Running and Mandarin

Yesterday was my first half marathon of the year. 2016/2017 Karin would tell you it was awful! My left hip/butt pain was severe, I have a huge blister on my foot and for some reason, I was SO incredibly dehydrated that I considered filling my water bottles in the garbage infused stream next to the highway. But that chick has LEFT the building. 2018 Karin LOVED it!

I had goals going in: Finish it and beat my previous time for a half. And even though it was hard because, you know, hills and bronchitis, I did both of those! I viewed this race as a teaching opportunity for the other halves this year anyway. And OH MY did I ever learn lots. I learned EXACTLY where my weaknesses are and am super pumped about working on them in the months to come.

See, what I learned was that I am as skilled in speaking Mandarin and french braiding my own hair as I am in running up killer hills. (Spoiler alert: I can’t braid my own hair at all!) But the great thing about it is that it’s not impossible to learn! And as intimidated as I am by the thought of flying up hills like the amazing Adrienne Kaul who won the woman’s race in 1:30:05 – I can at least learn to shuffle a little faster! And shuffle I will! The other area I need to work on is pacing. I have two modes apparently – sloth or rabbit. So in the next few months, I’ll be working on installing the other settings in my speed control: turtle, labrador, feral cat and backyard chicken. Wish me luck!

The three things that I will remember about yesterday’s run (apart from the running lessons) are the moments that made my tired body almost tear up:

Thing 1: I was recognised! 🙂 An amazing runner from Prince Rupert (who I ran with for a little while before she KILLED it on the kills and crossed the finish line about a month before me) said “You’re Karin, right? I follow you on IG and read your blog!” I was so happy to hear that she enjoys my posts and it definitely reminded me to GO, to run and to experience the moment. My husband took some photos yesterday and looking through them now, I see Bailey smiling and chatting away in almost every shot. She is a happy runner. A kind and friendly mother runner! What a great feeling to know that I can inspire such an amazing girl!

Thing 2: Jamie Freaking Komadina. This girl! She is an actual rock star. Jamie is one of Prince Ruperts strongest runners. She is a marathoner and currently training for a full. She shares so much wisdom and realness about her training on her blog and is just an all-around awesome person. But Jamie had a sh*t run yesterday. Literally. She had so many goals for the race, and the stars just weren’t aligning. She got sick but persevered. Then she stopped (I passed her at the 12km mark, standing by the side of the road) but in classic Jamie fashion, she started again. And here’s the moment I would have cried if I wasn’t so dehydrated: At about 18km, there was another hill. And I was walking again. And suddenly, who would appear behind me, but Jamie. And not running for herself – coaching another runner. Motivating, pep-talking and helping with tips on posture and breathing. So while in agonising pain, physically and emotionally, Jamie helped. She smiled and encouraged and crossed the finish line with her friend. THAT is a great runner!

Thing 3: As I was running into the finish line, my husband and daughters were standing by a lamp post, cheering me on. Their little faces (well, Adam’s is regular sized) were just SO amazing to see. But that’s not the best part! As I ran past, Alice yells: “Can we run with you?” There weren’t any other runners right behind me at that point, so I said YES! And there, 21km into my race, I was joined by the cutest two runners I ever did see. They ran the last 100m, crossing the finish line behind me. I was SO happy! To be done and to take off my shoes, yes, but to see that I inspire THEM. Because isn’t that the ultimate goal. 🙂