Monday, 23 March 2015

Twilight '15 limp report

I decided to do the Twilight 5km in Brisbane last night, despite my knee injury meaning I had to walk / limp it.  I'd been planning to do the 10km - it's an event I enjoy and it was on "the list".  But with my running plans temporarily put on hold, as the event drew closer, I naturally
Wet selfie photoshoot in the car post run
assumed I wouldn't be attending.

This'll make more sense once I get time to write my next blog post, but I decided to enter anyway, because I needed to show myself that there's different ways to do things - you can still achieve things, even if you have to take a slightly different path, one you didn't originally plan on.  Obviously I mean this on a larger, more symbolically, meaningful scale.  But today, it was simply about me being able to attend an event I'd been looking forward to, get through that finish line (and get a medal).

So I signed up.

My entry was for the 5km walk rather than the 10km run, but hey - I was still able to go.

My Twilight run in 2013 was highly dramatic and my Twilight run in 2014 was highly emotional, so I was hoping that 2015 would have no drama.

This is, of course, a big ask, when emergency vehicles are commonly synonymous to Kate running, but hey, a girl can dream.

It'd been raining all weekend in Brisbane, and cleared about an hour before I left home.  Dark clouds were hanging around, so I grabbed a bunch of zip lock bags for myself and
Zip lock bags
friends, just in case.

Apart from the zip lock bags, I felt a bit under-prepared before I left the house.  Things have been a little hectic and I just didn't have things ready.  I scrambled for clean clothes and my Garmin was flat.  No big deal.  As I hopped in the car to head to Twilight, I decided that if a flat Garmin was the biggest thing that happened today, then we were going to be ok.

On the way there though, I had a bit of a traffic scare / upset thanks to another drivers impatience and indecency.  It surprisingly shook me up so much that I started crying and sort of hyperventilating, which turned into a panic attack, which caused me to pull over to the side of the road to calm down before I continued to drive.

Seriously Kate: I hadn't even gotten to the event yet, and I was already in a state, struggling to breathe and sobbing.

I pulled myself together and made it there, but I was pretty shaken.  I told myself that it was fine now, I'd had this years dramatic moment, everything would be calm and normal now.  Though, and I know this sounds silly, but as I walked from my car, I heard a siren and that,
Courts :)
and the combo of the lurking weather made me a little unnerved.  I'm sure my reaction was exacerbated because I was already unsettled, but it was still like little flashbacks to the 2013 event.  (The story is at the link above, but the short version is, we were stuck 5km out on the course when a ferocious storm hit.  We couldn't see, the sideways rain was making it difficult to breathe, we had to run (opposite) sideways through flooded roads holding each others hands, in parts using lightning to help see in front of us, people were screaming and all we could hear were sirens.  It was one of the scariest times in my life.  And that was just my experience - there was worse).  I imagine that with the questionable weather yesterday, other 10km and half runners that were stuck out on the course that year may have also felt a little anxious?

I got to the event and met up with my friends.  One of them, I actually 'met', in the true meaning of the word!  Leanne, aka Annie, aka this warm, funny, wonderful woman is someone I've 'known' for a couple of years now through 12WBT, but we actually only got to meet yesterday.  Leanne writes one of my favourite blogs: Finding The Thin Within Me, and has been one of my biggest online supporters throughout my journey.  She lives interstate but was in Brisbane for this event, so we finally got to meet.  And she's just as warm, funny and wonderful in real life. 

You know those people who are just beautiful, and you just adore them the moment you meet?

That's Leanne. :)
Leanne :)

Anyway, talking to friends, the general run atmosphere and receiving a phone call from my 2 year old niece (with my Dad) and hearing her say " 'luck " (good luck) and " iluboo " (I love you) :) calmed me down, and as soon as I went through the Start banner, my worries were completely forgotten.

Leanne, her friend Fi and I stuck together for the entire event.  I'm so grateful for this.  My knee was holding up really well.  I did my last 5km at the Pinkie Fun Run, walking like Bambi - so apprehensive, slow and stumbly.  Whereas today, I was walking normally.  I say 'normally' because I wasn't power walking, but I also didn't have to go at snails pace.  It was a great speed all things considered, and my knee held up the whole way, really, really well.  I was limping a bit, but that was more me referring weight to my 'good leg', rather than it being caused from pain.

About 2.5km in, we were walking over the bridge, and that's when we saw the clouds.

Thick, grey, menacing clouds...

We were literally in the same spot I was in 2 year previously, when I noticed similar clouds
Clouds on the bridge
and it began to rain back then.  And here we were again.  It was slightly different this time though: I was almost at the turn around point with not as great distance in front of me, and this time I had zip lock bags for my precious, information filled iPhone!

The clouds were dark for a reason, as the rain started as we got to the turn around point, just after the bridge.  By the time we got back over the bridge, the paths and road had begun flooding.  Ankle deep water, underlying panic about my iPhone not holding out through plastic, and absolute drenching rain weren't great, but all I could do was think back to 2013 to put things into perspective.  We were fine.

Leanne, Fi and I muddled through the water; we only had 1km to go.

As we neared the stadium, we realised that the 10km and half marathon events had started, and they were about to run past us.  Officially they were only supposed to take up half of the
The volunteers were the best!!!
road, as there were still people in our 5km event finishing, on our side of the road.

But like a few events I've been in now, the vast numbers and speed of the oncoming event quickly outweigh my side, and before we knew it, they'd taken over the whole road, and were coming right at us.

I really don't know what event organisers can do in situations like this, because a few traffic cones become invisible when you're talking hundreds of very fast runners outweighing a few on the other side of the road.  This event isn't alone in this issue.  Runner education and warnings are the only thing I can think of, apart from expensive barriers. 

We moved as absolute far left as we could, but the 10 and half'ers were still coming right at us: they'd taken up the whole road.  Unfortunately we couldn't move any further over, as the road to our left was flooded probably up to our ankles.  We were already walking on the border of it.  I was already drenched so you could argue it didn't matter, but when I saw there was an older woman alongside us in my event / direction who was getting pushed into the water, I suddenly got very protective of my event, and refused to budge any further over,
which would mean into the water.  Leanne, Fi and I had long been pushed into a single file, which was fine, but we were still getting pushed even further.  I tried to look after the older woman as best I could, by making sure she (and I) felt we had every right to walk on the tiniest bit of road in between the water and the running barrage: I kept guiding her out of the water.  I refused to walk through more flood water than I had to, just because the next events had taken over our side of the road.  I decided they could at least give us a persons width grace.  Oncoming runners had to jump out of the way as I kept a firm hand on the womans shoulder.

It wasn't a huge deal but runners coming at you makes for pretty anxious times - I was also trying to be careful, I can't have any sudden movements to my knee.  Fortunately this part didn't go for very long, and we got to the finish chute, the 4 of us now, and walked through.  Some of the sitting crowd clapped, a few people called out, my beautiful friend Courtney was at the finish line taking photos for me, it was still raining very hard, and we walked through and made it.

We didn't hang around; to the point I didn't even get any selfies at the finish line, or any jumping photos!!  I was too anxious about my phone to take it out until I got to my car.  But it was safe and 99% dry.  I've decided to get a waterproof case, just for use in events.  I've never bought one as to me they're so big and cumbersome, but I've had too many anxious
events and close calls now: even if I just use it for events, it will be worth it.  The fact I have a bag of rice in the pantry labelled "iPhone rice" says it all, really....

Like in 2013, the half marathon ended up being cancelled half way through, as the rain just got worse and worse.  Tough call for the organisers and heartbreaking for the runners mid course.  I felt fortunate I got to finish my event; albeit getting beyond drenched, and drove very slowly (safely) home, and into a very warm shower.

It was hard not running: very hard.  But it's ok.  I just need to be patient.

I didn't think of it too much throughout the event itself, but as I went through the finish line, I did get a little pep up as I reminded myself what I just proved.

That it is still possible to get somewhere, even if you have to do it by different means, or attack it by a different angle.... :)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Struggle Corner

I say Struggle 'Corner' because I'm not in Struggle Street or Struggle Town just yet.  It's easier and quicker to turn a corner than it is to get out of a street or leave town!

So if my last post was about how I was going along pretty swimmingly, this post is, well, sort of the opposite.

Welcome to the life of Kate: where nothing is ever boring or straightforward.

I will start with something positive though: I did promise to write my next blog post about Pre-Season, and where I'm up to with that.  Well, I did!  It's just that I didn't post it on my blog here!  It's on another special blog, the 12WBT blog!  It was an honour to do a bit of writing for the 12WBT team, and share a little of my thoughts on Pre-Season!  The blog post is here if you wanna read it. :) 

That was the highlight of my week.  Unfortunately I had a few too many low lights to scramble through, too.  Just your average week, I know.  But this week just seemed a little tougher than most.

I'm not going to do a depressing play-by-play, but at the same time this blog has been, for coming up to 3 years, like my little outlet of all things health / weight loss / fitness gain related, and blogging about it will at least get it off my chest, no matter how high level I describe it.

So I last posted at the 6 week mark of this year.  I was on track, I had not strayed, I was so proud of myself.  I have never been on track for 6 weeks straight before.  It's now 8 weeks into the new year and as much as I would love to say I kept it going, I slipped. 

I can't even pinpoint just how I did so.  It started with a pub meal that I allowed myself to have.  I often have treats but they're well planned for and written down.  This pub meal was not planned for, well at least not until that afternoon when I just 'felt' like it.

I'm forever going after that happy medium / non 'all or nothing' / middle ground / non deprivation way of living: I'm not very good at it yet, but I am improving. 

I just wanted a chicken parmy.  So I let myself have it.  It somehow went hand in hand with a long night of Long Island Iced Teas.  I don't drink very often anymore, so the whole night was really a once off.  It's ok, it happens.

But, my old trick immediately crept back in, and I kept it going.  It's a behaviour I've had since I was 16 so it's a bit hard to shake.  The ol' "well while I'm at it, I may as well...." and I continue the unclean eating.

I kept it going for the rest of the week.  By Weigh In Wednesday, I'd eaten off plan for 4.5 days.  I put on 2.3kg.

I don't often ask for help and as much as my openness on social media would suggest otherwise, when things are wrong, I don't usually talk about it.  But I'm very lucky to have a supportive relationship with my beautiful trainer, Margie, and I spoke to her one morning and just said it as it was.  I tell her just everything (the poor thing) but this issue seemed hard to admit: that it had crossed my mind to quit.

A week down the track now, I can't comprehend how I could ever feel like that, but, I did.  I also can't recall how I had the strength to pull myself back up so quickly, but, I also did. :)  Sometimes it helps to lighten the load if you share with someone else.

I went strong for 3 days.  On the 3rd day I had a sudden medical issue - one moment everything was fine - and then suddenly I ended up having to visit my second home: Emergency.
Sick of this view

I don't know yet if I'm ok: I think I am, but I won't have confirmation for a little while.  I have to have further testing which will involve surgery and a general anesthetic: two of my biggest fears.  I've had a lot of medical tests in my time but have never had any of that, and I am beyond terrified about it.  I've had nightmares all week, one dream involved someone giving me anesthetic and knocking me out while at my desk.

One thing that really affected me from that night is that at one point a doctor explained we had to wait for a test to come back to see if I needed to be given a blood transfusion.  It's such a small part in this whole week's story but it's possibly the part that has affected me the most.  I didn't end up needing one.  But I was, and am, in shock that they had to check.  For an hour I lay there, waiting for the answer.  I had only donated blood myself 1 week earlier.  When I donated, my thoughts involved how much it hurt this time (it usually doesn't), being offended about something weight related that happened when I was there (another story for another blog post) and which snack I would choose at the end.

Never, ever did it occur to me that day, or ever, that I may need blood myself.  Especially not only a week later, on some random Friday night.  Other people need blood, not me.  I give it!  So yeah, such a little thing has shaken me up a bit.

Anyway, a combo of me just letting loose after this night and going away for that weekend saw me indulge for another 2.5 days.  And, like the previous week, I let it continue on Monday and Tuesday as well.  Two weeks in a row, I did well Wednesday - Friday night, then Friday night - Tuesday, let it all go.

This Wednesday my weight remained the same - to the exact gram - which was a surprise.  I was pretty lucky I didn't put any on.  I broke the new Friday night tradition this weekend and am proud to say I've been back on track since Wednesday: and plan to continue this way.  I could clean up my act a little, and pull in the reigns, but overall I am doing ok.

So that's been the gist of the past 2 weeks; food and weight wise.  Exercise wise I'm still in a little bubble of frustration, still on limited duties.  I'm going with it, and mostly I'm patient, but I have little moments where I get so down and frustrated that I can't do more.  I see my team mates going nuts and pushing themselves to their limit, and I'm over in my little corner, hobbling along feeling like I'm doing nothing.  At least I'm doing something, I know.

Other than that, I've just really, really struggled through this week.  I've been riddled with stress and anxiety.  I'll talk about anxiety another day, but stress wise, it's been a shocker.  Stress has absolutely consumed me.  I think I cried about 5 or 6 times over Thursday and Friday - which is very unlike me.  Always at the worst possible moments, too: when someone has asked if I was ok.  So embarrassing.

I've also been so negative, and that in itself has been dragging me down.  I'm not a negative person by nature.  I don't think I'm a smile-always-glass-is-always-brimming-over positive person either, but I am definitely not negative.  My nickname with one friend is 'Sunshine' and most of my friends see me like this.  So to be negative is out of character, and that in itself is getting to me.

There's a lot of negativity around me at the moment: 7 friends and family have been diagnosed with Cancer this past week.  It's gotten to a point where I'm actually not dealing with it.  That is way too many, especially in such a small period of time.  I also had 4 friends in hospital the day before me, and I can't stop thinking about all of these people - each of them have been constantly on my mind.

One smart friend of mine helped me work out the link between my negativity and my shock about all of the people around me.  It sort of seems obvious now that I write it out, but I hadn't seen it before she connected the two.  It's sort of no wonder I'm feeling negative.  It was a relief when we worked this out, because I was starting to get concerned, because it's just not like me.  I think also that all of this has put an even greater negative outlook on my own medical stuff.

I don't really have any answers or inspirational way to finish this post, to tie it all together.  It's just been a really shit week and I've struggled a lot. I'm sure next week will be brighter.  I can't really easily describe where I'm at with weight loss either, as I am literally muddling my way through day to day.  I guess I'm imperfectly on track with food and am barely doing the amount of exercise I should be, but am doing what I can. 

Do you like my new doona cover? <3
I had some down time (quiet time) this weekend which really has helped me get my mind a little more positive.  I cleaned the house and put my new doona cover on my bed: little things like that make me feel more positive and in control.  I was productive today and got my food prepped for this week: it's all ready to go.  This week is going to be one of my slightly challenging ones with staying on track as I'm traveling for 3 days of it and also working through the night one night; so I'll have to adjust my meal and sleep times a little.

If you've read this far, thank you for listening to what has been a fairly unstructured, long getting-it-off-my-chest rant.  Life is so topsy-turvy, we can only do the best we can xxx

P.S. To end on a positive: I quit smoking 3 years ago today! :)

Food prepped for Week 5