Victoria with my pal Victoria!
Last weekend I went to Victoria and ran my 3rd full Marathon and I have to say that this one was the most fun!
I had not planned on doing a fall marathon and only decided – actually that is not quite true to decide means I had a choice in the matter – to do this race in August. Why was I doing Victoria? Because two of my gal pals had decided that this was to be their first full.
Actually for my friend Victoria (aka “Vic the awesome running machine”) it was technically her second full but that is a whole other post I will do in the near future. Kirsten one of my clinic grads and now close buddies decided after some minor teasing that she was going to do a full. OMG was all I said when she told me she had registered. I tried to explain that we were teasing her but well she is young, spunky and apparently overly impressionable. So the dye was cast the gang was going to Victoria to do the full.
The morning of, my roommate for the weekend, June, and I headed down to the start line 3 different times. The first time we headed down to see Kirsten off for the early start for the full marathoners, second time was to see off all our friends in the ½ marathon off, and third time we went down with Vic for our start.
The three of us started out together running a nice easy pace myself I had no time goals what-so-ever I would finish when I finished. I was here to run with and support Vic in her first “official” full marathon and to make sure I got one of the free beers that were rumoured to be offered on course! June was shooting for a Boston qualifier and quickly left us to go after her dream.
Vic had been suffering from a foot injury/issue the last couple of weeks and had to stop on a couple of long runs so there was a concern as to whether her foot would hold out. She had been having treatment and said it felt 100% better and on a few short runs felt great. I was worried, but kept my concerns to myself. We agreed that we would start out slow and pick up the pace as we went the goal was to get her in for 4:30 but in the end we would take it as it came. Neither us needed to prove anything today.
Things went great for the first 28km or so we were laughing and having a great time pace was strong, sun was shining, and the km were slipping by easily. At 28 Vic decided to pick it up I told her go for it and I would see her at the finish I was in no hurry and was enjoying my conversation with Teresa from Leduc who was struggling a bit but still in good spirits.
About 3 to 3.5 km later I came upon Vic and she was walking, it was not a scheduled walk break and thought to myself oh no her foot. When I caught up to her I said hey lady you missed me so much you had to slow down? But one look at Vic’s face told it all she was hurting and she probably did not miss me.
If you ever have run a marathon you all know that things ALWAYS get tough or go wrong around 32km. There is a saying out there – (I know this is not exact) but it goes something like – 20 miles of running 6 miles of hope. That last 6 miles is always the toughest and for Vic it was definitely hers but she did me so proud and was so inspirational.
It turns out it was not her foot but her lower back/hip. Probably just a carry on from the foot. If you ever have run with pain in your lower back you will know it can be unbearable. Desire and determination were written all over her face it was not about time it was about finishing.
Vic never stopped moving forward it was so inspiring. It had changed from a nice clear sunny day to a deluge or rain on us and then the wind came. This marathon was throwing everything it had at Vic but she was not to be bested, she was going to finish it and she did – 4:57 and some change. I was so proud and honoured to cross the line with her.
I did not get to see Kirsten or June finish but Chris our friend who had ran the ½ was there and let us know that Kirsten had finished strong at 5 and a half hours! And while June did not get her Boston qualifier she did a personal best. Oh and about the beer well it truly was a fairytale weekend for all! I got the very last free beer on the course and it was just as good as I thought it would be.