I met Michelle at her home in Canada and we spent a few days together, and ran the race on Sunday. (This will just be my race recap, in another post I'll tell you all about my time there. Otherwise this post will be waaaay long.)
On Saturday Michelle, her Mother in law, Sue, her Sister in law, Emily and myself drove a couple hours from London, to Niagara Falls. Michelle had told me all about the swag bag, and how great it was, she wasn't kidding!
There was a Mountie at the expo, and everyone said I needed to have my picture taken with him. I'd never even heard that word before, but if they said I should do it, I thought why not?! (Later found out that means he's a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
Finally it was race time! I gotta say, as I was standing there waiting for the National Anthem, I was thrown off guard when they started singing "Oh, Canada"! Oh right, I'm not in the US!
The course was just stunning. We ran by the Falls twice. The mist from the Falls felt SO good.
I felt great the entire race, no knee pain or anything.
I finished in 2:44, which honestly surprised me. Being a flat course, I thought I would do better than that. So, I was a little disappointed.
I found Sue, and she told me that after finishing, Michelle ran back to find Emily. This was her first half, and Michelle wanted to help her finish.
Sue and I watched them run in to the finish line, cheering as loud as we could.
We found them after a few minutes, and it was so special too see Sue giving her daughter a hug and with tears streaming down her cheeks, telling her how proud she was of her.
Then I realized THIS is what it's all about. It's not all about time's and PR's (not all the time anyway), it's about the experience. It's doing something you never thought you could do, achieving what seemed impossible, friends who run back for you, who fight for and encourage you, and never give up on you or let you give up on yourself.
So what that my time wasn't what I wanted, I got to see a new friend do what she was unsure she could do, and an old friend prove what being a true friend is all about.
This was my last long race of the season. It all starts again in September.
I'm going to sleep in on Saturday, take it easy for the next few weeks and just enjoy some shorter runs, and then start marathon training in July!