I normally just blog about my children, my life revolves around them. But I have this whole new experience that was so wonderful, that I feel the need to pen this down.
Somewhere at the end of January I sent this message to my friend:
The idea sure felt crazy – I have run countless 5km’s, and a 10km race, but I wanted to reach and achieve a bit more. My friend, Berni replied that sure I can do it, and she’ll do it with me. I spoke to hubby and he said he’ll support me if this is what I wanted to do.
So the training started, the long runs mostly from May on wards. Training went well until I got sick beginning July with an awful virus. Luckily felt better within 10 days or so and resumed training and did a 19km run a week before my race that left me feeling I am ready for the 21.1km. Then a tummy virus hit me last Monday, 5 days before my race and it took everything out of me. When hubby and kids came home Monday after work/school I was passed out on the couch, could barely lift my head. I felt more human on Tuesday, but the nausea and lethargy stayed. Tried a slow run on Thursday, ended off at 4km, was still not well. My friend, Berni who would have run with me, also woman down with the terrible flu and she said she’s out, she can’t run with me and she think I shouldn’t either. I said I will see how I feel, still hoping I will get better.
On Friday morning, I had the jitters and nauseous as hell and my tummy also not happy. I spoke to my friend Jess, telling her how I’m feeling – not sure if I’ll be able to do this race after all the hard work. I explained how it was “now or never” as I had to put in 2 hours leave for 2 months to be able to do my long runs as I don’t have enough time and I don’t want to “steal” She gave me a fabulous pep talk, talking sense into my head and basically being the most fabulous cheerleader anybody could ask for, and I felt better, deciding I will go get my race pack later that day and see how I feel when I wake up and then if I feel well enough I can take the race 1 km by 1km and see how I feel. I can drop out at any time if I don’t feel well.
Later Berni let me know she feels okay, she’s going to give the race a bash if I am. Knowing she will make it, made me feel better. We collected my race pack, I set my alarm for 4:30am, and got everything ready for the next morning. Even did a bit of carbo-loading!
I woke up feeling better, just nervous. Got dressed, made some notes/reminders on myself with Shae’s koki’s. Hubby dropped me off and I met with Berni and before we knew it, we were on our way with 21.1 km to go.
Within the first km my ankle which I twisted about 10 years ago became painful, I had a spasm in my calve… and I was in agony, thinking there is no way that I’ll be able to finish. At that stage I kept going, thinking about taking it km for km, just as planned. There was this runner called Hennie, who kept on making jokes, he made me laugh, constantly saying “Lekker julle, lekker”, but my ankle and calve was bothering me constantly. I kept on looking at my “crip notes” too, trying to self motivate. Luckily Berni had a few tricks up her sleeve and she showed me some stretches/exercise for my ankle and also taped me up with pretty pink tape she carried with her. It helped! She also took my mind off things by chatting with me. Somehow my spasm’y calve also felt better and around the 7th km things went well!
By the 10th km I was having fun, we joked, laughed as we ran. I even took selfies at Kilo 10 and Kilo 17 and put it on my fitness Instagram, sent it to my worrying mom and hubby.
Somewhere I got a rock or something in my shoe, and I had to take it off and get it out. It got hard at around the 18km mark, was tired, but felt strong to keep going. Kept repeating my mantra “She believed she could, so she did”. Berni said the last km was going to be the hardest, and she was right… jeez-kebab, don’t know how but kept on putting one foot in front of the other. Was fabulous to have Berni right there with me, she motivated me so much.
And then the end was in sight.
It’s Berni in the background, but my silly phone blurred the background (damnit otherwise this pic would have been epic).
I wanted to cry, but didn’t. Was so happy and relieved to have made it, to have reached this crazy goal of mine that somehow got so important for me to reach. The initial dream was to do it in 3 hours, the cut off is 3.5 hours. But after getting sick, I just wanted to finish it and get the medal, no matter the time. In the end we did it in 2 Hours 59 Minutes, I can hardly still believe it, as I’m a slower runner, so this was pretty fast for me over such a long distance!
It was my birthday yesterday, the day after the race, I am happy that I was able to reach this goal before my 38th birthday, but jeepers… I could hardly walk! Will I do it again? For sure, in a heartbeat – I just don’t have to time for the longer distance right now, so for now I’m going to concentrate on 5km and 10km races and to improve my time. When Jamie and Shae is a bit older and I have a bit more free time, I will definitely pursue half marathons again, and perhaps even a full marathon…who knows!
Thank you to my hubby for believing in me and allowing me the time to do this and for being so proud of me! Thanks my dear Berni ❤ for being my partner in crime (and for saving my ankle!), having you as part of this journey meant a lot – may there be many more runs together. My ❤ friend Jess, that pep-talk, I don’t think you know how much that helped, thank you for being my cheerleader. Thank you to all my friends and family who wished me luck and followed this dream of mine. ❤ It’s not huge, but to me it feels like a BIG accomplishment for this frumpy mom! xx