Running Diary, Week 17: Terry Fox Run – We did it!
On Sunday, we decided to get an early start to the day and it was cool and temperate, which was perfect for us. When we arrived at the sign-in location D and I were overwhelmed by the number of people that were there and dressed up in t-shirts honouring those they had lost. It was nothing short of amazing to be surrounded by such a large and supportive group of people. Speeches were made, group activities were led, and before you knew it the run had begun. There were two routes being offered that day, one measuring 5km and the other 10km. Since the Terry Fox Run isn’t competitive, they don’t require you to confirm anything, and as a participant you have the choice to choose – you do what you can. While D and I had planned on running the 5km route, in that moment, inspired by the sense of community and energy of the group we decided to challenge ourselves and ended up completing the 10km instead.
Our pace wasn’t very competitive and we did a combination of running and walking, so that we could stop and take photos (which they encouraged us to do!), talk to other participants, and just enjoy the process. We saw families with young children on the walk, we saw people with their pets, and the group, diverse as it was, felt unified by our shared goal. The atmosphere was so wonderful that even before we finished the race, D and I looked at one another and promised each other to do the run again next year, and do it we will.
Perhaps by next year I will become completely and utterly immersed into the world of running but I’m not there yet. However, I will continue to challenge myself with this sport because I’m proud of what I have achieved and it’s a shame to give up on the progress that has been made. I also feel happier now that I have a routine back in my life, even though the first ten minutes always feel like an absolute chore. As I said before though, if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you, and running certainly challenges me.
So I guess with the run completed now, this will be my last running diary for the time being. I want to thank everyone for coming along with me on this journey because truly, since I first set out to participate in the Terry Fox Run four months ago, it has been a journey, one that has taught me a lot and caused me to change along the way. The structure and routine of trying to get into running again, the therapeutic nature of sitting down and writing weekly posts, and the emotional unpacking of my grief has been transformative and I want to thank you for sticking by me. All of this support allowed me to come to the conclusion late last week that I wouldn’t be anxious over the outcome of the run; no matter how quickly or slowly I completed the run I would be proud of everything that I had accomplished.