Instead of spending my Sunday morning on a long run, I decided to go out and cheer for my running friends who were racing in the Goodlife Toronto Half and Full Marathon.
And it freaked me the eff out.
It started out on such a positive note. I hauled my arse up to Yonge and Eglinton to cheer with J, a WW friend and fellow athletic supporter. We were looking to provide another friend, E, a little runspiration as she ran the half.
It was also fabulous as I saw Sam and a few other of my CCRR buddies tackling the 21.1k route in RIDICULOUS weather conditions (it was raining and motherlovin’ cold!).
But then the positive went south. The thundersticks bit the big one and it all went downhill from there, just like the race course.
I tried to keep a brave face, really, I did. As the droves turned into dribbles uptown, I decided to make my way down to the finish at Queen’s Park Circle to watch my friends finish the race. I was still feeling a smidgen positive and light, and sort of wished that I was running instead of being an athletic supporter. Or maybe I was just hungry.
But after an hour in the rain, my tune started to change. I saw the half compete with the 5k for space around the finish and just barely spotted my Uncle Jim pass by as he was running the shorter distance. The boondoggle that this race always is started to become apparent and I was so glad I wasn’t running.
And then I watched my marathon friends finish. It was both inspiring and scary. I saw some of them hobble, grimacing through the pain and fighting back tears, while others made it look easy.
And it hit me.
I will be in their shoes in two weeks.
Maybe not in the rain and cold, but I’ll be the one either smiling or crying or maybe both.
It became REALLY real and scary.
They say respect the distance, and I’d like to think that I have so far. Training has not been easy and I’m so not built for it, but I’ve been getting through. But Sunday, the conditions and that race… I know I would have never been able to power through the wind, rain and cold.
But they ALL did. Even if it took them six hours.
So what the eff am I afraid of? I have no right to whine and complain. These people are freakin’ heroes for going through what they did and they deserve way more than a medal (although, the one they received is pretty huge).
I went out to be an athletic supporter and motivate, but they ended up motivating me.
So no more fear. No more whining.
As niffer would say: Balls out, bytches.