I did it.
It was awesome.
I believe you can still donate to The Mental Health Foundation by clicking on the blue coloured words.
Running the 21.1 kms raised $235.50 ($700 and starting conversations is the target).
My time was 2.17.
I’m calling it 2.15 cos i bush bashed my way through some flax on the motorway to do a pee, when all the portaloos (after 13 kms) had queues in front of them.
It was awesome.
I will admit to (at 4.30am) when i heard the first bird call from outside my Mother’s inner-city home, wanting, wishing, wondering could i just lie here, all day? After all i have a cough, and my period, and i’m a tired Mum, and it’s so peaceful and comfy and warm and ‘countable’ under this duvet in the quiet (with one bird call) and still.
At 5.10am i persuaded myself to brave the unknown day, clomp (quietly cos it’s 5.10am and i’m in my Mother’s house) into the hot shower after chewing mindfully on homemade muesli, cream, milk and maple.
On went the bike pants. Um-ed and ah-ed about which top to where. Got flustered when i couldn’t find a decent hair-tie, with elasticity left. Re-did the shoe laces a couple of times. Tight? Loose? Better. Scrubbed the teeth. Went for a poo. In the last four 1/2 marathons, i never managed such luxuries. Did i make a mistake with the pre-race dinner of thai green chicken curry? Or was it to be a lucky charm?
Caught the final ferry across the harbour with brother-in-law. Adjusted some things in the ladies. Jogged from the ferry terminal to the start line to be 5 minutes late and swamped in the walkers start. Aaaaaaaah-nuts (as Lenny? says on The Simpsons).
But, loved it, but.
Loved running for 7 kilometres in a river of flowing colourful t.shirts and caps and body shapes. Loved i joined a temporary community, happy to get up on a Sunday and run into the unknown. Loved that people were as unfit or as fit as me, and everywhere in between. Loved that we are ordinary people. Loved that i was sharing something with a migration of extra-ordinarily -ordinary strangers.
I felt capable. I felt supported. I felt powerful, actually, even though that sounds dominating, and i didn’t feel dominating, i felt able.
And the supporters. Young families (i guess they were awake anyway) mini puffer jacketed and beanie-d up. All-nighter costumed twenty year olds cheering us on as if we were a live rugby match. Deck chaired spectators outside their homes knees wrapped in plaid blankets as Grandma does at an autumn picnic.
Mental Health Foundation tees ran past at times. I felt ‘yoga’ (union).
There was not one moment (except maybe the bush bashing and knowing i’d lose time) that i didn’t feel ecstatic, running, this ‘race’.
I felt such gratitude i could.
Cos i CAN!
I loved that someone was caring for my children so i could feel this fun.
I loved that there were so many of us this daring.
This was the first 1/2 marathon i wasn’t trying to do ‘under 2 hours’.
My intention was to complete it.
Then to complete it without walking.
Then to complete it within 2 hours 15 minutes.
It was a natural pace.
In the past my hip/glute have seized round the 17 km mark.
No show of seizure!
The only discomfort was in the final 1.5 kms when i realised i might be able to make an official time of 2 hours 15 minutes if i pumped up the jam. I pumped. I jam-ed. I passed gazillions of the peeps into a head wind. I smashed the final 100 metres.
The luminous red numbers on the giant digital clock counted 2.22 (having started 5 minutes late). My body averaged 6 minute 30 second kilometres.
What did i learn?
Run like you stole something?
I think not.
Run so it feels easy.
Maybe then you could run and run and run.
Where to next?
36 kilometres of Able Tasman next year?