It has been a busy few weeks since Subaru Ironman Canada. First on the agenda was recovering in time to race at Subaru Muskoka 70.3. This was a bit more challenging than I expected since I was also recovering from a nasty chest infection which had been lingering since late July but by the time the race rolled along, I felt pretty good. Dave and I were involved with Trisport North and the running of Subaru Muskoka 70.3 so I had much more to do than just race. But I loved every single minute of it. Dave was in charge of the expo and merchandise and I helped him with a bit of that on Thursday and Friday pre race. On Friday evening, I was the MC for both of the welcome dinners. This was a bit highlight for me because I was so proud of the event which Mitch and Janet had produced and I was so proud to be involved with different bits and pieces of it. On Saturday, I had quite a few race and sponsor obligations which I again loved. From 11-12:15, Craig Alexander, Simon Lessing and myself did a televised Q and A in Huntsville. Then from 1-1:45, I did a PowerBar autograph signing and from 2-3, I did a Subaru autograph signing. It was fantastic being reunited with the athletes from our Subaru Muskoka Training Camps and meeting some new and old friends. As busy as it sounds, I truly did enjoy every role which I played on the weekend.
It was raining on race day. We had anticipated rain but I had truly hoped that we would all be able to tackle the twisty bike course on dry roads. I had a terrific swim and got off onto the challenging ride I being a bit more cautious than “Lisa the racer” would have liked to be. I felt quite good on the bike – I felt as if I chose my gears well and I climbed well – but I did lose a bit more time than usual given my ‘fear factor’ negotiating the blind corners at race speed. Off onto the run, I felt a bit sluggish at first but I soon found my stride and I built strongly over the 21 kilometers. By around 10 km, I felt fantastic and I had the spring in my step that should have had for at Subaru IMC. The run was very challenging but fun. Yes, I am probably the only athlete who loved the final 5 km on the golf course – I played it like a roller coaster and loved it. Over the last 1 km of the run, I caught and passed Cynthia who had beaten me a few months earlier at the Subaru Muskoka Chase. That was pretty nice but even nicer was the fact that I was racing, not surviving and that feeling was very sweet indeed. My 5th place finish certainly doesn’t sound stellar but I truly did love every minute – even my scary minutes and the tough minutes – and that to me is success! I remember saying to Mitch Fraser last year when we drove the bike course – “there is no way that I am racing on such a technical course – thank God I will be an organizer and not a racer” – but then, I just couldn’t miss racing on what is truly the greatest and toughest 70.3 course around. And how could I not race and only watch our athletes labor over our course! No way! The very best part besides racing and feeling like a racer was finishing in time to cheer and greet athletes at the finish line. Seeing the joy (and relief) in the eyes of the athletes was a race highlight for me.
The highlight of my week last week – although I must say the mountains of B.C. and the tiny little 18 seat plane from Calgary to Cranbrook was quite spectacular – was running the 1 mile kids run at the Kinetico Caledon Running Festival on Sunday. Mr. Bensen from Bensen Steel in Caledon paid for all the children’s t-shirts and associated fees so that each child could run for free! It was so wonderful seeing all of the beautiful children take off like 100 meter Olympians in the first 60 seconds and then work so hard over the next 10 minutes to cross the finish line. And the joy of their accomplishment was written all over their smiles. I got to run with my niece Brittany and then with my nephew Braedan and then I turned back and ran with as many children as I could. And then I found this delightful little red head girl who was so happy and I wanted to run with her all the way to the finish line. I have included a picture with this note. Sport is so important for children and I was so honored to have been invited to this festival.
And as for finishing 5th – well – I’d rather be racing a little bit unhealthy and finishing 5th, then not racing at all. Besides – my favorite little quote that I picked up about 20 years ago says it best – “Use what talents you possess. The forest would be a very quiet place if only the best birds sang!” I hope all of the children in the 1 mile fun run can be the best birds they can be with whatever talents they have!
Thank you for your cheers and support!