32kms is a long way. With 5kms to go the wheels got wobbly. My pace went from slow to snail. Pauly decided to run off and quickly became a little blue spec in the distance. Louise, reluctantly kept her pace up and she too became a small apricot spec out in front.
This run was so different from the 30km run the week before (average pace 6:40kms per minute). Whereas at the finish of the 30km I felt tired but elated and that I could indeed keep running. This week on the 32km run I started to doubt my ability to push through to marathon distance (average pace for the 32kms was 6:49kms per minute).
Oh dear. Those small voices of doubt got louder and louder. Flash backs to when I first started running came to me and how down I was on myself. You can’t do this. You look silly when you run. Who do you think you are trying to run when you are over 40? You’ve never been able to do it before, why should you try now? Stop! Thank goodness for mental fortitude learnt from hours and hours, kms and kms spent in running shoes; I kicked those thoughts in the head and started my positive running mantras up.
You can do it. You can do it. Go Unsporty Girl! (yep I’m a girl when I’m running not a 50 year old Unsporty Woman, but a young-at-heart 50 year old girl). I was still tired all over but my mind became sharper and I pushed through to the end. I finished those 32kms because of sheer mental toughness.
But the wheels had the wobbles.
On Saturday Pauly and I went to the much anticipated wedding of a chap who works on the farm. They had been saving for years. What an honour to be invited. I was dropped off very early at the wedding venue because Pauly was to be chauffeur to the Groom and his Best Man.
Saturday was also the day of the Bruny Island Ultra. I had two running friends running and I was way past OCD checking facebook for updates. As I sat in the garden of the beautiful old Inn that was to be the place for the wedding, well ahead of all the guests, I read the devastating news that one of my friends had been forced to pull out of the 64km event at the 54km mark – she had to pull out with just 10kms to go.
I couldn’t cry because I was all made-up and about to be a guest at a wedding. I could feel the disappointment in the words that announced her withdrawal from the event. Then I saw the photos of her poor sore feet. She was beyond devastated. Gutted. Defeated. How I longed to throw my arms around her and tell her how awesome she is just for having a go. This is a mum who has diabetes and sets herself amazing challenges and in so doing, just for trying, inspires so many around her both near and far.
The wheels fell off her first Bruny Island Ultra attempt. I have never had to withdraw from an event but it is a reality that could happen one day. I truly believe it takes more guts to withdraw than it does to continue. The lady has several marathons under her belt. Withdrawing yesterday was her only option.
As I look ahead to the Cadbury Marathon and then back to my not-so-good long run this week I’m again full of healthy respect for this challenge I’ve set myself. Yes it’s doable. But I won’t know until the day if I can do it. I’m going to believe that I can. I’m going to be at that start line with full belief that I can achieve. The heart break of yesterday spurs me on to try my best BUT to respect what I’m about to try and do even more.
To my lovely running friend who had to withdraw yesterday you are a star. You can sit back with confidence knowing that under the circumstances you gave it your all. To my lovely friend who now has a Bruny Island finisher’s medal you are amazing. I’m so in awe of both these wonderful running ladies. They had the guts to line up and give it their all on the day. And that is all any of us can do. The thing I have taken from this is to be kind to ourselves and to celebrate having the guts to try.
Happy running 🙂
PS task for this week? Read the Lazy Runner’s chapter on Mental Running and to get more into my mental preparation for the big 42.2kms in just five weeks time.
PPS I have just re-read this post for the umpteenth time…The more I read it the more I am totally determined to kick those 42.2kms in the butt! If I can run up a mountain, me the Unsporty Woman I can run a marathon!!!! Yep, 100% belief that I can 🙂 No point in thinking I won’t get there, may as well be positive! Being positive makes the journey so much happier. Happy running xxx
Here are some happy snaps of the garden that was the setting for the Wedding.