I haven’t been overly committed to running lately. There are plenty of feeble excuses why, but my heart wasn’t in it and I no longer knew if I could say I am a runner. I had signed up for the Ottawa 10K over ten months ago. Booked a hotel room last January. Recruited a pack of friends to come with me. So I told myself onwards.
I don’t listen to music when I run anymore. I quit that cold turkey about a year ago, preferring instead to let my thoughts wander and snag on things I need to ponder. I also don’t run races with friends. It’s not a competitive thing, it’s a selfish act to keep from paying more attention to them than I am to myself. I gladly ran alone, in a pack of 9,000 people. I ran the third best race of my life.
I paid attention to my pace. I avoided the temptation to zigzag trying to find a clear path. I thought about where I was going and where I had been. I registered that the lilacs were in bloom and uber fragrant and I proudly slapped the shoe guy’s shoe for the third year in a row. I pondered running. I reflected on my current life situation that is rife with new beginnings. I ran through some pain, as coached by @DaveTweets, and I ran the last kilometre almost a minute faster than the first. I posted a PB, something I needed more than I knew.
Runners care about timing. The timing of something that happened before the race has reaffirmed my belief in serendipity. We hit the expo at 3 after battling epic traffic, urgent bathroom breaks, and nonexistent parking. We nabbed our chips, bibs, and tees, and were making a beeline for the exit when there was a break in the mob and I saw it. If I hadn’t looked to the side when I did, if I hadn’t seen the tweet weeks ago that planted the seed, and if there wasn’t a special discount on registering during Ottawa Race Weekend, I wouldn’t now be signed up as a team captain for the Great Canadian Run.
I wanted to do the race when I first saw @YummyMummyClub mention it on Twitter. I wanted the thrill and challenge of it as something I had to look forward to. Something big to be a part of. Something I could feel excited and optimistic about. It will be a goal that shapes the coming months. It will keep me in touch with friends. It makes me part of a team. It will remind me I have nothing to complain about in my life, and it will keep me running.