What a race, I still don’t know how I finished it but one thing for sure I did it!
This race had quite a bit of ups and downs throughout the run which was extraordinary in a sense with more clarity of who I am, my character, limitations, desperation and the will power.
The race really for me started with preparation of my nutrition’s day before;
16 scoops of Carbo-pro mixed with water, lime, salt, 4 litter’s total,
2 litter of defused coke
2 litter of water mixed of honey, salt and lime juice, salt
1 loaf of 12 grain bread
15 power gels
Like previous races I wanted to have light dinner but when it came to dinner time I had no appetite. I forced myself to eat my favorite pasta dish my wife cooked for dinner, simple,light and delicious…………
Around 7:30 I was starting to get sleepy but I couldn’t go to sleep because I hadn’t packed my clothes yet, gingerly slow I was trying to pack but time was running fast.
I think I might have had about 30 minutes or so real sleep Friday night. I was in bed but couldn’t fall sleep, so I just closed my eyes and tried to relax myself. I was so nervous that I woke up before the alarm went off. Woke up my buddy Morteza as he was my crew/support and I owe him this race, I couldn’t have done it without his support. We had breakfast and headed out to Maple Ridge. As we were driving down the upper level’s radio was playing Eminem song (one life time opportunity, choking now) and the thoughts that were going through my head “you are not going to choke and you going to do it, no sweaty palms”, what am I going to do if I am in trouble, working it In my head.
We got to the start line about 3:15 AM and all excited and nervous, trying to calm down myself with say hello to everyone, I would have probably greeted even rats if I had seen oneJ, this was my way of calming myself down and hang on positive.
Meet up with my friends Kerry Ward and Nicola Gildersleeve and walk over to start line.
4:00 AM the count down started, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 off we go for the torture.
Stage 1, run went well with light rain, I was happy with the time. Second stage started to rain harder, down pour with headwinds and my Achilles started to hurt and it wasn’t easing up. I walked every steep hills or any opportunity came along, then back to running. Before the race I said to myself at any point of race if I was feeling down I would think of the sweet finish of Haile Gebrselassie 2008 Berlin Marathon and his kicks.
Oh man does it ever work. Come to exchange 3, clock 1:46 happy with the time and I was thinking I had run faster than my last year time but I was wrong since I had an incorrect time in my head. Off to Stage 3 start with steep uphill, I walked the hills happily as it was easing the pain. Halfway into the hill I asked my support about the times, oh man I was slow, better hurry up, and forget about pain slackerJ. Off running but pain is more severe, decided to walk the rest of hill in order to keep my legs fresh for the next stage. Here comes downhill and I am moving, oh no back to hills, I am breaking, slow and walking again to give my legs a break. About 4 Km my Achilles pain wouldn’t let go and my stomach started acting a bit. I could hardly eat anything solid.
By about end of stage 3, I was feeling really down, I had to pee 6 times which never had happened on any of my previous races. In fact the only race I had to take one bathroom break was stormy 2007.
End of Stage 3 clock 3:01:28, oh man that was slower by about 12 minutes than last year pace. At that moment I was thinking and saying to myself “is it worth to go through all pain and aching, should I drop, this cross my mind a few times. Denial said no and reality was saying suffering and torture worth while. I thought about Haile race in Berlin but negative forces were coming stronger with louder voice and their voices kept growing. I stopped for a moment, started walking and told myself I wasn’t not a quitter and I didn’t belong to that club, do or die J. Moment later I was thinking about what Darin Bentley 3 times champion of this race had told me about a week before, leg 4 and 5 are the one’s I could make time. Back to the running again, kicking like my buddy Haile Gebrselassie, hey I am feeling better. About 3 Km into the stage 4, here comes my buddy Peter Watson, telling me how far I was ahead of the pack, and as he was turning around his car stereo playing the same Eminem song which I had listen to it earlier. Is this a character builder or what?
I am running well again, negative thoughts are slowly backing off. Looking up to sky, I see light, looking further I see an opening in the clouds and sun started coming out Wow, what a view. At that moment I didn’t care how much pain I had, I just wanted to enjoy the moment. In H2H those moments hard to come by. I am a believer that everything in our universe is created or happen for reason. Here I am in pain and the cure just handed to me, all I needed to do make that connection, re-focus and never let go of my happy moment and stay positive all the way. Stage 4 came to an end and I didn’t gain any ground because of headwind however I was happy I had my legs back. My legs were wondering in la la landJ between stage 2 and 3. At the end of Stage 4 I was told the lead was only 12 minutes. Ron Adams (course director) asked me how I felt, my answer was not the best but working on getting better. He must have had a closer look at my face and felt a bit worry as apparently I had salt all over my face and he asked me to get more electrolytes. I thanked Ron and Volunteers at exchange 5 and off I went. Quite frankly I had taken way more Termolyte Pills compare to previous races, why it was happening I had no idea.
In Stage 5 and 6 I had to push myself a bit harder, feeling better, ran the hills much faster and easier than leg 2 and 3.
As I was getting closer to end of Stage 6, I was hoping of hearing Steve King’s voice once again as I heard him last year about the same distance. For those people who don’t know Steve, he is The King and voice of Ironman Canada, practically announcer of every important Tri and running races in the country. I am getting closer to the exchange but I don’t see Steve, looking around, no, he is not here, as I am climbing the hill, here comes Steve, drives up the hill and turns around and wishes me good luck. I am like an exciting kid again, running the hill up kicking to my surprise. Thanks Steve, very much appreciated!
Stage 7 starts with a bit flat then switches to hills. My goal was walking the steep hill and again keep the legs fresh for flat part of stage 7 and stage 8. I had to stick at least to this plan if I wanted to have a stronger finish.
As I am climbing the hill about 20 minutes into stage 7 run Steve King drive by and telling me I had a lead of 30 to 35 minutes. Off he goes and I don’t see him again until I crossed the finish line. I am feeling better and running steadily moderate hills and flats.
Clock 7:35 as I am approaching exchange 8th, I felt much better, up to that point I ran 5 minutes faster than my previous year and no relay team had caught up yet. Almost 1 km in the stage 8, Ron Adams drive by telling me I had 10 minutes lead on relay team and he was wondering if I could have finish ahead. The crazy side of me kick in “hey I can do it, I have a chance to beat them”. That thought short lived, about 2 Km later relay runner from Peninsula Runners flew by me, I am sore and in pain but I wanted to catch himJ. 8:15:11 I crossed the finish line, happy and healthy and knowing the race was over, very relieved.
After race I went straight to Lake to soak up my legs in the cold water. This was the best thing I could have done to my body. Everybody was surprised how I could walk straight, no limping or dragging my feet. After 4 days my appetite is back and I feel normal. J
I am very grateful to my crew/support, Mr. Morteza Beepanah, this win is his.
I am very grateful to my family for their love and support and giving me the opportunity to do what I love most.
I am very thankful to all Volunteers involve with H2H race; they did a tremendous job with marking the course and their encouragement.
I am very thankful to all my friends who wished me luck and cheered me during the race.
I am thankful to NSA and NSA family, Reebok Canada, and friends for their continued support.
I am very happy for not giving up, fight, and overcome the negative thoughts and suck up the pain: