Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Moving on. Who am I?!


I just wanted to say a quick hello to get off my chest where I'm at.  I think I'm at home.  I am...but I'm at a point where I do have to stop and think.  Over the past 2 weeks I've been to the Gold Coast, out to Dalby, to Adelaide twice, to Melbourne six times and to Hobart twice.  Crazy travel.  I keep waking up and having to think about where I am.

I just got home tonight and I feel like I've just come off a ship, as I'm still rocking/swaying - but it's from flying.  7 flights in the past 2 days will probably do that!  The crazy travel is over
Sunrise this morning
now, until the next time.  The travel's been a little bit for running and theatre, but mainly for work.

At the start of the month, I knew that this would be an insane period, and I tried to plan.

Sort of.  

I didn't do a great job.  In fact, I dismally failed.  I tried to manage it anyway... I attempted to go to one hotel gym last week but that was an utter fail.  I haven't tried since.  (The Fitness Centre was on the same floor of my hotel last night - did that make me feel guilty or what?)  I have hardly been in Brisbane to attend boot camp.  And my diet has consisted of a combination of aeroplane snacks, room service and food delivered to me at my desk because I've been too busy to move.

I could dissect what I did wrong, or how I could have done better.  I could beat myself up about it or continue feeling down on myself, like I have the past few days.

But what good would that serve?
Snow! In Tasmania today

It's a bit weird that I'm thinking this way.  This #crazytravel isn't the norm for me, but it's not like it's the first time I've fallen off the wagon over the past 2 years, for whatever reason.  I'm pretty sure we all know that I'm the Queen of falling off the wagon.  But for the first time, I'm feeling a bit different about it.

Somewhere today, at some point while I was above the clouds, I realised what I need to do.

This is going to sound very brash for someone as emotional and sensitive as me.  But I realised I need to let it go, look at the big picture, suck it up, make a plan, and move on.

Dwelling on my bad choices or externally enforced time constraints isn't going to fix what's happened.  And in the big picture, it's just 2 weeks. 

Please don't get me wrong.  I am not happy with myself and I know that if I have goals, I need to work at them.

But that's the point.  There's no benefit in feeling down or sad, like I've started to do.  I just have to move on and make things better.  The more time I spend dwelling on past mistakes is less time and effort I have in making it work.

Above the clouds
And I have to keep the big picture in mind: in the big scheme of the world, especially now, I am extremely blessed.

Give me a couple of days to settle back home and I will be raring to keep going.  

I'm trying to keep perspective and not dwell...very grownup of me! ;)

If you've had a downfall of your own kind, join me here.  Let's draw a line in the sand, take a deep breath and keep going.  We still have this, I promise :) xo

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Things don't always go to plan. And that's ok.

Hi!!!!!!! Slightly long time no chat! I've been trying to write up my GCAM run report for 2 weeks now. Sorry, things have been so busy but I'm here now :)

Just for something completely different, there's a lot to say, so I'll break this post up into sections, like chapters, so there's a reduced risk of Death By Reading Epic Length Blog Post. This way it might seem like a handful of little blog posts. When in reality, I've just never seemed to have mastered the art of how to effectively summarise ;)


So to refresh my memory as much as yours, my last post here was the day before GCAM14. I posted how I had decided to downgrade my ultimate goal this time, and after almost a year of planning in all ways to do the full marathon, do the half instead.

I was so disappointed.

I couldn't shake it. I'd only allowed myself to finally make the decision a week earlier, so it was all still quite new for me. EVERYTHING had been leading into the full - so to suddenly be doing something any less (HALF less), made me feel like a bit of a failure, as ridiculous
Picking up our race packs
as I know that sounds.

My lovely 12WBT friend Donna had come up from Adelaide to also do the event. She'd arrived on the Thursday night and we went straight from Brisbane Airport to do a mad dash to the Gold Coast with our friend Courtney to collect our race packs (& for me to change events).

There were a few tough moments over the weekend, that reminded me I had changed my goal. The first was at the race expo. I'd entered and paid for the full marathon. So to change events, I had to first pick up my full marathon bib, and then go to the 'swapping events counter' to swap it for a new half marathon bib.

So for a couple of minutes, I actually held my full mara bib, with my name on it. I didn't realise that would be so hard to have in my possession!
I held a marathon bib for a few minutes!

Lining up at the 'swapping counter', last minute romantic ideas of not actually changing, and sticking to the full, fleetingly passed through my mind, but I knew what I had to do.

We headed back down the coast very early on Saturday, to cheer on Court and our other friends doing the 10km and 5.7km runs, and to check into our hotel. I cheered and was bright on the outside, but on the inside I was so down on myself.

I tried to reason - a half marathon was still a big thing! My time will still come! I wasn't giving up on my marathon dream, I was just being honest with myself and delaying it. I knew how silly I was being. Two years ago I couldn't even run for 200m before collapsing, and now I was telling myself that a half marathon was a disappointment??

But I couldn't help it. I even resorted to a bit of an uncharacteristic cry for help heart-on-my-sleeve status update on my personal Facebook wall, late on Saturday. I craved for all of my
One of our signs for Court :)
friends to tell me it was ok to change. They did tell me - they were brilliant. I hung onto every written word, thinking that's where I'd find solace. But as much as it all helped, on the eve of the race, I went to sleep, still disappointed.


Watching the 10km and 5.7km events was so inspiring. Bumping into friends was awesome, and it was exciting being there and seeing everyone after so many months, even if I was feeling down. Donna and I ran around the event site and finish chute, manically trying to cheer on everyone we knew, while eating giant bowls of cereal, to prepare for our event the next day. More on 'Carbs 2000' soon. I saw work friends and other running friends and we eventually gathered in a little group of 12WBT friends, after everyone had finished running.

This was tough moment #7 from the weekend. Greg was there. Which was awesome! It was so nice to see him.

But it was also a reminder, in the sense I was looking at him longingly: he was doing a full
Some of the gang
marathon tomorrow. I wasn't.

This wasn't how it was supposed to go.

I was supposed to be joining him.

As we said our goodbyes for the day, he gave me a bit of a pep talk. He probably didn't notice, but I was crying a bit behind my big sunglasses. I really wanted to do the full. That's what I had planned.

I hugged him for as long as I could and said bye to him and the others.

I suddenly faltered. Crazy thoughts started going through my head.

I grabbed my phone and messaged Jacque James, who had been one of my dear sounding ears for this event. I typed: "I know I'm being nuts but I want to change back: I really want to do the full tomorrow."

Greg and I
Oh darling Kate.

It was a moment of insanity. I dared myself to consider crazy ways to make this happen. But I knew on the inside that it wasn't going to be. Not tomorrow, anyway. Having the self dreamt up possibility sort of calmed me down though.

Donna and I went to the shops to buy the rest of the 1000kg of carbs that we had to eat in preparation, and to have some chill out time. Everything has been nuts lately - I'd been working at 1am that morning and hadn't stopped for a few weeks. I was starting to stress out and needed some quiet time to focus on the next day.


Ok, it wasn't 1000kg of carbs, but it was a lot. For my previous half marathons, my carb loading consisted of a single pasta dish the night before. On race day I've usually had a
Temp kitchen in the back of my car
banana and egg an hour before the event, and then lollies during it.

A few weeks previous, I'd been to a lecture at Marathon School, about race nutrition. I loved it. In fact it was one of the things that led me into making The Big Decision. Because it made me realise just how much I wanted to do this properly. I get so excited about researching and learning and doing things right when it comes to my new sport. Going to this lecture got me so excited. I really wanted to do this right.

Our carbo shopping
When I changed to the half, I told myself that I would do everything by the book, and practise good nutrition and preparation skills. For some reason, focusing on practicality and doing things right softened the blow of changing events.

At the lecture, the Sports Dietician went through detailed plans - how to carb load properly - example foods we could eat - how much we should eat depending on what we weigh - an actual example plan - exactly when to eat - all of it. It had a plan for the days before, the night before, the morning of, the actual event and post race. I was so excited to do this!

Donna was keen to join me and it made things more easy (& fun!) as we were staying with each other.

On the Thursday night, we sat down together and made our plan. We were on a mission.
Our very detailed nutrition and pre race timing plan
We scheduled all of our food for the day before, and for the morning of the run. We were excited about doing this properly. We scheduled what time we had to go to bed on Saturday night. The plan said to eat a certain amount of time before running, so we scheduled a 3am wake up to eat a crumpet with honey, and then go back to bed for an hour. We made a Brisbane and a Gold Coast grocery shopping list with everything covered off. We were determined to do this right.

But oh my gosh. It was SO.MANY.CARBS.

Eg. For breakfast I usually have 30g of cereal. Which is what, 1/8 of a cup?  This plan said I needed to eat about 5 cups! I ate 1.5 cups and that was as much as I could handle. The rest of the day I followed it as much as I could. We were so full!


We woke up for our 3am crumpet with honey snack and ate it, half asleep, in bed. :/ I wasn't
Crumpet at 3am :/
a fan! But I ate it!

My work friend Sarah met us at our hotel and we walked, shivering in the dark, to the start line, along with dozens of other Lycra and running shoes clad people.  I forced myself to eat a muesli bar, even though I didn't feel like eating.

Greg had come down to see us off, over an hour before his own event.  It meant a lot to have him there - it kind of helped make things more comforting for me.  I was so surprised to see him - I am sure he could have done with an extra hour of sleep before his 42km run!  I could only hope that I would be so selfless if it was my first marathon that day.  And then lovely Mel.  Mel ran the 10km the day before.  She didn't need to be at the event site.  She could have slept in, in her lovely, warm, Gold Coast hotel, and enjoyed her day off.  She'd done her run.  If she really wanted to cheer us on, she could have safely had another 2-3 hours sleep and be there at the finish
Lining up
line.  But no - one of the most supportive people I have met through 12WBT, Mel was there, in the freezing cold, in the dark, taking photos of us and calling out words of encouragement.

Sarah, Donna and I lined up.  It was both of the girls first half.  It was my sixth, yet I knew how they felt as each one I do feels like my first.  Each time I have a little out of body experience and shake my head, wondering how on earth I came to be at the start line to run 21.1km...

We started running.  I was surprised at how quickly we got through the start line.  

I never start out hard.  Every run I do, I remember Ruth's advice she gave me before my
At the start line
first half:
"Start slower than you think you should.  Finish faster than you think you can."
But I've been working on my speed a bit lately, and without even trying, I realised that I was holding such a good pace already.  I started to get ahead of myself and wondered if I might even do a PB today.  Now that would help me feel better about downgrading!

I have bright eyes and big dreams sometimes.

The thought passed straight away, and I just kept running.  I was feeling pretty good, pretty strong.  There were so many people.  Within the first couple of km's, as we all dropped into our individual paces, I lost the girls.

Feeling good...at the start
I kept a good pace and just kept going.  I felt ok and praised my nutrition dedication - I felt like I had a lot of energy - it was seeming as if all of those carbs were worth it already. :)

About 45min. in was such a special moment.  The leading runners started coming past me and the other runners, on the other side of the course.  (The course basically went up the coastline halfway, then back again).  I watched, as the leading vehicle led the way back to the finish line, with these amazing men and then women seemingly sprinting a half marathon.  They were amazing.  And, as happens in runs, all of the other runners cheered them on.  What was so special to me was that no matter how tough things may have been for the runners on my side, each one of us
The leaders on the other side
cheered and clapped for who was ultimately the winner, and the next 20 or so runners.  It's just the thing runners do (usually).  I'm hoping that the cheer and clap from each fellow runner spurred those guys on just a little bit, and sounded all the way to the finish line.

Each time I passed a time cut off sign (GCAM has strict time cut off points), I checked the time against my watch, and each time, I had an average of 20min. up my sleeve.  I was so proud of myself!  20min. would probably be a heart stopper for most runners, but I, Miss Slow Coach, was stoked.  I was killing it!  The PB possibility kept fleeting through my mind...


I know there's quite a difference, but I can't remember where this next bit happened - it was either around 7km or 12km.  Let's just call it 10km.  But my back started hurting. :(  Almost immediately, my pace slowed.  It took me till I saw
Night before
my split times to realise this, but after so, so many runs, I finally understood at GCAM just how much my back holds me back with speed.  When it hurts, I physically can't go too fast.  I can't believe it's taken me this long to figure out the correlation.  More on that later.

If my first 10km(ish) were the makings of a self dreamt PB, the next 10km were that of a (non athletic) arthritic 80 year old woman.  I do have arthritis, but I'm a good 50 years off being 80.

It was really hard :(  It got worse and worse, and somewhere along the line, my O pain joined in too.  I pushed myself through it, as best I could.  The physical pain brought out the mental pain, and it turned into a battle of wit to keep me going.  The first and last 3km had people lining the course.  The occasional cheering person on the rest of the 15km really
Gold Coast city skyline...a familiar site in so many events
helped me get through.  One little girl blew a horn, but was facing the opposite direction.  I overheard her mother say "no, blow it toward the runners.  They need this, they're really hurting now."

:(  Yes, yes we were.  I actually started to cry. ;)  This mother was right on the money.  I kept pushing through.  Occasionally it was somebody I knew - like Jules, Greg's wife, who called out and cheered from her balcony :)

I remembered my lollies that I had with me, but I didn't feel like any.  It was so different from my previous halves, where I inhale lolly after lolly.  I didn't want to eat at all.  I put it down to the carb loading.  I realised I must be still so full - it was as if my body was so full of fuel, I couldn't take in any more?  I considered eating a few anyway - I know you're supposed to eat before you realise you need to.  But I actually didn't feel I could stomach anything.
Guess who borrowed their brothers Camelbak?

The straw on my Camelbak went mouldy after the first time I used it :/  So at the last minute on the Friday night, I'd borrowed my brothers Camelbak to use for the day.  I sucked on that throughout, and drank at most water stations, but that was it.


I was hurting.  And it was around here that I came to peace with the whole 'delaying the marathon' thing.  Being in pain, and running a 21.1km regardless, made me remember, in no uncertain terms, just how huge a half marathon is.  It seemed I had forgotten?  A far cry from being disappointed in myself, I was suddenly very, very aware of how big this event still was. 

How to not be disappointed in doing a half marathon?

Run one.

Court running her event
When you're out there running, you have a lot of time to think.  It suddenly occurred to me how to feel better about this whole thing.  The solace was not to be found through my friends comforting words, or by waiting for inspiration to hit, or for time to heal. 

I realised all I needed to do, was to accept it.

Was it disappointing?  Yes, it was!  It really, really was.  I had to stop pretending like it wasn't.  That's something I've learnt through 12WBT and Gabi reminded me with her comment on my blog.  

Acknowledge it hurts.  And move on.  Sometimes we spend so much time fighting the bad stuff, to no avail.  I'd dragged this on for long enough.  I had to stop fighting it and stop trying to make it feel good.

Changing goals didn't feel good.  It felt like shit.  But I had to use this feeling to propel me
We drove some of the course the day before
forward to my new goal.  I had to remember how much I hated feeling like this and use it for good.  And more than anything, I just had to accept it.  Sometimes things are disappointing.  That's how things are sometimes. It was shit!

As soon as I accepted that I was disappointed, I had a weight lifted off my shoulders.  

I was sad about it.  But that was ok.


Epiphanies are all well and good to have, but I still had a run to complete.  Don't tell anyone I said this, but at one point I was in so much mental pain that I actually said to myself "screw the marathon!  I don't even care about that!"  Hahaa - it must have been bad.

I kept comforting myself with my plan that I had just devised: 
Biggest breakfast bowl ever (day before)

All I had to do was to keep running.  
Get to the finish line.  
Get my medal.  
Then lie down in a ball on the ground.  

I'd worked it all out.  The medal was the golden carrot at the finish line, and lying down was to be my recuperation.  I kept my eye on the prize and it kept me going.  Come on, Kate.  Finish line, medal, lie down.  You can do this.

I saw the 18km sign up ahead.  18km is good.  The number 18 is so close to 20.  And 20 is pretty much the same as 21.1.  I was practically there.  Yep, I loved 18km.  The 18km marker showed the last time cut off point.  I checked my watch, this time moreso out of
habit, rather than being concerned, but I was stunned.  I now only had 4min. to spare.  Wow.  I had slowed down so much that I had lost a good 10-15min.  Shit.  I didn't want to be pulled off course now.  No way.

This was the last thing I needed.  I'd been dreaming up a 'relaxing', steady finish to bring it home.  Yet suddenly I had to push it.  I pushed my mind, to push my legs, to push my body through those last 3km.  I was already struggling enough, this was not good.  

More and more people appeared, and they cheered.  They were so nice.  Sometimes I teared up, and I tried to smile at everyone who called out to me.  Come on, Kate.  You have to make it through.

At the 20km mark, there was darling Mel, positioned with her camera, waiting for me.  She grabbed my hand and she ran with me.  Her heavy
Darling Mel
SLR and handbag on one side, my hand on the other.  She asked me how I was and I didn't dare tell her I wasn't well.  Admitting it out loud would have been too real and I may have fell apart.  Nope, I needed to finish first - just another km before I could admit to myself, the pain I was in.

People continued to cheer us on, one person marveling how Mel had run a half marathon wearing her handbag! ;)

I don't think I spoke to Mel much.  I just leaned on her, looked forward and gritted my face.

Finish line, medal, lie down.  Finish line, medal, lie down.

Suddenly I saw the 250m to go sign - I had been waiting for that baby!

Mel saw me off, and like my other friends, I pushed to go harder and faster to bring it home.  The 250m sign was deceiving though.  It was positioned around a corner - visually the end
Relaxing in the sun
distance appeared a lot shorter.  But when you got around that corner, there was still a fair bit to go.  I tried to go faster, but I finished at a similar speed that I'd been maintaining - that was all I could do.  The lovely Catherine and Alison were there, cheering for me in the finish chute, and over the finish line I went.


Sarah was at the finish line, waiting for me.  With her, I stumbled from the finish line, I'd done that bit.  Now on my agenda was my medal and to lie down.  I wasn't feeling well though.  I had a bit of anxiety and also felt a bit sick, and I could hardly walk with the pain.  I didn't know what to do.  I put an orange quarter in my mouth
One of my biggest supports, Tracey
and saw the medal tent.  That's where I had planned to go.  But on the way we saw a Physio tent.  It was like a beacon of shining light.  The medal could wait: this is where I needed to go.

While I waited my turn to see a Physio, I couldn't sit properly.  I half lay on the chairs, in a contorted position.  A Physio and her trainee helped me up and worked their magic as I lay on a table.  They were brilliant.  Absolutely superb.  The Physio seemed to understand where my pain was.  She couldn't help with the O pain within the limitations of a temporary tent, but they massaged and then strapped my back.

I couldn't get off the table unassisted, but once the Physio lifted me up, I was amazed.  I AM IN LOVE WITH STRAPPING TAPE!  It was almost magical!  It supported my back so much!  I literally stumbled in, and waltzed out of there!
The tape (day after)

I got my medal and shirt and Sarah and I went to find the others.  My lovely friend Tracey had come down specifically to cheer me over the finish line...I will never forget that.  She gave me a hug and then was off - so much support.  We rounded up the crew - Donna, Alison, Catherine and Mel, found a sunny spot, and plonked ourselves down.  I lay down - my 3rd goal complete.  The girls got me a Diet Coke and I interchanged with water.  They offered to get me food but I couldn't think of anything worse.  I didn't want to eat at all.  My sick feelings increased after the Physio tent, and it felt like I was still so full of food from the day before.  I didn't feel I could stomach any food, so I just
We're now Uni film assignment stars
drank a bit and relaxed with the girls.  It was nice to just lie there.


After a while I realised we needed to get up and go and position ourselves to cheer on the marathoners.  I didn't want to miss this bit!  I had about 10 friends doing the marathon - people from work, Awesome Runners, and then Greg, Jacque and Cat.

The 6 of us positioned ourselves at the 300m to go mark, and cheered random people on.  To be honest, it was a bit hard to watch hundreds of people finish what I was meant to do, in such close proximity.  But I just accepted how I felt :)  And besides, this was the most amazing experience - to see everyones faces at this point. We were on a corner where runners were turning, and spotting the '250m to go' sign for the first time.  The looks on their faces were overwhelming to watch.  

Goal 3: lie down
Some were crying.  Some were looking straight ahead, you could tell they were thinking "just a little bit more to go".  Some were injured.  One guy had blood stains from his nipples, extending right down to the bottom of his singlet.  Some were grinning.  Some were cheering themselves on.  Some were limping.

If you ever want to feel overwhelmed and in awe of what the human mind can do, go and stand at the 300m to go mark of a marathon.  Just incredible.

The saddest moment was seeing one poor runner, who collapsed at our feet.  Fellow runners, strangers, immediately stopped and tried to help him stand up, they were going to help carry him through the last 300m.  But his legs physically wouldn't stand.  They were like jelly, and no matter how much he tried, his legs buckled and he fell down.  You could see the anguish on his face as he looked up and realised how little distance he had to go.  A security guard called for First Aid and I slipped the straw of my brothers Camelbak through the fence and fed him water.  The medical team
Love this photo :)
arrived and treated him.  They put him in a wheelchair to wheel him away for more help.  He'd just run 41.9km, and now he wouldn't finish.  Mel asked the security guard who accompanied the medical team if they could at least wheel him under the finish banner.  The security guard curtly replied: "no, we won't be doing that." 

We called out to people and high 5'd them.  My phrase of the day was "you're almost there" or "it's just around the corner" - as I knew that's what I wanted to hear when I was running (when it actually was - people start telling you that with 5km to go!)

I missed my work friends but cheered on
Love these girls!  (On Saturday)
some Awesome Runners.  Alison looked up Jacque and Cat's times and we knew when to expect them.  We got ready - we knew we were looking for red and aqua coloured shirts.  Mel had given me her 30+ hoodie to wear, so I held the logo on the back up like a sign, for the girls to see.  30+ is where most of us met.  Then suddenly, we spotted a glimpse of red and aqua, and there were the girls.  We went nuts and cheered like crazy.  They looked incredible.  They were grinning and seemed to have an amazing form, 42km's in.  It was such a special moment.

And then, it was time for Greg.  We wanted to cheer for him along the course, to keep him pepped up, as well as to see him finish.  So we started walking against the
The awesome Catherine
runners, trying to find our next cheering vantage point.

I wasn't feeling well at all.  I'd been slowly going downhill, since my event.  The girls kept suggesting that I eat something, but I still didn't want to.  I felt like if I did, I would throw up.  I eventually agreed to eat a few of my lollies.  I probably ate about 3.  I'd been wanting my Camelbak water but didn't want to suck on the same straw as the man I'd fed it to, just in case.  I mainly drank my friends water that they kept giving me, but I should have found more.

We walked 2km back into the course, along the way I got to meet 'Running Girl' - the amazing Nic (check her out on Facebook).  It's always a funny conversation when you meet people you 'know' through social media.  "Hi, I'm Coco Girl", "Hi, I'm Running Girl". :)

While we waited for Greg, I lay down on the side of the road, on my back - legs and arms stretched out, with a hat shielding my face from the sun.  It was one of those times where I knew that I wasn't well and probably shouldn't have come out this far.  But my mind was
Beautiful Mel
clouded by the thought that there was no way I was missing out on cheering for my friends.  And I guess I didn't realise how sick I actually was becoming...

Greg arrived and he was a power house.  There was no way he was giving up.  He was on a mission - 40km down, 2.2km to go.  We stuck alongside him and accompanied him the whole way back - I pushed it more than I should have.  Right at the end, he did what we all did, and he went hard for the last 250m or so, disappearing around the corner.  There was no way I was going to miss him finishing, so to get him back in view, I ran a little bit.  I shouldn't have ran...

Medal selfie!
He went under the finish banner and it was incredible to see. I was so proud of him, such a special moment.


Now that I could rest assured that all of our friends had finished all of the events, it was time to focus on myself again.  And I was not well.  I hadn't told the girls how sick I was feeling.  I was feeling nauseous, and I'd developed a headache over the last few hours that had become absolutely splitting.  I just felt sick and I was getting worse.  It was one of those times where only in hindsight it's obvious.  I had just run a half marathon, then spent 5 hours in the sun including a bit of walking and running, with not much water, and zero food.

We watched Greg hug his family at the second finish banner, it was so beautiful to see.  There was a chair and I sat down with my head in my hands.  I was fading.  My headache was beyond words and I got more and more sick.  The
You may take my clothes but you may never take my medal!
girls were, and had been amazing.  Mel went to get her car and bring it to the finish site as they didn't think I should walk.  I saw Greg on the other side of the banner, recovering.  Me on one side, him on the other.  The irony hit me later, when I realised here Greg was, having run a marathon, yet me being the one who was stretchered away.

I lay on the ground as it was too much to sit up in the chair.  I wasn't panicking, if anything I was serene, but I wasn't well.  Catherine fed me water, and I heard someone ask my friends if they needed a medic.  I couldn't speak, I had suddenly taken a turn for the worse.  I knew I needed help by this point and I was glad I was going to get it.  St Johns arrived and treated me there.  I stayed conscious, but my memory is a little hazy about what went on.  My blood sugar level was taken and was really low.  I was shivering in the sun and they put a space blanket on me.  They rolled me onto a board thing and lifted me onto a stretcher.  It was easier to have my eyes closed but I opened them at a couple of points and looked up to see so many faces
around me: the medics, the girls, Greg and Jules.  They were saying I'd be ok.  I just wanted pain relief, I couldn't handle this headache anymore.

I remember being thankful that GCAM wrote our dates of birth on our bibs, as it was read out.  And because Donna had been staying with me, she had my address!  I was also thankful that I share so much of my story here - as the girls new stuff about my health!  My friends were able to tell them of my history with PE's, and apparently my pulse was low and they were able to tell them that that is normal for me!  There are strange benefits of sharing your health life on the internet...

They pushed me onto some sort of buggy thing and the main guy medic apologised to me and said they had to
Feeling a lot better :)
put the buggy 'siren' on, as it was procedure.  They took me to the medical tent and treated me more.  They fed me a gel and gave me the green whistle, some pain relief thing.  It didn't work much, but reduced my headache a little.  So this is what dehydration felt like...

Before I knew it, I was transferred to an ambulance and on my way to Robina Hospital.  Mel came with me in the ambulance, and I didn't find this out till later, but the other girls had gone back to Donna and my hotel.  We'd checked out and left our bags behind the counter, and my car in the car park.  They found my Medicare card and rang through the details and a picture of the card to the hospital.

From now on I will be running with my Medicare card, always!  I usually bring my license and EFTPOS card, but my Medicare card will now be an essential item for future runs... :/

I got put into a bed and the nurse and Mel had to change me into a hospital gown.  I couldn't even dress myself :(  Things were hazy but I do remember Mel saying she was just going to take off my medal, and I begged to keep it on.  Oh dear Kate....

They put me on a drip and did some tests.  I felt myself perking up as the drip started to take effect.  Mel stayed by my side the whole time.  The other girls organised with my hotel to
keep my car there, packed all of our bags into Mel's car, and then drove to the hospital and came to visit.

As much as I could, the whole time I kept asking everyone to "go to the party."  Jacque had organised post run celebrations and if it wasn't bad enough that I was missing out, I was making a handful of people miss out too.  I felt terrible.  Post run celebrations were supposed to be in bars, not hospital waiting rooms.  But they stayed and were amazing, never complaining.

I got wheeled into the short stay unit and given another drip.  By now I was feeling a lot better.  The nurse offered us some food and I was now up to eating.  It was now about 7pm and all I had eaten that day was that crumpet and muesli bar, and 3 little lollies.  Mel and I relished that food!

I was discharged around 8pm, with a greater understanding of dehydration and low blood sugar...

I was supposed to drive back to Brisbane with Donna that afternoon, but that was not going
The rollaway bed came with straps - just like my stretchers!
to be a good idea.  Instead we stayed an extra night at the coast; Mel's partner David organising for a rollaway bed for me in their hotel room.  We went out to get a burger as soon as we got back to the hotel, and then Mel ran me an Epsom Salt bath!  It was, the most incredible bath I have ever had.  It was so nice to finally be able to wash off that 'post run grime', a good 12 hours after running, not to mention that hospital feel!

The next morning, Mel and David drove me back to my hotel to get my car.  On the way, Mel did a detour and actually took me back to the GCAM site.  She was hoping there'd still be a GCAM sign up, so that I could get a jumping selfie, as I wasn't able to get one the day before!  It was the most sweetest thing, I couldn't believe she did that for me...did everything for me that weekend.

Everyone was amazing and I am so blessed to have so many good people around me.  


So that's my story.  I have learnt my lesson with post race nutrition, that's for sure!  We had
Day after photos in my finishers shirt
spent so much effort focusing on our food leading up to the race, that I didn't work out a good plan for afterwards, post race.  I didn't plan to not eat for 5 hours post race, it just worked out that way.  Ironically this is my first event where I've actually made such an effort in my nutrition, and was so dedicated trying to make sure I did everything right.  Usually I just get by with not much thinking, but this run I really, really tried to do things right. And look where I ended up...  And ironically I actually think that the incredible amount of carbs we ate, were what made me not want to eat during or after the race, because I was so full of food.  I have a bit to learn and research from now on.  I have some testing to do...

But apart from learning about nutrition, my biggest lesson has been in goal setting, and acceptance.

The weekend didn't go to plan for many people I know.  Three friends also downgraded their original events.  One friend did her absolute best and would have finished it but was devastatingly forced off course by officials due to cut off times.  One friend entered but
wasn't able to make it at all.  One friend, who organised a big team for it, got really sick in the days leading up and had to pull out at the last minute.  Another friend pulled out months before, due to injury.  Another friend also taken to hospital on a drip - he got pins and needles at the 32km mark of his marathon.  Then there was that guy who collapsed in front of us.  And me...changing events was not in the plan, nor was a trip to hospital 5 hours later.  And these are just the stories I know of.

So many stories, so many changed plans.

But that's the way it goes.  Sometimes we plan things, and they don't go to plan.  I knew that.  But what I guess I didn't realise, is that, that's ok.  

For all of the runs that didn't go to plan, there was handfuls that did.  Runs that exceeded expectations, runs that were textbook incredible.  I've had those types before; I guess that's what we do.  We push through the not so great runs, so that we can appreciate the awesome ones. :)

Mel took me back to take this photo :)
And in the not so great runs, well, we have to take the pressure off.  And accept them for what they are.

Things can be disappointing and upsetting.  Don't fight it.  Yep, it's shit.  Stop pretending like it's not, or trying to flower it up.  It IS shit!  Ok then.

I'll be back for more of my road to my marathon soon.  I haven't given up on my dream.  No, no way. :)

Court, Donna and I picking up our race packs

We tried to be dedicated!

Rina and I :)

With Mel :)

Donna and I handing out socks from our sock sponsor, Steigen

Relax time on the Saturday while shopping

Chilling in the hotel room on Saturday night

Dinner with these crazy kids

Did I mention the nutrition plan suggested ICE CREAM??  Catherine and I get excited...

Race top indecision

3am selfie
Walking to the start line

At the shops on Saturday...Coco...Girl :)