My sweet hubby, J, is a loving Daddy, marathon runner, triathlete, adventure traveller, Vespa enthusiast, skater boy, and journal writer. For the first time, he is sharing a very intimate part of himself: his experience with the BMO Vancouver Marathon. I love this so much (well all of his writing, really) because it is written in his own voice, raw and unedited.
This is big as he is a very private person. I’m grateful he allowed me to share this here. And I hope to share more of his writing in the future. Enjoy ❤
RUNNING TIVA Written by Jin V
The thing I like most about running is that it is raw – all you need are your two legs, a pair of shoes and off you go. You don’t need a team, fancy gear, and if you really want to run Tiva, screw the shoes. But that’s a big extreme. You probably wonder what I mean by Tiva, its basically stripping down to the bare essentials, minimalism at its core. It came from my time travelling, a term I coined in my early 20’s. It can mean many things, and in this case, it means to run free.
When I ran my first marathon, it didn’t go so well. I got murdered. The dreaded wall came and got me – snatching my goal and obliterating me. It chewed me up at km 30, and left me there. I limped into the finish, I was done. It was the hardest run of my life. I didn’t think I would attempt it again. Oprah had beat me.
When I signed up I figured, it was just 4 x 10ks. Or it was like running two half marathons back to back. Easy breezy, I got this. Boy was I wrong, I now know why they call it a marathon. It really has little to do with the actual running of the marathon on race day. It’s called a marathon because it starts the day you decide to run it. The day you start training, the hours you put in to achieving your goal, the mental commitment, and the sacrifice.
I’ve learnt a few things from running, but probably the most important lesson is patience. You have to be patient to run all those long runs. To run when you know its right, to wait when your body tells you its tired. Your spouse or partner and if you have children, they have to be patient when you are out there running. If you know they understand, then it will make the long runs that much more bearable.
Fast forward one year, I signed up again to run my second marathon. I missed my goal and I didn’t finish with a smile. I wanted to finish happy. Happy with what I had put in, and happy with my result. This was the dream.
Everybody is different, what worked for me necessarily won’t work for you. My first marathon, I didn’t drink enough during the race, so the lactic acid built up in my legs, rendering them useless. I had listened to a podcast, that talked about hyponatremia. It freaked me out.
This time, I ran with a bottle of water, the clear plastic kind you buy at the dollar store. So I knew how much I was consuming, having it filled at the water stations. A tip from friends Dawn and Jerrick, very strong and experienced runners (Kinetic Family).
I ran with a pepperoni sandwich, mmm good, delicious. It worked for me, don’t ask. I needed fuel. Energy bars just didn’t cut it, but a sandwich, that hit the spot.
I ran without music, or any devices that would bark out my pace and give me live updates at how well or how poorly I was doing. This year, I decided to listen to my body, my breath, my heart, and the pounding of my feet. If I felt good, then I would run a bit faster. I listened to my body, instead of a device. But I did have a watch, with a stop watch, so I kind of knew where I was at. I needed to be on the bridge around the 3 hour mark.
I ran with a goal within a goal. I asked Reg to wait for me at km 30. It gave me something to look forward to, something to run to. To run to her. My darling. And there she was on the middle of the bridge, coming into km 30, I was so happy to see her. She jumped onto course and ran with me. With her words of encouragement, she kept shouting “you got this, you got this!” I got to that point feeling good, and she lifted up my spirits even more, I had gotton this far, only 12k more to go. I said to myself, “I got this!” And with a kiss, I was off.
I kept waiting for the wall, I was terrified it could come crumbling down any minute. It didn’t come, my legs started going on autopilot, but I had to remember my goal of finishing on time, and with a smile. If I hit the wall, I wouldn’t be a happy camper, so I had to be patient and just run the last bit strong but not to overdo it. I was racing Oprah.
Coming up to the finish, was an amazing feeling. Oprah was behind me, and knowing I was about to complete a goal I had set many years ago.
I was smiling and happy.
First try, time, 4:47:59
Second try, time, 4:26:19
Oprah’s time, 4:29:15