And So We Ran…

A full recap of the Run for Ella – the Montreal Contingent can be found on Jo’s blog. It’s my rather rambling explanation of events, along with some photos.

Rather than repeating it word for word, I thought I’d do another list of things that leapt to mind.

Time management: Living with Judith has taught me many things. One of which is to be CLEAR ABOUT TIME. So, saying we’re meeting at the station at 9 to get the 9.30 bus is good, because then people aim for 9, rather than rushing up at 9.28 and missing it. Also, ALWAYS overestimate how long it will take to get groups moving. I thought we’d start running at 11(ish), we set off at 11.30. In my mind, considering that starting running involved getting around 30 people to move, half an hour late is pretty darn good!

Never underestimate Canadians: So, Friday night the weather was awful. I texted Yolanda at one point saying that I hoped it wouldn’t put people off, her response was perfect:

“Love, we’re Canadian”

And it was so true. I don’t think anyone was put off by the fact that the weather was hovering around zero, and that on the bus up, it started snowing. It was beautiful when we set off, but then the wind picked up and it started snowing and hailing part way along. And people were STILL in a good mood!

Never underestimate Canadians (2): Amandine’s car got stuck in the mud. Well and truly dug in. I’ve never seen wheels in trenches so deep. We tried everything: pushing, rocking, digging out the wheels, jacking the car up to lift the wheels out of the mud and put something with grip under them – no use. The car was pretty adamant it was staying there. Then someone suggested Lifting the car to which the response wasn’t “are you crazy?” it was “Oh yea – why didn’t we think of that before?” So a bunch of us stood at the bonnet, and on the count of three lifted, while people stood at the door posts and pushed once we’d lifted. Amazingly, it worked, and we lifted it out of the ruts and then pushed it all the way down the drive (it kept sinking back in) onto the road. So, not only did we run 15km, we lifted a car up too.

People who have run 15km will be hungry: there is not much better than getting in from a 15km run, tired, achy, cooling down, to the smell of food and someone saying “grab a bowl, it’s ready” In total, we got through: 6 bags of tortilla chips, 2 blocks of cheese, 3 large jars of salsa, 10 tins of beans, 4 tins of sweetcorn, 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, a bag of onions, a bag of carrots, lots of peppers, 3 tubes of tomato paste, 2 bags of rice, 40 granola bars, a LOT of oranges and 8 litres of icecream. Wow. (Perhaps this should go under never underestimate Canadians (3))

I don’t think like running: I’m sad to admit it, but it’s true. I always like the idea of running. You get to be outside, you get fit, you feel wonderful afterwards. But the reality of it is that although I like being outdoors, usually I’m paying too much attention to remembering to breath, not to fall over, the pain in my ankles, a conversation I had with someone, how hungry I am etc that when I get home, I realise I didn’t really take anything in. I’d rather be walking, then at least you can maintain a conversation, get to where you’re going, AND appreciate the scenery. Or go by bike, which doesn’t make my ankles hurt, and has all the perks of walking, except faster. And if I want some exercise, I’d rather go swimming, or play badminton, or something that doesn’t feel like exercise.

People are so generous: with money, with their time, their skills, their love and support. I was so overwhelmed yesterday, and in fact continue to be, by the fact that people who didn’t even know me, let along Ella, were running. It may just have been because they wanted to run 15km, but I’m not very cynical, and even when I am, it was still amazing to be part of such an amazing group of people. I feel very lucky and honoured to have had their company and support yesterday.

The last is, I think, the most important thing I took away from the whole day. I’ve been struggling to articulate quite why it meant so much to me to have so many people run and get involved, so I’m going to stop trying. It meant a lot. Thank you.



A quick break…

School work is piling up (I kinda like that they call it school here!) and I feel like I’m on the home-run, about 5 and a bit weeks until I’m completely done here; and four presentations to do, two papers and three exams to get through! I’m trying not to dwell too much on the work because it makes me unnecessarily stressed out! Instead I’ve been employing the “run-away” tactic – I’m sure the best way to deal with things… not.

Yesterday Tara, Sofia, Claire and I walked the 15 km from St. Jerome the MOC house. It was a lovely day, if a little windy. The route had been groomed (meaning levelled out for skiers, I’m sure they resent us walkers messing it up!) and we walked along chatting and laughing and admiring the scenery and generally having a lovely time! (This is the route we’re planning on running for the Run for Ella – the Montreal ContingentI’m organising. I’ve realised I’m going to have to start training, walking it was hard enough!)

After arriving at the house we crashed for maybe an hour, drank hot chocolate and lazed about on the sofa. Then back up and out, this time with skis. We headed to the route that follows the river. It was so beautiful, the river mostly frozen over but with occasional patches of water showing through, snow covered trees and the air crisp and fresh. Cross-country skiing is awesome, it warms you up in no time and uses a different set of muscles from walking, so we weren’t too achy (Although I am today!).

Then back to the house, another half hour of eating carrots and hummus and chatting then a lift with Jen back to St Jerome where we ran to get on the bus and then sat there for 10 minutes feeling a bit silly for having rushed!

Once in Montreal, I popped home to pick up Africa (David Attenborough’s most recent documentary – thanks Lisa!!) and cycled to Tara’s. There we made pizza (it was so good! Nice one on the dough Tara!) and ate together before curling up on the sofa to watch a few episodes. I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up in the morning still curled up on the sofa!

It was a wonderful day, a much needed escape from the city and a day of not once thinking about school work or feeling guilty for not being in the library!

I hope you’ve all had equally lovely weekends!


A photo break...