THE GOALS THAT MATTER

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Does this look like the face of someone who loves to run???

NOPE

This is the face of someone who put one foot in front of the other for over two hours. Who struggled with pain and heat. Who whipped her Yurbuds into the Bow River at KM 16 when they broke, leaving her with her thoughts for the last 5.1km (which were not in a good place).

You can’t see it through my sunglasses, but I was sobbing when I went through that corral, out of pure exhaustion and mental walls. I hardly even acknowledged my husband and friends who woke up early to cheer me on. BUT - as I do in every race, I promised that I would cross the Calgary Half Marathon finish line with a smile on my face - however pained. This just wasn’t my day. Some days aren’t. I had this idea of a time goal to finish under 2:10, and took off on my own. When I realized at about km 18 that there was no way I was doing it, everything went to shit.

3 months later, I ran SeaWheeze with my friend. She was injured, so we decided together no pressure, no time goal - just enjoyment. We stopped for pictures with drag queens and otters and detoured for a jaunt through a “cloud”. It was my slowest race ever, and by far my most positive experience. After Calgary I was ready to hang up my shoes. After Vancouver, maybe one more...

To everyone running Calgary Marathon tomorrow, or any race, remember that this experience is about MORE THAN TIME. There is so much that is out of your control. So try to set a goal for how you will feel, and how you will react. For me, the best goal ever is to run with a friend (old or acquired on the course) and a great playlist (in one ear), take pictures, high five cheer stations, and cross the finish line, with a smile on my face, wanting to do it again.

run, lettersEmily Slaneff