Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Half Marathon Judging And Chandeliers

I have just finished my November Half Marathon race. It is an unique run set in Hamilton, it is named Road2Hope. The money raised benefits children in Haiti and children in Hamilton, kind of cool.
A half marathon is 21.1 km or 13.1 miles. (Spoiler alert) I have another half marathon in March 13.1 miles, and a full marathon in May 26.2 miles. The distances added up equal 52.4 miles.
The fourth Ratanak walkathon will take place Saturday June 13 2015 at Erindale Park Mississauga. The last number of the goal will again end in 52.

A wise runner wrote an article about "not worrying when life gets in the way of your training." Two weeks ago I was supposed to have a crazy week of training to make sure I was ready for today. Two weeks ago Rosie one of our three cats was sick, now she has recovered. I had a lot of minor nuisances and one major that prevented me from training at the worst possible time. Suffice to say "life got in the way" and I was a little apprehensive about how I would run.

At the starting line the mc said runners should enjoy the last 3km as there is a tailwind. Being a suspicious minded person I thought to myself what about the first 18 km? The first 18 km had a very strong headwind which made me chuckle to myself at one point as I have just came to accept the date, the time, the location do not seem to matter. If I have a long race scheduled the wind has always been against me.
I did not set a time goal for this race. The 1 hour 40 minute pacer was ahead of me for most of the race, under normal circumstances this could be an achievable goal for me. Early on I let my thoughts of a time go and enjoyed the fact I can run 21.1 km, as many people in this world have health or other issues that would prevent them from doing so.
For those who care or ask by keeping a very steady pace I did indeed overtake the 1 hour 40 minute pacer.
I finished in 1 hour 39 minutes 37 seconds more than 5 minutes under a Boston Marathon qualifying time.
At a recent Toronto Core Group meeting the story of "The Good Samaritan" was read. It is the story Jesus tells of a man being beaten and left for dead. A Priest and Levite walk past the man, a Samaritan helps him and ensures his recovery. At the end Jesus asks the question "who was the good neighbour?"

At a recent Social gathering my family attended a woman was talking of her involvement with the helping of trafficked girls in Canada (I was not present so I am unsure of whether they were Canadian or young girls brought from another Country.)

My wife Gloria mentioned my involvement with Ratanak International and the woman said something along the lines "He should spend his time helping people inside of Canada."
Wow, is this a case of us versus them? I have not heard much criticism so I guess I have been fortunate, as well as na├»ve, as I am sure it is out there.

I am aware of many young girls in Canada being forced into prostitution. I am aware of many young woman being tricked into coming to Canada only to be forced into prostitution and illegal massage parlours.
One day in a lighter moment, away from "my focus on the breathing" my masseuse told me her story. She came from an Asian Country to be a nanny for a family she had never met and did not know. She went on to get her diploma as a registered massage therapist with money she had saved on her own time.
As I looked into the eyes of this young woman whose hands bring me to pain, but allow me to run pain free. I realized with a simple twist of fate she could have very easily had a much different life, a life many children I run for have experienced.

A man I know last year talked at length at how "Kim and Kanye`s wedding" cost so much money and how the money could have helped so many poor people.
Last year I asked 14 people I had never asked before if they would consider making a donation to Ratanak via the walkathon. This man was one of the eleven who declined. He took it a bit further, he told me "most charitable organizations take 50 percent administration costs" He went on to say he would give lots of money if he knew it went to the children, he went on to say he would like to get on a plane, take a trip and deliver a large sum of money personally.

Matthew 12 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken.        37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

Someone I know once gripped a pop can in his hand and said "the world talks so much about precious resources "children are the world`s most precious resource, and a lot of the world does not care."
To the lady at the party. My first exposure to the ugly world of trafficking, forced prostitution, etc came when I heard about children in Cambodia. If it was a different Country I think I still would have became involved. For me holding a child against their will to be repeatedly abused is the highest form of "bullying."

Whether I choose to help Canadian, Indian, or Cambodian children should not matter. My neighbour from the earlier Jesus story I mentioned came to me in the form of a young Cambodian child.
At  the end of the day I celebrate the fact that you are involved in helping women. I also have tried my best to help children. Sorry if you are offended because they are not Canadian, but I think you have the problem.

One positive of driving a different car the last two weeks was that I was not able to listen to my Christian music. On regular radio I heard a song I thought was sung by Rihanna. In fact it is sung by Sia.
The song is Chandelier, and explains a period of Sia`s life when her pain overwhelmed her, and she went on a six year binge of trying to drown out the pain.
In a way I can never understand: this song spoke to me about running marathon`s and how I believe one day young women in
Cambodia will experience new life through healing.
As always with songs I change a few of the original words and a new meaning takes place.


Little girls you were hurt
Can`t feel anything, when will this end?
You push it down, push it down

A bleak picture a child with no hope freed from their abusive situation, but not free from their pain and anguish of their past.

1,2,3,1,2,3 run
1,2,3,1,2,3 run
1,2,3,1,2,3 run
I pound them back
Till I lose track

The times in training when I just run each day because I have to. I lose track of how far, how often, and how fast I run. I have a goal of a full marathon many months away but I know I must run to be ready, and being ready means running many times when I would rather be doing something else.

Your gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
Your gonna live like your past doesn`t exist
Your gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel your tears as they dry
Your gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

This is a picture of "my girls parasailing in Punta Cana" they told me it was an incredible feeling of freedom and liberation, my youngest shouted out something along the lines of "now I am all
grown up."

I watched and sacrificed so they could enjoy their moment.
One day young Cambodian women who had terrible beginnings to their lives will experience a sense of exhilaration that only comes with freedom from your past that will be infinitely more powerful than flying.
Running a full marathon is for me the means of sacrifice I try to help this happen.

But I`m holding on for dear life, I won`t look ahead won`t open my eyes
Keep my legs strong until the finish line, cause I`m just holding on for the line
Help me, I`m holding on for dear life, won`t look ahead, won`t open my eyes
Keep my legs strong until the finish line, cause I`m just holding on for the line
Cause I holding on for the line, just holding on for the line

Lanni Marchant is Canada`s fastest woman marathoner ever. At a recent race after both calves started cramping she said "the last 4 kms weren`t very pretty, I was in survival mode."

I looked up my thoughts after each marathon I have run and a common theme emerged.

On the run
Mississauga Marathon 2010
"28 km mark My legs start cramping, not just my calves, but my hamstrings and even my front right quadriceps muscle.
Someone with chalk had written Surrender at the 30 km mark. Angrily I shake my head NO!
The only surrender here today will be the enemies grasp on these girls once and for all.
I will not surrender today!
I must finish this race!
The next 12 km are pure torture.

Boston Marathon 2011
"At Boston the pain came the earliest. At the 9 km mark both of my legs started hurting, my right foot felt like I had broken something. I remember thinking to myself great I have 33 km to go and every step of the way hurts.
But sometimes God uses our pain for His purpose.
At the 5km mark a woman help up a sign that read Remember the reason why you are running. For the last 33 km every step reminded me of the girls and their pain that doesn`t last 33 km or 3 hours, but may last a lifetime."

Toronto Marathon 2012
"At the 30 km mark, a feeling like an electric current started tingling in my right quadriceps. The current spread to my calf, and I felt the first spasm start.
As I ran through a park, the promised water station was not there, a sign of things to come.
At the 36 km mark, the water station had plenty of water and Gatorade but no cups. This was my low point.
My left quadriceps started to spasm. I had to stop running to stretch out both legs. After walking a bit, I sent out a quick prayer. I ask that I may finish this race running, not walking.
The first few steps were torture, the rest of the race was a blur."

Cleveland Marathon 2013
"28 km mark the day seems to get even hotter (in fact it was Cleveland`s hottest day) I see many runners stopping to walk, in past races I have tried to encourage such runners to keep going, today I lack the strength to even speak, one runner lies down by the side of the road.
34 km mark I finish my last drink from my water bottle and walk 30 seconds to try to catch my breath. This is really too hot of a day to run a marathon on. I am sure if this was my first I would not be able to finish.
40 km I hear the roar of the crowd and realize I am almost finished.
A runner is being taken away by ambulance and my heart goes out to him coming so far and not being able to finish. I keep running, cross the finish line and see my time is a little off what I had hoped for, yet I am satisfied."

Ottawa Marathon 2014
"29 km Running up my usual side of the road, the left. I trip on a piece of wire. Jumping up quickly I look at my bloody elbow, and scraped hands and think of the one whose hands were pierced for me.
I resume running and think to myself this is going to be an interesting finish.
32 km I am so discouraged at this moment. My stride has changed.
I have the usual pain associated with running a marathon and now the fall has added pain to new areas.
I would love to just stop running and go lie down somewhere.
34 km every step is becoming a little harder. I am overwhelmed by how far I have to go, and how little I have left.
36 km My whole right side is starting to really hurt as a result of me changing my stride to accommodate the fall.
42.2 km I run over the finish line and am so relieved I was able to finish this race."

Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for the positive feedback. Thank you for donating to Ratanak International. Thank you for your prayer and support.



No comments:

Post a Comment