Miscellaneous Mum - Trying to find the objective correlative, everyday
The crowd surged forward, twitching and eager to get going. But we had to wait for a little while longer, at least until the elite wave got the starter’s gun. At least I felt more sheltered from the cold conditions; as more and more runners arrived, we were getting pressed closer and closer together. I ended up standing beside two men speaking English, but with very thick French accents.
“What time are you aiming for?” asked one.
“Two hours,” the other replied. “What about you?”
“Two hours fifteen.”
I smiled to myself, as I stood there doing mild stretches. Good on him, I thought. No one-up-ing there. Realistic and honest.
The second man, the faster one, didn’t quite share my sentiment. “Pfffff. Come on. So slow.”
I know he was joking – at least partly – but once again I was reminded of why I prefer to run alone: because I run my own race. Even if I’m slower – much slower – than many other people there. I’m there for me.
Even if it usually takes the first four kilometres to find my rhythm; sometimes, I give up a run in those first twenty minutes. On Sunday, I found it. I kept it, all the way up to the eight kilometre mark. By this point, the sun had risen, showing the glorious blue skies, so different to the dreary, freezing conditions from just the previous day. I was feeling cheery enough to pull out my iPhone and – while still running – take some shots. They’re below.
See all those people? They keep me going; I feel such a warm sympathy and compassion for everyone as they go past, and pass me: I feel part-mother, part-cheer squad.
And so I kept running.
Back at Federation Square, Adam was watching my progress on his phone over a leisurely breakfast; I was a dot on his screen, slowly moving around a map. It was at this point he started to wonder if he would need to get down to the finish line earlier than I’d originally told him to be there. I was doing well.
All this from a person who’s done next to no training leading up to this. My only ‘long’ run was 12.5km. The longest distance before that was 8km. I don’t want to imply from this that all I did was roll out of bed on Sunday and run a half-marathon but, actually, that’s pretty close to the truth.
And, from that, you might expect the wheels to fall off the cart, so to speak.
That they did – at the 13km mark.
I felt a tremendous pressure in my pelvis, quite similar to a labour contraction. This intensified as the metres went past. Then, a pain shot through my pelvis, and down the right side of my leg. Shifting my stride as best as I could to ease the pain put pressure, then, on my right knee. I stopped to walk for a while, but walking was worse, so I went back to my ‘shuffle’. I knew what I’d done – I’d pushed too hard running a descent to make up some time lost on an incline. I’d gotten overambitious, and it was going to cost me. I guessed I’d pulled my groin.
By the 18km mark, the 10km runners had caught up, streaming past. I was stopping at every Isotonic station for two cups of drink. It was a strange feeling: I was feeling fine – perfect – from the hips up. Hips down, was agony. I stopped at 250 metres go – so close to the end! I leaned over to ease my hamstrings and tears came, unbidden and (probably) a touch dramatically. I sensed from the corner of my eye two course volunteers starting to make their way over to me, to see what was wrong, but I waved them off. Even if I hobbled across the line, which I did, I was going to do it.
I remember the kind eyes of a stranger cheer me on over those last few metres. I remember seeing Keira first, and then Adam and Riley next to her, just after I finished.
In two hours and thirty-seven minutes. Only five minutes slower than last year.
One last thing before I sign off. Let’s talk chafing. Boob chafing.
It stings. I got it last year, truth be told. But only a tiny amount, about the size of a five cent piece. Not the length of the band you see above, that also extends up around the top of the bra (I spared you that sight!) I was wearing the same bra. I learned nothing! I’m going to go out and buy a new one very soon.
When once I recommended proper racing socks; consider this my take-away lesson this time around.
This will be my last plea for donations – it’s still possible! They’ll be open for little longer yet. If you would like to support Motor Neuron Disease research, it’s a click away. Thank you 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).
Ohhhhhh I can just feel that pain reading it. How agonising, and yet you kept going! How did you pull up today?
And bra chafe. OMG. I got a bad case on my last 16k run and when I got in the shower I was bawling for the sting of it. I’ve since spent big bucks on a moving comfort bra and I have to say, it has been worth the money so far! The test will be the half in September I suspect.
Well done you. I think you are amazing.
katesaysstuff recently posted..The Blogfast Club – A Challenge for Bloggers
Congratulations!! I feel like such a couch potato right now…I’m always making up excuses about why I can’t exercise today or tomorrow or for the next year! Have you got any advice for an absolute beginner who’d love to get where you got??
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