“Ok so today I ran my first 10km run…needless to say that many times during this distance my body and my thoughts where shaking me senseless screaming at me to stop this nonsense and just walk the whole way. But lately the voices and I dont see eye to eye and I have had to tell them to “SHUT THE F#*! UP” so I can do what needs to be done and handle my shit! Now whilst I am seriously not up to doing this play by play today I will do this in the next day or so along with pics…so stay tuned this is funny and tear jerking!”
!THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BIG DAY!
So preparations began on Thursday when my wonderful folks arrived for the next few days and joined us for a Thai dinner, and then Friday afternoon when my bestie Rach arrived with her daughter (and Miss Moo’s bestie) Ana – which I was already excited about since not seeing them for ages but now my BIG weekend was here I was almost beside myself. I got to enjoy noodlebox, a grocery shop, a cold bevvy, and coffee with my girl Rach chatting, laughing and catching up without the kids thanks to Mr Omni-Awesome. Then a delightful Saturday at the markets and a bbq at Mooloolaba – oh that was heaven…the smell of bbq, the cool salt air, kids laughing and having fun – followed by coffee and gelato (sml of course). Then it was time to settle in for the night when IT all started.
Combination of unsettled tummy from eating strawberry (diverticuli grrr), inability to settle, and far too many things to prepare for the BIG morning!!! Oh dear I was in agony…and to top it off the nerves were setting in and my previously torn adductor seemed to remember the last significant race I did on it (5km twilight run with torn adductor and broken rib) and wouldnt let me forget it!!! How the hell was I going to run like this??? WTF!!! No way!!! I was NOT going down like that. So out popped the peppermint to settle my tummy, pain killers, stretches and a warm cuddle with Mr Omni-Awesome when the chills set in…CRIKEY GEEZ!!!
THE MORNING OF THE BIG DAY
Well the morning of looked more like a bunch of kids on sugar and preservatives LOL!!! I was running around with no clear idea on what I should be doing (I know I appear kept together but seriously I felt shaken), heart rate rising, temper shortening a little like this:
Ok so not a BUNCH of kids…just 1 – ME!!! And that was just after a banana lol hahaha. So we get down there (after Mr O-A taking us on the scenic route to try and find a parking spot closer that the next state lol) and just dump all our stuff on the ground whilst looking like a stunned mullet around at what to do next (oh that was after our very very very very very very – ok you get the use of the very – long wait for the toilet…better squeeze everything out coz there wont be time to line up again). We get all the happy aka. freaking-holy-crap-what-did-I-sign-up-for pics with our loved ones and head to the waiting area at the start line (insert freakout again here). It was great though to meet some new amazing people and feel part of something bigger. And in this time we also made it clear that we would walk the hill so we could finish strong rather that do ourselves in before we even got into it…boy were we smart in that coz boy is it getting hotter as we stand here waiting??? Then the countdown and siren goes – and we are off and ….walking hahaha!!!
THE FIRST 2 KMS
So we were off…and walking hahaha! yes many were passing us and with the crowd cheering and yelling out run! run! wooo! hooo!…it was hard to not get caught up in the flow of everyone else. And as we rounded the top of the hill and started walking down we started to pass a few people, and a few who had started of running and slowed to a brisk walk…hmmm smart indeed me thinks! We reached the first hydration stop and although it was soon in the “walk” lol I thought yes defo have a little coz you might feel it when you start running – so at the base of the hill I took a puff of my asthma puffer and started running (now for those of you who are imagining my legs pumping long graceful strides faster than road runner – STOP! – it soooooo isnt like that…my run is more a jog…a shuffle…but certainly not a walk (yes Melissa it is slow lol). Now the goal was to try to settle my breathing (thanks for the chewy), get into a rhythm, and settle in for the next 8 kms…coz my aim was to continue this pace, no walking til the finish line! Now the sight in these first two kms was nothing less than impressive as I looked forward to the sea of bodies bobbing up and down like bobble head pets that you put on your dashboard…it was a mammoth sea and just a little daunting!
THE MESS IN THE MIDDLE – KMS 2 – 8
So along we run and I dont seem to be able to get any faster – not because my legs wont carry me because they were feeling great, and not because I was struggle to breathe because that was great thanks to the chewing gum…but because my heart rate just wouldnt settle – it was creeping up ever so slowly and not settling back down very easily (as a nurse this concerned me because I have a leaky valve and havent exactly lived a healthy life up until 12months ago so I already have damage to my arteries). Ordinarily this wouldnt be a problem because Mr O-A had said he would stay with me the whole way…but today he had to get back in time to also do the 2km with 5yo Miss Moo. So with the promise from my lovely friend Melissa that she would stay with me the whole way and alot of coaxing he ran off to finish his 10km in time. I am very blessed to have had such an amazing friend with me because she is also a mental health nurse and new exactly what to say to support me when my head wanted to take over.
How good it felt though to know I wasnt going to be last this time round!!! As we kept pace we could see that some of those who forged ahead hard and fast early were now struggling in the heat to keep up the pace – and because of what my PT taught me ages ago about the first few minutes of exercising and the importance to stick it in steady to be able to finish and settle into it I just kept reminding myself that this is what I needed to do.
The hydration stations were a blessing in the heat though…both Melissa and I grabbed two for the road – one for our head and one for our throats lol hahaha…not remotely an attractive look especially when you throw the wrong one over your head and feel more like a dozen kids have given you lolly enhanced encouragement pats hahaha! Nor is it attractive when you miss your own head and throw it into your face directly (omg I am almost falling off my chair laughing at myself).
At a few spots they even had a hose acting like a sprinkler at which point i gestured to the guy at the wrong time to drench me and got blasted….ok I really have to stop laughing now before I really do fall off my chair! So during this part I really struggled because my body was starting to act up with a few niggles in my knees, my throat started closing up (dont worry I had my puffer), I had a few niggles in my chest, and my heart rate was rising to near 200/min (not a good level to reach the end on my legs not via ambo van) so I got a pep talk from my Lissa, and pulled out my Red card (the imaginary card that I was holding for this exact moment) which reminded me to STAND THE F#*! UP AND FIGHT – to let my RED self take over and get me into view of the home stretch…I put my fave song on my ipod ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSBbMy6BA1s ) got out of my thoughts and just focused on one foot in front of the other continuously.
THE HOME STRETCH
This was the part of the run I was looking forward to this part of the run…my home stretch as it were for many of my Saturday morning training runs…beach side, cool ocean breezes (thank goodness Lissa reminded me that the temp would improve…needed to know that I wasnt gonna sweat my arse off the whole way), and beautiful scenery. The only thing that was getting to me was the knowledge that I was going to make it without stopping – what a powerful thought, and not one that I thought would almost stop me in my tracks as I struggled to stop myself from bawling very unattractively for the last couple of kms! I wasnt crying because I was sad – I was crying because I didnt really ever think I could run almost all that way, because I had never thought my life would be this amazing or that I could achieve what I once thought impossible…and because I was running for the lives of those who suffer daily with brain disorders – alzheimers/dementia, brain injuries, etc etc (and I am very passionate about this because I have been living with migraines, vertigo and a cyst on my brain for over 10 years)…and this fact is also what kept me going…many times during this race Lissa said “what are you running for?”…and I looked down at name on my arm “LOUISE” – my sister in laws mum who passed away that week and had lived through alzheimers. This alone brought tears to my eyes but gave me that extra boost to run that extra little while.
The finish line however was all about me…crossing that line always had to be about me because it was the line that for me defined the distance I had come in life and the barrier, excuses and hardships I had crossed through – the other side of that line was where I needed to be come hell or high water. Now I had mentioned to my Lissa that I wanted to sprint the last bit but I really wasnt sure I had it in me. But something snapped…almost like I was leaving my old me behind and carrying my new me over the line – all of a sudden (and I mean quite literally because I didnt even think to forewarn my lovely race buddy – dont worry I will pay for that at the next run when she beats my arse)…so all of a sudden my legs felt light, felt like I had wings and I took off full pelt toward the finish line…and held in the tears til I crossed!!! F’N DONE!!!
So I had done it!!! 10kms, sunburnt, dehydrated, shaking, crying, and barely able to walk…and you know what I did….drank myself the best tasting Corona I have every had!!!
So to those of you who think you cannot do it…give yourself a little more credit. And congratulations and well done to all those who entered. Especially to my wonderful friends, and my amazing children who both did the 2 kms – a family affair it was I would say. I am more proud that they could ever know!
Stay tuned – my next goal…my FIRST triathlon!!!
Everybody Be AWESOME!!!