Before I even moved to California, my husband (the anti-runner) said I should check out the Wharf to Wharf. Excitedly, I asked if he would run it with me. Nope… I was informed that he’d be eating pancakes, drinking mimosas and cheering near the five mile mark. While that sounded great, after I’d looked up the race, I knew my mimosas would be coming a bit later. After all, that Top 100 status intrigued me. So that’s how it started in 2010.
Now, it’s 2014 and I’m trying to go for my 5th Top 100 in my 5th attempt. But this year, the race will be different since I’m in a different space, and Mile 5 will simply not be the same. Let me elaborate….
In April, I put all my eggs in one basket hoping for the race of a lifetime at the Boston Marathon. While prepared to come away with a shiny new PR, Marathon Monday was not my day (again… if I puked on you at Mile 15… I’m truly sorry!!!). That’s okay… it’s part of being a runner. Things don’t always go as planned. After regrouping from the disappointment of my Boston performance, I told my coach that Wharf to Wharf was my “A” race. She and I determine what runs I use to “get my mind right” and what runs I “better have my lungs hanging out my nose at the finish line.” The Wharf to Wharf was to be the latter. Mid May we started to incorporate twice weekly speed workouts, one long run and 2-3 easy runs. All was going as planned and I had a “get your mind right” race scheduled for June 14th. Then… my Achilles Tendon decided to scream at me to stop. The race turned into pacing my friend, Jim, followed by three days of zero running.
This was just a bump in the road, right? Yes. I did lots of yoga, got massages and some chiropractic treatment and I was up and running again. And then…. this happened.
So here we are… within weeks of the Wharf to Wharf… and I have a cast on my hand. On the bright side, the cast and I got to travel to Vancouver, CA where I got to run a bit and do the Grouse Grind… until my Achilles started to shout again. Fortunately, it’s not shouting as loud as the last time. After all these mishaps, I’ve thought a lot about the big picture of running. Here’s what I have concluded:
Running, like life, doesn’t always go as planned. There are highs, and there are lows, and with any luck, we come out stronger, tougher, and wiser. I am still running in between mishaps, and my times are within the ranges my coach sets for me. There’s still a good chance of a Top 100 on July 27th. Regardless, I will do what my mom always said, “Do your best.” I may not come away with a W2W personal best, and that’s okay. It will be my best on that day. And lucky me… I get to run with 15,000 others that are doing their best on that day too.
One of the things that makes this race so awesome is the amount of people moving and shaking on and off the course. I mentioned earlier that my husband hangs out around Mile 5 (36th Ave). During all of these past races he has cheered alongside our sweet pal, Zeuf Hesson. Together, they manned the high-5 zone, the cartwheel zone, the run backwards zone, etc. all the while cheering for each runner as if they were the only person out there. I’m usually spent at this mile, but seeing Adam and Zeuf always gave me a push to the finish line (they also had coffee or mimosas nearby… jealousy could have played a role too). Mile 5 will not be the same as Zeuf lost her long battle with cancer in December. She’ll be there in spirit, so I encourage you to do something silly… or at least smile… when you get to 36th because if she was there in person… you probably really would do a cartwheel.
Best of luck to all those pinning on a bib this year! I hope your race is fun, filled with smiles, and that you accomplish your goals. To those cheering and volunteering… THANK YOU! And just a little PSA… please don’t bandit the race (money raised goes to our local schools so pay the dough and be legit) and please, enjoy our city and beaches, but please, please pack your trash.
What are your Wharf to Wharf plans this year? Please share!