This morning I ran my third half-marathon for the 24th edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montréal Marathon. My main goal for this race was quite simple: I did not want to get injured. If you have ever run a race, you know the importance of pacing and for my first two half-marathons I made a neophyte mistake: I went too hard, too early and ended up hobbling for the last eight to ten kilometres with an achy knee. Last year, I could not believe I made the mistake of not pacing myself yet again, so this year I vowed to do better. So I made the goals of warming up for the first one-third of third, then slightly increasing my pace for the next third of the race, and finally pushing myself in the last kilometres. And I was so glad I made these simple goals as I ended up shaving off a whole twelve minutes off last year’s horrible time and obtain a personal record this year.
Small victories are important, right? That’s what I kept telling myself this year and my training for today’s event was far from perfect. This month of September was insanely busy for me and I ended up not keeping up with my training plan for this last month prior to the race date; my last run before today was actually two weeks ago. I’m a perfectionist but I find that these kinds of situations help me relax my sometimes hardline expectations for myself. Life brings a lot on everyone’s plate, so you do what you have to do to get to your goals despite the deviations along the way. And today I did that, and even surprised myself at what I was capable of.
Today’s race also inspired me in so many ways other than the fact that I achieved my own personal goals. The number of participants in this race series increases every year, and this year there were nearly 35,000 runners. Hence, you see so many different types of people at the starting line, and for the half-marathon and marathon runners it was at Jacques Cartier bridge. I saw so many different kinds of runners — some in silly costumes, many different kinds of body types, and both young and old participants. If you don’t run, I still think there is a good reason to wake up early on a Sunday morning to take in this event. The sea of runners on top of Jacques Cartier bridge is a sight to behold, so much that many runners were taking selfies while waiting in their corrals. I had checked in my phone before waiting at the bridge, but many runners took the race as an opportunity to stop mid-run to pose for a photo. I look absolutely horrendous while exercising so I commend those who can achieve photogenic status in the middle of a hot and humid race!
So another year down, and I am already looking forward to training for next year’s race. Small goals, and small victories. That will be my motto again for 2015.