Another Weekend in Canada

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Spirit Unleashed
Lynn Williams
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Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:38 am

Thanks to Habs for a great weekend.

Image

Running a race in Canada is mostly an excuse to come to Canada and meet RMers. So my report is first about what a great weekend and then about the race. That said, as long as I'm coming, I might as well do the full marathon and get the buckle.

Is there a way to move beyond surgery and recovery? Lets do it now.

I had been looking at air fares for Calgary ever since Habs signed up for the 50k. In January, they took a dramatic dip and I clicked submit. Now, I had to get my mileage up. There was never a plan to run fast. Just a plan to finish in under 6.5 hours and obtain a belt buckle. Submit for the marathon clicked again.

So an obsession with miles which I continually have took on a focus. Get the miles up by June. Along the way, I ran 2 great half marathons and a very good 25k.

Saturday, the travel gods were with me. I had free parking. I had premier access. I had TSA quick check for the first time (that was awesome). The seat I had on the plane didn't have a working light. And everything was dark so other people could watch tv. I complained and got moved to the extra leg room area: score! As usual, the custom agent made me choke up when he asked why I was coming to Canada and I croaked, "to run a marathon." Ken and Bonnie were there to get me and quickly we were at the expo.

Then crowded expo, it was hard to find Habs. Not only is she short, but she was sitting on the ground. I walked around during the meeting. Saw the new Nathan hydro-vest and it is awesome, but incredibly expensive ($200C at expo, just bought off Amazon for $120US) . When I went back, the meeting was over. It was cool to talk to maniacs. What a group: doctor, lawyer, physicist, teacher, dietitian (Bonnie), mom, engineer. /some of us incredibly fast. Some of us just plodders.

Then Habs and I drove to Anderson station. Saw Mike getting off the train. So, we knew how to get there in the morning and how to buy tickets. Then Habs took me to Timmie's (dirtiest restaurant ever). Then I got my first trip to Stupid Store (which I heard about on the NET). I bought a red Canada hat. Then to Habs friends house. We also took a walk around the park there. Tracy was very funny and nice to stay with. Habs has great coffee. The aroma was wonderful. She brought me all sorts of stuff to eat also.

Up early. Drive to the race. Do drop bags and pit stops. Minor emergency when my garmin didn't want to wake up when I first tried. I had it set for 7x1s which I really wanted to do so I needed my garmin. It finally just started working. Ditch sweat shirt. Soon, everyone starts walking, lots of people try to cram through gates. No one heard the start but evidently, there was one.

I quickly found myself in a relaxed group of people who were doing variations of walk run. Snippets of conversation here and there. Met a guy from Dallas and another from Houston. Spent alot of time with Wonder Woman all through the race. Ran the first 10 miles in two hours which was way faster than expected so maybe I used up too much energy. Lots of what people from Texas think are hills. A little lonliness as no one was near me for awhile.

Around 3 hours in: utterly annoyed with the canted road for miles, realizing how different a race is from a training run, tired of gels, I ate an apple Lara bar, had a VERY productive pit stop; and then felt much better. But it was getting hot. I was glad I had my fuel belt. Along Memorial drive, which I was damn glad I only had to run once, I refilled the bottles twice.

Then around 39k, I see this wall of humanity. WTF! 5k WALKERS totally flooding the course. Grrrr.... I worried that I wasn't even on the marathon course. I didn't really have the energy to bob and weave so I started yelling "Runner up" at crucial moments. Finally they split the courses but still some walkers walked on the runner side (not polite like the rest of the Canadians).

Finally finished. Sort of an anti-climax since I still had to contend with crowds, didn't really even get the feel of being in a stadium.

I did my 7x1 unless I was down hill when it went to walk. Or sometimes walked uphills. I kept doing the 7x1 all the way. Walked up that nasty underpass at the end. I was really surprised I did as well as I did.

So, those millions of 5k walkers really upset me. All I could get at the finish was a cup of water; no food. Then I harassed Habs so she cut her massage short. The millions of 5k walkers also had to buy train tickets so that took a longer time too. Did I say those millions of 5k walkers upset me?

Party at Mikes was great. Showers were great. Thanks Mike. I got to talk a little to Ian, talked to Ken and Bonnie, talked to Hammie. Grannie Hammie made a crack at me (although at the time, I didn't know that was Grannie Hammie). Everyone was nice to the token American.

Nice evening with Habs and her friend. Habs and I discussed all aspects of the race and sat together posting on line. Travel gods were with me again for the trip home.

Reflective BS: A trip can be a journey of transformation. The me before is different than the me after. What was accomplished in Calgary?

Months of training; but that would have been going on regardless.

We, the masses of society, aren't supposed to hurt. Yet, a marathon is an invitation to pain.

We start with the mob, we split off from the mob and do our miles through heat, some solitude, some companionship, but at our own speed. Then at the end, is another mob. We lose our identity at the end of the journey. The marathoner re-enters society.

The athlete me must go on, thrive, energize. An existential struggle continues. My life was driven to ensure I got the buckle. But its actual meaninglessness is clear. The daily workouts continue. Only this mile or this bicep curl matters. But I feel that running, exercising, is an escape from the mundane world and worth it to me.

A race IS icing on the cake. It IS necessary, fun and unique. The journey? It just goes on. Miles just continue. The existential I carried the torch.

Image
Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list: http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/
http://ultramonk.blogspot.com/

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ian
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby ian » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:59 am

Plowing through packs of participants from a shorter race is a time-honored tradition on race day; it makes me feel like the guy driving 100mph down the highway. The persistence you have put into your post-surgery rehab is extremely impressive. Hopefully we had enough sunshine to keep you from getting cold.

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purdy65
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby purdy65 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:30 am

Thanks for the report Spirit!

Sound's like with the exception of those pesky 5 k'rs you had an excellent weekend!

Congratulations!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight...it's the size of the fight in the dog! 11K Marker post - 2010 ATB.

Introducing 2017

GoodLife Half Marathon.
TBD

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HCcD
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby HCcD » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:34 am

Congratulations, Laura ... :dance: :dance:
Race Results: http://itsmyrun.com/index.php?display=p ... unner=HCiD

Dstew
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Dstew » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:04 pm

Your mistake was not running in 2004 - 06 when I was running the marathons. No crowd support to speak of, run much further west on Memorial and then come back and there was once or twice when I actually wondered if I was on course going through Bowness as I literally could not see anyone in front or behind me. :D

The 5 K race had just started when I was going through the section you were. I was still running and there was the death march marathon shufflers then all of a sudden, the blare of police sirens. The lead 5 K runner was coming up behind us and we were being shunted to the side. Not a huge deal per say but some people could not quite comprehend and were dazed and confused by the sound and chaos approaching from behind. The mob was good because they were still runners and on their side of the street and so I was on the nice end of cheers.


But I digress. A great report and I really enjoyed and I can hopefully now embrace the conclusions. Your report reminded me of how Dean Karnaze ended his talk -"Tomorrow, BLISTERS AND BLISS".

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5km
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby 5km » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:11 pm

Congratulations, eh?

trixiee
Lynn Williams
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby trixiee » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:50 pm

Great Report Spirit!

I did choke up a wee bit, I have to say... you are so introspective - a complete opposite of me!

Wht did HammieGrammie say to you? Inquiring minds want to know!
http://connect.garmin.com/profile/trixiee14

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
~ Dr. Suess~
Life is short. Drink the good wine first!

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Hammie
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Hammie » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:40 pm

trixiee wrote:Wht did HammieGrammie say to you? Inquiring minds want to know!


no kidding!

In all seriousness, congratulations on your journey back from surgery. It was a pleasure to meet you this weekend.
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

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby deerdree » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:51 pm

i'm glad you had a good visit to canada. :D even with a dirty tim's. :evil:

and i'm happy that your main complaint was the 5k walkers and not your foot. you've come a long way! congrats!!

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Avis » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:02 pm

Sounds like a great weekend for you Spirit! Thank you for the thoughtful report, which provided insights and observations that made it come alive for me. And congratulations on the triumphant return to the marathon!
"We are made of dreams and bones."
--The Garden Song

"By perseverance, the snail reached the ark."
--Charles H. Spurgeon

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
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Habs4ever
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Habs4ever » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:19 pm

I've already said everything I needed to say to you this weekend! But, I just couldn't let your report go by without commenting.
Very proud of you!
Luv ya! :D
I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love, like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive, yeah....Jason Gray

Running is a conversation with your body. Sometimes you listen and sometimes you tell it to stop whining and do something. - Ian

Mark.AU
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Mark.AU » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:41 pm

Great report as always - thanks for your perspective.
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

Stephen Fry.

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Robinandamelia
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Robinandamelia » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:17 pm

Congratulations! Sounds like quite the obstacle course towards the end!

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby RobW » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:52 pm

ian wrote:The persistence you have put into your post-surgery rehab is extremely impressive.

Completely agree.

Congrats Spirit.

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grimskot
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby grimskot » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:05 pm

Great report Spirit. Congratulations on finishing your marathon. Sounds like a great experience -- wall of walkers notwithstanding :)
Plan for 2016:
Jun 25: St. Malo Triathlon - Sprint - done
Jul 16: Morden Triathlon - Sprint - done

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La
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby La » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:22 am

I might have to quote you: "A marathon is an invitation to pain."
"Maybe I will be my own inspiration." - UltraMonk (Laura)
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have enough time." - Steven Wright

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby IronColl » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:02 am

Congratulations on your finish! Wear the buckle with pride.
If all that you read is everything you believe then let go, then let go, then let go.

Nothing will change if you never choose.

2018 goals: May half marathon, September half marathon

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Jwolf » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:35 pm

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Congratulations again.
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Tisha » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:52 pm

I love the pic of you and Susan! Congrats and thanks for posting a great race report!

chunkymonkeymelonhed
Lynn Williams
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby chunkymonkeymelonhed » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:08 am

I'm so glad that you had a great weekend.
Props to you for the great comeback after injury. Well done.
On the books for 2017:
50th Birthday!!
Boston Marathon- April 17th what a day- DREAM COME TRUE :dance:
Run for Water 10K- May 28th
Scotia Half - June 25th
Trail River Run half marathon- Sept. 30- CANCELLED
MEC 10K Race 10- Nov. 5

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby CinC » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:06 pm

Glad that Calgary was good to you! We didn't run out of cups like Vancouver but had to throw those pesky 5k runners in for good measure.

Congrats on your race - here's to many more miles!
Race Hard. Race Happy.

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Ken B
Lynn Williams
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Ken B » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:51 pm

Another gutsy effort and great report, Laura. For me, getting to connect again and chat with you is worth all previous efforts. Congratulations!!

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Spirit Unleashed
Lynn Williams
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:35 pm

Ken B wrote:Another gutsy effort and great report, Laura. For me, getting to connect again and chat with you is worth all previous efforts. Congratulations!!

That was a sweet thing to say.
Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list: http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/
http://ultramonk.blogspot.com/

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Spirit Unleashed
Lynn Williams
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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:39 pm

Hi everyone who read this report. Thanks all for your comments. I did have a great time and Calgary/Canada treated me super well. Sometimes I am jealous I live in a tremendously ugly place (Houston), but I guess that makes seeing other places that much more fun Jealous of Calgary's bike paths and hills. Not jealous of how much it costs to live there.

I never did see Mike's pool. Are we sure he has one?
Sorry still I didn't get to see CinC.
Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list: http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/
http://ultramonk.blogspot.com/

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Re: Another Weekend in Canada

Postby Kelodie » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:24 am

Awesome report, Laura! I'm glad you had fun in Canada. :)

I love your reflections at the end of the report. Thanks for sharing!
"Keep Going. Never Give Up" - Spencer
"Have a little faith in yourself and watch the magic begin" - Ironboy

Plans for 2014:
Run for Women 5K, May 11
Ottawa Race Weekend 10K, May 24


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