Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Toronto Challenge: It was a good run!

Then again, when is a run ever bad?  Although I must confess the 3 1/2 hour disaster that I endured while training for my first Reggae Marathon was not pretty.  And the 3 hour recovery after I scared the crap out of myself and Sally made me promise never to do it again.

Last Sunday at the Toronto Challenge though was a good run.  Actually, make that a great run.  And it was for a good cause:  raising money for not-for-profit organizations improving the lives of seniors in our local community.  In my case, I ran for the Labdara Lithuanian Nursing Home in Etobicoke.  This is where my Mother-in-Law, Elizabeth spent her last year living peacefully and comfortably among friends and family.

I've been battling unsuccessfully a nagging right foot injury.  I know, I know, rest!  Stubborn (stupid?) through and through, I keep running so although I had rested for the week prior to the race, I was unsure how the injury would hold up during the race.  There I was though in downtown Toronto early Sunday morning determined to 'tough it out' and finish strong come hell or high water.

Although we live a little west of the downtown core, one of the things that struck me as I made my way to the start on Wellington Street near Metro Hall was the number people on the street.  And not just us runners and walkers.  Downtown Toronto has been the world's largest condo construction zone for quite a while now and it was great to see people out and about.  I appreciated their support along the entire route.

The run itself was a little anti-climactic.  A 5 km run up University Avenue to Wellesley then back down Bay Street before turning back onto Wellington for the finish at Metro Hall.  I pretty much went flat out with minimal race strategy:  mile 1 fast, mile 2 faster, mile 3 fastest!  I missed my target time by 2 minutes but achieved a personal best with a time of 26:30.  While that felt great, it felt even better knowing that I had run to help seniors at Labdara.

But I had an even more powerful experience.  My brother-in-law had been admitted to the hospital Saturday evening with a scary health scare.  As I crossed the finish line a wave of emotion crashed over me:  "I did this for you too".

Until next time...
ThatRunninGuy

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Follow me on Facebook at Run for Heart.  Races for 2012: Goodlife Fitness 1/2 Marathon, May 6, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon, October 14, Reggae Marathon, December 1