The Race that Almost Wasn’t

Two weeks ago, I didn’t think that I was going to make it to Montreal for the half-marathon. However, even though I had been off for two weeks, I had a strong training run – 12 miles – the week before that left me saying, “Yup, I can do it.” I felt ready to run the Scotiabank 21.1K Race in Montreal, Quebec, which was also the Canadian Half-Marathon Championship Race.

Why Montreal? I wanted to run a half-marathon a few weeks before the Goodlife Marathon and the timing worked. It happened to be the same weekend of Boston, where my running mates were headed; I didn’t feel left out of their travel-talks when I had Montreal on my racing mind. My friend, Delilah, was going so I wasn’t alone. Montreal is a bilingual city and, even though Skipper has been in a French Immersion program for the past 5 years, he hasn’t had a chance to use his French in the big world. Lastly, the family needed a get-away; this was our first in two years.

We arrived in Montreal on Friday night and I took Little Ironman to the “expo” to pick up my race kit. Not having been to one since May, I was excited; I couldn’t wait to see the latest gear and was hoping that I would find some great deals. However, the “expo” was just a store, a very nice store, but still – it was just a store. Little Ironman’s face, lit up, though, when he walked in.

“Oh, Mom!” he cried, “Can I get my new running shoes here?”

That was exactly what I wanted: a pair of $150 running shoes for my 5 year old. But they weren’t that expensive. In fact, the Kids’ Asics were comparable in price to any other shoe that I would have bought for him at our local shoe shop. His 8 month old shoes that were also his brother’s five years ago were greatly needing to be replaced so we made a quick investment into Little Ironman’s racing season, picked up my kit and headed back to the hotel.

Back in our room, I opened my race kit to discover this. That’s right: I was going to be the Number 1 Devil. “That means you’re going to run like the devil,” my friend Carleen wrote to me. I continued to shake my head in disbelief.

As with any race, I got on the computer late that night to check Sunday’s forecast: 6C at 9:00 a.m. , 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. That’s right. In the hours before, during and after my run, the temperatures were 6C, 6C and 6C. I was starting to sense a theme.

Before I feel asleep that night, I thought about Sunday morning, the race and the cold temperatures. “Maybe the boys should stay here (at the hotel) and I’ll go on my own,” I thought. “Or, maybe they can go to the Basilica to see the service. They can pray for me.”

I had a feeling that I was going to need divine intervention.

more to come…..

4 Replies to “The Race that Almost Wasn’t”

  1. Oh, the excitment builds! I love that your kids run. I'm still working on that with my daughter. But I think I'm going to try T's (racing with babes) method of 4:1. Even though she is almost 10 yrs old I think I need to make it more fun and achieveable for her to find more success. She probably won't be a runner but increasin her fitness level will help in the soccer that she does love to play.
    Bring on installment number 2!

  2. I can't wait to read more. What kind of running does your 5 year old do? I'm trying to find a balance for my kids so I'm curious.

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