Toronto Nike Women’s Run – 15k.
When I initialled tossed my name into this lottery, if my best friend didn’t get picked and I did, she could have my spot, she could get another run crossed off her bucket list done. Good Friday, it came to be that we both got accepted and well I took it as a sign. TRAIN TRAIN and TRAIN and I’ll be able to do 15k no problem. Add in a few health hills to get over, I wasn’t ready at all for this run on race day.
The race picket up was unique in a way with the pop up tents, but even still I was disappointed in Nike for not bringing any of the plus size clothing line to this event, or offering shirts that would fit all shapes and sizes of runners. The Nike staff felt badly because they knew such sizes exists and they knew nothing of the clothing line would fit me. Too bad they didn’t offer me free socks.
Run day arrived the weather was not your typical June day in Toronto; it was cold and raining on Toronto Island. Did I feel ready for this run, short answer was No. My lungs were still suffering from the pneumonia the month before. With this run, I knew that if I fell behind, it was going to be ok. I was fully ok with being “moved” during the course if my pace fell behind, fortunately, I never got “moved“ up as my pace was ok.
I need to thank my friend Matt who volunteered during this run and to whom I got a big bear hug from around the 2.5km mark. Not sure he understands, but his words of encouragement gave me the boost I needed. I looked at this run as doing 3 -5km runs in one sweep.
When I was coming into the last 4 kms of this run, I felt my wall coming, I was cold, soaking wet and I just was ready to put my hand up and say “I’m done”. I saw a lady struggle just as I was, and it gave me the encouragement to go beside her and motivate her to keep going, I kept telling her “we have this”. I ended up again alone coming into the last km and I was thinking, boy this island sure is empty, I ran past the Nike race crew as they were tearing down the equipment.
I came around the last bend towards the finish it was at that moment it hit me. I am basically last. There was no a cheering section, loud crazy music being played, just a lone voice over the mike saying, you got this Jodie. I looked ahead and there stood my best friend, just standing and waiting in the rain just past the finish line.
I can’t express the feelings and emotions I had when I crossed. My best friend just grabbed me and hugged me as the picture shows. This picture can’t even describe the moment. Just being the back of the pack, that one lone wolf bringing in the pack all while hitting the pavement. I looked up and saw that one person who could bring me across the finish just standing there and cheering and encouraging me to get my ass across the finish line. It was that moment my heart was flying and my legs were pushing to get that last 100ms. My legs long before gave out, but my heart never once stopped loving the run, the challenge of being able to complete this.
My spirit and determination outweighed all the doubters and critics that told me I couldn’t do this, my body couldn’t go that distance. My mind beat my body. My heart won over my legs and the small voice in my head became a loud roar saying “don’t stop”.
I learned I can do it. Distance is a matter of the heart and determination. You just do it 1km at a time