Sunday, 17 November 2013

I CAN Run Geelong

Well the big day came, and now it’s gone and I think I can officially remove the L plates from my running singlet. 12km Run Geelong, done and dusted!

For those that don't know, last year I was signed up for the 6km run and at 23kg heavier than I am now, with no training, no fitness and not a very good attitude I ran maybe 500 metres of the course, walking and whinging through the rest of it. When I decided to change my life - right around the time that failed run occurred, I vowed that this year I would run all 12km.

My day started with preparation the night before, laying out all of my running gear and writing my reason for running on my bib after much deliberation and asking opinions from my girlfriends I finally decided on the following: 

My pre race preparation

Early to bed, set the alarm which promptly went off at 6.30am to the sound of P!NK blaring out: You gotta get up and try and try and try. I have my alarm set to the local radio station so this was not pre planned, just the universe helping to tell me what I needed to do today. Got myself ready, had some breakfast and my friend Ebony arrived to drive me into town. We had a quick wander around the start/finishing area grabbing our last few sips of water, placed ourselves at the back of the pack in preparation for a slow and steady run and before we knew it, we were off! 

I lost Ebony within the first 100metres but that was to be expected, I already knew her pace was about 1min per km quicker than mine. At about the 2km mark I found a friend, a girl I didn’t know ended up falling into step with me and we ran pretty much the entire course together. I had plenty of moments where I struggled a little but had to keep telling myself positive thoughts, the following saying stuck with me and got me through a few kms

About half way through we tackled our big climb for the day, the Moorabool st hill, pleased to say I managed to run all the way up it and even past a few people struggling with as I went. We ran past the organizers support crew at the 9km mark and that gave me an extra spring in my step and I feel my best km was 9-10km, I felt strong and my splits show that I ran it 30sec faster than my average. Through the botanical gardens at the 10-11km I did end up walk/run/walk/run to tackle some of those hills but still probably only walked about 200metres in total. I took off on my new friend through my 9km leg but she soon found me and by the last km, we ran to the finish together separating only when her final burst of energy saw her sprint off to the finish line while I happily plodded towards my end goal. The best scenery of the day was on approach to the finishing line where hubby and my little girls were patiently waiting for me to come through the home stretch. They cheered me on and I finally crossed the finish line with an official finishing time of 1:32:01. I had said before I set out it would be amazing if I could get it done in 90mins but I really didn’t think I would manage it and to come so close makes me so incredibly happy. 

Hello Family
Almost to finish line

The results acording to map my run
At the finish line there is heaps to see and do but we went straight to the massage tent then found a quiet spot of grass to stretch out our tired legs. Mother Nature had really turned the weather on for us and I could’ve sat on that grass all day soaking up the sunshine. Instead we headed home for a shower then picked up one of my best friends and then off to Queenscliff for a celebratory lunch followed by a yuumy ice cream sat by the water.

Post run ice cream
6 months ago the Holy Grail was to nail this 12km run, I think I can safely say I have now done it. I am a little bit stiff and sore today but it’s nothing a bit more stretching and a day of rest won’t fix. Next step? Study the 12WBT program and get training to see if I can tackle the next Holy Grail: the half marathon!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Finale - the aftermath

OK so a long time between posts again and a lot has happened……where to start????

10km run? Done! Woke up on the day like it was my first day at school, I was so nervous, silly really as all I was doing was going for a run but I guess the fear of the unknown kicked in. After only managing to run 4.2km in the lead up to the event after being out of training for 5 weeks with my illness and a previous PB of 7.2km I was really worried I would not be able to make the distance. We arrived to the start line to meet up with my running buddy, Greg, in the freezing cold windy weather, then down came the rain, great conditions for my first run. The rain cleared in time for us to set off and before I knew it we were off and running. We set off slow and steady, I was not there to win any speed records I just wanted to finish & if possible, finish without stopping or walking. The course was 2x 5km laps around Serendip Sanctuary, the crazy young, fit people came past us for their second lap at the 4km mark. I did not let them bother me I just kept telling myself that I was not in a race I was just there to prove to myself that I could do this! One foot in front of the other, just keep going. Greg was up for a chat like we were in a café catching up for coffee, it was great to keep my mind off what I was doing, I just kept plodding along while listening to him talk, giving one syllable answers when needed. Come the 8km mark & having smashed my PB I told him it was time to stop talking so I could concentrate on getting y body to finish what I started. I battled a couple of stitches through the run, I just kept breathing, focused on my breathing and battled through them. After coming around the last corner, on the straight to the finishing line the best sight in the world was waiting for me, my hubby and our 2 little girls. I held out my hand to them and my babies ran with me over the finishing line! I was stoked! I did it! 10km, nonstop. My finishing time was 01:18:23. I had previously tried to work out my pace and was aiming for 01:15 so to come in only 3mins over my goal I was really happy.

Big shout out to all my supporters, Kate Beck for sending me a novel to read through with tips on overcoming my doubts, you were in my head through a lot of the run and your support means the world,  to Greg for giving me no end of tips in the lead up and for being there on the day to run with me and encourage me to finish & for listening to my barrage of questions and doubts & for being like a big brother and not being afraid to give me a kick up the ass when I needed it, to my baby girls for coming to support mummy, for running over the finish line with me and helping me with my stretches afterwards and finally to Ben, my amazing husband who has never let me doubt myself, always there with positive words and support and for keeping the girls occupied for the hour or so I was running so they could cheer me over the finish line, for holding the fort at home so I could go out and train, for listening to hours of my rambling about how I made an extra few metres today and for allowing me to put myself first in my mission to get fit and healthy, could not do this without you babe xx
Next? 12km Run Geelong this weekend, same doubts are creeping in but I am just telling myself that I have done the 10 so I CAN do the 12. This time I have to go it alone as Greg is off to ride 200km in one weekend through Auckland in a mission to raise funds for cancer research .

Coming to the finish

Check out my learners plate

Since my last post I have also had an awesome weekend in Sydney celebrating the end of 12WBT round 3 for 2013. Although I didn’t participate this round I had a great group of friends that were all going to Sydney from all over Australia so of course I couldn’t miss it. Again that amazing husband of mine stayed home to look after the girls and hold the fort at home so I could go out to play. I flew in on Thursday morning and met up with the amazing Jules, our Sydney local, Megan played chauffeur and dropped us off to wander around the shops for a bit, next stop back to the airport to pick up Perth local Heather then off we went to check into our hotel. I left the girls and went to have dinner with my dad who lives in Sydney and in the meantime Queenslander Sarah flew in. Friday saw the arrival of another Queenslander, Wendy, Canberra girl Jess & the lovely Paula fromWagga Wagga. 8 girls from all over the country, how could I miss that?? For those of you that know Greg Friday turned into his day of pain, we took him off to the waxers to have his leg hair ripped out thanks to a fundraising challenge, downside? He didn’t flinch :( Plenty of food and drinking ensued on Friday and then crashed into bed. Saturday morning the girls were all participating in the 12WBT group workout. Greg and I had committed to going for a run instead, can you say struggle???? Note to self, do not drink & run – we made it to 3km before we had to stop and go on a hunt for coffee. Then off to watch the workout. Wandered around the shops with the girls after a quick shower and before we knew it, it was time to get ourselves to hair and makeup and head off to the party. We had an awesome night, catching up with fellow 12WBTers that we only ever see at these events, meeting people in the flesh who we had only ever met in the virtual world & also catching up with each other who we only see maybe once a year. It’s a shame that there will be no more finale parties but I’m sure we will find or own way to celebrate the end of future rounds.

Round 4! I decided over the Sydney weekend that I would join round 4, just had to decide which program, it was always going to be one of the running programs given my new hobby, but which one? Greg had asked me previously to run the Geelong half marathon with him, that sounded like the scariest proposition in the world 6 months ago but believe it or not I have signed up for the half marathon program and plan on registering for the Geelong event which will be held in April. I haven’t yet had a good chance to look at the program but once Run Geelong is over I will get stuck in. So there you have it, my last few weeks in a nutshell. I will try to do a better job of keeping the blog updated, but I cannot make any promises :) Until next time, have fun x

Heather, Sarah, Me, Megan


All frocked up
My first pair of shorts
Mid run coffee