I’m sitting here in my backyard, I’m enjoying a backyard for the first time in years! And it’s not TOTALLY private, it’s private enough that it’s almost like not being in town at all. To my left is a 5 foot chain link fence with privacy panels, so I have privacy from that side. In front of me is a line of trees, separating me from a drainage ditch, and beyond that is another row of trees separating me from the neighbors in that direction. To my left is a 4 foot fence and some trees, so it’s somewhat private from that direction too. It’s enough that I feel safe, and comfortable, which I am really enjoying.
So what’s been happening since I last posted? Well – 2 major things.
1) The backyard – which comes with the new place we’re renting. Me and my roommate were rapidly growing tired of our basement suite for several reasons. A couple of months ago we noticed the neighbors across the street were moving out of the main floor suite. We knew that the same landlord owned both places – both were houses with separate main floor and basement suites. So we inquired and very quickly agreed to take it. It is more money, and if you know me I’m not exactly flush with cash. Anyway – me and my roommate quickly agreed that the increase in cost would very likely be offset by the peace and privacy of a larger space, plus the bonus of living above ground. We’re really enjoying it and are settling in rather nicely. Maybe I’ll post pictures of the new place in a different post. Suffice to say, I’m comfortable enough to sit in the back yard, shorts, no shirt, and really not overly concerned with what the neighbors may or may not think about it – a continuation of this theme ties in.
2) Probably the biggest accomplishment in recent memory: I conquered my very first half-marathon event. I’d gotten the notion to try it late last fall – and put it on hold (along with 98% of my training) over winter. Spring rolled around and I decided to go for it. In the field of 2505 runners, I placed #1190 with a time of 2:08:50. I was shocked I broke into the top half of the field. I’ll post the stats in case you happen to be into running – and keep in mind this was for the half marathon (21 km/13.1 mi)
- 1st Split 1:12:48, pace 6:33/km (10:32/mi)
- 2nd Split 56:03, pace 5:36/km (9:00/mi)
That’s right, I picked up the pace quite significantly in the last half, not only that but I crushed my personal best, not only in overall time but in pacing as well. Previous to this, my average time was 2:15+ , yeah over 2 hours 15 minutes, so 6 minutes off my personal best, and usually my average pace would be 6:20/km (10:10/mi). I did significantly better than I was hoping. I went into the race trying desperately to under-pace myself for the first half, figuring that as an inexperienced runner either I’d burn out in the first half and have nothing left for the second (and this seemed most likely – get caught up in the energy and adrenaline and burn out before mile 6), or (and far less likely in my mind) that I’d do very well and just maybe turn in a personal best.
Yeah, I crushed it! And given my years of insecurities, and battling both depression and anxiety – not only does it feel incredibly weird to post something like this because it feels like bragging (and in a way it is) but it also still feels a little surreal that I managed to pull it off!
But I MUST give credit to the winner of the Full marathon: a young man who turned in a time of 2:37:47 – not only that, this was his first full marathon event as well. Yeah, he covered twice the distance I did, and needed roughly 30 extra minutes to do it. Mind you, I probably have 15 or so years on him age wise, and definitely not near the experience in running/training overall.
Once again, I gotta list a few supporters. I would NOT have been able to pull this off without you!
- Long-time friends Shawna & Lloyd for years of encouragement and truth spoken with compassion and love
- My family (parents, siblings, and in-laws)
- Friend and roommate Darryl (for getting your ass out of bed so early to drive me, and for being so encouraging on my bad days)
- Friend and coworker Shannon
- My cousin Crystal for sharing your own fitness journey and encouraging me on mine
- The incredibly supportive and encouraging people from SickNotWeak (or search social media for the hashtag #SickNotWeak)
- Anut Karen and Aunt Jan for the positive engagement and encouragement on social media. I didn’t always respond to each comment – but believe me every comment and like was noticed and appreciated very very much!
- Former coworker Darel (yes I know more than one) for encouraging me over the year
- local athlete Edwin for encouragement and training tips
I’m sure I’ve missed some people – that’s not intentional – but in all honesty ‘no man is an island‘ as John Donne said and it applies to training as much as anything else. And as much as I love the solitary attributes of running – other then random chance, how “good” or “bad” I do comes down to me with no teammates or refs to blame – I could not have pulled off this accomplishment if I had done it completely alone.
Thanks for the love and encouragement. It means more than you’ll ever know
P.S. Don’t give in to the lies in your head. Yes, acknowledge your feelings – but understand they are just feelings. They’re volatile and are not truth. If you think you want to try something – try it, go for it and if you enjoy it – don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.