Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? A common question during long hot car rides by the children in the back seat repeatedly asked every 5 minutes.
I also ask a similar question to myself as I record my daily work outs, or in the case of this past week not so daily. Am I ready for the next marathon?
I felt a twinge in my right leg. Somehow I decided not to put off wondering for a few weeks, “Is this a bad thing thats happening?” and I was able to get in to see my favourite Physiotherapist Stephanie who is working her magic. I expect that in a week that the pain will be gone. She is that good. It also helps that I went in right away. To get better, along with the physio work, I added hot yoga Fridays back into my routine and I have a list of exercises from Stephanie that I promised I would do. I think told her that 3 years ago as well. I promise I really will do them this time Stephanie. My flexibility is part of the problem, lack of stretching, too much speed work with too little of a recovery period in between (it was so much fun)and not doing all those things that I promised Stephanie to do.

So am I ready for my next Marathon? A definite Yes is the answer.

As part of the process of looking forward to the next race, I reflected on the Vancouver Marathon that I ran this past May and looked up my training log from then as well as recovery notes and found the story below on my Facebook account about my Vancouver race experience. All indicators are that I’m on track for a good day. I repeat the story below in the hopes to remind myself about lessons learned during a race (I also wanted a copy of the story in my blog). It is also a great motivator to me as I reread the comments from my friends, copied at the end of the story. If I’m ever having a bad day, I just need to read those comments again.

A story about a race.
Thanks to all who got me to the start line. Family, friends, medical staff, training partners, random people on the street.
I paid a premium to get Platinum service at the start and finish lines. Take the rapid transit from the hotel to the start line. Then walk in the rain 1.5 miles. Shoes and socks are now wet an hour before the race. Platinum service is for 200 people who paid for the privilege of shelter in a heated tent with water and bag check inside, plus a heated portable trailer with toilets in them next door. I was able to take off my shoes and socks and dry them on the forced air propane heater within 5 minutes. Passed the time chatting with other runners.
2 minutes before the start of the race we walk to the start line and I am 20 feet behind the 3:30 pace bunny and meet Michael Klatt from Winnipeg. The rain is coming down, we sing Oh Canada and the gun goes off. The first 3/4 mile is uphill and crowded. It thins out eventually and I catch up to the 3:30 bunny and discount my plan to run with them for 6 miles. I don’t remember passing the 3:15 bunny. The rain stops and at the 3 mile mark its a 1 1/2 mile of down hill then 1 1/2 miles of up hill. I pass the 6 mile mark in 42 minutes which is 2 minutes faster than plan. I don’t look at my watch during the race except at various check points. I decided to race by feel. So I have two minutes in the bank. A bit of flat stuff for 2 miles then a mile roller coaster ride to about the to the 12 mile mark. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous as we run through UBC. We now drop down to sea level and I’m flying again and trying to put on the brakes . Pass the 1/2 way mark in 1:32:09 (1st in age group) and my third fastest 1/2 time. I now have 4 minutes in the bank. My plan was to run the second half faster than the first. But now I’m thinking I may use up the bank time. More roller coaster ride along Jericho Beach to the Burrard Bridge, where I start to feel the upward climb for the first time. The bridge looked worse later that day when I drove over it to go for dinner. The worst of the hills are over and its mainly flat as we head into English Bay at the 20 mile mark where my family is waiting in the cold to cheer me on. 2:22:56 The rain starts up again, a light drizzle, and I’m feeling the pain , mentally and physically. I now have to run around Stanley Park on the seawall and finish a mile later downtown. Mile 22 comes in at 2:40 and I know I have my BQ. Walk and run mile 23, playing leapfrog with another runner who runs while I walk and walks while I run. Both of us encouraging each other. The 3:15 bunny and group pass us. I had no regrets about not staying with them. We come around the Lighthouse point and the wind is strong and blowing the rain head on into us. At this point a photographer is stationed asking us to smile. I did my best, but even that hurt. At mile 24.5, a random stranger by himself asks if I want a coke, without hesitation I say yes. Instantaneous relief. The mental fatigue is gone. I start to run and a 1/2 mile later at the aid station I gulp down two large cups of electrolyte replacement drink. I’m running faster with each step. See my family once again at mile 25 and run uphill towards the finish line. Finish in 3:23:22, (8th in age group) I lost my banked time plus 3 minutes. John Stanton, who I was chatting with at the expo the day before is there to give me my finishers medal. I now get escorted inside the hotel to the Platinum finishers area were its warm and my bag of clothes are waiting. My slowest marathon ever, my 8th BQ. Happiest I’ve ever been finishing a marathon. Boston 2015 here I come. Hill training starts next month. Recovery starts now, Hot tub here I come.

KHW Thanks for sharing David Ranta!! Gave me goose bumps, so very happy for you!

JS Congrats David!!!!

DW Wow David…wow!!!

DH Awesome story. What an amazing write-up about your run!

EL Awesome!

MH It’s nice to see that dreams come true! We knew you would do it

GG What KHW said… Goose bumps
That was an awesome story of will power and strength of both kind
Congratulations David

AW David- I am so very happy for you. It’s been a long and difficult journey but you are back, stronger than ever. Enjoy this moment and all of the moments to come. I can’t wait to see you and the huge grin that I know will be on your face!

JG Changing my race strategy (start slow and fade from there) to include Coke. I drank 2 L doing a beer mile so 52 L should get me through a marathon. Perhaps not. Looking forward to hearing your account in person. I’ll cover your Coke. Or beer.

ST It been a pleasure to share your journey, and now I feel I’ve shared your race. I hope we will always share your friendship.

BS Wow!

MM Great account of your journey…such strength!!…you continue to amaze and inspire!

RT Way to go!! Love that your family was there.

MB What a fantastic story David. Your 8th BQ! Who knew you were so amazing?!

KC So happy to hear this! Congratulations to a very deserving guy!! Hugs!

JGS I love hearing your eloquent stories! Wonderful – so happy for you!

OS Thanks for sharing David, great effort and best of luck with the recovery.

RAP Congrats David …what an episode! love the emotions you put in writing that race-experienced … they said: “When you can’t run with your legs; run with your heart!!”.. well done David