Sunday, October 18, 2015

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Half Marathon Race Report

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. 

Omar Khayyam

Today we run happy.  

Today we dance. 

Today we marvel at life. 

Today we are omnipotent.

Today the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Half Marathon knocked it out of the park; an Encarnacion grand slam no less. 

The toilet lineups were crazy, but did you know there were dozens of potties outside?

Water cups were sparse for the last few miles, but did you know David Fielder (aka Spiderman) and Melissa Budd (aka BUFF) were there to sustain you? 

And that amazing teenage cheer leader crew at mile 12, and the rock band at mile 12.5, and Tim MacKay whistling ... who needs water when we have spirit?

Johnny Sticky Buns were teeny-tiny, but did you know there was yogurt, coffee, bananas, tea, hot chocolate, and a whole lot more?

Today I ran happy in the company of 2900 spirited souls.  We ran as one in the moment. We were spirited, chatty, together as one. Today we ran happy and tomorrow we will bask in the after glow. 

At mile 4 we listen to the sound of our feet .. we are a machine.

At mile 8 we listen to the sound of our heart... we are a force.

At mile 12 we listen to the sound of our soul... we are in the moment. 

And it sucks.

And we embrace the suck.

And it is beautiful.

And it is quiet.

We focus on heart, legs, lungs, loved ones, whatever it takes to sustain. We dig deep and then we dig deeper.

Our goal becomes one weighted step after another, and then another, and another, and another.

We step over the line. 

And we choke. 

And we cry. 

And we embrace.

And we ring the bell.

And we savour the beauty of that moment.

We have achieved and we are overwhelmed with happieness.

Today we run happy.

Today we dance.

Today we live in the moment.

And we know the moment is fleeting.

And we know it will fade.

And we think Aynslie, of John, of Jo, of our fathers, of our mothers, of our beloved, of many others.

We run for them today.

And we whisper I love you to spirits passing.

And we say, thanks be to you.

It's all we can do.

It's a good day to be alive,


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Half Marathon; all systems 'go'.

The fourth annual Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Half Marathon is brought to you by Race Director extraordinaire, Jonathan Torchia and his amazing Race Crew. I have had the pleasure of pacing all four events and from my perspective this race improves tenfold each and every year. It has the feel of a big city race and yet Jonathan makes it personal and homegrown. He greets all volunteers by first name and with a handshake.  He is the quintessential Type A personality, never sitting, rarely sleeping, and forever encouraging.  

I am pacing a 2 hour ten minute group and like you, I'm anxious and excited about race day. Like you, I have trained for months in difficult conditions. Like you, I have suffered through injury and grimaced through pain. Like you, I have run many hundreds of lonely miles in anticipation of race day. 

Like you, I am strong. 

Like you, I am ready.

Like you, I am overwhelmed with happiness! 

Look for me on race day... I'm the little guy with a big smile.

A full race report will be posted after the event. It's a good day to be alive.


See Martial and Mike Run

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Now I am Not

I've run about 15 miles in the last six weeks.  Someone once said not running is akin to the continual presence of absence. I can attest to that; yes indeed, I do feel absent, because I am absent.

I have become sedentary and bloated.  My mind screams. My cardio suffers. My strength wains.  I am a runner sidelined and we know this is a bad place. Mentally I suffer. Physically I wither.

Spiritually I am diminished. 

I am on the mend (I had a successful 3.5 mile run this morning). I expect another week at Stephanie's Little Shop of Pain will get me rolling once again.  Rolling, stretching. Stretching, rolling endlessly. 

I so wanted the Lemming Loop. It has whispered my name for months. I trained rigorously in heat and hills. 40, 50, 60, 70 lonely miles a week. I was strong and I was confident. Now I am .... well, now I am not.

Next year my friends, next year.

I had the pleasure of watching Lemming Loop from the sideline with a camera. Here's a little tease.

It's a good day to be alive.