god, I want to cry as I am typing this…
I keep going and there they are. Over the gates. In the running lane. Cheering on their mom. I think they are just going to high-five me as I pass but they have other plans.
Running me to the finish line plans.
I hold Brennyn’s hand who holds Kaya’s hand and together, us girls, run (shuffle!) over the finish line.
The pain subsides. My girls hug me and love me (and then promptly ask to go to the playground!) I am filled with pride and gratitude and strength.
I DID IT!