The calm before the storm

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The race gear is ready for the 2013 Prince Edward Island Marathon.

Less than 12 hours away from the big race, we were carbed up, we were about to say goodbye to the girls for the night and my wife and I were headed back to our hotel to a good night’s sleep before our respective full and half marathons as part of the Prince Edward Island marathon weekend.

There were plenty of well wishes and words of encouragement and this piece of sage advice from one – ‘don’t you two have a wild night at the hotel’

Well now.

It has been a busy weekend already. We arrived Friday in a pretty decent downpour, took part in the kids Spud Run on Saturday, an event that featured sun but wind gusts of more than 35km hr. We did some visiting, took the kids swimming and enjoyed a wonderful supper with friends, family, and fellow nervous runners. We dropped the girls off and judging by the weather, are in for a delightful morning to run, with temperatures forecast from 8-14 degrees. There are a lot of runners in the hotel and lots of familiar faces, including a former newspaper colleague, who works on the Island now and is tackling her first 5km Sunday.

But now, the anxiety levels are high for both Kathy and I and  we are both operating in our own quiet spaces before we hit the hay. It has been quite a ride the past 22 weeks and for those who followed this blog and sent notes, thank you for them all. It was a great boost of energy.

Looking back through this process, I think I have seen more wildlife and road kill than ever before. I got pulled over by the cops, ran in the heat, the cold, in a couple of thunderstorms and on the hottest of hot days, with killer humidity.

I’ve seen the best the Kennebecasis River and Cavendish Beach can offer for visual settings.

I have learned about strides, struggled with tempos and ran slower as recommended on the long runs. Then there were the trots – runners know about this – and time when I forgot to lock the bathroom door at the Irving Convenience store.

We have leaned on friends and family to help us get through this journey and I must say how proud I am  of Kathy for how she has prepared for her first ever half marathon.

Her determination, especially on the long runs, was inspirational.

I have mentioned previously, this taper period has been reflective, simply because of the setting of the marathon.

Once someone asked why I run and I said I run, just to run. That really isn’t the whole story. Sometimes, I run out of fear, because of health problems that impacted my father, concerns maybe I can avoid through running. I run to de stress, more so in my previous  job but even today. I run for the high when you finish and I run for the challenge of self improvement. I run to keep weight off (180 running weight today vs. 240 lbs in 1999-2000).  I run to set an example for my kids and I run to learn more about the science of running. I love to read about strategy of top and above average runners and personal accomplishments for everyone, ranging from camaraderie of running groups to some I know who qualified for Boston to those stepping up to the start line for the first time.

So that is what I take to the start line Sunday.

I’ll post a wildly long recap and then break for a while.

Thanks for everything.

Kevin

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