Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Marathon fears

Remember that one time when I said I'd run a marathon?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yes, here's that inevitable post, about the elephant in the room that I haven't much
mentioned of late.

The Marathon.

Yes, I capitalise it because that's how monumental this is, in so many ways.

Where do I start?

I've been writing this post on and off for a couple of weeks.  Things have progressed a lot since I started writing it.  So this is Part 1.  I'll write the second part very soon.  This post is trying to capture where I've been at lately, in regards to The Marathon.

So I made this marathon goal a few days after my first half marathon, in August last year.  And now I find myself less than 3 weeks out, completely freaking out.

Let me begin by going se
The dress
emingly off topic for a moment.  Bear with me, this little story is actually completely relevant.


A few years ago I was maid of honour in my friends wedding.  We went dress shopping - there were 3 of us bridesmaids - and we found a dress for us.  Finding said dress wasn't as smooth sailing as that sentence implies.  I will always have nightmares about those shopping trips.  They were some of the most humiliating experiences of my life.  The other bridesmaids were 'normal' sizes.  I was Size 28.  That can never be fun.  There were special shopping trips and secret phone calls from the brides mother to the shop assistant to explain about my size.  There were teary texts from me to other friends from bridal shop change rooms, where I'd force myself to hold it together before breaking down in my car after each shopping trip.  And when we finally found 'the' dress, I said the same thing that I've said with each of the 6 times I've been bridesmaid: "Oh, I'll get a dress a size (or four) smaller, because I'll lose weight before the wedding."

SHOW ME ONE BRIDESMAID WHO'S ACTUALLY LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT LEADING UP TO A WEDDING.

I'm sure there's some out there, but I am not one of them.  I said this at each of the other 5 weddings and each time never lost weight.  Thankfully I for some reason never ordered too small a dress.  But this time!  This time I really was going to lose weight for my friends big day.

Really. 

Really...

Well the dress that we chose only went up to a Size 24 (?).  So being a Size 28, I actually had no choice but to order the 'smaller' Size 24.  To make me feel even more great about myself, I then had to special order extra material and organise for a dressmaker to insert an extra big ass panel into the already huge tent. :/

When the special order material arrived, I went along to the dressmaker and showed her what I needed to have done to the dress, to make it even more parachute like.  She measured me up, and then I said my famous bridesmaid line: "Oh, but can you please make it a bit smaller because I'm going to lose weight before the wedding.  Like 10kg."

Jan The Dressmaker is this sweet old thing who looks older than my grandmother.  She nodded politely and took in what I said and didn't say a word.  I kept going: "yep, so 10kg.  I'll be losing that!  Just remember...10kg.  So make it a bit smaller please.  10kg, that'll be gone!  You mark my words!  10kg!"

The wedding was like 2-3 weeks away.  And I was stressed to the max.  It was a big call, to promise to lose 10kg quickly.  I had a lot of pressure riding on this!  Aside from bigger than normal bridesmaid related stress, I had a dress that I had now ordered to be made a bit small.  And this was my friends big day!  I couldn't ruin this for her!  It had to fit.

So, what did this stressed Size 28 binge eater do?  Why, I ate!  And ate, and ate some more!

The more I worried about it, the more I stressed, and the more I ate.  Then I'd remember the dress - and shove more in my mouth.  I was destroying my chances of fitting into the dress with every mouthful I gorged back.  It was the most awful cycle.

A few weeks later, by the time the dress was ready, I had of course not only not dropped the 10kg, I had actually put on weight.

Now the reason Jan The Dressmaker looks older than my grandmother is because she probably is - and she's been around for long enough and has sewed and altered so many bridal, formal and other dresses for so many females, that she knows her stuff.

She knows her stuff so well, that unbeknownst to me, she had actually made the dress bigger.  She was a bit sneaky by doing that without checking; she took a pretty big gamble!  But she's probably seen enough stressed, overweight bridesmaids in her time, to know what to expect.  And she wasn't wrong.  Only thanks to her, the now bigger than big dress fit perfectly, and she even made me a wrap with the extra material, to cover my arms...  I practically jumped on her to hug her, I was so relieved.  Her sneaky gamble paid off, very luckily for me!

And this is what I have called 'Bridesmaid Syndrome'.  It's when you're so stressed about something, that instead of working hard and doing what you should be doing, you sabotage yourself silly and do the opposite.

And that is what I've been doing about my upcoming marathon.

No - I don't mean I've been binge eating.  (See a previous post about my weight loss stall), but no, that's not what I mean.

What I mean is, I have been so stressed and worried about this marathon, that I've lost sight of what I need to do, and have let my training and head space be greatly affected. :(

I've had major Bridesmaid Syndrome about the run.  Every time I think of it I get so stressed out, that it's, as Mish says, 'paralysis by analysis'.  I get frozen with fear and instead of having a clear head, doing what I need to do and just moving forward, I've been stuffing up my chances.

It hasn't helped that I've created this ridiculous pressure around myself to do run this thing.

The pressure is completely self induced, but that doesn't make it any easier.

It all began with the promise I made with Greg and Ruth.  Us 3 decided to run the 2014 Gold
Coast Airport Marathon - that's where it all began.  We heeded a friends suggestion and the next day made up a Facebook page, which people could 'Like' and follow our journeys on.  

"Kate, Greg and Ruth's Road To The Marathon" Facebook page was created.

Within a few days we had an email from the GCAM marketing department.  (Of course we did - of course the authorities knew me by name, within days of choosing to participate in something!) ;)

We'd used one of their logos as the cover photo on our Facebook page.  They politely asked us to remove it, so as to avoid confusion with people searching for the real GCAM page on Facebook.  Fair enough, of course.  We meant no harm in using their picture.  But of course, absolute fair call and we took it down straight away.

They then offered, how's this - to create us our own personalised official logo, for us to use instead.  We would have our own official GCAM marketing department created logo with our names on it!  So, so cool.

We accepted their offer and they sent us this:

Pretty cool marketing department, huh!

And that was just the start...

We soon had a gaggle of friends from our mutual circles put their hands up to join us on the weekend.  Literally dozens of our friends stepped forward and pledged that they too, were going to run the full, the half, the 10km, or 5.7km that weekend.  People started booking accommodation and flights to make their own running dreams come true.

It was going to be the best weekend :)

We couldn't wait.  It was going to be like finale!  This amazing few days on the Gold Coast, each of us running our own race and cheering like crazy for the rest.

I was particularly excited to share this experience with Ruth and Greg.  I'm pretty convinced that neither of them knows how much I adore them.

But not only them, but plus a whole stack of our other friends and acquaintances??

I booked my leave from work and found a great hotel deal and booked that too.

The weekend of July 6th, 2014 was in our sights!

Around that time I made a pact with the two guys I sat next to at work, Dean and Tom.  We talk about running all the time.  We made a goal for the 3 of us to run the GCAM14 and take a photo of us all at the finish line.  

We shook on it.

I love these guys - this desk buddies photo promise got me even more pumped.

I then joined Marathon School.  I have the T-shirt!  For months I've been going to their seminars - it's pretty much all theory based - and I've been learning about everything from self massage to running nutrition.

Soon after joining is when I think the stress started to hit.

The first time I noticed it was the Twilight Run.  I pushed through that run when I shouldn't have.  And as much as I wouldn't change it as I made a few friends out of it (hello Jess, Jason and Patricia!) <3  and got to tick it off my list (and got a medal!), it was the first run of many since, that I haven't enjoyed.

I pushed myself so much in that run that it's like it made me a bit fearful of running events.  It also did nothing for my self confidence as I added 20min. to my average half marathon time!

I've never told anyone this, but that run seemed to go on for so long, that I even stopped listening to music in the car.  It sounds utterly ridiculous, but because the run seemed to go forever, it felt like I had been listening to music forever, and as a result it's only been the last week or so: 2-3 months after the event, that I've been able to bear listening to music or the radio again.

Can you tell that that run did my head in?

But music and time confidence issues aside, the main pain point from that event was, at the back of my mind, all I could think of was "and you're expecting to run a full marathon in July?"

Ever since then, I've been getting myself so knotted up and so worried, that I can't think straight.

I then joined a running team at work, to help raise money for a young work colleague who has been diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and needed urgent treatment.  We decided to run GCAM for her - we created a team and a fundraising page and it felt special that we'd be running for this brave girl.

The more teams I joined, the more pacts I made, the more I stressed, and the less I trained.

I then signed up - it was now official.

And to make it even more official, I then announced it on Facebook.

Whoah.

Facebook.  Can you get any more official? :P

I don't know how to explain it very well - all I know is that I have been a total stress head. Somewhere in between making this big, exciting goal for myself, and the last few months, I've lost sight of why I wanted to do this in the first place.

I started considering alternatives.  I could drop down to the Half Marathon.  I could pull out all together.  I could do the 10km or 5.7km events.  I could just give it a go and see what happens.

But every time I considered changing the goal, I'd remember all of the pacts that I had made.  Why on earth would I go to Marathon School if I wasn't going to run a marathon??  And Deano and Tom at work??  We shook on this and promised we'd get a finish line photo!  Our Facebook group - Greg, Ruth, all the gang - I don't want to miss out on this!  This girl from work, she can't run - her body is riddled with Cancer.  The least I could do is run for her!  She gave me a lot of perspective.  

Greg then managed to secure us a sponsor who supplied us with socks for the event!  Steigen.  So completely generous - and so exciting to have a sponsor!  There was more - I made a promise to my old boss from 2 jobs back that I'd run it, too.  Everywhere I turned, there was a promise I'd made.

And I kept getting stressed.  And that stress has meant, that every time I've run lately, it's been a chore.  Even boot camp warm up runs - all of 400 metres (!) have been stressing me out.  Do I even need to mention the #trainwreckrun ?  It's no coincedence that my events lately have not gone to plan.

The pressure kept mounting.  Every time I thought about pulling out, I remembered one of the teams I was in and knew that I couldn't give up on this, because I couldn't let anyone else down.

And I remembered how many people I'd told.  And if Facebook wasn't enough, last Thursday I was having a bit of a doubtful marathon day and was daydreaming about other options.  A national magazine I'm in came out that day.  (Exciting!  I'll load a pic of the article in a post soon).  But I got a copy from the newsagency and was reading it and realised that I'd even said in the interview that I'm training for the GCAM.  Doh!  Yeah, be careful what you say publicly.

Later that day my work running team contacted me, they wanted to see if we could get together for a quick photo shoot.  My work produces a magazine that's available to the public, and they wanted to do a story about our team, and how we were running for our work friend.

So as if one magazine in one day wasn't enough, we had some photos taken for another, our team together, holding up some words...and I got asked to hold the word 'RUN'. 


And that's why I haven't been able to think straight.  I've unintentionally created this mountain of pressure surrounding my aim to run this.  There's nothing wrong with joining teams and telling the world.  I was enthusiastic, determined and excited.  Of course I'd join all of the teams.  But in my case, for some reason, it's stressed me out.  Now I can handle stress, but what I haven't handled, is what it's done to my running :(

Now it's taken a lot of soul searching and a few chats with some lovely 'running mums' - 12WBT runners who have been PM'ing me to check on me <3  They are simply beautiful <3 but I've finally realised what's been happening.  

Bridesmaid Syndrome.  All of this pressure I've put on myself has made me go the other way.  In an ideal pre-first marathon world, one would be training as per plan, testing out their race plan, getting properly prepared.

Me?  Well I've been a bundle of nerves stress head self saboteur who's been spending their runs with enough negative self talk to stop an event in it's tracks.  That, and running away from the police. 

Apart from pressure.com, what I've been mainly stressing about all along, is the time cut off.  The strictly enforced time limit is 6.5 hours.  All of my estimated calculations show that  I'll have no time to play with.  My forecasted time is....6.5 hours...

When it comes down to it, aside from anything else, I KNOW I can run 42.2km.  I have no proof (yet), but I know that I can do it.  6 months ago I felt like I could run 42.2km.  I was holding off for GCAM to give it a go!  My ability to run 42.2km is not my fear.  My fear is, running 42.2km in 6.5 hours.  

And of course, there is my O pain and back pain.  Some of my runs have really worried about my ability to hold up against it.  To be honest this is a minor concern in comparison to letting people down.

And this is where I've been at.

The Marathon has consumed my mind for months.  There's a reason I've been a little quiet about it (comparitively!)  It's because I haven't been able to think straight.  Every time I think about it, self doubt kicks in...of making the distance in the time.  When I think about pulling out, I remember the seemingly millions of teams that I'm in and pinkie promises that I've made and tell myself that I can not change this commitment.  I'd be letting too many people down.  And that includes myself.  Imagine me not fulfilling one of the biggest goals I've made myself!  Kate doesn't quit goals.  Everything in turn makes me feel hot all over and I stop thinking clearly, and I feel like I can't run - and I don't.  It's a cycle I wouldn't wish on any runner.  Especially one who's booked into their first marathon in 2.5 weeks.

I'm sure you, as the reader, are seeing this more clearly than I have been.  It's taken me a while but I've finally had a bit of clarity over the last week or so.  I needed to, just while I think, put aside everything that's not about me.  Sick work colleague, Deano and Tom, Greg and Ruth, my old boss, 12WBT and 30+ fellow GCAM friends, public announcements, personal logos, sponsors, Marathon School, time off work, accommodation bookings, all of it.

And remember who I was actually running this for.  Why was I doing this in the first place?

I've been able to put everything aside for the moment and think somewhat clearly.  I'm a little less stress-head than I was even just a few days ago.  I'll explain this in my next post.  I'm not trying to be secretive or annoyingly suspenseful - it's just that I have vague sense of the length of this post already, and more importantly, I am yet to be 100% comfortable with the outcome of all of this.  I'll post very soon but for now I just needed to get my thoughts up to a certain point written and out into cyber world, off my chest.

Thanks for listening xo

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Found: 1 runners mojo

Hey hey hey!

So today I did the City2South 14km run in Brisbane.


I was always going to do it - it was such an enjoyable event last year that as soon as it finished, I said out loud that I'd be doing it again in 2014.  Because of this, it was always on my actual 2014 run list 'The List' (why haven't I burnt that thing yet??) 

However....

As you can probably imagine, if you've been following my story, I've lost a bit of my runners mojo.  I'm in the middle of another post about that, all about the Gold Coast Marathon.  So much more to say on that.  But in a nutshell, I have lost it, as well as now being so under confident with running.  My last few runs haven't gone great, and the latest one (#trainwreckrun) managed to
destroy almost the last iota of self confidence I had left.

Usually I'd have the course map picture on my desk at work leading up to an event, I'd be preparing for it and obviously have signed up.  But it got to yesterday morning, and I'd done none of the above.  I still wasn't sure whether I should do it.  I was beside myself nervous about the prospect, and I
knew that it was such a risk to run - it could make or completely break my runners confidence.

At the very last minute yesterday, (as in at 11:59am when registrations closed at 12:00pm!), I signed up.

I realised I did want to do it.  I was terrified but sometimes you have to push through the fear and just be brave, otherwise you won't move forward.
Picking up my race pack

Over the course of yesterday, I worked some things out.  It's like I was starting to remember why I ran.  Because amidst the runners stress of late, I forgot.  

I went to pick up my race pack, and walking through the mini health and fitness expo they had set up, I started getting excited.  I also had some good friends give good advice.  And then one of them sent me this:

It blew my mind.  This is just part of a longer message that has such insight into me at the moment.  I have permission to publish it :)  I realised she was right.  If I had any chance of
getting through this little runner lull I've been in, I needed to enjoy today.  Ignore times, ignore everyone around me, and just REMEMBER WHY I RUN.

I decided to go out and have fun.  Relax, breathe, take it as it came, and avoid all police. ;)

I had a bit of stress when I hopped in the car and thought I'd better check where the start line was, and realised I had it completely wrong!  That's what happens when you only sign up the day before, Kate!  You'd think it would be obvious, and that "City 2 South" would probably start in the city, right?  Uh, yeah I thought it started at West End where the finish line was.  My little blonde moment made me a bit worried about making it on time, but I got into the city and parked.

I started walking to the start line, and about 5 cars in front of me, I noticed something on the road, in between 2 other parked cars.  There was a pair of what I thought were running knife.  Like a large chopping knife.
Collecting discarded jumpers for the homeless!
shoes...I immediately assumed a City 2 South entrant had done some weird change and left their shoes behind?  I don't know...but then I realised next to the shoes, there was a pair of scissors, and next to the scissors, a

What the?

Our cars (and this weird little scene) were alongside a bit of a dodgy park.  One of those parks that you would never walk through at night.  (For those locals, it was Wickham Park).  It just seemed really odd, and I felt I needed to report it.  There was no obvious blood on the knife, but I didn't stop to check it out properly either.  The whole thing just seemed weird.  You never know what information can help.  I've had two friends in the past year who saw stuff that looked out of place, didn't want to be over the top but ended up speaking up, and one of the clues ended up being a part of a murder and one a suicide, so I realise it's worth saying something, just in case.

So while I walked to the start line, I rang Crimestoppers to report it - besides, the knife needed to be removed!  I didn't realise the phone call would be so lengthy though!  They were still asking questions and information from me as I was in the start chute, while I was warming up!  As the group shuffled forward, I told them I was about to start running and they let me go.. ;)

And we went through the start banner, and it was on!  I wrote 'Enjoy' on my hand to remind me of my intentions at all times.

And my aim worked :)

I stopped caring about those around me, about my pace or my time, and just ran because I enjoyed the experience.  Despite where I am with things, I knew it was more important today to focus on my mind rather than on my actual running.  I'll be honest, it did help that this was also an encouraged walking event, so there were hundreds of people behind me and I didn't have that pressure of bringing up the rear.  As an extra comfort, the 5km event joined in with ours for the last few km's, and because they started about 1.5 hours after we did, I had most of that event behind me too.  So I blended in.  This was a huge comfort.  That's all I ever want.  I don't want to be surrounded by flashing lights and gawked at.

The start line
In saying that, I had this peace about me today, where I, to a point, wouldn't have minded as much if I had been in a position like I usually find myself in.<3
 
My O pain and back pain was pretty bad today.  My O pain was stabbing me last night... :( which wasn't a good start.  Around 2km's in, the pain started and started spreading.  I decided that if it got too bad, that I would stop.  It was such an amazing thought, for me to give myself permission to do that and to be ok with it.  As much as the #trainwreckrun was awful, the fact that I've now stopped running once has sort of given me permission to actually listen to my running body, for the first time ever.

Anyway.....!  I kept going and really there's not much to write home about, as it was just good!  No issues, no panic, no police fixated on me.  Brisbane's version of Heartbreak Hill was pretty tough going but I pushed up it.  I did the event alone but saw friends before, during (like Sarie!) and after and had an Awesome Runner call out to me to cheer me on.  It was such a lovely crowd.  I enjoyed everything I ran past, I even went through the mist tent!  I've been too scared to try it out before, in case it mucks
up my breathing.  But I relaxed myself and ran through, and it was fun!

As much as today was about relaxing and enjoying and looking after myself, I also used the opportunity to test out a few things before the big Gold Coast event.  I now know for sure that I need to change shoes for the GCM - I worked a lot of things out today.  I also thought I had my GCM food picked out but I got some new stuff from the expo yesterday and tried it out today.  It was actually really good!  I'll talk more about my run nutrition plan in another post.  But the food went well.  I also tried out Gatorade while running.  I usually stick to water, but Marathon School have encouraged us to use the Endura that they'll have at the GCM, so I thought I should test this out...it wasn't Endura, but it was a sports drink.  I've done it before during a run and for memory it didn't sit well with me.  I couldn't remember why...I had maybe 2 small cups on the run and downed a full one when I finished, as an experiment.  More on that soon...

The whole run was so well organised and I remember this now from last year.  I am sure it's the most organised event I've been a part of, and I've heard others say the same.  Fairfax Events (I believe it is), take a bow!  Absolutely tops - this event should be a benchmark for
One of the Westpac zones. So impressed.
some others.  And sponsor wise, Westpac!  They were just amazing too.  They handed out red Westpac sweat bands around 3km, gave a line of high 5's at 5km, and then at 11km-ish, around Heartbreak Hill, they handed out red Westpac sponges, filled with cold water!  I bathed myself running up a hill!  What an awesome idea!  At the finish site there was a Westpac tent where you could get a professional photo taken, beanbags, massages and a table full of fruit, muffins, bacon and cheese crossaints, banana bread, coffee and more.  All of their volunteers were just lovely and it was so nice to see a massive contingent of Westpac staff members running.  They had their own special tent and I saw a group photo being taken and it just made me so impressed with the company, that they support their staff in that way.

Anyway enough about corporate stuff!  Back to the end
Tanya, me and Mel
of my run! ;)

The last 500m was so much fun...I was coming down that hill and running towards this awesome scene of the finish line, the finish site with heaps of activity, people lining the street and just this cool atmosphere.  As I got closer I saw 2 friends on the side of the road and they started cheering.  I high 5'd them and got some speed up, then another guy near them was holding a sign saying "free high 5's" :)  So I high 5'd him.  People were cheering and it was just so much fun and motivating that I went nuts (nuts for me!) and sprinted to the end.  I started getting breathing anxiety so it is very lucky that it was the end of the run!

I went through the finish line and got my medal.  And suddenly I realised what I had just done - it just hit me.  I'd found my 'happy run' again.  I haven't had it for a very long time.  And I signed up and showed up despite my no confidence.  I enjoyed the whole thing and did it well.  What I felt today was why I like running!  I actually started to cry a bit!  I don't know that I've ever done that at a finish line before :)  (#trainwreckrun doesn't count). :)

I chatted to some friends I saw and then wandered over to the Westpac tent to hang out before my friends Mel and Tanya finished their 5km.  I wanted to cheer them over the line.

Halfway
I lined up at Westpac and suddenly something hit me and I didn't feel well.  It was awful.  I stayed lined up but it got worse.  It was like waves going over me.  I felt sick, a bit faint and didn't know what to do.  Miss Stupid here decided to stay in the line for the photo as I was so close to the front of the line!  I got my photo, skipped the food and left the tent immediately.  I didn't know what to do :(  I felt like I needed to lie down and considered getting help, but then I realised I actually may just need to go to the toilet.  I made a dazed beeline for the portaloos (I hate using them!  But was desperate).  I felt so much better after that though - that sort of fixed how I was feeling.  This is quite personal, isn't it. ;)  I'd texted Mel to say where I was and that I was sick and would meet her soon (I missed both her and Tanya finishing
because of this!) :(  And the lovely thing was waiting outside the portaloos as soon as I got out.

We went back to the Westpac tent and I lay in a beanbag for a while - my pain was back, post race seizing DOMS type pain was there, and I was still not feeling 100%.  I accepted Mel and David's offer of a lift to my car whereas usually I would have said I was fine.  I really needed that lift! 

I've spent the rest of the day lying down (and in the bathroom!) and I now feel a lot better.  I'm off to investigate things a bit further this week.  But the sick part, I believe that was the Gatorade - I remember now that that's what happened to me last time!  I'm so glad I tested it today on this event.  I might test out Endura but I think I am just going to stick to water.  There's no way I want to feel like I did today at the GCM or ever again for that matter.

So yes!  That is my little run report!  I'm so glad I did it.  It reminded of what I'm capable of
and about how much positive thinking influences what we do.  I got caught up in so much stress and worry and it's been clouding my judgement.

I found my lost running mojo today :)


"Don't quit cause Kate will slap me." LOL.  At the Mothers Day Classic I ran it with my friend Mel. Her longest run previously was I think 3km, but she kept going so much at this event that she had done 7km straight and we were almost at the end of the 8km event. She hadn't stopped and we were both excited that she had almost reached this amazing PB. As we neared the end of the run, she started faltering a bit and appeared to be about to stop/walk. NOOO! We were almost there! I encouraged her to keep going, I wouldn't let her give up! We went through the finish, and she did it. She then told me that I apparently SLAPPED her, when she did that starting to walk thing. What?! Haha I was horrified! I am the least violent person you'll meet. I don't know that I've ever slapped anyone before! I couldn't believe it. I guess I was quite passionate in the moment! So it's been a bit of a running joke between us ever since. Today she ran the 5km event of City 2 South, so we couldn't run together. And this is what she wrote on her arm to keep her going. Hahhaa! So remember, don't you dare quit, otherwise I'll apparently slap you! :)

My medal

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Why am I not losing weight?

The title of this post is not about me.  I lost 3kg this week.  And when I don't lose weight I usually know exactly why!  The amount of work I put in is eerily parallel with how the scale reacts...funny that.

But what if, you're like me in my 'good' times, and you're working your butt off, and the scales just aren't shifting?

This week I've had a couple of people message me with the same question...and by
glancing at some social media posts, I've seen other people struggling with the same topic.  

WHY AM I NOT LOSING WEIGHT?
  
I'm not talking about people who aren't following Basic Weight Loss 101.  Energy in vs energy out.  If you're not sure what that means then this post isn't for you.  Instead I'm talking about the people who are genuinely following the 'right' weight loss rules, but week in, week out, aren't seeing changes.  These people who messaged me and who I read about are struggling, and as far as I can tell, are genuinely putting the effort in.  In fact they're going above and beyond basic effort!  They're working so damn hard for this, and I know how heart wrenching it can be, to not see your efforts reflect on the scales.

I replied to one of the messages and I asked the person I sent it to if they would mind if I used my response for this post - I thought it was something worth blogging about, in case this can help anyone else, as there seems to be a few people out there.  I have permission to use what I said and have taken out all identifying references! :)  My answer would be similar for anyone - so here it is for other people, edited and fleshed out a little for my blog.  I've split it up into sections too, for easier reading.

Before you read it though, please know that the only expertise I have, is in being myself.  I am not a doctor, dietician, nutritionist, medical or health professional in any way, shape or form.  My name is Kate, and I used to be Morbidly Obese and now I'm not.  That's it.  All of the stuff I say below should not be taken as gospel - my ideas may be wrong!  Also, this is not advice, these are just my thoughts and suggestions of what to perhaps look for.  If you want professional advice, please see a professional.  I'm not an expert, but these people asked my opinion.  And the only basis my opinion has is from my own experiences and from what I've seen in other people and read about.  Disclaimer-ed enough??  Well then, here we go. :)
____________

Hey :)

With the weight thing, this is NORMAL.  Please relax, it could be one of many things:

How much you weigh:  

You said you're not losing as much as you used to.  What you lose when you start losing weight won’t be the same all along.  As you get lighter, more work needs to be done to hit the same losses.  Eg. generally speaking most people who start out at 140kg+ can easily drop 20-30kg in the first 3 months.  Easy.  People who start out at 100-140kg can probably lose more like 10-20kg in that time frame, people 80-100kg maybe 10kg, and it goes down - down - down.  So someone 65kg would be lucky to lose 5kg in their three months.  I’m making these numbers up from the top of my head so they’re not exact, but it’s around about from what I’ve heard and seen and experienced.  As you get lighter, the weight loss slows down.  I saw someone ask yesterday how much weight people dropped when they first started losing weight.  It totally depends on their start weight (and a million other factors).  Someone who starts at 160kg, who’s never moved before could easily be 130kg down by the end of their first three months.  However imagine a 70kg person, there’s no (safe) way that they’d be 40kg in the same amount of time.  So try to relax…this is normal.  You’re heaps lighter than when you started so it’s literally physically inevitable that you’ll drop weight at a lower rate now. 

Body stress:

Also your body could be stressed to the max with all the exercise you’re doing.  This happens to me all the time.  Sometimes less exercise (less stress on the body) makes me drop more rather than when I’m going nuts and climbing a mountain or two a day. 



Your body's used to it:


Also the fact you’ve been doing this for so long, your body is probably plateauing and used to what you’re doing.   It could believe that what you do now is the norm, so it will stop dropping, as it takes everything as normal.  It might be time to spice things up a bit?  Maybe change your diet around…start trying foods you don’t usually eat.  Stay within your calories, but just eat differently.  Eg. I did a big cook-up late last year and I made a lot of food that I hadn’t tried before.  Turns out I wasn’t fussed on it lol – it was a good lesson learnt – don’t make 30 batches of something you haven’t tried before – you may not love it, then you have 29 more batches in your freezer to get through!

Anyway, I didn’t eat it all and after a couple of months I wanted to clear some space and felt like I should eat what I’d made.  So as much as I was not a fan of the stuff I'd pushed to the back corner of the freezer, I made myself eat everything.  I reckon that kicked my weight loss up a notch, coz I was eating stuff I don’t usually eat.  It was the same cals I usually eat, but it was just different types of food.  My body was like whoah – what is this different food?  I dropped more weight around then than I believe I would have if I'd stayed eating my usual favourites that my body had grown accustomed to.  I think because it had to start learning how to process this new food - it was different and it mixed things up for my body.

Also maybe look at changing the exercise you’re doing around.  As long as you’re moving that’s all that matters really, but if you want to start losing more, it may be worth changing things.  Just to shock your body and to make it think again.  What do you do for exercise?  If you do boot camp, try running.  If you’re walking, try dancing.  If you’re hiking, try cycling.  LOL.  Change things around…

Regular eating:

Some people might disagree but I find it really important to eat every 2-3 hours.  I eat 5-6 meals a day.  I think I have a shot metabolism after years of eating disorders, so this is my little way of trying to get it working as best as it can.  And I know you know this, but of course never skip breaky.  Eating loses weight - starving yourself doesn't.  Eat up!  Also a little side note, I tend to lose more when I up the protein in my snacks.

The unknown:

There's so much going on with our bodies, we can never really tell what's going on inside.  Mine surprises me all the time.  When I was leading up to Operation Birthday, there was one week where I was absolutely perfect with my eating.  I did not have one bite of anything that wasn't strictly planned and within my cals.  I was really focused this whole time, but this particular week, I was vigilant to the absolute letter!  I also worked out like a nutter.

The next Wednesday I jumped on the scales, expecting to be digitally rewarded, and I can't remember exactly, but I either stayed the same or put on weight.  WHAT?  I was shocked.  (And very disappointed!)  But I did the best thing I could have done, and I kept going the next week.  And that following week when I was slightly less than perfect, I lost something like 4kg.  I have no idea why those 2 weeks worked out that way, but it happens.  TTOTM, DOMS, fluid retention, injuries, illnesses, weird ass body stuff that we will never understand...it could be anything.  We can plan all we like and work as hard as we can, but internal rules all and will dictate the scales every single time.  There's only so much we can do.  Just keep going and don't give up, and it will all work out in the end. 

Medical stuff:

Remember that there actually could be medical stuff going on.  My friend has a thyroid issue and this physically affects her ability to lose weight.  I'm sure you're fine but just keep it in mind, that if you are doing all of the 'right' things and nothing happens for so long, it might be worth going in for a check-up.

On a similar note, check your calories.  Calories in (food) and calories out (exercise).  They may need adjusting.  It's possible you're eating too little for the amount of exercise you're doing.  If you're smashing out 3 hours of intense exercise a day and trying to cope with limited calories, your body may not lose anything as it's holding on for dear life, the small amount of cals that it's getting.  Consult professionals and test out what is best for you.


Keep going:

More than anything, just keep going and relax because it’s normal.  I’ve seen people be excited when they hit their goal of losing 2kg in 3 months.  Starting at over 140kg myself, I get so amazed by this, I think 2kg??  But they started at 58kg, so 2kg is a lot to them, just like 20kg is a lot to us.  It’s all relative.  Also, the smaller you get not only the less weight you drop, but the harder it is to do so.  So I've been told anyway - I've never gotten to that point yet!  I'm sure there’s a reason Mish has a book dedicated to “Losing the last 5kg”.  So many of us struggle with this, it's so disheartening when you know you're working so damn hard and the scales aren't reflecting the effort you're putting in.  This does a lot of people’s heads in and it’s no wonder why xx  The stuff above are just a few of the things you might want to consider - I'm sure there's more that it could be.  But more than anything you can't give up.  It will happen eventually.  Also, that’s all just physical stuff.  Mentally and emotionally is a whole other kettle of fish.  This journey is so LONG!  Especially for us who have a lot of weight to lose.  Take heart sweetheart and keep going, mix things up if you can and sit back and know that it’s 100% normal, and that you will get there.

Lots of love, hope this helps xoxoo

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sweet dreams

Smiles
Have you ever had one of those moments, that are completely normal, may happen all the time without a second thought, just day to day insignificant, but circumstantially can suddenly equal a moment so special and life changing? 
Our trip shirts that Mel made us!

I'll try to explain but it's not something that can easily be relayed.  I guess they're like 'moments of truth'.

When I was 18, there were a few days where I had nowhere to live.  I had no money, car or license, and as it was sudden and unexpected, I had nothing with me at the time: no toiletries or comforts of any kind.  I did have one change of clothes, a red superhero cape and a toy gun (as costume props, nothing else!) but they weren't going to get me far.  Unsurprisingly, I didn't know what to do.  I went to work and spent the shift having no idea what I was going to do that night.   My boss found me, sitting, crying in the dark in the corner of our
So much fun
restaurant at about midnight after we closed.  I was hanging out in safety to the last possible moment before going out to the streets. 

His name is Troy but to this day in my head I call him my Fairy Godbrother - as he took me back to his house to stay there.  I stood shivering in his spare room as I heard him whisper what was going on to his sleeping wife, who also worked with us.  We'd had a long chat at work before heading back to his house, so it was quite late when we got back, and he tiptoed around the silent house, and grabbed me spare blankets and a pillow. 
Where I saw my first whale #amazingmoment


His cat sauntered into the room and I picked it up and cuddled it.  Troy came in and settled me in, and as he left the room, he said "sweet dreams." 

I will never ever forget that moment.  I have never felt so peaceful before.  Being in a silent and calm house, cuddling a cat and hearing these magic words, "sweet dreams".... it was magical and I think I had the best sleep I've ever had.   Before Troy found me, my options that night included sleeping on a park bench or spending the night hiding in the work toilets.  The third option was a little bit worse and doesn't need to be mentioned... 
Boot camp in Ballina!


So I guess an alternative to any of those things was always going to be pretty good!  What I'm trying to say though, is that that night was so normal.  Really, it was nothing special.  It's pretty normal to cuddle a cat, have someone say "sweet dreams" or simply go to sleep in a comfy bed.  But to me, that night, such a normal moment, was absolutely incredible.
Boot camp trip

Because it was like an unexpected and much needed moment of sanctuary, amidst a heartbreaking stage of my life.  It made me believe that everything was ok, at that very moment.

And the same thing happened to me last weekend.  The moment of sanctuary happened again...not the other stuff.

Things haven't been too heartbreaking (unlike when I was 18 I have a roof over my head!), but things have been hard.  For 4
Room 501 selfie attempts
months.  I've alluded to it on here and I've told a few friends a few of the things.  Sometimes I wish I could just tell someone everything.  I kept it bottled up which makes it harder.  I've gone through worse but several pressures in my personal life gave way for a very rough ride.  And when things are rough it's difficult to keep focus, and as a result I've lost my mojo and direction, and my weight loss journey has had a fair hit.  And when that's my biggest motivation and focus in my life right now, it makes you feel kind of shit when you're not working on it as much as you'd like!  It's been a viscous snowball effect.


Muddy boot camp!

On the weekend I had a boot camp trip planned.  15 of us were going away to Ballina in NSW, to do boot camp, and to have a fun weekend together.

I was in two minds about going...I adore my boot campers, it wasn't the company that was the issue.  
Breakfast with a view!


I just wasn't up for it.  I'm a homebody at heart, have been feeling blah, and especially after my train wreck run last weekend, I really needed to do a bit of soul searching, and have a bit of thinking and chill out time. 

In the end I bit the bullet, threw my unfounded caution and too much thinking Kate! to the wind and just bloody went.

And it was...just what I needed.  You know how sometimes the best times are the unplanned times?  It was like that.  Nothing special happened!  Apart from getting dirty at boot camp, we did what you'd normally do on a weekend away, and had a ball :) 
So relaxed


But somewhere between lying on the couch completely and 100% relaxed (so much that I fell asleep), and jumping up to see my very first whale in the ocean from our apartment, I realised that everything is in fact ok in the world.  No moment of truth or weekend away can solve all the worlds issues, but it can ignite a little hope and belief that everything can be ok.

This weekend I smiled and laughed more than I have in a very long time.  I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and happy.  And I just adore my whole boot camp team.  I've still got things to iron out, but at least I feel like I can now.  I didn't expect to feel like that.  Which I guess is how it happens.
 If you're struggling, keep your faith as there may be inspiration just around the corner for you.

As a result I've picked up my game this week and am trying harder than I have in a while to continue my aim to get to goal.  I've got the right people around me and I just have to do it.  For now I just wanted to share this little piece from last weekend, along with some of my photos from it that make me smile.  Anyone who follows my journey and makes it to when I get to goal deserves a medal - it's been a bit of a long journey, hasn't it?  You can't always plan these things though, and you just have to do your best with what you've got.  I'm hoping this is a turning point to help me get away from the snowballed cycle from the last few months.  
True strength

And speaking of inspiration, this is my trainer Margie, who I watched yesterday compete in the National Titles for Powerlifting.  She broke multiple Australian and world records and got 1st place.  This is her dead lifting 200kg, breaking a world record.  Watching the determination and grit on everyone's faces yesterday was absolutely incredible and I haven't ever been more inspired in my life.  There is so much focus!  And in particular, this woman here inspires me every day but yesterday more than ever.  She reminded me how strong the mind is and that we can push through anything and do things that we never thought we could do...

Yes it was

Delving into a second hand bookshop #purebliss

Penthouse party!

Beautiful

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The run that needed to happen

If you've read anything of mine before, you'll know that I'm a 'tell it like it is for me' type of person.  I share the good, the bad and the ugly of this weight loss / fitness gain venture that
My view from the park bench
I'm on.  Because it's not all good!  It would make for a pretty boring story to follow if it was.  Sometimes I share too much.  I know though, that in sharing my story, others may not feel so alone in their ups and downs. 


I don't share absolutely everything though.   Sunday's story of my fun run was definitely going to fall into that category.  I'm not hurt and I’m not in trouble, let's just get that out of the way.  But I was, and still am, so completely embarrassed about the events that unfolded. 

Immediately following the run, I had breakfast with my brother and sister in law, visited my parents, caught up with a friend for a planned D&M, then went to a friends birthday party with a group of close friends. 

And I didn't say a word to anyone about what had transpired that morning. 

I think I was probably in a bit of shock, and was trying to process it.  It wasn't until the end of the birthday party that I finally opened up to two friends, and it was only because they noticed I wasn't myself and asked me what was up. 

Since then I've told heaps of friends, but I quickly decided that this wouldn't be a story for my blog.   I am so, so deeply embarrassed.  Some things just aren't worth putting out there. I'm pretty fragile at the moment, I don't need any judging. 

But as the week's gone on, I felt uncomfortable with leaving this out.  It's part of my story after all.  Yes, it's one of the ugly parts, but it’s still part of it.  I think I would feel something is missing, if I skipped over it.  Then a couple of runner friends said they would have done the exact same thing as me.   So I realised that maybe this story could help someone.  (To be honest, I have no idea how!)  But maybe it will.  We are all of us just trying to do our best, and fumbling and learning along the way.

Still, it's taken me a week of being up and down with my decision.  Did I really want to share this?  But I remembered my quote in my blog's bio: "I wear my heart on my sleeve no matter how much it sometimes hurts." 

So, here we go.

This story is about how I am human.  It's about a run that needed to happen.

Sunday's run was a 10km fun run event. Just a small suburban official event with 10km, 5km and 2km options.  Not a biggie.  It was on 'The List': a list of runs I had planned to run this year.  I was fine leading up to it, but as soon as I arrived and picked up my bib, I started battling with my mind as to whether I should pull out.   I don’t know exactly why.  I suddenly
Sitting in my car
felt unconfident, unmotivated and unable.  Sitting in my car to try to keep warm, I teased myself with the option that I could go home, right now.  I dared myself for half an hour to do just that.  My lovely friend Em rang me and said all the right things.  She encouraged me to do it but said it was ok if I didn't.


I really wanted to go home.

I wasn't feeling up to it today.  But I've got this stupid 'thing'.  I do not give up.  I just don't.  I don't cancel events, and I don't stop running.  There's no run/walk/run.  I'm completely strict with myself.  And I've never pulled out of a run before, either leading up to or during.  (Once I couldn't attend an event because I had a car accident the day before.)  But apart from that! If I sign up for something, I run the entire way, and I finish it!!  No negotiations.

Lately though, I've been saying to some friends how I really need to do an event, and walk during it.  Or quit half way through.  On purpose - just to give me some reprieve in future events, for when I really need to.  Just let myself do it, so that it's out of the way and I don't feel this inexplicable mission to be my own Wonder Woman in every.single.run!  My 200% dedication to never give up, however self commendable, has started to see me push through some runs that I really should not have done.  My running angel half marathon, for example?  Or my 30km event, where the the last 5km was running to get help?

Actually letting myself do this, however, was another thing.

So, as always, I got out of the car on Sunday, warmed up, and lined up.

I told myself that I'd just give it a try and if I really wanted to stop mid-run, then so be it.  

On the inside though, I laughed at that.  "Whatever, Kate.  You plan a run, you do it.  Besides, you spent $30 to be here!"

As I waited for the start gun, I wondered what was wrong with me.  I'm nervous about every run, but this event and my angel half marathon saw me really nervous, with complete disbelief in my abilities.  I was also a bit uneasy about running this day, remembering what my Marathon School trainer told me the day before about my O pain.  But I've been running for 18 months with it and I didn't have any pain before the run though, so I thought I'd be ok.

We started.

And, like the angel half, I didn't relax as I usually do as I went through the Start banner instead.  All that happened, was that my mind games increased. :(  Around and around, so many thoughts circling around my head.

Negative thoughts, telling myself I can't do this.  Followed by calming thoughts: "I'll just run and see how I go. I can pull out if I need to.”  Followed by “but I never pull out!” 
1km

1km down.  That wasn't so bad!  9km to go.  I looked around and realised I was at the back of the pack.  That was nothing new, but it didn't help my mindset.  "You're so bad at this Kate!  You're so stupid, why do you even try?"  Hmmm.

Just up in front of me was an older lady.  There were two ladies behind me, and from what I could tell, that was it.  The two ladies overtook me.  They were walk/run/walk/running and they'd overtake me until they walked again, when I would overtake them.  They eventually overtook me and stayed there.  I was the last runner.

2km down, 8km to go.  Maybe I could do this.  I overtook a guy with a blue knee brace who seemed to be struggling, and a girl who was walking and texting...........nothing to be super proud of in the speed stakes!  But still, I was getting ahead! ;)

I had slight pain and kept thinking of my Marathon School trainer.  But I asked myself if this
2km
was an excuse, as I was already in two minds about running....and I kept going.


Around here was when it all started getting a bit tough.  The course split, with the 10km'ers going left, and the 5km'ers going right.  I went to the left and realised soon after then that blue knee brace guy and texting girl were nowhere to be seen - they must be 5km runners.  The old lady and the two ladies were ahead of me on the 10km course, but within view.  I am slow anyway, but my shocking mindset and slight O pain was making me even slower.

There were so many police cars with flashing lights (no sirens) marshalling the course, but around here is when it started to seem that they were circling me.  There must have been 3 police cars and 1 police motorbike on course - I've never seen so many police for any events, let alone a small one like this.
3km

I have the greatest respect and love for police, but have a nightmare-ish fear of them following me in events, thanks to one disastrous cycling event a few years ago.  I didn't want them anywhere near me.  I don't need to explain why it feels like they draw attention to you when they drive near you!  I was already feeling pretty embarrassed about being the last runner, I didn't want any more attention.
4km

We ran past a creek, away from the main roads. I was really struggling.  The whole run, my mindset, the slight O pain, being so frigging slow that I was the last runner, flashing lights police at every corner, I was finding it tough, and while I had a bit of solace, with no circling police, where no-one could see or hear me, I burst into tears. This in turn sent my breathing haywire.  I'm not sure if it was a comfort thing or a teasing myself thing, but I Google Mapped the finish line and kept this app open on my phone, so that I had a map to the finish site ready if I pulled out at any moment.  I kept crying, breathing funny and running.  I willed myself to go on.  I
5km
would have gladly paid the $30 entry fee to be home right now!



Up ahead, I could see the course went back to the main road.  And of course, there was a police car waiting.  The two ladies had run past them by now, so I gathered they were parked there for me.  Oh my.  "Why can't I just blend in?  What must they think of me?"  I grit my teeth and ran past them.  As soon as I did, I saw another two police cars up ahead.  They were everywhere!  Another one slowly drove past me.  I could see the police watching me out the windows as they drove past.  This happened more than several times.  Each car seemed to have at least 3 police in them and they looked like they were straining their necks to visually follow me each time they slowly circled me.  I felt like I was on show.  

I kept considering pulling out.  "I'll just sneak off, no-one will know."  I think these thoughts comforted me throughout, allowing myself the option if I decided to.  I kept running though and saying to myself  "Maybe I can do this- I've already run 3km, what's another 7km?  I've already run 4km, what's another 6km?” etc. 

One thing playing on my mind was "Kate, you're doing a marathon in 6 weeks, you can't
6km
even do this??”  Round and around in circles.  "Well if I'm that pathetic, I may as well quit right now!"  But I kept running and the police kept circling and peering at me.  5km, 6km down.


One of my friends Kylie had said that the course went directly past her house, and that she and her 3 little boys would stand out the front and cheer me on.  This kept me going too, although I promised myself that if I did quit, as I kept tempting myself to do, that I would drive around the corner from her place, run past for her boys, and get back to my car.  I had it sorted.  But I really wanted to see her, and I started to think I actually would.  I'd done 6km now, less than 4km to go.  So really it was only 3 point something to go.  I spoke to myself realistically - why don't I just finish this thing.  For the first time that day, I started visualising myself at the finish line. 

I turned a corner on a long stretch of road.  Up ahead, I saw a ute pull over on the side of the road.  It caught my attention for some reason and I watched as I ran towards it.  I quickly realised what the guy in this ute was doing.  He was packing up the course.

They were packing up the course.

As I got closer, he picked up a sign and packed it in his ute.  I suspected it was the 7km sign
The police speaking to the ute
but
didn't know for sure until
I drove back after the event and saw the spray painted '7km' on the footpath.


I was shattered.  I wasn't that far away from him and I was only 5min, if that, behind the next last runners.  I had just seen the next last ladies, 'the two ladies' turn the corner ahead.  Yet he was packing up. I was so upset they couldn't wait for just 5min?  Or try to confirm that the course was clear before they did?

As I watched, a police car drove alongside the ute and spoke to him.  The police must have told him that I was still coming...that there was 1 more runner.  I was thankful, but how embarrassing, for the police to have to tell them this for me.
 
I watched as the police left (until their next drive-by!).  But the ute guy didn't put the 7km sign back, instead he put one of their "you can do it" signs out that they had scattered through the course.  It was very nice of him, I know.  But at the time I couldn't get past the fact they were
The sign he put back / put out
packing up in front of me. That really broke me. I kept my head held high and ran past him standing in front of the ute - he was nice at least and called out "you can do it!"


I was still considering pulling out at any minute.  But - even though I didn't confirm the 7km mark until later, I did know that I’d gone so far that, regardless of everything, I would have finished the whole thing if this next bit hadn’t happened. 

Around the corner I saw one of the arrow signs that they had around the course to guide the way - but it looked like it was pointing to run into a house??  A guy in stubbie shorts and no shirt was standing underneath, tinkering with his car or something.  I was confused.  Was this arrow in the wrong spot, because they'd started packing up the course?

I didn't know what was going on, so I kept running straight along the road.  After I had run past the sign, a car beeped me and a guy yelled out.  Oh dear.  I turned around as I continued to run...it was the ute guy.  I assumed he was yelling at me.  What was going on?  Even though I turned around, in the moment I was so embarrassed and overwhelmed that I actually ignored him and kept running! 

He then drove up alongside me, so I ran on the spot while I talked to him.  He said that I missed the turn!  I replied, incredulous: “that was some guys house!”  He said no, there was an easement / path there, a tiny one in between two houses!  I couldn't believe it.

He said I may as well just keep running forward to the main road.  I assumed it would meet up with where the easement would have eventually taken me to.  

I made out like it was all fine & smiled and nodded a lot and he drove off. 

But this was the final straw.  I was now off course, the course was being packed up and the ute guy suggested I continue the wrong way??  As soon as he was out of sight, after 7km of battling with my mind, I finally stopped.  Out of all of my runs, ever, I finally gave up. 

I stood on the side of the quiet suburban street, shell-shocked.  I was like a volcano, bubbling up inside.  I was in a bit of a state and didn't know what to do.  First things first, I didn't want the circling police or any officials to see me stopped.  I was mortified, yes, but what I was more worried about was that I didn't think I'd have been able to handle it if they stopped and asked if I was ok.  I expected that if this happened, I would tearfully lose the plot and I had visions of me hysterically being guided into a police car and driven to the finish site if they felt sorry for me.  I would be a mess and then any embarrassment I had earlier felt, would be multiplied.

No, that certainly wouldn't do.  I had to get out of there.  

So instead of continuing ahead to the main road where I could easily be seen, I walked back to the easement that I missed to check it out, also assuming it would be a less conspicuous route.  Just as I reached the easement, I thought I heard a police motorbike coming towards me!  I was beside myself and just wanted to disappear.  I didn't want anyone to see me.  So without thinking, I RAN AWAY from what I thought was the police, through the easement!  I tried to hide in the easement itself, but there were only flat, high fences.  I walked close to one side of the easement just in case it helped conceal me.  

I looked up and saw an older lady watching me from her balcony as I ran and 'hid'.  She was probably suss.  I don't blame her!  I suddenly felt like a teenage petty thief skateboarder, on the run like you see on the cop shows on TV.  This must be how they feel.  Except I didn't have on a backwards baseball cap, I had my bright pink running visor.

Ahh...a bright pink running visor.  I suddenly realised that if the police drove past, they would spot me instantly.  I needed to disguise myself.  Which, let me tell you, is hard when you're out running with nothing! 

Can you tell I wasn't thinking straight??

All I could manage to do was to put my bright pink visor down my pants, roll my race bib up (there was instructions on the bib saying not to bend it, so I didn't - did it matter, Kate??) and put it, rolled up, down my top, and take my hair out so that I had wild long blonde hair instead of the bun I ran in.  I considered taking my bright shoes off and leaving them next to a tree to pick up later but kept them on.

I saw a park across the road from the easement and headed there.  I beelined for a lone park bench, sat and cried my heart out.  I sobbed so hard, for so long.  I was so upset about the whole morning.  And I was so worried that the police would circle me again and that I wouldn't be able to speak.  I was humiliated and didn't want anyone to see me.  So I sat
Finding the least public route back
there for as long as I could, hoping they'd drive away.  I think I cried more because I was stunned at myself that I was trying to disguise myself from police!  Who does that??


Who does that?

An overwhelmed girl who shouldn't have ran today but gave it her best shot.  That's who.

I then realised that I had to get back to my car, which was at the start / finish line!  I didn't want the police or organisers to spot me on the way back, even though I was 'disguised'.  I considered calling Kylie to help me; I assumed she must have forgotten that the event was on as I thought I would have seen her by now.  I didn't want to bother her or be a crazy crying mess in front of her young boys though.  (Flash forward to the next day and she told me that she had been waiting at the 8km mark!  I couldn't believe it.  I had finished just before her.  She was apparently 200m from that park and the beautiful heart was upset I didn't call her.) <3

I considered a cab but decided that was a close second to the vision of embarrassment if I
My shadow as I slunk back to my car
arrived back in a police car.


Instead I tried to be brave and used Google Maps to find the weirdest and quietest back streets near creeks to take me back.  I walked slowly, crying, with my head down, not making eye contact with any cars or passerbys, all the way back, so worried that someone would spot me.  I got back to the pretty huge and open sports centre and cut across a field like a frigging Russian spy, trying to be incognito and finally snuck into my car.

And that, my friends, is my Sunday story that I was too embarrassed to tell.  I'm not embarrassed that I didn't finish it, I'm embarrassed about my train wreck type behaviour in the end, and the fact that it took a run like this to teach me some valuable lessons.

I've done my self assessing and I know what I did wrong and I know what I need to do to change.  I know that this was a run that needed to happen, to make me see this.  But I also know that these things happen.  I said that this was one of the 'ugly' parts of my journey.  Well, we need the ugly parts to help us create the good.
Butterfly lollypop my friend Bron happened to give me that afternoon