Thursday, 20 November 2014

Week 4 check in

Hey hey hey..

Just checkin' major revelation or epic running event to recap, just a "this is where I'm at in Week 4" kind of post.

So, yes, we're in Week 4!  Today was Weigh in Wednesday.  And I'm so pleased to say that I'm going well.  On the weight loss side of things, at least.

My last post was talking about my current weight loss attempt  #613899.  It was at the end of
Walking the other day
Week 2, so effectively I'd wasted 2 weeks of this round.  But I restarted on the Friday of Week 2, regardless.  I had 34 days until my 1st mini goal of my boot camp trip to Straddie.  I was Day 2 into it and things were looking good.  They usually look good on Day 2!

The awesome thing is, I am now Day 13 into it, and I am still going strong :)  I've lost 6.8kg in those 13 days!  It's always fast weight loss at the start, but I also know the contributor to this is me just working hard, and I am so proud.

My exercise has been almost perfect.  In saying that, I've had about 5 rest days - 3 were unplanned due to injuries.  I haven't skipped out on any training days with no good reason, although I wanted to some mornings!  Apart from my rest days, I've stuck to my plan and scorched those calories.

My nutrition has been 99% on track, too, which I think is what's made those scales move.  The 1% is because I've had maybe 4 squares of chocolate across that time, that I haven't
Caught on camera mid niece feeding me her watermelon.  Saboteur??
recorded.  On Saturday I had 1 bite of my Mum's chocolate crackle, 1 bite of my brothers vegetarian sausage roll, and 1 bite of my niece's quiche.  LOL that sounds a bit strange...I don't usually bite into my family's food!!  But I was at a party and wanted to taste this food, but didn't want to eat it all.  I got to try it all this way, and I even counted in some extra calories to cover it all.

I've had a couple of days where I've gone over in my calories accidentally (poor pre-planning).  

And tonight I just needed to eat.  I hardly ate on Monday (I'll explain) and I think my body was just crying out for a big, decent, meal, with no worries about calories.

I decided to listen to my body, and went to Woolworths after work to grab what I felt like eating.  It was a strange combination that you would potentially judge me on, so I won't describe it. :)  It wasn't bingeing or a treat meal, and the intention wasn't to inhale calories or eat something fatty.  My body just wanted to go nuts and eat a big meal, no matter what the cals.  Within reason.

The funny thing is, I couldn't help myself, and even though I wasn't supposed to care, I
One of my dinners last week!
tracked the calories anyway.  And the grand total I went over in my calories today, was....100.

That's right.  A rare, allowed night off and the best I can do is exceed by a mere 100 cals.  Rebel or what??

So apart from those few things, I have been totally on track with nutrition.  I haven't deviated, I haven't binged, I haven't even really craved for a binge!  This is so weird!  My whole time in losing weight, I would usually have cracked it by now.  Or allowed myself a little break.  But nope, not this time.  Each night I've packed my breakfast, lunch and snacks for the next day, and I've stuck to it.  I've been within my calories each day, and am just doing what I have to do.

I've even been sleeping so much more!  I'm a bit behind in updating my sticker chart but I will update you once I have a tally...but I would guess that the majority of nights, I've hit my sleep target!  (7 hours a night).  A friend encouraged me to get into bed early the first night, and I enjoyed the feeling so much that I've been repeating it pretty much every night!  

Who am I?!

My water is on track too...although I need to actually count it...but I am sure I'm hitting my target.

While all of this has been great, I can't see any difference in me yet, of course.  It's only been 13 days.  But that'll come.

It has been an incredibly difficult 13 days though.  I've had 4 medical incidents in this time.  I don't understand how I can have so many issues??  4 separate issues.  Far out.

I made snacks from the leftovers of platters I had to make. #score!
Across these 4, I've had 2 hospital visits, 2 ambulances, 2 at home doctors, a myriad of tests and a lot of stress and worry.  All within 7 days.

The first 2 incidents I'm not ready to talk about yet.  But I'll talk a bit about the last 2, which merge a little.

On Saturday night I had a bit of a fretful night and got a suspected fractured or bruised rib. 
Long story.

On Sunday I was in pain (and feeling a bit sorry for myself!) that I had to call a sudden rest day for myself.  Rest day as in no exercise, but also an actual physical rest day.  I lay in bed all day, in weird positions, trying to get comfortable with my rib/s, and watched DVD's.

On Monday I woke up and I couldn't move.  Although they were still sore, it wasn't my rib/s, it was my back.  

My back has a myriad of chronic issues (Osteoarthritis, Scoliosis, degenerated discs, spurs on my spine, major spine trauma....I could go on for a while).  They've caused me issues since I was 16:  Every few years I suddenly collapse - not faint, but my back just randomly gives way.  Sometimes I can't move and I have to hold walls to get myself up.  Pain is regular, and it's been getting worse.

For the past year or two, it's pretty much a daily occurrence for me, that when I wake up, I can't move.  It's like my back relaxes into my bed while I'm sleeping, and I temporarily lose muscle control?  Anyway, after about 5min. of being awake, I can move and get out of bed, and live a (very) active life!  It's no biggie, I'm just used to it.

But on Monday, 5min. came and went and I was still kind of stuck to my bed.  I started suspecting this was going to be a bad back day.  Little did I know....

It took me 20min. just to get out of bed.  It was ridiculous.  I had to very slowly slip and slide and shuffle and maneuver.  I gently let myself fall off the edge of my bed, and I managed to stand up.  But it was painful, and I was a little Bambi-like: uneasy on my feet.

I walked around to get ready for work.  I managed to dress myself, but it took double the time.  I did my hair and makeup but I was starting to get worried.  I could barely stand up.  When it came time to put my socks on, it didn't go so well - as in, I couldn't.  I lay back in pain and finally let myself acknowledge that I couldn't drive to work.

Instead I worked from home, assuming my back would improve through the day.

It didn't.  I couldn't stand or walk but I managed to crawl to the bathroom and the fridge.  I was only able to eat lying down, so I sucked the juices out of watermelon, and drank yoghurt.  I was too scared to eat the rest of the snacks next to me, as I can't eat too well lying down.  I couldn't prop my head up and it hurt too much to sit.  The pain got more intense, and by about midday, crawling was out of the question, as now I wasn't able to move an inch.

That's when I started getting worried.

I didn't know what to do.  Because there's not much that can be done for back issues!  So I waited.

But I soon realised though that I was in trouble.  I now couldn't even crawl to use the bathroom.  I was desperately trying not to drink, so that I didn't have to go to the toilet - but I needed painkillers so it was a Catch 22!  But not being able to get to the toilet - or do anything, was getting a bit more serious.  I was calling out in pain and not able to move, at all.  There was a snack next to my knee that I wanted, and I dropped the air con remote - I couldn't reach either.  I suddenly was desperate for one of those long claw toys that my brothers had when we were kids.
Position I was stuck in, standing on my own, and couch / drug time

After about 4 hours of being bedridden, in every true sense of the word, I called for help.  I called the at home GP service, and managed to navigate him to find me inside my apartment (I was by myself).  He just told me to go to hospital, and left me alone. (!)  When he said that the ambos would have to break their way inside to find me (!) I finally called a friend to help, and asked her to come over to let them in.  I live in a rental!

Somehow the paramedics managed to get me into the ambulance and to hospital.  ER were great and pumped me full of drugs.  Every 15min. they adjusted my bed height a little, to get me more into a seated position.  Finally about midnight, with the doctors help (and numbing drugs!), I was able to stand.  When I was able to walk a few steps, I was allowed to go home.

I've had two exercise rest days since, and will take tomorrow as well.  I'm fine now, but I'm just going to take it easy for a while.  Everyone's been asking what the diagnosis was, but there really isn't any.  I know what my issues are, it's just something I live with.  In saying that, Monday was the absolute worst it has ever been.  In the past if I haven't been able to move, it passes within 10min. to a couple of hours.  But being completely incapacitated for 12 hours, in the worst pain of my life, is not normal.  I believe it's because of Sunday's bed rest for my rib/s.  I usually can't move temporarily in the mornings from being in bed for 5-ish hours.  The other day though, I was (mostly) in bed for something like 24 hours.  That's not normal for me, but it makes sense as to why my back was then affected on an even bigger scale.

While there's not much I can do, I am going to make an effort to help things a little more from now on.  I'm so used to living with my condition, but Monday showed me how serious things can get.
  • I've spoken to my trainer and I'm going to take things a lot easier at training.  She's aware of my body and we work around it anyway, but now I'll downgrade the intensity even moreso, at least for a little while.
  • I'm going to make my few and far between Osteopath appointments a regular priority/necessity.
  • I've already limited my running, and I'll continue this for a while.
  • I'm going to look into water running!
  • And at my parents insistence, I'm going to see a back specialist.
The limited exercise aspects of my action plan SUCK.  I'm a runner, and I'm also someone
Reminding myself of this while I can't exercise
who's madly trying to lose weight.  Lessening my running and taking things slow and easy?  These things don't sit well with me.  But we have to manage, what we have to manage.  And as I've proven to myself before, there's always ways around things.  We may have to find alternative paths, but we can still get the same result.

So that's me in a past 13 days nutshell!

I'll be back soon to keep you updated, of course.  It's only early days on Attempt #613899, but I have a good feeling about it.  23 days till Straddie, and I intend to get to my Mini Goal #1 by then.


Kate xo

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hello October Round

Ok, so it's actually almost the end of Week 2 of the October Round (far out, already!!) but
Second workout today.  No excuses.
hello to the October Round!

I'll try to keep this a brief post but I just wanted to share where I'm at, and share my goals for this round.

Really, to put it bluntly, this whole year has been a write off in the weight loss stakes.  When I say 'whole year', I mean from February till now.  Up to February I was smashing the kg's like there was nothing else.  And I plan to do the same from here on in.  

But all those months in between, well....they weren't so great.

This is no secret, I've shared this here before.  But I guess what I haven't told you, is just how bad it has gotten.

Do you know how some people (maybe it's you, maybe you've heard of people doing this),
Top up grocery shop + cool stuff in the post (no bills!)
try so hard to remember what it was like when they were bigger?  Like, they lose weight and can't remember exactly what it was like to carry around 50kg extra on them.  Or how it used to hurt to run/walk, or how those certain clothes didn't fit.

Or have you seen those reporters on current affair TV shows don fat suits and go undercover into malls, to film how they are treated when they're bigger?

Well I've done something not so great.  I've done it, for real.  If I forgot what it was like to carry extra weight, well, I've taken the experiment too realistically, because boy do I remember now!  Instead of wearing a fat suit for an hour (or adding weights to clothes like I did once), I've added the kilos, for real.

No ----- I am not back where I started.  No.  However, I have still gone so far backwards, that it's pretty shocking to me.

No, I didn't plan on this.  I didn't lose 50kg by January and feel absolutely amazing, starting to really allow myself to remember.
Day 1 back into it, and I am faced with 90 free pizzas for lunch!  Augh!
fit into Size 12 and have bucketloads of confidence, to turn around and say to myself...."do you know what, Kate, I kinda forget what it was like to worry about my weight on chairs...or to have a restrictive wardrobe.  Let's go so far backwards, to


I did not plan to do this.

But somehow, it's happened.  It doesn't matter 'why' too much - I've analysed myself thoroughly anyway.  What matters moreso, is how terrifyingly awful it feels, to find myself reverting to previous behaviour, that I had when I was bigger.

Before I lost weight, I had 2 outfits that I wore day in, day out.  I recycled these outfits
I broke my parkrun drought this morning!
continually.  I would wear them to work and socially; to casual functions, and to formal functions.  Both outfits were head to toe black.

Guess what I've found myself wearing lately?  All black.

It's terrifying me.

I left my all black clothes days way back ages ago.  To find myself reverting to black again, and having to wash said black clothes almost nightly, when I have a walk in wardrobe filled to the BRIM with awesome, colourful clothes, is almost soul destroying.

This is just one of my old behaviours I can see creeping back in.  I've started getting anxious about seatbelts on planes again.  They fit fine!  But the fact that I'm getting anxious (for good reason, mind you), is a bit of a worry.
Greek salad I made yesterday to accompany the next 6 meals

I've started hiding from photos again.

My worsening back isn't helping with this, but my running is getting more painful, and more slow....

There's more stuff, but they're my main pain points.

It's like a nightmare that's actually come true.  Or like I've closed my eyes and pretended I'm wearing a fat suit for a day.  But I've opened my eyes, and it's stuck on me.  It's not a suit, it's me.  No!  It's like I've taken an experiment too far.  I don't mean this has been an experiment though!  Not at all.  It's just how it feels.

If I kept going, I would eventually get back up to my start weight, and even heavier.  There's no way that I want that, or would let myself.  The damage I've done already is more than
enough.  I need to stop it here, before I go too far.

I've had a few false re-starts this year, like 152.  But I tried for the 153rd time, at the start of the October round last week.  New rounds give fresh hope to everyone.  It's like New Years Day.  The day is no different to the day before, but everyone feels hopeful.  Me included.  I love it.

So I geared myself up and tried to pull myself out of the hole I was digging for myself for the 153rd time.  I went ok, until I went away for the weekend.  I allowed myself to relax with food while I was away, but I am not good at stopping that relaxed mindset, once I get home.  Week 2 has been an up and down battle to get myself back on track.  I tried again yesterday morning, for Attempt #154.

So we're 2 weeks in, and I've had a stumbling start to the round, but I'm ok.  I know inside me that I've got this.

I have a whole list of stuff that will help me, including some mini goals that I've set, so that I won't get overwhelmed by the big picture.

I've split the weight I have still yet to lose up into 8 parts.  Each mini goal is pretty significant - either a number on the scales that I want to see, or a point in time where I want to feel good about myself. 

Goal #1 is my boot camp trip, to Stradbroke Island (Straddie).  It's 5 weeks away, and I want to feel confident when I go across with my team mates.  So this is my first goal.

Goal #2 is Christmas Eve.

Goal #3 is New Years Eve.

Goal #4 is Week 12 of this round.
The clothes I had collected

Goal #5 is my birthday.

Goal #6 is weight based.

Goal #7 is also weight based.

Goal #8 is my ultimate goal - goal weight.

So while I have 8 little goals, all I'm trying to concentrate on for now, is Goal #1, Straddie.  The beach.  All I have to worry about is the next 5 weeks.  Then I can move onto the next goal.  But one thing at a time.

One of the new things I've done (as in, I just put it together last night), is redoing my rewards system.

My old rewards system was a bit outdated, as in, I set the rewards so long ago.  The other issue is, I can never afford my rewards when I achieve them!

So I'm in the middle of rehashing them.  Yesterday I went to the $2 shop and spent $8 on
buying little gift bags.  They're presents for me.  I've gotten a few pieces of One Active clothing lately when it's been mega cheap, on sale.  With the tags still on, I've put a piece into each bag, that I can start wearing each piece when I reach each goal.  I also have an anklet that I bought months ago, to give to myself when I got to a certain weight.  I've put that into my Goal 4's bag. :)  I'm going to try and add to each bag the small things I'm aiming to reward myself with, along the way.  Things like new nailpolish, movie tickets, magazines etc., or the cash for these things.  Nothing too extravagant, but some pre-organised little presents.  It's saving me money and making me excited to get each bag.  It's probably a little weird, but man, seriously?  I would wrap myself up in banana leaves and chant "Mary Had A Little Lamb"
8 presents ready for ME!
while standing on my head every morning, if I thought it would assist me in getting to goal weight.  Sometimes it's the little things that spur you along.

And I need all the little things right now.

I've also set my 12 mini milestones for this round - I'll add them to my Goals page, but here's a little overview:

Week 1: Girl In Blue.  Yes, this one is back again.  I still haven't done it!  I set this goal ages ago and explained what it is in this post.

Week 2: Try a new parkun. This one is pretty self explanatory!  I've been to 4 different parkruns before, and tend to stick to these ones.  (When I actually go!)  But I'd like to spread my parkrun wings and try a new one, just for a change.

Week 3: Walk home from work. I live 8km from work and haven't walked home in ages!

Week 4: Makeover and dinner.  I did a mini makeover for myself last round, but didn't really feel anything at the end of it (probably because I did it over a week - one small thing a
The anklet I've been waiting to wear
day!)  So this round I'm going to do it again, all at once, (just simple things like face masks, home foot spas etc.) and then actually go out for dinner to make myself feel good!  My friend Mel's agreed to do it with me.

Week 5: Iceskating.  Another carry-over goal.  Just for fun.

Week 6: Run Mt Coot-tha's loop road.  Yep, another carry-over goal, explained in this post.

Week 7: Go to Luna Park.  I've never been!  Each time I'm in Sydney, I remember that I want to go.  So I am aiming to do this, this round!

Week 8: Play a game of baseball.  I haven't played it since I was in primary school.  I used to love it!

Week 9: Buy togs.  Wear togs.  Explained in this post!

Week 10: Beach workout.  You guessed it, explained in this post.

Week 11: Do the steep hill next to my old work.  The title of this is pretty self
Yesterday - 35 days till Straddie
explanatory!  I said 'do' because to run it would be insane.  It's ridiculously steep.  I'll find out the gradient.  I used to have a bit of a fear factor of that hill, as years ago I slipped and fell at the top, one morning on my way to work.  I must have damaged a tendon or something because I hurt myself so much, that for the next week, at random times something would pull on the top of my foot so weirdly, that I physically couldn't walk.  It was still sore two years later.  Needless to say, I've avoided that hill ever since.  But I'm keen to go back and walk it a few times (?) as exercise - as years ago I used it as a means of getting from my car, to the office.  This time it would be to burn calories!

Week 12: Do a photoshoot.  Another carry over goal.  I just have a couple of vouchers that I haven't used yet.  I was meant to do this last round but lost too much self confidence to do it...

I'll of course keep you up to date with how I go!  And just a little message to anyone who's been in the same boat as I have been lately: 

We always have the power to stand up and dust ourselves off.  Forget about the failed attempts, just know that they've made us even stronger, and know that we can still get to where we want to be.  It's not too late.  We always have the power.

"Anything worth having is worth fighting for."


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

12WBT Spring Festival & Melbourne Half Marathon

So here we are, Part 2 of my epic story of a weekend. For Part 1, read my last post.

However, if you just wanna hear an overview of the actual main events, then this is the one to read!

So we're up to the morning I flew out.  I flew to Melbourne with my gorgeous friend Mel, and waiting for us, from earlier flights, were Donna, Julie and Alison. NOW it felt like a finale weekend! Seeing 12WBT friends at random airports across Australia is the most special start to any finale/festival weekend.

On the way into the city, I looked up, and I felt my eyes sparkle. It was like I was seeing Disneyland. There, outside the bus window, was this giant structure.

The MCG.

I'd seen it before, (and remember I am not a sports person!) so I usually would not care one
Donna and I on the bus
iota, but because of the MCG Dream, it took on a whole new meaning.

Look at it...glistening in the sun, waiting for me to it.

My voice almost cracking, I said to Donna who was sitting next to me: "Donna, look, there it is. The MCG....."

As I looked up in wonderment and awe, Donna replied kindly:

"Oh, umm, that's actually Etihad Stadium."

Oh, ok. Moment over. LOL.

After checking into our hotels and a hangry satisfying lunch at South Gate, we went to pick up our race packs for Sunday's runs.
Friday night drinks

I was getting so nervous about the half, that I actually made myself sick. I don't know why I was such a mess. I'd love to say it was because there was so much personally riding on the run, and it was in a city I'd never run in before, but I actually think it was just me, losing belief in myself and my running capability. Hmm something to explore another day...

I kept teasing myself with the knowledge that I was allowed to downgrade to the 10km
Pre festival drinks
when picking up my race pack. But never one to take the easy road, I kept with my plan of a year, and picked up my planned half pack. The 6 hour cut off was making me feel a lot more calm. (I do it in 3, but the pressure of a time limit always makes me anxious and sets my breathing off track!)

There was no backing out now.

We went along to the Friday night drinks, catching up with other 12 weekers. It was a really lovely night - apart from the random woman who grabbed my arm as I was walking to drinks! What the??

And then Saturday was here - FESTIVAL DAY!

Before we could walk inside the pavilion and start the festivities though, I had my second 'shaken up' moment of the weekend, in the cab ride from
Festival breaky!
the city to the showgrounds, where the festival was being held. Not the nicest start to the day! Actually making it to the showgrounds was an ordeal, which resulted in a two way threat of having the police called. When things escalated beyond our control, I ordered us both (Donna and I) out of the cab; we grabbed the closest 12WBT'er we could find (thank you Liz Christie!!) as some form of protection / comfort and we went and hid behind a pavilion until he drove away. Far out! Melbourne, I like cuddles and calm! Why you scare me so?

Scary cabbies out of the picture, I had a great day. It's no major secret that I haven't been feeling great about myself lately, my self confidence levels making me a little quiet. But
somewhere in between heart-on-my-sleeve chats with Larah, Vicki, Sue and Joady, seeing my 12WBT friends again and the general inspiration from the activities of the day, I had a ball. Thank you to my friends who made it special, the staff who made everything ok, and the kind 12WBT'ers who said hello, or told me that I'm on your fridge! It's kind of impossible not to have a great time at a festival.

My day started with the admins breaky and volunteer induction. I volunteered in the Mindset Zone for the morning sessions, so I absorbed as much inspiration as I could from there. Then a lovely meet and greet with
Mindset lesson
Mishy and a quick but yummy lunch, followed by cheering on my friends in the One Active fashion parade. Then straight into my afternoon sessions (all mindset for this blonde duck!), and I finally managed to have a super quick look at the sponsor exhibitors. The day always goes so fast!

Then, group workout time!

I always do the group workout. There's never a question. Even in Sydney 2012, when I had my moon boot on, I did it. (I was on the side, barely bopping up and down, but I partook). I was always going to do this one, too.

But as the day went on, I started thinking that maybe I wouldn't. I told myself it was because
Group workout
I was trying to preserve my energy for the half marathon in the morning, but it was really my stupid beated confidence.

I told myself I would do it, but at 50% effort and intensity. You know, for preserving all that energy and stuff. So I started at the back, on the sidelines.

By the end, I was going nuts, 110% energy, at the front. #shocker

I seriously can't help myself.
So much fun - our mini group in group workout
After a normal, calm, non-scary cab ride back, a shower, a carb loading dinner with friends and a late night panic when I couldn't get my new Camelbak to open to fill with water, I finally made it to bed. Tip - don't leave a stack of your running stuff in Brisbane, and don't try to figure out a new Camelbak at midnight before a half marathon.

I hadn't had a chance to think about the past weeks all consuming MCG Dream over the past 2 days. It was the festival of the Festival, and I'd had a great time, but now it was time to settle down and remember my big day that I had ahead.

30+ crew with Mish
I woke up, and was anything but being excited about my little run and ensuing MCG moment. I ran to the toilet twice while trying to put my shoes on. I was unbelievably nervous. I was suddenly insanely jealous of anyone who was able to sleep in that morning, and all I wanted to do was to crawl back into bed, and not run 21km in a new city.

But, it was partially the tiredness talking, and
My run stuff set out
I got myself together and left the hotel.

The fear was still there. And I suddenly got overwhelmed about the run being interstate. It's not that I'm not confident in new places. I flew around the world when I was 9 years old without my parents, guided by my Dad's typewritten instructions. I'm fine in new cities, I can read maps, blah blah blah, things like that don't phase me. Besides, I'd been to Melbourne before.

But this was feeling different. When I'm on my way to start lines of runs in Queensland, even if I haven't been somewhere before, I have an understanding of where the address is. This mornings address meant nothing to me. And
I left half my Polar in Brisbane! :(
this entire unfamiliarity was intensely fueling my usual morning-of-race apprehension. 

I forgot about my Google maps directing me to the start line and instead followed the lycra clad, laced up people milling the streets, trying to calm myself down. They all looked like they knew where to go, they looked safe, fit, confident.

I forced myself to eat a banana. I felt sick and I was trying so hard not to cry. I half looked up, half tried to post on Instagram about how I was nervous. (Coz Insta always helps).

And then suddenly, this light appeared. LOL. But seriously, it was truly like my Fairy Godmother had worked some kind of magic with a Genie in a Bottle, and as if from nowhere, 5 metres away, had placed Julie Caplice for me to find. Julie - my friend Julie. My 12WBT buddy Julie. My someone familiar Julie. My someone from my hometown of Brisbane Julie. My supportive, wonderful, comforting and calming Julie; she was suddenly

there. I knew she was in Melbourne of course, but it was a surprise to see her in front of me because Julie wasn't even running this morning. She was just strolling with her suitcase,
Following the sneakered people
trying to find a friend to meet for breakfast.

Pounce time.


If inflections could speak, my cry out to Julie would have told a story.

I almost bowled her over. I can't hide how I'm feeling at the best of times. But this morning was out of my control.

"I am so nervous". My eyes told the story anyway, I didn't really have to tell her how I felt. She hugged me and I finally cried a bit. She was just who I needed to see. She walked with me for as long as she could. We asked each other why we do this to ourselves. I asked her why I paid money, to fly
Good morning Melbourne
to a different state, to get up early in the morning, and run for 3 hours. ??

She gave me the boost of comfort I needed, and I made my way to the start line. I cheered on my 10km starter friends, (not that they saw me!) and got excited when I heard Cathy Freeman was also running this morning. I tried to prep myself. My Camelbak, although filled, was now not dispensing water. Grrrr. Fiddling with this took over some of my warm-up time, but I did the best I could.

I turned on my latest running playlist, did some final stretching, and we were off.

Apart from the MCG Dream, this was also my 50th
First run in Melbourne
official running event, so it felt even more special. And despite me not being able to count on my other social media, this was my 7th half marathon.

Friends texts really helped. I started out easy, and took it all in. So this is what it feels like to be running in Melbourne.

I passed Flinders Street Station and smiled for the cameras. I was doing ok.

Finally, around 3km, my Camelbak finally started to work. I began thinking through my MCG Dream and what this run meant to me. I relaxed a little. I was pretty impressed with my pace, with my breathing and my
Run selfie ;)
body. All relaxed, just the way I needed it today.

Maybe this wouldn't be too bad. I was so relaxed and was pushing myself so little, that it was like I forgot that I was running. There was no pain, no anxious breathing, no tiredness. Ok, it was only about 5km in, but still.

And then.

There's always an "and then".

Runners started running towards me.


It was along the straight stretch of St Kilda Road. I didn't understand what was happening straight away. But basically, runners who had already done the loop, were on their way back. It's hard to work out who they were, as the leaders had already gone through alongside me, on a different path. I think these were the half marathoners, coming back. Geez, I was that


It didn't really matter who they were though, the point was, they were coming at me. As in, runners taking over the whole road, and running my way. Were they on the wrong path? Was I?? It was pretty overwhelming. I truly thought I must have gone off course. But I hadn't. There were just no barricades set up, nothing. It was pretty disappointing. I'd say that they didn't think there'd be anyone still running out by the time people started running back in? There were at least 100 people after me at this point. It didn't matter how it had happened, the fact was, there were return runners coming right at me, and I (we) were totally outnumbered by this onslaught. They took over the entire road, not realising some of us were still on the very left, running out.

The runners coming at me had to duck and weave out of my way, and stop taking over the entire road, probably ruining their pace. I started feeling guilty and jumped up to run on the

footpath. It was really embarrassing, too. I felt like this lone runner, slowlllllly running out, while what seemed like the entire rest of the race, started running in. It was humiliating.

In saying that though, 100% kudos to the runners themselves. At least maybe 4 of the top 20 runners, called out some words of encouragement to me. I only very rarely see this in Queensland runs. These guys are at the top of their game - pure focus and equal pace, and they still had the kindness to call out to me as they rushed past.

I couldn't wait to get off this stretch, and just get to the loop of Albert Park, where the course just went forward, with no runners coming the other way. I managed to
make it there, and relaxed. The next 5-7km or so doesn't need describing. It was just my time. It was exactly what I needed - quiet time to reflect why I was running today. It was like my own personal flashback movie to the past two years. Remembering things, moments, just reflecting. 

Stuff like this peps me up...thank you IG ppl!
I started wondering how the finish line would feel.  I'd thought about it a lot, obviously, but now started actually picturing it in detail - how the whole MCG Dream finish line moment would feel.  I considered that maybe it wouldn't feel Amazing with a Capital A.  I know of friends who were let down at the end of major events, because they were expecting This Amazing Feeling of jumping elation, and they didn't feel it.  Sometimes when we pin so much hope onto something, it doesn't feel how we expected - sometimes it can even be like an anti-climax.  

I wondered whether it would be like when I see my 1 year old niece Bella.  We have this special thing that when we see each other, I give her this massive grin, and usually throw my hands in the air and call out "Bellllllllla!"  Kind of like a happy kiddy version of The Glass Menagerie's "Stellllllllla!"  Her little face lights up, she goes to great effort to stand up, her little feet moving fast, sometimes she squeals, and she runs towards me.  (Yes, this is one of the best things in my life - lol, I get the biggest head).  It's like an airport reunion or Rom-Com Hollywood movie scene, every time we see each other.  Our meet ups should have a backing track, they're that dramatic.

But --- the cute thing is, she gets so excited, and she makes every effort to run over to me, and when she gets to me, she just stops.  She's too little to understand what to do with that overexcited feeling - it's the cutest thing.  She doesn't need to worry, as I of course scoop her into my arms!  But I started wondering whether my banner line finish today might be like that.  So much excitement, so much effort, I run towards it, here we GO GO GO!!!! ........And then when I get there, maybe nothing - no special feeling - it may not be a very dramatic moment at all.

I didn't know how I'd feel.  But I knew that it didn't matter.  As I was running, I realised that I already knew that it was about the process of me getting there - literally and figuratively.  I
didn't need a big dramatic feeling at the finish line.

(Do other runners also think through the worlds problems when they run??) :)
The awesome lolly lady

After the loop, I met up with the marathoners. It was kind of perfect for me. There weren't many of us half marathoners left, but the marathon had been going for an extra hour and had to do double the distance, and route wise, our paths met up for a similar return stint. I automatically felt calm, like I fit in. Not that I minded terribly, but doing the loop was kind of lonely. Meeting up with the large group of marathoners made me feel like I blended in. Unless someone really took note of the colour of bibs we were wearing, no-one would have known that I was a half marathoner running amongst mostly full marathoners. I rarely feel like I 'fit in', in events, so I relished this time, feeling calm.

I smiled at supporters on the side lines. There were a couple of people handing out lolly

snakes from an Allens packet. They weren't wearing a uniform, there was no advertisement or obvious business reason they were there. Just a kind soul knowing that a hit of sugar would be very, very appreciated by exhausted runners.

Around 14-15km, my feet started to hurt. I never get sore feet from running, but I did this day. I chose the wrong shoes for this run and boy, was I starting to realise it.

I was also starting to get that exhausted, 'I'm 3/4 of the way through a half marathon' feeling. And it sounds a bit sick, but I was actually enjoying it. I think it's because, for the first real time in an event, I let myself purposefully walk for a bit, during the Albert Park loop. It was something I wanted to try, and felt like doing at the time. It was fine, but it didn't feel right. I'm a runner, and I like to run. I don't regret it, but at the same time, I didn't love it. I
First sight of MCG mid-run.  SO awesome.
didn't feel there was any urgency, and it wasn't until I went back to running, that I recognised how I love the thrill and the effort, and how the sweat and exhaustion, although so painful, is satisfying even while happening, because you know how proud of yourself you'll be, when you make it through. I'm not dissing walking, it's just that for me, I'm glad I tried this because it confirmed for me what I love.

The closer we got to the MCG, the more the routes went a little more all over the place. Especially because the marathoners had another extra loop before they finished (compared to us). It started to be a bit unnerving, because I kept seeing runners on streets alongside me and across from me, and over from me, and I started worrying whether or not I was still on the right (half marathon) path.

There was one point around the 17km-ish (?) mark where I really started to imagine things and second guess myself. There seemed to be runners everywhere - and I couldn't figure

out how they got there. I did some quick calculations and couldn't work out where the marathoners extra loop came in. I hadn't seen any turn offs, and I started to panic that I could be on the marathon route. That was the last thing I wanted to do, do some extra km's! Surely the marathoners should have turned off by now? I could see my path about to curve around to the right, as if going backwards, and I was worried that this was the extra marathon loop. I shouldn't be doing that loop - but we were curving around - what if this was it??

On an anxious whim, at this point I almost crossed the street to join another path of runners, because I'd convinced myself so much that I'd gone off track. But I turned the corner, and clear as day, were some massive signs.

Full marathon and 10km LEFT
Half marathon RIGHT

I was actually so relieved (and can you guess, a little MCG Dream induced emotional), that I started crying a bit. Why was I worrying?? Of course the signs would be clear enough! It's
Donna made this for me for my run!  So lovely.
one of my biggest running fears, to go off course, and I've had a few close calls in my time that plagues this fear.  So on this day, I was so relieved. Everything was going to be ok.

I kept running, and after getting to 19km, I realised it was time to get my 'finishing song' on. I like to have a good soundtrack going on in my headphones when I go over finish lines.

I have a few favourite finish line songs, and I quickly decided which one I wanted for today. This one, for my run of epic runs, had to be a good one! It took me a while to find what I wanted on my iPod, my finger going around and around the scroller. I asked myself why I don't have my favourite finishing tracks at the front of playlists, or somewhere easy to find?!
Me and the MCG :)

It played for a while, but it wasn't grabbing me - so I changed it again.

Seriously Kate?? Just run!

I barely had looked up from my song selection, and my beautiful friend Alison appeared next to me! She was just what I needed at that point. She encouraged me along, and I tried to take it all in. This was the moment! The MCG was on my right - I was getting really close now.

But would you believe it, my soundtrack still wasn't right. I know you're screaming in your head at me- don't worry, I was doing enough of that myself. Screw the other songs, I decided that I vitally NEEDED to listen to "Stronger", by Kelly Clarkson. I estimated I had enough time to get the song up, and still have time to take in the moment before hitting the finish line.

It took me so long to scroll to the song, (it's hard to do while running!) and I also developed Runners Brain because I suddenly forgot my alphabet (?) and thought I'd gone past the song when I got to the letters 'Sto....'.  Apparently 'O' comes after 'R'?  I took so long mucking
Me at Jacq at the festival x
around with songs, that I looked up, and suddenly the finish line was there, just up ahead.

Far out, that came a lot quicker than I thought!

I had to forget about "Stronger".  It didn't matter about the music now.  I threw my iPod down my top and looked up for 10 seconds before I ran through.  A couple of people called my name (thank-you), and through I went.

And -------- I felt nuthin'.  Haha!  Thankfully I'd prepared myself for such a moment!  I hadn't exactly helped the moment be full of serenity or accomplishment by spending the last 2km fixated on my bloody iPod - but anyway!

But yeah, I didn't feel anything.  No elation, no relief, nothing.  If anything I was just a bit surprised, as the finish line seemed to come around so quickly.  I was also wondering where my friends were.  I knew Donna was waiting for me, and I thought there may be a couple of other friends, but I wasn't sure.  But apart from the kind
Instagram follower (!) xx and lovely man, no-one else seemed to be around for me.  No Donna or anyone...strange.

Oh well.  I was sure I'd find them - but first I needed my medal!!!

It was a bit crazy at the finish site.  It was a mass of people, with so many official 'medal holders' all over the place, all holding medals for the multiple events that were on that morning.  People were going in between them, trying to find the correct medal for their own events.  I joined them.  I went up to the first person, but they didn't have any Half medals.  I went to someone else.  They didn't either - they directed me to someone else.  The majority seemed to only have 5km, 10km and Full mara medals.  I got a little worried -
they'd better not have packed the Half medals away, or run out of them!  I wasn't that slow!

I went up to the third medal holder and asked if she had a Half medal.

She looked at me and paused, and very slowly, very kindly, explained:  

Volunteers and Mish
"Umm, I'm not sure how you did it, but you've somehow managed to finish in the Marathon section.  The Half marathon finishes somewhere else."


Maybe because she said it so kindly, or maybe because I knew that it didn't matter what happened at the finish line because it's the run that counted, but I was fine.  I mean, I wasn't happy!  I was pretty shocked....but I took this information in my stride.

She continued: "Maybe go to the finish banner and ask one of the officials what to do."

I thanked her for this very helpful bit of information (!), and made my way back to the finish banner.

I marveled for about 5 seconds to myself, about how well I handled this.  So impressive, Kate.  Cool, calm and collected, taking it in my stride.

As I neared the banner though, I noticed my breathing get slightly erratic...

Heidi :)
I got there and spotted a guy in a black shirt.  I'm going to call him James - he kind of looked like a James.  James looked about the same age as my youngest brother.  He was an official.  He was yelling at everyone to move away from the finish banner, to stop crowding and allow runners to have space to finish.  James seemed a bit scary, and definitely not the empathetic type that I knew that I needed to get me out of this little situation.  I decided to look for someone else.  But before I could, James met eyes with me.
I didn't have to say anything.  He looked down at my green half marathon bib, looked up at me, shook his head in amazement, and said " did you manage to do that?"  (Go off course and finish in the wrong section!)

As soon as we met eyes, I felt my bottom lip go.  And as soon as he asked me that, I burst into tears.

Oh dear God, Kate.  Yeah, good handling.

However, James was phenomenal.  He immediately rushed in: "it's ok!  Don't worry!  We'll fix this!  It's ok!"

SLAP BANDS!  Best.thing.ever.
Hahaa oh, poor James.  Boys hate when girls cry.  They don't know how to deal.  But James was good! 

He must have sisters.

He immediately left what seemed like a very important posting at the finish banner, and led me away.  "Come with me - it's ok!  It'll all work out!"
He was so, so lovely.  James just led me through the crowd, me blubbering away like a lost child at a fair.  I almost grabbed onto his arm, there were that many people, that I kept almost losing him.  That, and he was my white knight, and I was beside myself.

He led me to a barricade that had a security guard manning it.  A guard yelled out at me as I walked towards it.  

"What are you doing?  You can't go over there!"

"I'm with him!  He's an official!"  And I pointed at James.

We kept walking over, and we got to the barricade.  James had to do some sweet talking, and yet still, a second guard yelled at me. 

"You're not allowed through here!"

I almost grabbed James for real this time, but I held off.  He seemed to handle tears, he may not appreciate me hugging his arm.

"I'm with him!  He's helping me!  I went the wrong way!" 

More tears.

Admin photo
The guard let James and the crazy crying girl through.  

James pointed.
He explained to go straight ahead.  
Find the road.
Turn left.
Go to the very end of the road.
"And you'll find where you're meant to be."

It was like lines from a self motivation book.

I very tearfully thanked James for helping me, apologising, crying, all of that.  Poor, unsuspecting James was released. 

And I now had to find my actual finish zone.

I couldn't believe it.  I still hadn't finished.

12WBT know that they need to power up the selfie makers!
I looked ahead and followed the instructions.  Straight ahead I had to go....there were people everywhere.  It was hard enough to walk, let alone run.  I looked at them all, with their shiny medals, milling around, kids and partners with them now, everyone relaxing, taking their time, because yes, they had finished their event - they could.

They were very sloooooow and taking over the whole path, not seeming to move.  I WAS STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF MY EVENT!  I was screaming on the inside: "Let me through, people!"

I kept going straight, and suddenly there were some stairs.  I was obviously a little bit overwhelmed by the whole morning, because the stairs almost rattled me.  Stairs?  Stairs??  James didn't say I'd see stairs!  Do I go up them to find the road?  Or keep going??

Arriving in Melbourne texts :)
I kept going - completely frazzled - I don't usually have to duck and weave through practically stationary crowds in the middle of my events!

I found the road.  I was so relieved!  I turned left, as he had said to do.

All I had to do was get to the end of this road (it was pretty long!)

I started my mission, and suddenly someone called out to me.
Lovely Larah x

It was kind of like the Julie moment from that morning.  There in front of me, was my mate Dean, from work.  Deano sits about 3 desks away from me at work in Brisbane - and out of the 30000 deep crowd, in Melbourne, I ran into him.

Dean was doing his first full marathon this morning.  Leading up to it, and all through my run, I was excited as I thought I would probably finish before him, and then I could cheer him over the finish line, and take photos for him, and support him....I had it all worked out.

Instead, here he was.  He called out - he showed me his medal - he'd done it!  Gone was the idea of me being his finish line cheersquad, there was none of that.  Instead, I said a quick well done, and then tearfully told him what had happened.  I had been planning on being this tower of support and friendship for him that day, and instead, I was a sobbing mess and broke down on his shoulder.  Augh!

He was lovely and confirmed I was going the right way.  "Just down there".

I apologised and said I wanted to stay, but I was in the middle of my event still, so couldn't
stay and chat!

I kept going...I got to the end of the road.  I couldn't see any finish site or banner.  I started wondering if my friends were wondering where I was.  They told me later they were a bit concerned - most of the friends who were at GCAM with me, were here today - so they started to worry something similar had happened this time!

I looked around, and then suddenly, it all seemed to be like a scene from a movie or something.  It all happened so fast.

I kept searching, and found the finish site.  By now, there was hardly anyone there.  All I could see though,
Love Erica!
was the correct finish banner up ahead, and in the foreground, my beautiful supportive friend Donna, standing there with her camera, calling out encouragement.
I had to break through a barrier to get back onto my course.  And as I broke through, it all hit me.  The irony was definitely not lost on me.  I had gone off course, but had navigated my way back to where I meant to be.  It was scary and took longer than normal, but I had made it.  Physically, in the run today, and metaphorically, in the last 2 years with the MCG Dream. 
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
No wonder I felt nothing when I went through the wrong (Marathon) section.  My emotions were needed here, it seemed.

I ran ahead, and this time it felt ultimate.  I don't think it could have felt more special if I had dreamt it.

I ran forward, all I could see was the banner.  As I went through, I looked down, and there was a red mat that said the word "FINISH".  

Over.  It was done.  I had gotten there.

Suddenly, some arms reached out to me.  I think it was a combination of me being at the end of the last 2 years, the end of the MCG Dream, the end of the last 20min. debacle, and the end of running for 21.1km (or whatever I ended up doing!), but as soon as I realised it was someone I knew, my beautiful friend Leonie Grey, I lost it.  I fell into her, and started this weird howling.  I cried,
really loudly, and really deeply.  I don't usually cry like that.  (And, despite how many times I've described me crying this day, I don't even cry that often!)  But this was full on howling.  Leonie led me away from the banner, holding me up.  She probably doesn't know why I was like that, but Leonie, here you go, this is the moment in words. :)  I was also probably very embarrassing!  Not that many people were left!
Leonie had heard another guy who went through the banner just before me say that he had done the same thing and gone off course and finished in the Marathon section, so I wasn't the only one.  I had looked up a map previously but must have seen an old one as the Full and Half finished together in the one I looked at!

I calmed down really quickly, and then I was just in pain.  My feet were in agony - they were so swollen and hot and I wanted to take my shoes off like nothing else, but I had to now walk for a couple of km's to get to where we were meeting friends for lunch.  I won't describe how painful and slow that walk was, but I learnt a good shoes lesson that day. After a massive lunch (especially for Catherine!) and a quick shower in the hotel gym, it was off to the airport and back home.
Celebratory beer

So, all done!  An awesome Festival, followed by my most meaningful run to date.  Together with my most emotional finish to date!

And now, it's back to normal life.  I'll update soon as to what that means for me in the weight loss world, and where I'm at, at the moment.  One thing though, is I started the October round yesterday. :) 

Chat soon! xx

P.S. More photos from the weekend below!

Mel and I at Brisbane airport
Picking up our race packs photo shoot
Goal setting!
The festival
With the gorgeous Michaela and Claire x
Kym and I :)
Best showbags ever!
I'm in the 12WBT mag!

Sun rising over the MCG as I walk towards it to start my run :)

My post race support team!  AKA friends...Donna, Sharon, Leonie, Mel and Alison.
Chilling out, waiting to board our flight home