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.... :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word Kate! I had read it was bad but had only seen 'after' selfies, jeepers! That's ridiculous! It gives new meaning to trainingin the rain instead of ditching a training session doesn't it, but there's rain and there's rain! So heartbreaking for the ones who had trained so hard and it was cancelled. And so happy you got to meet Leanne, I wholeheartedly agree about her blog, she's got a crack up sense of humour too.