Back in January I announced my retirement from racing and I hung up my shoes for 10km and half marathons.
The Run for Women came along and I decided to put together a team in support of Women’s Mental Health, a cause near and dear to my heart. I had put a call out to my friends and 25 answered the call.
Meet Team Danger!
Standing at the start line today, we were all chatting and 8 of the 25 said they were either at their first race today because of me or began their racing career because of me. It was one of those pebble in the pond moments where you notice the ripple effect. I seriously thought I might cry – so I blew it off and continued goofing off and having fun.
I figured walking a 5km would be okay and I should be fine. After all Cap and I walk far on a regular basis and I am not a stranger to long distances.
We stayed together for the most part, I told everyone to do their own race pace and have fun and not worry about who was next to them or who they left behind. Races you get to be selfish and do it for you.
Laurier Park is so lovely in the trees and along the river, it really was a beautiful day. 5 of us stuck it out together. Around the 1k mark I new I was in trouble. I was walking a moderate pace with everyone and it didn’t feel fast at all, but pressure began to fill up in my head. There is a build up of fluid and because of the tumour, there is limit space for everything to float around in there. The pressure head ache returned. This was something I was not expecting. I figured it was strictly because was running. Apparently it has more to do with the elevated blood pressure. The pain in my head became excruciating. At the 2k mark, I pulled over to Karen, my London’s Fog bestie and told her I have to pull out. I was in trouble. She stayed with all the gals who were new and had never done a race before and I wondered over to the Running Room Tent where my pal Ed was resided. I knew he would watch out for me while I sat and recovered. The EMTs were not far and I just sat.
I told him I think my race career was over. I thought I might cry. In his usual form we talked about my successes and how getting used to a new normal would be okay because I am still involved in the running and walking community. I gathered a group of people to join my team, I help plan and organize these events and I still come to the events although I may need to be content with being on the other side of the finish line. The point being, I still get to be there.
So much for participating in the Edmonton Marathon, but I will be there cheering on my pals who are in the half marathon for the first time and those who are even running for the 24th time.
Getting used to a new normal is the hard part for me. I often love change and new adventures, but this I have resisted for a while. It isn’t stopping me, it is just changing me. It will be good to see what is around the corner.
Meanwhile, I am super proud of Team Danger and their amazing first-time efforts and those who had done it before and came out to support.
I may not have crossed the finish line, but Karen and I still took our selfie there because thats where I started.