Home > Me > Vancouver Sun Run (1:11)

Vancouver Sun Run (1:11)

I’ve always felt that I take up too much room, just in general. I’m always the one to apologize when elbow bump, or to move out of the way on a crowded sidewalk. Being pregnant for half of the last five years gave me a brief reprieve (after all, it’s not *me* in the way it’s MY BABY!), but as I’ve struggled to lose the weight it’s been a challenge for me to own my personal space. I’m glad just to be here. (Can you see around me? OK.)

So crowds have never really been my scene. Which is why I was not planning to actually run the Sun Run when I signed up for the training. I see the cover of the Sun every year and I get nauseated. But I got swept along in the excitement and camaraderie plus you know I can’t stand to be left out of *anything*. On our training runs I didn’t have any major difficulties running 40 minutes straight, just shuffling along one foot in front of the other. So I figured I may actually see something through to completion, something that doesn’t happen very often lately (or really, ever in my life).

Starting off was probably the worst part. Downtown during the day has become somewhat unrecognizable to me, so I felt a little lost and claustrophobic as we moved along like cattle waiting to begin. I felt a little hemmed in by the big crowd. My girls started off at a pace that was too fast for me so I hung back and they were immediately swallowed up by the crowd. About 10 minutes in I decided to discard a layer and it proved more complicated than I thought, weaving around headphones and outer vest…I slowed to dead stop and had trouble regaining any momentum.

Running through two protestor demonstrations brought me some negative energy and I had a hard time finding my stride and pace. I seriously considered quitting at that mark, feeling that I had already failed being so far behind…but then I thought about how long it would take me to walk 6K and I got my run on. About a km later I saw an orange shirt that was actually FC, and a perfect pace song came on – and I felt connected again, and could run on the steady slow beat of the song. I tried to focus on keeping my heart rate in the 170s so that I wouldn’t have to walk.

So the last of the run was good until someone jumped over a barricade and nearly went face-first into the pavement in front of me. I instinctively recoiled and pulled something in my neck. In the final stretch I didn’t see any of the km markers, so it wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I realized that we were done. I swam along with the crowds until I realized I had no idea where anyone was, which resulted in a number of confused texts and phone calls between me and my girls.

I was still disappointed in myself for what I considered failing. Not that my time was slow or that I walked so much, but more that I didn’t get the runner’s high or the excitement and energy. I kind of felt like an imposter. I hate running, but I thought somehow I would fall under the magical spell of the love of running, or that I really would “feed off the energy of the crowd”. Mostly I just felt in the way of the real runners.

So I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel like a “real” runner, or if I’ll ever do another 10k, but the 736 calories I burned is enough motivation to keep me going. Along with my super-supportive friends, of course. Without them I would have quit around week 5 and never seen that finish line that I didn’t even see!

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