Monday, 26 May 2014

2014 Ottawa Marathon Blood Sweat And Tears

While picking up my race bib for the recent Ottawa Marathon race a volunteer asked if I was superstitious? I was given an unusual number 1717 and I suppose he figured I may not like it. I actually really liked having this number. 
Participants information Larry52

Lining up to start the race I think of a theme that started three weeks ago. A man who donates every year prayed for me "that I run fast." As he prayed I actually smirked and thought to myself "my fast or what my daughter Isabella would consider fast?"
The day before the race I received many emails wishing me luck. A friend from work encouraged me and said "Larry hope you fly the whole 42km."
A radio host from Buffalo (Hi Neil) told me he "was praying for me, and also added that I had to make sure I win the race for my daughter."

Today I will try to qualify for The 2015 Boston Marathon, which is the only marathon you have to run a qualifying time to be allowed to participate. For me this year my qualifying time is 3 hours 25 minutes, next year it would be 3 hours 30 minutes. The biggest rewards sometimes come with the biggest risks so I will try to strike a balance of running as fast as I can for as long as I can while trying to make sure I still have enough energy left to finish this race.

Today I changed my outfit a bit. The camouflage shorts remain the same. I believe black does attract the Sun so I have traded my old black shirt for a new white one, which was purchased at a lulu lemon. Not a store that is used to customers such as myself I am sure.

Bruce Cockburn
"But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight."
I feel that the five marathons I have ran have been for the purpose of going into the darkness to help children, today if I finish my sixth marathon I believe I will bring a child  from the darkness into the light.
The start is uneventful as I line up further back than where I am supposed to hoping to avoid going out too fast.

5km I run past many four feet traffic pylons set up to guide the runners, and I cannot help but contrast these with the ones we used at the first Ratanak 5km walkathon, and hopefully never have to use again, sorry Janice.

7km I see a young boy holding his hand out by the side of the road  to high five approaching runners. I see his eyes light up as I touch his hand and think he doesn`t know who I am, for all he knows he just high fived a famous runner.
A wise Pastor friend of mine talks often about "visible reality" and "spiritual reality." Today my body is running up the streets of Ottawa. Many times today my mind  will end up somewhere else.

As I touched hands with the young boy in Ottawa. I think of a young boy in Cambodia. My passion is for the girls who are abused, yet I have been told sometimes it is a harder road for the boys to recover. I pray that a young boy in Cambodia is freed from the hands of his abuser at this exact moment.

9km I pass a store with the name Larry loans and jewellery. I am in a funny mood today for I think of those cheesy commercials with the guy singing "I`m the cash man." and picture myself as him.

10 km I hoped to be at       47 minutes
                         I am at       45 minutes 10 seconds
Around The Bay I was at   48 minutes 13 seconds

17 km I am starting to get discouraged. This happens every marathon at some point, sometimes it is earlier than this, if you are fortunate it happens later.
The reason for the discouragement is that the pain is starting to take over as well as the feeling of being very tired. Mentally you think I have run 17 km I am very tired and I still have 25km to go. 
I started looking forward to the 32 km mark as usually by then you figure out you only have 10 km left and you start thinking you are going to make it.

21.1 km mark Halfway point
I hoped to be at 1 hour 40 minutes. 
I  am at              1 hour 38 minutes 6 seconds

27 km A lady in Quebec holds up a sign that makes me laugh it reads "you are running better than our government."

28 km I run onto a street named Princess Avenue and think of the story I was sent a few years ago from a friend in Cambodia. Some girls from the NewSong center in Cambodia who were victims of abuse went to California to testify to help convict a man from The United States. On a day off from the trial they were taken to Disney and dressed up as the Disney Princesses.

29 km Running up my usual side of the road, the left. A six inch piece of circular wire left on the road by the recent construction (I believe) catches my left foot like a snare and I go down very hard.
Isabella my daughter uses the word "dag nabbit" when she is upset, I cannot tell you the word that came out of my mouth but it was not this one.
Another runner comes over to see if I am okay. I jump up right away as lying on the asphalt with over 9 000 runners in a race may be worse than falling in the first place.
I look at my scraped hands and think of the one whose hands were pierced for me.
I resume running and think this is going to be an interesting finish.

30 km I hoped to be at  2 hours 25 minutes
                         I am at  2 hours 22 minutes 24 seconds
    A.T.B. race I was at  2 hours 26 minutes 15 seconds

31 km I notice a stinging pain from my left arm and look at my left forearm

I also notice a sharp pain from my right quadriceps muscle that is causing me to limp a bit (I believe a bruise caused in the fall) 

32 km I think a few thoughts at this time these are some of them. I think if I run another marathon I am going to take my nutrition during training more serious. I have had people tell me I am crazy for running marathons, but I thought of the people who do more than one a year and they are really crazy. After today I am going to take a very long break.
I am so discouraged at this moment. I know time heals all wounds and eventually I will forget some of the emotions I was feeling. I know my stride has changed, I have the usual pain associated with running a marathon, and now the fall has added pain in spots usually not associated with running. I would love to just stop and go lie down somewhere but I know I cannot.

33 km This is a picture taken of a statue around Parliament Hill.
I was struck by this and Gloria took a picture of it with my two daughter`s and myself on it. This is my first thoughts of the statue. I saw myself as the man on the top he is looking ahead, oblivious of the figure below him. The figure below him is looking up, hand held out, hoping for help that may never come. The figure on the bottom is a child in Cambodia stuck in slavery, waiting, hoping, desperately wanting to be rescued. It took me 40 years to look down and notice the child underneath but knowing this child exists brought me here today.

34 km Every step is becoming a bit harder. As I look at this marker I try to do a little math to encourage myself. I figure I have 8 km left and on my worst day I should be able to average a little over 5 minutes a km or 8 minutes a mile. I usually am very good at math, not at this point. For I multiplied 8 km by 8 minutes instead of the 5 I should have. Instead of the 40 minutes I had left which would have encouraged me I thought I had 64 minutes left and was overwhelmed once again and wondered how I was going to be able to run this long.

36 km As I approached the statue above up close I had other thoughts. I noticed the figure on the bottom was not as small as I thought it was, in fact it was far larger than my daughter`s or myself. Also it was watching the man on top who was looking out on the horizon. What I also didn`t notice until I was close up was that this figure carried an enormous sword that`s handle was larger than my legs. I thought of myself again as the man on the top of the statue. Now that I know of the children in need I am scanning the horizon looking for any and every opportunity I can to make a difference in their lives. The figure on the bottom is a mighty Angel, he is sent to protect me and my family. He is watching me to see if danger is approaching, at other times he clears paths for me to follow. His sword is not for show it is used for protection and battle.
My whole right side of my leg is starting to really hurt as I believe by changing my stride I am putting more stress on the other muscles on this side, especially my right calf.
My wry sense of humour seems to still be intact despite my challenges as I thought if the figure on the statue wants me to finish this race he might have to run behind me and prod me with his sword.

42.2 km I run over the finish line and am so relieved that I finished this race. I always say I run for the exploited children in Cambodia this year I have collected money in advance and I thank God I have never had to give any money back because I could not finish a marathon. I ran 3 hours 26 minutes 12 seconds. I am 1 minute over a Boston Qualifying time. I am mildly disappointed but this does not last long as I see my beautiful family waiting for me.
The blood you saw, the sweat is very evident because Gloria is the only one willing to put her arm around me. The tears came at the moment I saw the family I Love and know, Glo, Kiki, and Izzy. They make sacrifices that allow me to help a family that I don`t see, but also Love. The exploited children in Cambodia are this family.

If people want to come out and walk on June 7 the website is below.
If people care to make a donation 
my participants information is 


No comments:

Post a Comment