Sunday, 22 September 2013

You can do anything with friends by your side

Hello!  So you know that half marathon I made a huge deal about?  And the 2nd one?  Well, I
did another one!  My third in 7 weeks!  Last night :)  It went well :)  It was the Twilight Bay Run Half Marathon - starting at 5pm along the bay, it was a nice temperature and there was no blaring sun to deal with.  I was pretty nervous leading up to it but I found a trick to fix that.  If you're ever driving towards a running event and are stressing, start to wonder if you turned the stove off at home - I guarantee you will stop stressing about the run and start stressing about the stove!  It was awful.  On a positive note, I didn't leave it on and I still had an apartment to come home to.  However it distracted and stressed me out to no end, something I didn't need!

Apart from feeling anxious that my house was burning down, the whole run was great.  I just did it at my own pace - my own race.  As always my music was my best friend - I even made a "Kate's 3rd Half Marathon playlist"! :)  I was feeling fine throughout - there was only slight pain and I just powered through.  I ran past the new bride and groom doing a photoshoot in the middle of the road :)  I ran past the girl getting treated by medics.  I ran past her again and an ambulance had arrived. :(  I ran through the point where my face starts
Picking up my bib the day before
getting salty (weirdest thing).  I ran through m
y sock starting to rub on my ankle but I didn't want to stop running so I just put up with it.  The blood that soaked my sock and shoe as a result was worth it.  I just kept running and was ok.  I was especially proud that I didn't even need to send any SOS SMS's or check Facebook for support.  I was doing ok :)


There's always a Then.

At about the 18km mark, I started stressing out.  I was one of the last people left on the course.  There was one girl, a group of 3 friends, and me.  I think we were it.  The girl and the group of friends kept walk/run/walk/run.  Which is fine, I don't care what others do.  But what bothered me was they kept looking back to, I can only assume, see where I was at.  As soon as I'd overtake them, they'd start running again to
Lining up to start
overtake me.  I HATE THIS.  It stresses me out so much!  I race myself in events, no-one else!  I stay at the same pace throughout, just run and try and focus.  If I wanted to be a pace runner then I would become one officially.  It takes enough out of me to run half marathons, I don't need or want people playing cat and mouse with me on course!  I get really stressed out and it makes me anxious.

Aside from that, was my biggest upset.  I was almost coming last.  Now I know that many of you reading this, especially my big brother Greg will be jumping up and down around about now but hear me out.  I've been thinking heaps about this and I think I've been describing it wrong.  I know that running a half marathon is incredible.  I don't downgrade the biggest dream I have had at all.  It is huge.  And I ran 3 of them in 7 weeks.  That's even more huge.  For someone who never exercised a year ago,
One thing I wrote on my arm
that's even more huge.  I know it doesn't matter where you come.  You only ever race against yourself, I know that.  I'm giving it a go, etc. etc.  I know that.  Someone has to come last, it doesn't matter, blah blah blah.  I agree.  I get all that.  You won't believe me but I actually don't have an issue with coming last.  Not in the slightest.  I'd quite happily come last at every event.

The other thing I wrote
What my issue is, is coming last again.  I'm not going to bore you with re-telling my stories from yonder year.  I came absolutely last a few times, in huge, huge events.  My upset lies with it happening again.  It's pyschological, I guess.  It's just one of those 'things' I have.  I have no qualms about coming even second last.  None at all.  And I would be the first person to sincerely congratulate someone else coming last.  Even myself!  I don't have an issue with being the last person, I just get upset with the embarrassment because it's like a repeat of awful events.

Does this even make sense?  Probably not.  I guess what I mean is, it's the memory of old awful events that upset me, rather than the act itself.  Think of it like how a middle aged man may shudder when he's on a baseball field, because it reminds him of when he used to get
picked last for teams as a kid.  It's ok now, he doesn't have to worry, he's now the baseball coach!  But he still remembers how awful it felt when he was a kid.  That's how I feel.  I don't want people to think I have an issue with being last - it's just the memory of some awful events that I have an issue with.  If i'm still not explaining it well, then just trust me, I get really upset about coming last.  Second last is fine.  I can't help it.

So I'm at the 18km mark and I realised this had happened.  I knew it would - but up to this
point I was trying to do the grown up thing of not caring.  But it's easy to think that until it actually happens.  I was fine - but as the course grew more and more empty, I started getting upset.  I checked my phone at about 19km and noticed that Greg and another friend Tracey had texted me.  Both sent beautiful messages that pepped me up.  I could see fireworks in the distance, I was finishing off a half marathon (!), there was a beautiful breeze coming from the water, I had friends supporting me....but the last thing was almost happening again. :(  Flashback City.

I SMS'd back some sad messages about coming 'almost last'.  I tried my hardest to focus but it's the embarrassment.  You try running against crowds of people leaving an event, watching the lone runner run towards the Finish banner.  There was a medic cyclist circling me and if he got any closer I was going to ask him to go away because it was drawing more attention to me and upsetting me even more.  I hate that.  But I just kept going.  There were no tears, just grit in my legs and focus on my face.
That moment

"Don't worry...don't worry...don't worry..." was going through my head.  I was trying to focus.  I was almost there.  I was willing the girl and the friends group to just let me stay in front.  They had support - just let me be second last, not very last.  Please.

Then, about 300m before the Finish banner, this amazing thing happened that I will never forget.  Tracey, who had finished her own 5km event hours earlier (while jet lagged mind you!) appeared and started running alongside me.  Instantly I was ok.  I suddenly couldn't care less if the girl or friends overtook me again.  Because now I wasn't alone.  Tracey was beside me. 
These girls <3
It was one of the most special moments I have ever experienced.

100m on, other friends, Kylie and Rina, who were screaming cheers for me, also joined us, and they ran alongside me as well.  All of my fears dissipated.  All I could feel was love and all I could see was the Finish banner.  I ran through with a fist pump jump for the cameras.  

Done :)

I managed to walk a few metres to get my
Fist pump and a half!!
medal (the most important part), but that was it.  I allowed my legs to seize and I fell to the ground before I made it to the recovery tent.  I just had my recovery a little earlier than they had set up :)  The girls, including Mel and Courtney, other friends who had waited around for hours and who had driven large distances to cheer me on, went and got the recovery stuff for
Me with the gorgeous Mel
me and brought it over to me - they fed me and handed me water :)  I thanked Tracey and she simply said she knew about my previous events and imagined how I was feeling.  Kylie put my medal around my neck for me.  Just incredible support.  3 of them even pulled me off the ground and held me up while another stretched me.  As in, physically moved my legs for me, to stretch me out.  Can you see why I'm overwhelmed? :)

I made it under the cut off time and I wasn't last.  Not that I cared any more anyway :)  That's what it's all about.  They say pain is temporary but stories last forever.  This is always true for me.  And now also, embarrassment is temporary but friendships last forever. :)

Other similar stories from the last few weeks are two friends who helped make some of my goals a reality!  Ange and Alana - let's just call them my A Team :)

My goal for Week 5 was called Kate Jordan - it was to play basketball again.  Not necessarily ongoing in an official team, but just like I used to 'play' it.  Across the road from my hotel after
Reactivating my basketball love
work with my work mates - such special memories for me.  I had this down as a goal and of course, come Week 5 had done nothing about organising it.  Take a step forward awesome Miss Ange, one of my friends who works around the corner from me.  She knew about this goal - she went out and bought a basketball, sourced a court, sent me an invite on an afternoon I was free, and we went and did it!  I had this amazing feeling come over me as I walked towards her - the court was across the road from work - it was like the old days - the sun going down and everything.  Just amazing and we shot hoops and mucked around for over an hour.  Can't wait to do this again :)

Thanks Angie
Another goal for this round was titled "1, 2, 3, 4, Do It Just A Little More."  It was to do the Kokoda track loop at Brisbane's Mt Coot-tha, 4x in a row.  It's a 5km loop with 1km of that being an insane, steep gradient.  At some points you sometimes have to use your hands and crawl up bits - I did a few Tarzan Jane movements of grabbing onto trees as well.  It's so bloody steep.  Everyone we've ever met on the track are training for the real Kokoda.  They always ask why we're there - we always look at each other and say "umm, just for fun/fitness/because we can." LOL nutters!

Anyway my gorgeous friend Alana remembered I had this goal and while my mind had been elsewhere in the past few weeks, she encouraged me, we made a date, and set out to do it: 5:30am, just Alana, me, and the mountain.  It took us about 7 hours, we trekked 20km and we burnt just under 3000 calories in the process.  SSS eat your heart out.  Each time we reached the top, we'd stop to eat and skull some water
The beautiful Alana - 4 x Kokoda baby!! (Yes, I broke my glasses in the process!)
before going on the next loop.  It was hard.  By the end we were both carrying sticks to help us walk.  But we did it, and felt amazing after - I am so proud of both of us.

Onto the next adventure soon, but I just wanted to share these little stories with you.  I am so thankful to be surrounded by friends like these. #luckiestgirlintheworld

On my way to the Twilight half

Coolest wedding photos ever!

(Trying to) sprint towards the end - thank you for this photo Court

'Finished' - that's all I wanted
My medal!

My own little recovery station :)

Greg and Ruth sent me this before the run - loved it

I heart basketball

1 Kokoda lap

2 Kokoda laps!

3 Kokoda laps!  (And 4 is above!)

Just call me Jane (as in Tarzan)


  1. in tears... im so proud of you . yo make me want to be a better person. Love you kate xxxx

  2. You are a nutter, but I think that is why we all love you so much....Yes I was yelling internally when I read your comment about the last thing, but I kind of get it.

    I will smack that out of you in a few weeks though.

  3. When I did my first 5km 'Fun Run' I came dead motherless last - my trainer (who was with me the entire way) insists on calling it reverse first. lol
    You have some amazing people around you, it makes me glad. xox

  4. So proud of you Kate, everything you've achieved you've achieved through hard work, big dreams and persistence. xoxoxox

  5. Ahhh Kate you are just amazing.