10003519_10152299047961147_1418539121_n      Hi, my name is Clara.  I live in North Vancouver, where we have our own vast array of hills and trails. I am brand new to the running world.  Everyone in my family is athletic, but me. My husband’s ‘drug’ of choice is cycling. He participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer two years in a row. Both my daughters are soccer players, our older daughter also loves volleyball. They all have natural athletic skills and talents that I can only dream about.

Running for me has always been a fabulous idea. Executing it has been a whole other story. Years ago, back in my college days, I tried it out for a bit, but knowing nothing, I ended up with horrible shin splints and I gave it up. My non-athletic life carried on after that.

A moment of inspiration is what finally got me off the couch and out the door. I am a true rookie runner, and an unconventional one at that. I train alone to avoid the humiliation of not being able to keep up with a group.  I’m not out to win races, I’m just trying to complete them and not be last. Running has become my true personal challenge.  I’ve been running for less than a year. This Whistler Half Marathon will mark my first full year of attempting to run, having gone from 0 km to 21.1km.

After completing my first few 5 kms, I was originally going to register for the 10km race of this Whistler Half. But somehow, when it came time to sign up, I found myself looking at the Half instead. Why??? I’ll never really know. In that moment, I was feeling up for a challenge, and next thing I knew, I’d clicked on ‘submit’ and there was no going back. No changing my mind, no refund, no other option. Perhaps it was my older daughter who confessed to me after one of my runs, “Wow, mom…. when you started this, I didn’t think you’d actually stick with it…And oh, Dad thought so too…” Perhaps that was all the motivation I needed.

June 7th is marked on my calendar, and I am terrified. Of all the choices for a half marathon, I happened to pick the one that has four hills. I hate hills. My original thought was that if I was going to attempt a half, I wanted it to be somewhere scenic. How could I go wrong with Whistler? I hadn’t considered the hills until it was too late.

All I know is that somehow, I’ll find a way to finish. Running keeps my stubborn streak in check. I might be slow, but I don’t like to quit.  Here’s hoping that my stubborn nature will kick in on race day. If my husband can ride 240km on his bike for over two days, I better be able to stay on my feet for a couple hours. Besides, I apparently have a point to prove to my family.

21.1 km. Bring it on!


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