I have stomach issues for well over a month now. The lastest idea is that they grew out of taking anti-biotics for that flu everyone had this winter. I was felled by the flu pretty hard. Running was very difficult for about a month and I struggled to take deep breaths. I stuck with running, doing the best that I could do and endured the brutal month of february along with all other runners. An ultrasound, lots of probiotics, not drinking pop or milk, more fibre, less fibre and other dietary juggling produced only moderate results. Next week I join the line of folks my age for a colonoscopy. My issues have improved generally over the past couple weeks but a pull/pain in the groin has been painful at times as well. The issues I faced this winter certainly put my running faith to the test. My belief, and by no means is it unique, is that very hard work pays off. Hard hard runs most days, hills and of course trails are always the core of my training. When you are not feeling your best, hard work becomes harder. Hills were a real struggle and I felt very slow a lot of the time. I saw friends and other runners looking very fast and ready while I felt sluggish and slow. I continued to battle on with the idea that I will get there. I missed running one of my favourite races, the Peterborough half marathon, partly because I didn’t want to run for a long time time in pain and partly because I was afraid of the result. I was losing faith.
Around the Bay was Sunday. Conditions were ideal and this year no hill. I always run without a watch, both in training and during races. I must admit during races I will ask for times from other runners but I love running by effort and that’s what happened Sunday. A very quick opening, wind aided, 10 K of 34:40 followed by a 20 K time of around 1:10 were both super fast and potentially disasters waiting to happen but I was running by feel and by faith. The last 10 K, even without the hill, is tough and the headwind made it doubly challenging. I needed to believe and I did. I have been here before, I said to myself, I ran onward doing what many runners do, bargaining and focusing. I ran one of my best races ever. I ran and confirmed what I have always believed, hard work pays off.