Living. Learning. Creating.
It begins on Saturday in the city where I was staying overnight with some girlfriends (who were running the 10km) in a hotel in Southbank. We went out for dinner and ate and drank thoughtfully in mind for the upcoming race.
Evidence: mocktails, despite my longing for a proper one.
I didn’t sleep very well, even though I had the privilege of having a bed to myself because I was going to be travelling the longer distance. I kept having dreams about the race, and how well (or poorly, more like) I’d end up going. My training had been going really well up until two weeks ago when I pulled up after a 13km run with shin splints. The pain from those postponed any further proper training runs. The only conditioning I’ve had since was a near 10km walk with Adam and the kids last weekend. So I was nervous. The one thing in my favour was that I was in good health – a stark contrast from last time.
In sum, when my alarm went off at 6.25am, I got up with a pretty equal split of apprehension and excitement. After dressing, I caught the lift downstairs where the reception area was quite full of other runners wearing their yellow half marathon numbers. I fell into step with a lovely woman from Horsham who was a little bit befuddled as to where to go, so we walked across the river in the pre-dawn gloom, cut and highlighted by the lovely city lights. We separated when I went to go get some breakfast and it turns out I’d dawdled so much that by the time I made my way to the starting line the horn had already gone for the fastest runners to begin. That was when this shot was taken.
After giving a fair bit of thought as to what I would listen to throughout the race I eventually settled on trying to finish a fair proportion of the story to Zombies, Run!, making sure the music that is interspersed throughout was music I really wanted to listen to, seeing as you cannot skip songs while the app is running (or I haven’t yet found a way to do that if it’s possible).
Ignoring a slight case of indigestion because I’d eaten too quickly, I put on my headphones and got ready to run, creeping closer to the starting line as each wave set off.
Then it was my turn. And I started running. And running. And running.
In fact, I only stopped to walk three times in the whole race: the first was at the 11km or so mark, beginning the second lap of the circuit, as we climbed that slight – but ever so long – incline up past the Shrine of Remembrance. The second was as I ended Alexandra Avenue to cross the bridge to go over to Olympic Park. The last was as I past Rod Laver Arena because by then I was sore, oh boy was I sore. My legs/shins were cramping and stiff.
As I passed the 19km mark a lot of the group I ended up running a good portion of the distance with were walking, but I kept running because I caught a glimpse of one of the clocks along Flinders St and I got a minor shock.
“By gum, I could actually make my goal,” I thought, so I picked up the pace (mercifully, Batman Ave was downhill anyway) and pushed on until the end.
The feeling I had when I crossed the line was so different to last time – then, I was just so grateful I’d even completed it. In retrospect it shows how ill I’d been then, even considering I had a personal trainer, as it took me over three hours to complete. This time, if my calculations were correct, I’d done it in two-and-a-half. I’d upped the notch from gratitude to a sense of accomplishment.
The text I got late yesterday showed I was pretty on the money: 2.32.
Part of me got cranky at myself for walking as those rests would’ve made the difference between subbing 2.30, but I’m not going to scrutinise it too much. Hey, I made it.
I’m sitting here writing this now with a hot water bottle over my knees and feeling pretty darn happy. You’ve got to love post-race enorphins.
By now I’m pretty sure anyone of my acquaintance is sick of my asking if they’ve donated or not but here, for the last time, is a link to my donation page. I only saw two other MND t-shirts yesterday, which was a little disappointing because on previous runs I’ve done I’ve seen many more. All up though I heard over $35,000 was raised for the cause which is a great achievement. Anything extra would be wonderful. Thank you to everyone for your support x
Karen Andrews is the creator of Miscellaneous Mum. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).
HUGEST congratulations on finishing, especially finishing in two and a half hours! You’re pretty amazing.
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Yay! Well done. Glad to hear good health was on your side. I’ll have to check out Zombie, Run! at some point.
as always, I live in awe of you.
Such fantastic work, thanks for writing about it, Karen! I’m getting nervous about my piddly little 5km run in a few weeks’ time, so I can’t even imagine such a huge undertaking as 21km!
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Congratulations, Karen! Absolutely wonderful news.
I came across your website and I was blog hopping! It is super cute! kep it up! You can come visit me at http://www.geekgirlreviews.com!
That’s so awesome K, you should be so proud of yourself, bet you’re looking forward to next year’s now to beat this year’s time
Wow, so impressive! Well done! Such an achievement!
And I love that you took photos for the post along the way! Ha!
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