I was under prepared.
I had a basic plan.
A vague hope for finish times.
Get out there..have fun..finish.
I did it.
I finished and fell into hubby’s arms, sobbing tears of both exhaustion and the joy of it being over.
The last few kms were of utter pain and ‘where is the end?’ coupled with an inner joy of having done it. The tears threatened to flow. I stopped and walked, then jogged and repeat…anything to keep moving and not keel over completely. My legs felt like lead, like the end of my marathon where I didn’t think they would take me another metre. My husbands words ran through my mind..’remember that tattoo on your ankle..mind over matter’ That thought would carry me the last 5 kms where I was so tired I nearly fell several times through exhaustion.
This race started like all the others. Getting there early for bib pick up, photos, and more than one loo stop. Catching up with other running friends eased my nerves, and I was relaxed, even though my arms were heavy from the day before’s activities.
This race is cut into 4 sections – 3kms beach, 6kms trail, 10kms beach then replay the 6km trail.
Getting onto the trail was a bottle neck with the 12k’ers but it soon spread out and we moved easily along the route. It felt like it would never end, but that was before I saw The Beach.
The Very. Long. Beach.
Scrambling over rocks was almost the easy part.
You know when you’re driving a flat road and the horizon kept moving, never seeming to get any closer. That’s how it felt. With both a head and side wind, wet feet and the roaring waves to our right, I began to wonder if I was in some sort of weird recurring dream. I ran walked this section to preserve my energy, trying not to feel too deflated, yet still amazingly happy that here I was, actually doing this bucket list run!
Onto the road for 200m to the shelter where they ticked you off the list (making sure everyone was accounted for). I oggled the chips and bananas, scruffed a handful of lollies and headed back out. Tried sending hubby a video to say I was on the return, but it didn’t work so he got weird selfies instead.
I was slightly quicker along the beach with a tailwind, although somewhere around the 16-17k mark my ITB decided to play up. Dammit. And I was going so well too.
My plan was to run as much as I could and walk where I needed. I couldn’t help it, so had to work by its rules.
Over the rocks, grabbed more lollies from the stand and headed up the hill at 19kms. I had to walk as my hammy wasn’t letting up either.
Sent the last message to say I was heading bush again and would see him soon.
Checking my watch it was 2h:30 and I was hoping for the last 6k in around 40 mins, even in my head knowing how fast I would have to be to do that.
I was the only one on the trail for the most part during my return, with very few people around, meaning I almost took a wrong turn on several occasions.
The last 3 kms were the hardest with me nearly coming a cropper after tripping on my own feet. I had visions of the next person along finding a body sprawled face down on the ground. It wasn’t a pretty thought.
I pushed through and counted down the last km.
I can see the beach.
I can see the flags.
I’m at the flags…
Hitting the board and seeing that finish line.
Fist pumped the air as I came to the end and then saw hubby and mr 15 waiting.
Nearly missed my medal.
I was under prepared.
I’m not as fit as I thought I was.
I am also not as un-fit as I thought I was.
For my very first trail run I am absolutely stoked with my achievement.
They say to add half again on your regular distance time when doing trails, so to have finished my first in the time I did, makes me even happier.
This is also the first race where I am happy with all my photos.
Official time: 25kms – 3.25.35.
I Owned Today.