Friday, 30 August 2013

The difference of 43 seconds

Hello!  Just popping in to tell you about last weekend before this weekend happens - more epic adventures are planned!  Need to update you before I get behind in posts.

Quickly though, this will be a lot more positive post than the last.  I'm sorry I've been so
Me at Glow Run
negative.  It's been a rough few weeks and I didn't deal with a couple of things very well.  I often stuff up but I don't often get SO downhearted as I did this week.  Thanks for those who reached out to me or allowed me to reach out to them.  A very lovely friend (Cat <3) told me this week that she admires that I bounce back from things.  I think she's right and I'm kinda proud of myself right now because I can feel myself bouncing back.  I'll save all of this for my next post - but I've worked out a few things to help get me back on track and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you here.

But for now!  I need to tell you about how I ran my second half marathon!  My second one in 3 weeks :)

Do you remember how I posted here a few weeks ago about my first half, how awesome it was, how I did everything right for it and smiled the whole way?  Yeah, well, imagine the opposite - and that is pretty much how I can sum up Half #2.  Basically every thing I could have done to make it harder on myself, I did.  It was like a really silly experiment of how NOT to prepare for a half marathon.  I finished it!  Oh yes indeed, I did.  But that doesn't mean it was easy by ANY stretch of the imagination. Lesson learnt!

Lesson #1 was don't sign up just 3 days before.  This is a half marathon - not a movie/dinner date.  It takes a lot of mental preparation and I think this is what had me on the backburner
Me, Ange, Pais and Don at Glow Run
from the start.

I was totally not prepared.  Fitness wise, absolutely.  But mentally?  Not even close.  I was 110% on the ball for Half #1 - I had been planning, calculating and counting down the days for months.  I had visual reminders everywhere and pictured every detail in my mind, right up to after I went through the finish banner.

Half #2 however, I did not treat with the same respect and comparitively was a scrambling mess.  I didn't get a chance to read the information booklet...I drove to the wrong beach before Googling where it actually started from...that kind of thing.

Due to my poor planning, I had to get a friend to pick up my race bib.  The lovely Corinne went and did this for me. #lifesaver  But not being able to do it myself was just another thing that I let hold me up in the morning - I was pinning my bib on my shirt 5 minutes before the start of
the race - a time when I should have been getting ready.

Also very poor planning on my part meant that I had Glow Run the night before!  Half #1 I had an early night with forced relaxation.  Half #2 saw me at what was essentially a rave!  Seriously!  Glow Run was great - a lot of fun and I do recommend it.  But it could easily be mistaken for a rave!  I found myself dancing and jumping up and down amidst flashing lights with glow sticks and the like - thinking is this seriously a fun run?  It was like Colour Run on Prozac: the same essence but at night and a little more crazy!

So as much fun as Glow was, while my friends were dancing and really enjoying the moment, I was locked to my watch, stressing out about the time.  I didn't allow myself to enjoy it.  I also walked it, to preserve every ounce of energy for the next day.  My friends were laughing and applying glow paint to their faces - I was wondering where I could carb load and looking distracted.  Carb loading before a half probably does not mean finding yourself at a food court at 9:30pm,
eating Mexican...see what I mean?

I was going to stay at a friends house that night as the event was 100km away, but I got home so late and still had to pack / organise everything for the night, the half and my play the next afternoon, that I ended up cancelling that, got myself packed, slept at home, and made my way up the coast early the next morning.  I got about 3 hours of sleep.

I didn't hydrate properly in the days leading up, I didn't eat well.  I stretched but not as much as I should.  I meant to write in Nikko on my hand but forgot the pen and couldn't really do that because I had my play.  I didn't taper training ...well, because I hadn't been training so didn't have anything to taper!  I wasn't 100% still after
my accident.  My Osteo (as well as my Dad lol) told me afterwards that I shouldn't have run so soon.  There's probably another dozen things I did wrong, but you get the gist.

But do you know the main thing I did wrong?  I didn't believe in myself.

I was on the back foot before I started, because of that very reason.  You know, I could probably have done the run, as I did, with all the stuff I did 'wrong', and still done ok.  But I slipped myself up from the start because of the last point.

I had all this negative self talk happening - it was ridiculous.  I asked myself why I signed up when I wasn't sure...I started worrying about being the last runner...I freaked when I saw police...I kept telling myself over and over that I was struggling...and you know what?  I subsequently did.  I struggled for about the first 18km.  SO much.  I wanted to start walking.  I kept tempting myself.  We went past so many cafes with people having breakfast...I wanted to join them...I ran past about 4 places I've had coffee / drinks with Ruth, Cathy and Sarah...all I wanted to do was to stop in them and be having raspberry tea again...I was daydreaming about this SO
The beautiful coastline
much...but no...I was running a half marathon and had to keep running...why are you running a half marathon Kate?!  You are crazy - you should have just revelled in the joy of your first.  You could be running just an easy 10km today.  You always choose the most insane things.  Didn't your friend Damian tell you it's not recommended to do too much in a short space of time?  Why are you doing 21.1 then?  You can't do anything.

Get the picture?  You think that was a headache to read, you try thinking this  it for 3 hours straight!  Yeah, not fun.

Some things helped me "Kate's Half Marathon iTunes playlist" :)  - my beautiful friend Kirsty Talkboxed me some cheers...basically she sent her voice to my phone saying to "go go go Katie!" and telling me I could do it <3  I played it out loud - I didn't care who heard it - I pretended she was right there.  SMS exchanges with a few friends...runners from the Awesome Runners group kept running past and encouraging me...they were great.  Random
I struggled
people would occassionally clap for me...I asked one man and his young daughter if I had very far to go...he said no, I was almost there...I burst into tears.

I kept was so hard.  It was so hot - and I was starting to get dehydrated and hungry.  I have never been so hungry on a run before.  I NEEDED food.  I almost considered asking people for food who were sitting outside their house.  I wouldn't have done it but I was so desperate!  Eventually a radio station handed out some lollies and as I ran past I grabbed a banana chewy lolly and a Spearmint Mentos.  Not my type of food and something I would never usually eat.

However these were officially the best food I have ever eaten.  haha.  From now on I will be carrying food with me!

I kept going and battled through.  It was one of the hardest runs I have ever done.  So many times I considered stopping - or leaving the course - or, because it was 2x 10km laps, just doing 1 lap and finishing after 10km. 

I did Half #1 in 2:49:26.  All I wanted to do this day for Half #2 then was to finish it, and it would have been
So hard
cool to finish it in a better time.  But it got to the point where I just wanted to finish it within the time cut off - there was a 3 hour cut off.

And then things got so hard that it got even beyond that and it became about me just wanting to finish it, full stop.  I didn't even care about the 3 hours then, I just had to finish.  I started struggling so much that I even turned my Polar around my wrist so that I wouldn't look at it, because it started stressing me out.

The last 3km was ok as I knew I was almost there.  I kept pushing it and I made it.  I finished it.  As hard as it was, I didn't stop once.  I got given my medal and a shirt, I inhaled some watermelon and oranges, found some shade and crumpled to the ground.  I was in so much pain and just exhausted, wanting to cry.

The beautiful De came to find me, helped me up and gave me the rest of her jelly beans!  I needed sugar and bought myself a snow cone!

I chilled with the Awesome Runners for a while then made my way to Cathy and Sarah's, aka
my planned shower stop / hotel / rejuvenation palace.  I used their shower, had them feed me this amazing Mexican lunch, took their foam roller and skedattled out of there, to the theatre. ;)  Awesome friends :)  And then I somehow managed to perform a high energy play with 3 dances and a lot of choreographed physicality!  What a day.

My official time was 3:00:43.  10min. slower than Brisbane and 43 seconds out of the cut off time.

Now seriously, please don't think I care about the time, because I truly don't.  I am not at the stage of needing good times for my runs.  I am just happy that I was able to finish.  But it did get me thinking...I reckon that extra 10min. - and definitely that extra 43 seconds, could have been shortened - had I believed in
SheargoldMcGee lunch
myself.  Telling yourself you can't do something for 3 hours straight - that's a long time - and when you're hot and exhausted, both mentally and physically, you tend to believe the bullshit you dream up.

I reckon if I had a more positive mindset, I would have at least gotten under the 3 hour mark.  This lesson for myself isn't about running faster, it is simply a lesson in doing things the right way and simply believing in myself.  Lessons I should take to other areas of my life...  Being positive and believing in yourself can mean the difference of 43 seconds in a half marathon...and it can also mean the difference of carrying on and getting through the rough days without faltering.

I lost belief in myself during the run and on a grander scale, during the week.  Time to start getting that belief back.  Watch this space for my next post about how I will be doing this! :)

But on a side note, all that aside, the fact is, I ran a second half marathon. :)  Done!

5.1km to go...that's just a parkrun!  Come on, Kate!

I ran past this restaurant so many times, that I decided I want to go there one day.  Who's going to join me?

On ground...can't move...

Treat snow cone!

Yummy Mexican lunch

Fist pump across the finish line

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