The Resurrection of Hoodoo

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Tom Longboat
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Location: Camrose AB

The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby hoodoo » Wed May 04, 2011 7:22 pm

After a year of hiding, I am back!
Well the BMO Vancouver Half is done. I did it. My slowest run ever, my most disappointing time ever, my most inconsistent training ever, and the biggest "ah ha" moment I have ever had while running. It is so easy to think that when you have run 21.1km or 30 km or 40km that a person can easily run a half marathon on any given day. WRONG! I was totally shown that I need to respect the training, respect the distance and respect the challenge. The training this year was tough and challenging. I had a million excuses (time commitments, weather, ice, wind, work, blah, blah, blah) but those are just excuses. Most excuses don't mean a thing and the weak use them for justification. I did learn that the end result is ENTIRELY UP TO ME. If I do well.. it is because of me. If I do not do well it is because of me. I am the pacer of my path. It is my effort that will make me VERY proud of myself.

It has been two years since I did a half marathon. Last year due to some medical issues I had to put running on hold. I thought that I could continue from where I left off. WRONG. This year I did lots of long slow distance runs, but now I realize the long run just teaches me not to quit. I needed to do more speed work, intervals, tempo runs. I did lots of stairs at the arena...but realize that real hills are still a big part of the training... in any event... I will continue with my running. ( I am registered for the Calgary half) and will do a much better job at making me proud of myself.

But here are some highlights of my half marathon in Vancouver. I did the friendship run with my son (Ray III) the day before the half. That run was a great run. I was as good as last time.

On the day of the half things started out well. It was sunny, warm and a very well organized race. I wanted to finish the race at an 8:00/km pace and I was keeping it up. I ran with my son for the first 4km. I was under my goal time. Nice and easy. Great scenery. Lots of great people on the run.

I loved running through East Van. That has always been my favourite part of the run. A lot of homeless people are in that area and a lot of them were on the street cheering us on. There is a real sense of community in that part of the city. The most humorous part of that section was running past an open park in east van and a big waft of morning marijuana in the air. It has been over 30 years since I have been in that flashback zone. And to make it even better, my iPod was playing Deep Purple's " Speed King" at that time. I put my hand over my nose, laffed a bit and thought this is a great rerun of my marathon of life from age 15-55! Things remain the same. Flashbacks never quit.....just the location changes.

The run through the downtown area was great. I loved the scenery. I love the city. Very quickly I was just starting the entrance in to Stanley Park. We run by Coal Harbour and the Rowing Club, Yacht Harbour, Sea Wall etc.. and the scenery is beautiful. I run that area every time I am in YVR. Very quickly I was in to the beautiful and huge trees in Stanley Park and I was getting worn out. (8-9Km) I was using my ipod on the race and it was on shuffle on my running play-list Well at this point the song " You Can't Turn Back" by Red Rider came on. I thought that the spirit in the sky was actually telling me something! Again I had a bit of a laugh and started my struggle. KM- 8-11 were really tough on my mind as I was anticipated the struggle of running up the hill (Prospect Point) I remember this from the past and it was always tough. This year, Prospect Point was pretty good. I was surprised when I finished the hill as I remember it being a lot tougher. When I reached the 10Km point I was only a minute slower than the pace I wanted. I was pretty happy with that as I thought I could do well the last half.

After the hill things really "went downhill" My heart rate went up very high (209) as I was running downhill. (My average high rate should stay at about 143 ish) I thought it was strange that it was higher going downhill than uphill but I think I was trying to hold my self back for a bit. I started to get huge cramps in my calves. They felt like Charlie horses in my calves. I have never had pain like that before. The cramps continued from KM 15-21. I had to stop every KM and stretch. I tried running faster instead of my slow waddle and I could not make my legs go faster. I tried walking faster and I could not make my waddle go faster. I tried taking shorter and quicker steps, longer strides, side steps...but it felt like I was sinking in quick sand. It was really a strange experience. I was now in the twilight zone. Very upset with my performance and very concerned if I could make the end. I made the 18Km mark and was pretty happy that I made it that far, but I realized that I wanted to be a the 21 km mark at that point. The cheering section was incredible from km 16-21. Lots of signs. There were signs that I though were dedicated specifically for me! Lots of people, cheerleaders and supporters. At 19Km I knew I was going to finish but I wanted to finish faster. My legs would not let me finish faster. At Km 20 I knew I was going to finish and I was pretty happy. All of a sudden at KM 20.5... my iPod starting playing the song, "I've had the time of my life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. That was an incredible thing to hear! I was happy. I was smiling. I did think that YES.. I did just experience the time of my life. I could not believe that the spirit in the sky selected that song at that time. As soon as the song was over I had another 200 metres or so to run and then a very emotional, very caring song came on. The song is by Dan Hill and is called, "I am My Fathers Son". Some of my friends will remember that my father died at 49 years of age while he was running. I could not believe what was happening at that point. It was like he was running with me. I am too EGOTISTICAL to admit it, but I will spin the story around and say that running sweat was coming out of my eyes. Lots of sweat from my tear ducts. I was pretty happy to know that someone was looking after me on the run.

I finished the race. I was happy I finished. I was disappointed with my time. I was 50 seconds per km slower than I needed and I was about 1:15 per Km slower than I wanted over all. But I learned something that kicked my butt! COMMITMENT! I GET WHAT I PUT IN TO IT!

So now I realize that I will have to become as committed to running as I was 8 years ago. I realize that I need to improve every training run. I realize the training run is more than just doing it to finish it. I need to do it to raise the bar. I realize I will have to rely on my fellow running friends and maniacs for friendship and motivation. I will have to do everything I can to make this a priority.Yesterday as I was flying back from Vancouver, I was thinking of dropping out of the Calgary Half and just do the 10Km. Then I realized that this is what has been plaguing me for years. I am always taking the easy way out. I was not pushing myself. So I decided.. the gloves are off and the shoes are on. I am out to win!

As one of my favourite phrases years ago stated..

"Running is a road to self -awareness and self reliance... you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath our feet, but when you are through, exhilarated and exhausted, at least for a moment everything seems right with the world."

Well the world seems right. But I have to make it right. In order to really be happy I have to push myself to extremes!

As my Mentor John "The Penguin" Bingham says: "the miracle isn't that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start."

And PS.. For the first time ever I have the runners black toe! I guess I am a runner! :)
Run for my Dad June 2013
Run for your lungs august
Melissa's 10K

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Spirit Unleashed
Lynn Williams
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Location: The Texas Tropics

Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Wed May 04, 2011 7:31 pm

Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list:

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Abby Hoffman
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Location: the corner of Sixth and Where Do I Go?

Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby Doonst » Wed May 04, 2011 8:28 pm

That's one of the best things about running: you put in the training and it shows. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way, that it works both ways. I'm feeling it too. Great that you made sometime so positive out of it.
next up:

This broken wing will fly again
One fine day
This blackbird's mute gonna sing again
One fine day

So all you sinners come out
And all you drunkards crawl out
Come into the light of one fine day

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Bill Crothers
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:27 am
Location: Victoria

Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby SuperboB » Thu May 05, 2011 6:58 pm

Welcome back!
You faced a challenging run and learned a bit more about yourself, right on!
Up next...
More running!

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Jerome Drayton
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:43 pm
Location: Out West

Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby Hammie » Thu May 05, 2011 10:16 pm

Welcome back! Might see you again on May 29th!
2014: the year of new awesomeness!
Rogers Insurance Run for L'Arche Half March 22 - done
Calgary Marathon Wild Rose 50k June 1 - done
Stampede Road Race 5k July 6 - done
Magrath sprint tri July 12 - done!!
Jog for the Bog 10k July 27 - done
Seawheeze Half Marathon August 23 - done
Subaru Banff Sprint Triathlon September 6 - done
Blitz Duathlon September 21 - registered
Portland Marathon October 5 - registered

Lynn Williams
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Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby CinC » Fri May 06, 2011 2:17 pm

Ray - your report had me smiling the whole time I read it! I loved what you said about excuses....bang on!

and oh - good memory of the park in East van - size5 and I noticed the 'scent' there too! HA!

welcome back. see you at the end of the month hoodoobytch! :D
Race Hard. Race Happy.

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Lynn Williams
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Location: Red Deer

Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby Size5 » Fri May 06, 2011 7:58 pm

I loved what the universe delivered for you on race day. The music, the race, the butt kicking, you name it. Mostly I love that you took it all in!!! Congrats on another half. And, here's to training!
Vancouver 2012 Done!
Considering CIM 2012

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Bill Crothers
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:32 am

Re: The Resurrection of Hoodoo

Postby richie-rich » Sun May 08, 2011 2:31 pm

really enjoyed your report. it's great when we get those "a-ha" moments to put things in perspective.

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