Up until last Sunday it has been years since I ran a 5K race.
Quite frankly it pains me to get out of bed for anything less than 10 miles.
But I knew a long run would not be in my best running interests that weekend. My right leg is still giving me some grief. I didn’t want to push it with only two weeks to go before Lost Soul.
So my friend Michelle Joseph had just returned to running and needed a pacer for the Chocolate Chase in Red Deer.
The run acts as a fundraiser for the Access for All: Barrier-Free Playscape, a Rotary Club of Red Deer Sunshine project.
I jumped at the chance to pace a friend. I warned Michelle that I can get quite chatty on runs.
We started in the middle of the pack.
Michelle hit play on her iPhone. And we were listening to music. How clever.
Have you ever tried singing and running at the same time?
It is not as easy as it sounds especially when you are running down hill. I apologize to those within earshot who did not like my rendition of Dollar Wine.
The race started at the Village Mall parking lot before runners turned onto Gaetz Avenue and continued through the trail system and back to where we started.
Pacing another runner can be a lot of fun.
But I know from experience that you have to be prepared for some flack or harsh words from the runner.
Case in point:
A few years ago, I was on a three-person relay team for a Half Ironman race in Sylvan Lake. I was the runner. My friend Karen Jaques rode the bike and Catherine Alcorn was our swimmer.
I had 3K or 4K left to go when my teammates joined in for encouragement. I just wanted to finish.
Karen was all fresh and chirpy. I was not in the mood for the “you’re doing great” and “only 1k more to go.”
The words that came out of my mouth were something like – will you please just shut up?
Thankfully Karen is a pro when it comes to dealing with tired and grouchy runners.
No hard feelings.
So I was prepared for Michelle to tell me to stop talking or singing. We chatted for most of the race.
I know when I only hear the sound of my own voice for several minutes, it’s time to pick up my motivational speaking.
Distraction is a wonderful thing especially on those challenging runs.
I glanced over at Michelle several times to ensure she wasn’t gritting her teeth. Sometimes I can be annoying with my constant chatter.
Michelle is a Grade 1 teacher at Father Lacombe Catholic School so patience is her middle name.
Back to the race …
We’re on the final climb to the finish line.
Michelle’s playlist is starting to bore me. It had promise but her tunes lost me after the third song.
We needed an uplifting beat for the final push.
I knew the perfect song.
Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It brought us across the finish line.
What a fun community event.
There were so many happy, smiling faces at race central in the Village Mall parking lot.
I am most proud of my friend who did not give up and reached her goal. I am also relieved that she did not tell me to put a lid on it.
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