When I started running a month after my 53rd birthday in 2007, I never intended to run a race longer than 5k. How mistaken I was. After a few 5k races, I trained for longer distances and soon I collected medals for the 10k and 10 mile distances.
On March 02, 2008 I finally attained one of running goals – finish a half marathon. The Chilly Half Marathon in Hamilton, Ontario, is held on the first Sunday of March every year during winter. The day of the race was cold with the temperature at around 7 degrees below zero. I found the first half of the race easier as we ran the city streets but the last half of the race was a struggle. The second half of the course covered most of Lakeshore Road along Lake Ontario and with the freezing cold wind, I felt cold, weak and exhausted by the 15th k. At one point, I contemplated on just stopping and asking race volunteers to drive me back to the start/finish area. But in the end, I continued running and finished the race with a slow time of 2:33. After the race, every muscle and joint in my body ached for a week at least and I asked myself, “why?”
15 days after that race, I celebrated my 54th birthday feeling healthy,fit and strong enough to train for the next half marathon.