I gave 100% for six months with text-book training and racing (3 PB's - 5 k, 10 k, Half Marathon) in my preparation for the World Championships only to face heat illness at 12 km with vomiting, tears, crazy story-telling, and near unconsciousness with non-English speaking Russians shoving smelling salts up my nose. Not what I imagined! Athletics Canada (and Speed River) Coach Dave Scott-Thomas was with me in the ambulance and while chatting, I remember saying, "Well, I guess this is my story.".
It stunk. I was humbled. I was disappointed. It was my first-ever DNF.
But my faith remained strong and like I wrote later that night, shortly after my ambulance ride I kept fluids down, stretched, walked, and with our team doctor, watched the others finish (way to go, Lanni and Mary through cramps, pain, agony), and jogged back to the hotel, feeling much better especially knowing 22 others DNF'd and it was not just me!
And I knew my story was not over.
It was actually back at the warm-up track, after assisting a hobbling Lanni, that I first had the idea to run a fall marathon. After an emotional hug with Trent S. and Rob W., I said to Rob, "Can you keep a secret?...". And after telling him my idea, he enthusiastically agreed that I would quickly bounce back since I didn't gruel through what the 46/69 women did that day in the 35 degree heat and humidity. He too planned to run STWM (read story here) after a short post-Worlds break, which would not allow loss of the fitness gained in our amazing builds. Once I connected with Rick and Jonathan back at the hotel, it was revealed within minutes that we each thought of me running a fall marathon. It was just a matter of who would say it first! I think Rick would have given me my training plan that night but we agreed that I would enjoy my break and he would contact Alan because Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) was the perfect choice. STWM feels like my home race; it is familiar and comfortable with family and friends nearby. Alan and the CRS crew take great care of us. I won't have far to travel, will benefit from a pacer, and love the fall.
So, I've been training for a week now and all is well. I'll be honest though, I allowed myself to fully indulge in 10 days of AMAZING European cuisine (you should have seeeeeen the sweets and treats I enjoyed!) and have a few pounds to shed but know with 3 babies and 1 injury, it will come. Patience. I needed that break and enjoyed every bit of it and it motivates me even more to get back into great shape. Again, the cross-training is a great help in my attempt to get back where I left off, pre-Worlds. It's way too early to set a goal time and sure the prize money, Canadian record, PB and all those things are incentives but honestly, I just want to work hard and put it to good use, October 20. We will likely do everything nearly the same as before Worlds because it worked so well. Race dates will be a bit different but I will do the Zoo run 10 km Canadian road champs as a sharpener. So, with just 7 weeks to go, I will buckle down and hopefully have a better ending to this story!