After dropping the car off at hubby's work, I met our group at the Running Room. It was a bit of a drizzly grey day, but not quite as cold as the previous week, when I'd had to wear my headband, gloves, a long-sleeved sweater and my jacket.
For me, that means that while I've been doing my long runs at around 6:30-6:50 (for a four-hour finish) and my tempos at 5:30 to 5:45, my tempo should be around 5:26.
As I sprinted around the track on one of my laps, this time feeling a little more like a gazelle and less like a penguin (though a gazelle that was huffing and puffing...and when have you ever seen wildlife look like they're struggling on a run?), I looked up, only to see that Wendy was standing on the sidelines. She had told us that she would not be joining us as she was still recovering from Boston, so I was surprised to see her there. Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something neon green from across the track.
As I neared Wendy, I saw that she was holding up a sign. I figured she'd come out to cheer on our group. But as I came closer, I read the words:
|My pre-departure surprise from my fabulous running friends|
It's amazing how knowing that there are folks who believe in you and care about you makes such a difference -- it can give you a boost more powerful than any gel or sport bean ever can. So if you're ever at a race standing on the sidelines, know that your presence there and your cheers do help make our feet lighter and the race easier.
Speedwork complete, I headed home to pack. Among the luggage I carried next morning, as I got into a taxi at an ungodly 4:45 am to take me to Toronto, were the two posters that Wendy had made for me so that my family can hold them up on race day (the other one says "Christine you rock!" :) ).
Although I may not actually catch a glimpse of them on the sidelines, I'll know they'll be there holding up those signs, and I'll also know that there will be a group of friends and my hubby cheering me on from Halifax. No matter how I finish, I'm so thankful for everyone's support and encouragement over these last 17 weeks. I'm grateful to have met a group of amazing friends and runners, and am ever thankful for their support.