30 Oct The power behind a team
It’s so funny how after being back home for one hour from a weekend away you feel like you never left. When you become a mom and get home from vacation, there is no such thing as easing back in. You come in the door airy and excited maybe even wearing a new top and after a few hugs and cuddles, have to break up a fist fight between your toddler and the cat (that didn’t happen this time but it could of).
Last week, myself and four of my other running buddies traveled to Toronto for the weekend to run the Scotiabank half marathon. We all have been running for a number of years but this was the first time I had ever participated in a race this big and the first for us all to travel together. There were 25,000 people entered to run along with us which requires the city of Toronto to close the streets of the downtown core so it was a pretty big deal for all of us!
Since 3 of us were still breastfeeding, we booked our tickets so we could be gone from home as short of time as possible but still have a little getaway. We packed our breast pumps, got up at 3 am on Saturday and off we flew to the big city. When we arrived we had a FULL 24 hours before our race so we spent most of the day walking, shopping, getting lost and finding out how to download and use the UBER app. By the end of the day our fitbits were showing us that we already completed a half marathon (not the smartest thing to do the day before a race) but we were moms on the loose and running on adrenaline so we didn’t really care. That would haunt me later.
Race day energy was incredible. As soon as we left our room to head to the start line, you could hear the music, the excitement, the crowd and just feel the energy of the day. Its impossible not to get caught up in the power of a marathon event and I always find myself really emotional and catch myself crying repeatedly throughout the day (inspirational tears). Every runner has a different story and a different journey to get to the start line and what is the coolest about these big races, is that so many are doing it for the first time and you get to witness it. (Tears) There is really no face like a fresh, post marathon face (pun intended). If you don’t know what I mean go on youtube and watch a finish line of a marathon and you will understand, or think they are crazy.
Just in my little group, we had three moms running their first big race since they have had their babies, another mom who has been killing her training and running the best she ever has, and another mom who is fighting a nagging knee injury. We all had different journeys, we all had different training regimes and when it was all over, we all had different results. Some of us had personal bests, some of us finished in pain, and I had my first ever race where I peed my pants (shout out to my four kids). Remind me to never wear my race belt that tight around my stomach again please.. Nevermind, you won’t need to because I will NEVER forget that.
Soooooo, my whole point behind this overshare is that there is something so incredibly powerful about sweating it out with a team. Being a part of that atmosphere on Sunday was so amazing and I’m so thankful that I did it, but it definitely wasn’t my best run. I got way too caught up in the moment and started way too fast. By km 15 everything hurt and I wanted to sit on the curb and cry. I made it to the finish line, but those last few km’s were not pretty (as mentioned above). When I regrouped, had some water and realized it was finally over, I felt immediate disappointment and started heading to the “Big T” in the Toronto sign where our group had decided to meet. I had a few minutes of a pity party and then found my friends and my mood switched. Had I of been there alone, I would of went home and spent the entire day dwelling on the fact it didn’t go the way I wanted to. Instead I got hugs and high fives from four other exhausted ladies who just had their own journey and their own challenges and who were proud of me nonetheless. You know the saying “we rise by lifting others.” Well those women raised me up on Sunday (cue Josh Groban), just like my reset team does every morning – Monday through Friday at 5:30 am. I still can’t believe I have been exercising at that time of day but it’s all because of the people I’ve set that date with.
Teammates are powerful people who my friend Heather would say “believe you can when you think you can’t.” I’m so grateful for all of the teammates I have had over the years and am a better person because of them. If you are reading this and you are one of them- Thank you! You are awesome!