There’s nothing like signing up for a race to force yourself to do something you’ve never done before. And running a half marathon was on my bucket list and I figured this year was just as good as any to tick it off my list. Vancouver Historic Half here I come…I trained to the best of my knowledge and learnt a few key things about starting off in the real running world:

  1. Shoes are more important than you think – This seems obvious if you’re going to regularly go out for a 14 km run, but something that I vastly over looked. I thought my shoes were “fine” and was left with shin splints, blisters and toe nails falling off (sorry). A friend of mine suggested that I change my shoes, and as soon as I did training got a whole lot better.
  2. You can run too much – Over training is something that can easily be done. I thought if I Was going to run this far I’d have to run as far as possible as often as possible. I was dead wrong. I started seeing real results once I started a running program.

So the day finally came and I was an anxious mess. Unfortunately anxiety is something that I struggle with and days like this it amps up to levels of physical discomfort that’s absolutely no fun. I had no reason to be nervous, so I packed up my ipod, my new shoes, and a few layers of clothing and headed off to the beautiful Stanley Park to embark on a new adventure.When I got there parking meters were down and there was a half hour line up to get your ticket. It was -2 and we were all dressed in running clothes, not standing around clothes so we tried to jump and move around to stay warm, which was a challenging feat.After the parking fiasco we all ran to the starting venue, went pee and then went out to the race.

 

IT HAD ALREADY BEGUN!

 

“You need to go” they yelled as they saw my “half” bib… and so without warning, warm up, or time to get myself together, I was off.I was way behind the group that had left, and in the craziness of “RUN” I did just that… took off and sprinted far too fast for far too long. In the end this would be detrimental to my run.The run was long. I’d never run 21.2km in my life. My music sucked. I was wearing too many clothes and was hot, but didn’t have anywhere to ditch things. My stomach was upset. This was going to be a long couple hours.

And it was… long. Hard. I wanted to quit, I wanted to walk. I saw people passing me all the time and my pace was so slow that I think I would have been faster if I was running.  I saw people with huge cheering crowds and was envious of the team they had supporting them. Every couple minutes I’d see less runners around me and I knew I was sinking towards the back. The questions of “what if” started to sink in as I wished that I had trained harder, ate healthier, and got more sleep. But I kept running. I wasn’t going to stop. No matter what I was going to finish this race having run every step. And I was going to finish this race, even if I was the last one to cross the line. Heck, maybe I could double up on clean-up crew. Heck, I’m a good volunteer.

And with every step I took I kept moving forward. Perhaps it was the breathtaking views that graced my peripheral. From Coal Harbour to the North Shore, out to freighters waiting in the bay and then back to English Bay, our scenery really is some of the best on earth. If was going to be inspired by anything, this was the place to feel alive.And so over two hours later I did it. I saw the final hill that led to the finish line. I was exhausted, sore, and tired.

And then I heard it, “Go Jami go!” Wait, WHAT? How many Jami’s could there be? Was someone here cheering for me? Writing this I tear up as I recall the moment that I crested the hill and saw a crew of family and friends there to see me cross the finish line. My best friends, my babies. I quickly grabbed my daughter and together we finished my first half marathon!

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