The first race of this International Summer Tour is the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Coquitlam, BC. A ferry ride and brief drive through the Mainland made travel relatively smooth and easy to navigate. An additional perk was the scenic drive over the Golden Ears Bridge into Langley. I was awestruck by the sunset views as I went across! It was absolutely stunning!
Shifting focus towards the race, I was excited at the opportunity to be in a fast race, on a fast track, with favourable weather. The circumstances were ideal, there was nothing else I could ask for! Unfortunately, despite having everything lined up, I did not race to my potential, and ran an okay 700m only to tie up at the end of the 800m distance. As soon as I crossed the finish line, the only emotions I can articulate are disappointment, frustration, and embarrassment. But mostly disappointment with myself. To be blunt, I knew I had wasted my opportunity. Accepting my shortcoming was more difficult than the race itself.
Somehow track always manages to seem more complicated than you either ran fast or you didn’t. That 800m race has already gone into archives and additionally filed away into my list of races to learn from. After expressing my honest thoughts on the race with my coach, I was instructed to go cool down, alone, so I could settle myself. This post-race cool-down was more necessary for my mind than my legs. Despite doing an extra loop of the lake, I was still fully engulfed with my disappointment. Since I was the first race of the meet, fellow teammates and friends optimistically were positive and happy to ask how it went as they arrived, and every time I tried to reciprocate their warm intentions, I failed to find the words that weren’t full of my self-defeat.
Reflecting on this race now, I realize the truly embarrassing moment of this race day was my post-race selfishness. Arguably, I think it is good to embrace the raw emotions a race can reveal to oneself, however, I also think beyond the cool down, it is no longer useful to hang on to those emotions if there is a trace of negativity within them. Instead of accepting my race for what it was, I let it burden me for the rest of the night and likely made it uncomfortable for those around me. If I could do it over, I would have changed many of my post-race actions at this meet!
First, I wish I could have seen beyond my results and celebrated with my new friend Dalanne on her big PB and let her know I am genuinely so happy and proud for her. One way I could have done this would have been to accept the race in its truth and joined her and my training partner for a friendly cool down, or at least the last few laps of the warm up field. Additionally the weather and scenery are absolutely beautiful at Percy Perry Stadium. I wish I would have fully appreciated this place track had brought me too without my glum mood. Finally, I knew the rest of my colleagues and teammates still had their pre-race nerves because they still had to race. I would also have liked to demonstrate more post-race composure and positivity to reflect my true intentions of wishing them all the best for their upcoming race.
The one thing I knew for this race from beginning to end was it was a good opportunity and I was in good, professional company. After a full evening of watching some of Canada’s best athletes go head to head, I eventually saw beyond my race and was swept into the excitement of the Harry Jerome event. To top the evening off I was able to go for a nice dinner and visit with my friend and her sister. My next days travel schedule worked out that I was able to have an additional day visiting and exploring Vancouver area, which was a first for me. I may have missed my planned ferry back home that day, but I had a n “ice” recovery day going for a swim at Deep Cove in North Vancouver and a picnic style lunch. I swear that water was top 5 for coldest I have ever swam in, but the views on the raft were worth it!
As a concluding thought, this first race of my international tour has already taught me about post-race selfishness., and the importance of appreciating the good company and surroundings I am in. Special thanks to my friend Sarah and Mhairy for hosting me! I had a lovely time, and your generosity did not go unnoticed!
Stay tuned for the next edition:
International Summer Tour: Destination Ottawa, Ontario!!