Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Dude. Seriously.

If I didn't feel like it was a breach of confidence or somehow ethically icky, I'd share with you the things I've read on some of the (insert name of online dating site here)'s guys profiles.

Guys who are saying things ON PURPOSE that I can't believe someone would say out loud, never mind put on a profile where they were searching for a romantic partner.

Things that are so hostile or rude that I want to reach through the computer screen and slap the guy on behalf of all the women in the world.

Things that make me laugh because really? Do you think someone will want to date you after you've said that?

I was over at C-Dawg's this weekend and we were both noodling around on our computers.

She was sending emails and I was checking out profiles on the online dating site.

I kept finding these profiles and reading bits of them out to her and she wouldn't believe me so I'd end up having to take my computer over to where she was sitting just to prove that yes, someone actually did say that.

For real.

Or there are the inadvertent typos that I'd tell you about if it wasn't mean to make fun of people.

Like the guy who's looking for his sweatheart.

Ahem.

But like I said, telling you these things feels mean or unkind or un-nice, so I'll just have to keep the stories to myself.

Well, to myself and C-Dawg and whoever else happens to be around the next time I come across a keeper like the guy who won't date you unless you can do the Grouse Grind in less than an hour* and unless you don't have to go to the bathroom more than once on a four hour date.

No, seriously.



*Which, by the way, if you can, you rock!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Argh / Sigh


I sat on my couch last night and watched the first episode of The Bachelorette.

For those of you not familiar with this show (or its counterpoint The Bachelor) twenty five hot, eligible twenty to thirty something year old men are chosen to "date" the bachelorette and the idea is that over time she will whittle the suitors down to just two and then to the one she chooses and who will most likely propose to her.

I know, sounds crazy right?

Well, that's beside the point.

The point is is that I so want to be the Bachelorette.

This lucky gal gets twenty five, that's 25 hot men to choose from. They all show up on the doorstep of the mansion she gets to pretend is hers and they're all delicious looking and wearing suits and smiles and oh, did I mention they're all incredibly good looking?

Then (because I've watched the show before and know how it works) they get to go on these super cool, fun, exciting dates and travel around the world and the guys (usually) vie for her attention and she gets to keep the ones she really likes and send the others home.

I mean, come on. *I* should be the one with twenty five hot guys lining up outside my door, suits and polished shoes, waiting to meet me and looking to fall in love.

I'm just saying, I think it's hardly fair that she gets a team of producers picking great (did I mention hot?) guys for her and I can't seem to find even one to date.

Unfair.

Gimmie.

Want.






*Disclaimer* I know it's all very contrived and unrealistic and the couples usually don't last that long but still. I'm just saying I want the chance to make out with a bunch of hot guys who all want to fall in love.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

To The Birdies Outside My Window

Dear Birdies,

I love you. I do.

I love you and you're very pretty and your singing is lovely and beautiful and reminds me so much of Spring and lighter days.

But Birdies? Your singing your songs at 5am?

It doesn't work for me.

I know it's dawn and you're looking to find a lady friend and I know the louder you are the more lady friends will come check you out and all but birdies. Birdies! You're killing me here!

PLEASE, for the love of all the sleep I'm trying to get? Please wait 'til it's actually morning? Like, 7am?

Thanks,
Victoria

Friday, 27 May 2011

Of Control


It was my Dad's birthday last weekend and I couldn't help but wonder if this is the last one he'll have.

An unusually morbid and unhelpful thought for me, but my mind's gone down that road more and more since we were given a date for his surgery.

I was doing pretty ok with things until the surgeon called and told us when he'd be going in. And ever since then I've been having trouble sleeping. Took me a couple of weeks to put the two things together, but I can understand why my mind's having a hard time shutting off. This is something that's so far beyond the realm of my control and I'm not ok with that.

I'm doing what I can to stay calm and to un-stress myself but it's moments like last weekend where I lie in bed and my brain says "what if this is his last birthday?" and I have no real answer that it's hard.

People tell me it'll be fine or to stay positive and unfortunately the closer it gets to the surgery the less I believe they're right.

It's not that I don't think things will go well, it's just that my brain seems to be stuck on what I'll do if they don't.

And it's a horrible place to be stuck.

My Dad's surgery is in early June and I don't know what you believe in but whatever it is, I'd appreciate it if you'd keep him (and us) in mind and send us prayers and wishes and good thoughts and energy and vibes love and everything you've got.

Early June is almost here and I want so much to be at the end of June with a healthier Dad who's happily healing a repaired heart.

Please.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

I Didn't Even Mean It To Sound Like That

Do you remember when C-Dawg and I had the coconut weirdness on our run? (Well, actually, on a bunch of our runs to be precise?)

Well, C-Dawg got so obsessed with the whole "where is this coconut smell coming from damnit!" that she went and bought some coconut scented body lotion just to be done with it.

Which was ironic, because right after that we figured out that the smell was coming from a rogue bunch of bushes that for whatever reason decided their blossom should smell like coconut. Go figure.

But C-Dawg bought her coconut lotion and on the same trip I bought some strawberry scented lotion.

We were out for a run later that day and I gave her one of our famous post-run high fives.

"You're going to smell like coconut now," she said.

"Nah," I replied, "I've got strawberry lotion on my hands so. . ."

There was a pause as my brain clicked forward a few notches to what a strawberry/coconut combination would be.

"I'll smell like strokonut," I shouted gleefully!




We had to stop walking we were laughing so hard.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

And You Are Not Alone In This


I don't remember when I first heard Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons but I remember the moment of first hearing it distinctly. So distinctly that I wrote about it here.

At the time, people were raving about the whole album and I just kind of shrugged. I liked Little Lion Man so I gave The Cave a listen and it didn't do much for me.

Fast forward to now.

I can't remember how or why but another Mumford and Sons song fell across my lap and I loved it. Loved it madly and decided to listen to a few songs from the album again.

And I fell completely in love with the entire album and bought it.

Whatever it is about these songs and this album and what's going on in my life and heart and soul right now I couldn't tell you but they just fit perfectly.

They're pretty much all I'm listening to right now and it's helping. It's helping me get through and feel and cope and be ok.

I feel like writing out lyric after lyric and going "There. That right there? That's exactly what I mean and how I feel."

Because it is. Somehow.

I'm not insisting you all go out and buy Sigh No More, but maybe, just maybe it'll hit you the right way one day when you need it the most. And then you'll know what I mean.

I know I may be the last one on the bandwagon, but sometimes music doesn't mean anything to you until the moment it does.

And then it does.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ahhhhhhhh

I needed that.

I needed this weekend of nothing but fun and relaxation and friends and family and just plain good times.

I rested and I hung out with C-Dawg a bunch and we had a good run and I went out for dinner with my parents and I slept in and I relaxed and I just feel recharged like I haven't in a while.

Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't stay home tomorrow if they said I could, but hey, I'll take what I can get, right?

So all in all a great weekend.

How was yours?

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Ooooh!


This one always seems to sneak up on me, but Happy Victoria Day long weekend!


WOOOO HOOOOOOO!! NO WORK FOR THREE WHOLE DAYS!!!!

Have a good one to those who get it!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Why I Call It Home

We've had some beautiful sunny days here and I've found myself, as I'm driving home, stunned by the beauty of living here.

There are a few parts of my drive where I get to see fresh green Spring trees framing a blue sky and a snow-capped mountain range in the distance and I just can't get over how gorgeous it is.

If you've never been to Victoria before, I highly recommend this time of year.

Things are turning green again and the blossoms are littering the streets and occasionally making pink snowstorms in the breeze.

There are flowers everywhere and people are out in their shorts and the birds are singing and my parents even had a baby fawn born just outside their back window today.

Really.

I love living here, I really do. And it's weeks like this that remind me of why.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Latest Song I Have On Repeat


Mumford & Sons - After the Storm

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sarcasm

I don't do sarcasm well.

I tend to take people at their word, so when their word is a thinly disguised poke, and especially when it pokes close to an already raw nerve, I get hurt and upset.

I don't like being put in a position to feel like I have to explain myself or justify my actions at something that I then get told was "just a joke.

Sarcasm at its root is just mean. And those "jokes" that are told are often a way to say something without actually saying it.

People should just say what they mean and mean what they say and if you have a problem talk about it. Don't "joke" or tease your way around it.

That doesn't make anything better, and in fact, a lot of times it just plain hurts.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Can't Breathe, Laughing Too Hard!

#2!

#2!!!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Victoria!

  1. Victoria cannot burp - there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in her stomach.
  2. The average duration of sexual intercourse for Victoria is two minutes.
  3. The opposite sides of Victoria always add up to seven.
  4. Victoriaology is the study of Victoria.
  5. Two thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in Victoria!
  6. Victoria is actually a fruit, not a vegetable.
  7. The Vikings believed that the Northern lights were caused by Victoria as she rode out to collect warriors slain in battle.
  8. Victoria will always turn right when leaving a cave!
  9. Victoria can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated!
  10. If you kiss Victoria for one minute you will burn six or seven calories.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Monday, 16 May 2011

Big Sigh

You guys?

I'm tired.

And I don't so much mean physically tired, although there is some of that too, what with losing a week's worth of sleep with worry and all.

But I mean I'm tired. Like, tired of always having to think and plan and remember and be.

I'm tired of always remembering to brush and floss so that I can hopefully avoid dental issues in the future. I'm tired of making sure my lunch is ready so I don't have to go out and buy a lunch on my break.

I'm tired of trying to figure out what to wear and making sure my hair isn't too greasy. I'm tired of knowing when people's birthdays are coming and figuring out what to get them or when to send their card.

I'm tired of remembering to drink water because it'll keep me healthy or forcing myself to go for a run because I should or because I'll feel better after. I'm tired of meetings and appointments and having to do/think/be/feel anything.

I just want a break.

I feel like I could become a drug addict. I mean, if drugs let you stop thinking about everything and worrying about everything that'd be worth it right now.

Except I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't be a happy drug addict. I'd still worry about things like my teeth falling our or my heart stopping or losing my apartment or job or everything, so that's not going to happen.

I think what I mean is that I'm tired of being grown up.

I'm tired of having responsibilities and living up to them.

I just want to not worry and to have it all taken care of. All of it.

I guess I want to be a kid again.

This grown up gig isn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Thank You


Thank you for your kind words and thoughts and even the comments that Blogger didn't post but that got sent to me anyway.

Thank you for all of it.

There was something about coming home to an inbox full of supportive, loving comments that calmed me and relaxed me and made it so very clear that this world is full of wonderful, amazing people.

My Mom is home again and fine and I'm counting my blessings, even the smallest ones, all over again.

I'm going to try to get some sleep now and have a restful weekend.

So thank you again for your thoughts, I felt very supported and that meant more than you'll know.

You're awesome.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Pause

You'll have to excuse me here, I need to take a small break.

My Dad had to take my Mum to the ER last night.

Sounds like it's not life-endangering, but it's still a shock, especially as Dad's not well himself.

So you can understand if my mind is elsewhere and not on posting.

Talk soon.

Big hugs.

Me

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Contemplative

I've probably talked about it here before at some point or other but one of the things that I've been mulling over this last week or so is the possibility that I may just not be meant to be married.

And it's not that I'm saying that in a self-pitying or martyred kind of way, I just am starting to wonder if I'm going to be one of those people who just doesn't end up in a relationship.

We probably all know someone, most often a man, who never married or had kids. I remember a friend of my parents, someone my Dad worked with and he had the neatest little house full of books and smelling of pipe tobacco and as a child it didn't occur to me as odd that he didn't have a wife.

I've worked with a couple of people, older, certainly that I'd hazard a guess have never been married and may never be so.

One older gentleman I know actually came to me the other day and told me I was lucky to be single. He confided that he feels he's been married to the wrong person and twenty years later there's nothing he can do except get nagged each night when he goes home.

So there's that.

Maybe I'm only ever going to be an Aunt.

Or an "Auntie" to my friends' children.

Maybe I'm only ever going to be a third wheel, the person at dinner parties who is awkwardly seated on the end.

Maybe people will make up stories about me and why I'm not married. Maybe if it was the 1950s they'd talk about my "one true love" being lost in the war and how I'd never quite recovered.

But maybe I'm meant to go through this particular life on my own. Maybe I'm not meant to have a partner, a lover, a husband.

I don't know.

But I'm starting to wonder.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Unsure

I've heard people talk about writers block as them staring at the flashing cursor line on the blank computer screen.

For me, it's more about not having a story that wants to or needs to be told waiting inside my head.

I don't even bother opening up a writing screen if I don't have something to write so sometimes I'll have the computer open and it's every little other thing I can think of instead of writing.

Really bad tv shows to catch up on? Sure! There's a lot of that goes on once the not-so-bad or actually quite good tv shows have been caught up on.

I've spent most of this weekend in a place of not quite knowing what to do, somehow uncomfortable with the subtle shifts that are happening.

There is a good ninety percent of me that wants to shut down and retreat and feels like it is right and justified when it whispers silkily in my ear that it's never good to get close to people, not anyone, not really.

So one more day, one more one foot in front of the other carrying on and back to work where I'll wait the five days it takes for the next weekend to come and the next small pause I get.

On repeat this weekend:


Adele - Make You Feel My Love live acoustic 

Just waiting for the man who's going to come along and love me like that.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Of Camels And Ducks

Oh the irony of writing one thing one day and turning around the next day with a whole other set of insecurities and hurts knocking at your door, waiting to take you down, yet again, but from a different angle.

I am an emotional duck. Or maybe a swan.

You know that saying about how ducks and swans are seen to be gliding along the surface of the pond, all smooth and elegant, serene and calm, while underneath the water their little legs are going like crazy to keep them going?

Yeah, well that's me and my emotions.

And you combine that with all the camels that make up my life and I feel like all my backs are getting broken by these tiny little things that shouldn't matter but then they're just the tipping point and it's no wonder I feel like I'm sitting here not even knowing how to explain myself. (And can't help but wonder why it feels like so much straw is getting thrown my way lately.)

However I was raised, or whatever it is that hurt me or made me wary I am who I am at this moment and I'm not sure that that person is capable of holding good solid relationships.

My Mom tells me that even as a child I would only have one close friend. I wouldn't have said that about my childhood if you'd asked me, but that's how she sees it.

I think what I see myself as doing, as being, is protective of myself. And wary of being hurt and left.

Or perhaps more to the point, of people choosing someone else over me.

Because that's what happens.

A best friend would find a new friend or a friend who lived closer or a friend who played on their team or was in their class and that new friend would get their attention and I'd fade into the background until someone else would want to spend time with me and share their stories and secrets.

There was a while there where I had a good solid group of friends, but I moved away for a year and when I got back they'd moved on and I was never really able to reconnect with anyone in quite the same way; I was always just slightly on on the outside.

My friends now have all moved on in their own way too. They've all married, many of them have had kids and it moves you to the outside; to the periphery.

And so maybe all this pre-loads my camels with so much straw on their backs that it doesn't take much for me to be hurt, for that back to get re-broken and no, I don't know why I'm built this way so no, I don't know how to change it.

Some people are good at that. C-Dawg's good at that. She can recognize where she has walls up or is working from past hurts and she can call herself on it and try to fix it.

I don't even know where I'm coming from half the time.

Case in point? This weekend.

C-Dawg made a comment about the way I was reacting to her new relationship and I was completely surprised. It's not the first time lately that I've been spoken to about how people are perceiving me so I tried to see where I may have made her feel that way and I apologized.

But the things with my damn camels is that the straw just seems to stick there. It's not like it blows itself back off once I've dealt with the issue, and so then suddenly we're dealing with something that's not even about what it's about.

C-Dawg wants to move forward with her running whereas I don't, exactly. I kind of just want to stick at where I'm at while maybe getting a little bit faster and increasing my cardio. But generally, I want to stick at "still enjoying it" and "middle of the pack."

I understand and respect her desire to push herself and know exactly how she feels. I'm just not there.

Which should be totally fine, right? Absolutely. I want to be the one on the sidelines cheering her on as she zips by in her fourth marathon.

Except for my damn camels.

Because all of a sudden it's not about her wanting to run faster and father than I do, it's about her not wanting to be with me anymore.

It's about our lives going in separate directions.

I'd wanted running to be "our" thing and all of a sudden I see her slipping away and moving on with a life that doesn't include me. A life that includes a new boyfriend and her son and their lives together and her running both literally and figuratively away from me.

Which isn't what it's about.

C-Dawg just wants to run.

But here's the thing with me and my little duck legs.

Because I know when she tells me that she wants to join a clinic I can't make it to that the absolute sadness that comes over me isn't about the clinic. I just can't get to what it is about so I withdraw.

And C-Dawg notices.

Most people don't. Most people just see the duck, floating along, serene and calm. They don't realize what's going on and how twisted and anxious and hurt I am on the inside.

She notices damn fast.

And this time it sort of feels like our wires got crossed and as I sit here writing this I feel like I'm sitting here waiting for one of the people I care most about in the world to write me an email saying she's done with me.

Because that's how it's worked for me in the past.

That's the straws and the baggage and the scars and whatever other metaphors you can come up with.

People leave me.

Friends move on. Boyfriends break up with me. And now, with my Dad being sick, the reality becomes that parents die.

I've somehow learned that keeping people at a safe distance helps. Helps the hurt to hurt less. So it's such a risk for me to have a close friend when that opens up the potential to be left.

And hurt.

But I don't know what to do.

I don't know if I'm supposed to just babble out every little thing I'm upset about or if I'm supposed to wait until I'm calmer.

I've been fighting myself this weekend, fighting the urge and the habit to push C-Dawg away because that's usually what I do in this situation. I see the situation turning in some way and feel the potential for me to get really really hurt so I push away first.

And I've been trying not to do that. Am trying to grow here.

But I feel like my duck legs and my straw-backed camels screwed me over and how many times can you ask someone to be patient? How many times can you ask someone to understand you when you don't even understand yourself.

I don't know what I should do. Do I keep people at that safe distance and just live with the alone that comes with that? Or do I let people in and be inevitably hurt and disappointed because we're all only human and no one can read my mind.

Perhaps I am an incredibly selfish and self-involved person. Because sometimes I feel like the world should revolve around me damnit. I sometimes get to a point where I feel like I've given so much to so many and at the end of the day it's still just me taking care of me and watching out for me, when what I'd like is someone in my life taking care of me the way I try to take care of my loved ones. But I think my loved ones don't know how to take care of me sometimes because I'm scared to tell them what I need.

I'm scared to tell them because they might say no, or they might roll their eyes, or they might leave me, so I sit and I wait and I hope and I send them mental brain waves and hope that they read my mind because isn't it clear that my little legs are flailing away just under the surface of the water here?

Isn't it clear that my camels are already over loaded and I need help un-packing them?

Isn't it clear that I still haven't learned to find myself really, truly, honestly to be someone people would choose to love.

I think I've always wanted to be first in someone's life, but I'm really starting to think that maybe I'm not someone who will ever have that.

Or maybe you'll tell me that that's not actually how it works.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Breathing


I feel like I turned a corner this weekend.

(Well, actually, I turned something like 13 corners by the time I got to the end of the race! [Drum "joke" solo goes here] Man, I'm funny in my head.)

It's the first weekend in a while where I've felt lighter at the end of it.

These last few weeks, or maybe even this last month has been a hard one but some things clicked into place this weekend and I feel, well, relieved.

It's really nice to come out of a weekend and feel like getting through the next week is something I can actually do. And to feel closer to people I care about and further from illness and worries and from things that have been clinging to me for a long while.

So I want to remember this because I know things will get difficult here in a bit, I know we'll all have to pull through my Dad's surgery in a couple of months, but today and this week is a reminder that this too shall pass.

And does.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Topical


So true.

(Click to make bigger)

Online

Well, I may not be actively doing the online dating thing, but that doesn't mean I'm not still checking things out when I'm bored.

I don't know if this is common, or just to the site I'm on or just to the city I'm in but I feel like I just see the same guys over and over and over.

And over.

I wish there was an option to say "please don't show me this one again because I'm sure I'm not going to change my mind."

All I'm asking for is a bit of new blood from time to time. When it's the same guys each time I log on it makes me feel like I'll never actually meet someone this way.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Afterwards


This time, the after the 10K wasn't quite as much fun.

Last year, when I walked it I felt so awesome after.

Physically I was a bit rough, sure, but I was high as a kite and starving! Went out with some friends that evening and could have devoured what I normally take home half of.

This Sunday? Not so much.

I don't know if it's the difference from training v/s not or from running it v/s walking it or if it was the remnants of my evil cold but I wasn't hungry.

Made sure I drank though and did all my stretches and bath and whatnot and lay down on the couch.

Ended up taking a bit of a cat nap during the day, but I think that was more being tired from the six something wakeup than physical exhaustion.

Physically, my body felt about the same as after the walk. The same post-accident trouble spots were a bit sore as I'd expected. My stomach wasn't terribly amused and I didn't get a hint of hunger until nearly 8 that night. (I also haven't been eating as much the last week or so with my cold, so hunger's not a very familiar thing of late.)

I think it was probably the stress and sickness from the last two or three weeks just haven't left me at my best, but I'll see.

Imagine I'll be running another race at some point and will see how I feel after that. Felt fine after the one I ran in December as far as I can remember, so maybe this one was just an anomaly.

I was a little disappointed with my time, which is a lesson to me to never expect anything.

I'd hoped to knock a good five or ten minutes off my December time but actually ended up being three minutes slower so that bummed me out the tiniest little bit.

Got some great congratulations from some of my friends but my family were all out of town so didn't hear from them which also bummed me out the tiniest little bit.

I felt like I had enjoyed the experience of walking the TC10K more than I enjoyed the experience of running it, and I'd strongly encourage anyone and everyone to walk any big race like this to experience the crowds and support and energy. It's pretty amazing.

So this hereby concludes my three day long babbling about how I spent my Sunday.

The End.

(Probably.)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Race

Alllllrighty. Now that I've recovered somewhat from Sunday's 10K, I thought I'd tell you a bit more about it; tell you the stories.

For me it's a ridiculously early wake up. I actually was out of bed earlier than I would be on a work day. Crazy.

Wanted to try to get some food in me because I do not have fun running in the mornings, but do much better running in the afternoon/evenings with a breakfast, lunch and some snacks in my system, so wanted to make sure I'd had something. But waking up that early confused my stomach and it was all, what? Eat? Nah. So I had a half a bagel and a bit of tea and a couple of nuts and called that breakfast.

Headed out the door just before 7:30 (yes, AM!) to meet a friend and walk down to the start together.

We met C-Dawg halfway there and marvelled at the number of people we could already see heading towards the start.

It was an entirely new route this year from the one I walked last year and I missed being able to see the elite runners starting, but there were some cool moments right at the start when a cheer spread through the ten thousand strong group and made its way back to us.

It was also cool once we started moving forward because that meant it was time!

In the race I ran in December, there were maybe a hundred of us so we all just gathered together and started. For this race? With upwards of 10,000 people (yeah, you read that right!) racing, it took us (slower folk) close to 8 minutes to even get to the start line. How awesome is that.

By the time we were starting to run? The elite runners were one fifth of the way done.

Let that blow your mind!

C-Dawg and I weaved our way through downtown, trying not to go to fast but also trying not to get stuck behind walkers. It was really cool to see the normally busy downtown streets closed to traffic and full of people walking and running.

One of the prettiest parts of the route came when we turned onto Vancouver Street and you could see the thousands of thousands of people up a slight incline ahead of us, the trees lining the street and the mountains framed in the background.

It was truly spectacular.

And was also the first time I got a little choked up.

The first part of the race felt pretty good but as much as we tried not to, we must have gone faster than planned because by our fourth set (we run 10 and 1s : 10 minutes of running and one minute of walking) I was starting to feel a little rough.

C-Dawg pointed out that we'd come super far pretty fast and at that point there really was no turning back (we'd already passed the street where my apartment is, ha!) so I figured we'd just keep going even though I knew I was running out of steam and there was still a good few K to go.

They have music stations all throughout the course and it only just occurred to me now why I felt like they weren't playing as much.

Dude, because I was running!

I remember last year I'd hear a good full song as I walked past the bands and this year it was like I'd hear a bar or two and I couldn't figure out why. (I think maybe my brain never quite got out of bed.)

There was another nice turn and then we were on the waterfront.

If you've never been to Victoria, we have this waterfront road, Dallas Rd., that snakes right along the ocean. And when you're on it and looking out at the ocean, you're also looking at this beautiful set of mountains, the Olympics. And when it's sunny and the blue skies are highlighting the snow still on the mountains you remember why you love to live here. And when your best friend reminds you that two years ago you'd just been in a serious car accident and weren't able to walk without pain never mind be running, you know you're very very lucky.

And I got choked up again.

Which is when one of the hills decided to murder me. I took an extra walk break and C-Dawg who could not stop because otherwise the hill wouldn't let her up was always just a few people ahead of me and I wasn't actually sure I could keep running the race anymore.

So I started telling myself I was doing awesome (yes, outloud) and that I was proud of myself and that I could do it.

And then I saw the girl dressed in the bear costume and the firefighter in full gear and I said well, if they can do it, I can certainly keep trying.

But I was feeling pretty icky.

Kept trying to get C-Dawg to tell me a story but neither of us had breath to spare.

Know what was lovely though? The people on the sidelines.

Shouting encouragement, holding signs. The little kids waving at you and the strangers cheering you on.

It helps.

I'd find myself looking at them and saying thank you. Listening them say I was doing great even though I knew they weren't really talking to me and that I wasn't really doing great.

My favourite sign of the day? By far?

"Go Nads"

I'll just give you a minute on that one.

It was a massive sign held by a group of older ladies with awesome hats and I saw them twice during the race and both times I laughed.

Go Nads.

Awesome.

Got to the point where I knew the end wasn't more than 2K away but I also knew I didn't have it in me to keep going. But that I still had to. But I wasn't sure why.

Just kept on telling myself I could do it and I would do it but man it didn't feel fun.

Not that running really usually does feel fun, but at least when I'm not in a race I can stop when I want.

We turned one of the corners near Fishermans's Wharf and there was a group of international UVic students all there cheering us on with signs and I nearly lost it. Could have sat down right there in the middle of the road and cried.

There's something so amazing about strangers cheering on strangers. Knowing that people are doing something difficult and challenging and just being there for them and encouraging them. It's amazing.

Say what you will about the troubles of the world, we are an amazing creature we humans. I love people. I really do.

At that point I knew that there was less than a K to go but I didn't think I could finish. Didn't want to either. Kept telling C-Dawg as much.

I specifically remember telling her I wasn't going to do this again. Like, never.

Not sure I remember what she said or how many times but I just kept telling her I couldn't do it, that the finish was too far and I really didn't think I could really. But she just kept telling me I could and I would and "come on dude, we can do it."

I swear the finish line was further away than last year. The last 400 meters were about a year long and there was this one guy at the end who was telling people they were almost done and that they could do it. I remember looking at him and saying "tell me again." And he did.

Told me I was almost there, that I could do it.

Which I didn't think I could. Honestly.

Right right at the end when we were in sight of the glorious FINISH banner, someone shouted out my name. I couldn't even look to the side to see who it was but I wanted to cry.

Instead I just kept running.

I can imagine what my face looked like, but I kept running.

And then C-Dawg and I linked arms, and smiling (somehow) crossed the finish line.

Together.

Which was awesome.

And then I thought I'd die. Would have felt better to do so I think.

Ripped my Janestrap off so I could breathe and took a good few deep breaths. Finally.

We high fived a few thousand times and wandered towards the (what I like to call) treats tents.

My chocolate milk was calling my name and I'd mentally promised it to myself a good few times during the run.

By the time we got into the line I felt much better. Was still red in the face and sweaty but I could breathe and was not going to die. Actually started to feel quite chipper.

So when I saw a guy in line behind us with a tiny bib number (elite runner!) I started up a conversation.

The three of us chatted about the race and how he'd done (let's just say he could have run the course three times in the time it took the two of us) and how he was doing World Cup qualifying and it was the best conversation.

I know I have a thing for runners, but part of it is that I'm genuinely interested.

I love that they're continually pushing themselves to reach a goal and that they're focussed and determined.

And hot.

But yeah, we chatted with this really nice super awesome runner who, it turns out, runs for Canada (I may have bowed at him when he told us that) and I'd just run the same race as him.

I don't know if other races are like that, but you guys? C-Dawg and I just started running in September and we just chatted away with a world class runner. How cool is that? He flew out for the race. And was happy to be there and happy with the city and the course and there he was right behind us in line. Pretty amazing to have that kind of experience, I think. Often the elite runners all know each other and stick to themselves. Oh, yeah, and are already home by the time most of the rest of us are finishing! But I love that this guy was there and so friendly and cool.

It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day, all sun and no wind and a good experience.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Before I Forget


So C-Dawg and I ran the TC10K yesterday and I want to remind myself of a few things for next year.

Keeping in mind that last year was the first time I'd ever even been anywhere near a 10K, the fact that I ran it this year is pretty awesome. Pretty darn awesome, actually.

That being said, a week ago my (now practically extinct) cold was so nasty I didn't even know if I could make it through the work week, so I'm pretty happy I was able to run it yesterday even if maybe I was secretly hoping to be a little bit faster than the first 10K I ran.

So, here's what I want to remind myself of for next year:

1. Wear your race shirt. It's so much fun reading people's teams and seeing who they're running with or for that you should wear your race shirt.

2. If it's beautiful and sunny again (which it was so perfectly so) go ahead and bring your sunglasses.

3. But you probably don't need your windbreaker.

4. In fact, you might have gotten away with just your shirt.

5. Unless it was windy, because really, the windbreaker is so light it wasn't that much of a bother tied around my waist. Your waist, I mean, future me.

6. Eat a good, filling, meal the night before. Nachos doesn't quite cut it because you know you're going to be up too early and too nervous for a good breakfast.

7. You will probably get emotional at some point during the race at some of the supporters on the sidelines. Totally normal and ok, but don't actually cry because then you can't breathe.

8. You need to go slowly at the start. I know you'll want to weave in and out of the walkers and stuff but you burned so much energy at the beginning that by the end you were dead. Maybe get a pace type GPS watch sort of thing and see if that helps.

9. If the race course is the same as last year the start was a little annoying, see if you can maybe start further up so you're not dodging so many people.

10. If at all possible, people cheering for you is really really nice. Someone (I still haven't figure out who) yelled out my name near the finish "GO VICTORIA!" and it was awesome. Don't be afraid to ask people to come out and cheer you on. Seeing people you knew at the sidelines was so inspiring and helpful.

11. Try not to be so nervous in the days leading up.

12. Try not to get a cold the week before.

13. You're actually fitter than you give yourself credit for. Sure, you may have felt like dying at the end of the race, but within a few minutes of being done, say five? you were breathing normally again and that shows you're not completely unfit.

14. If walking the 10K was more fun than running it this year, you don't have to run it again. It's supposed to be fun, so do whatever will be more fun for you.

15. The sunscreen was a good idea.

P.S. Don't cut your toenails the night before. They were fine.

Oh, and? Have some goodies already in your house for later that day. You might not be up for a dinner out but some nice treats waiting for you in the fridge would be great!
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2017 and then some.) Kay? Kay.