On the longest day of the year, Toronto runners meet up on Leslie Spit for a relay race.
A very, very, very fast relay race.
Last year, when I agreed to do it, I had no idea what I was getting into. “Those running the 10k need to be fast,” I was told. But fast is relative. In my run crew, I am not fast, but not slow. So I said I’d do it.
Then a teammate looked up last year’s times.
When we showed up, it was a who’s who of the fastest runners in the city. There was an Olympian. But we did our best, didn’t come last and team #notlast was born.
I said yes this year, hoping for an easier assignment. Then they changed the format.
Teams of 6 running mile repeats, 4 times over. So I’d have to run like hell. Repeat. Run like hell. Repeat.
I was nervous. I had just raced the Waterfront 10k. I did my second-ever post-injury speedwork on Tuesday. I didn’t tell my coach about this. I didn’t know how my body would react.
But I got out there and ran like hell. I felt OK. I was tired and got lapped by almost everyone. But I didn’t come last. My body held up. It was hard, I was tired. I got slower with every repeat. But I did it.
I need to work on getting out of my head. Laying it on the line, and seeing what happens.
What’s the worst that could happen? I slow down? I come last? I DNF? It’s happened before. It’s not the end of the world.
This is supposed to be fun. I’m the one making it work.
And, despite how intimidating and hard Ekiden was, I had fun. So let’s keep having fun.