I get by with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?  I get by with a little help from my friends.

Yes, this Unsporty Woman does get by with a little help from her friends, well, actually it’s not just getting by. No, she FLIES with a little help from her friends. And not just a little help either. She flies with lots of help, enormous dollops of help from her friends.

Launceston 10 2015

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Posts on this blog are liberally dotted with references to the unexpected friendship-side of running. The relationships formed through sweat, kms of pounding, uphills, downhills, early mornings, late evenings AND turning up to training because we have a running date with our friends. It truly is the most beautifully, unexpected thing about becoming a runner. And I’m not afraid to tell you that as I type this my eyes fill with tears. I am so enormously lucky to have been taken into the hearts of some special people through running together.

Courtesy of Paul's Garmin Connect - brrrr

Courtesy of Paul’s Garmin Connect – brrrr

Today we ran Launceston 10. It was so cold. Freezing! The cold air was hard to suck into the lungs, attempting as I was to stick with that 50 minute pacer. I saw him sail off at the 3km mark.   The Launceston 10 is known as the fastest 10km race in Australia. Elites from all over the country and overseas come to run it. It’s a fast, flat, out and back course. The cold factor had us all gasping and shivering.

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Today was all about friends.

Louise and I run every Wednesday evening and Friday morning. She is much faster than me. But on Fridays especially she slows it down for herself but makes me push just that bit harder. In so doing I have become faster. Stronger. My endurance has increased and so has my confidence to keep a faster pace. Were it not for her I would not be running as happily as I am now.  Sole Sisters hatching out and making running dreams come true. Thank you Louise xxx your help with training made all the difference today.

Just as I was having thoughts of slowing down in the last kms of today’s race, the very lovely Debbie ran by, she put her arm around me as she did at Cadbury Marathon and encouraged me to keep going. I couldn’t talk! I held onto her for as long as I could. Concentrating on her words and being pulled along. I so appreciated seeing her then, it was just what I needed. Thank you so much Debbie xxx

Photo by Lance - trying to look energetic but struggling!

Photo by Lance – trying to look energetic but struggling!

Out on the course today were a number of running friends who weren’t running for various reasons. Instead they sacrificed their Sunday morning sleep-in on a freezing cold day and got up to cheer us along. Dotted along the course just as I needed it I heard: Go Annie!!! wild cheering and general enthusiasm. It was like a pure shot of go-fast juice! I can’t thank them enough. Lance just pulled up on his bike in time to give me a cheer on the way out and then the way back – it really helped so much. Strategically located on one of the over-pass bridges were Cathy and Malcolm, their cheers hit the spot! On the home front the very lovely Michelle yelled out some words of wisdom and encouragement. I was so pooped. I took her words and held them close and pushed on.  And there was Tina and her camera with smiles and cheers.

Photo by Tina on the very last part of the home straight - I was pooped!

Photo by Tina on the very last part of the home straight – Wearing my The Running Group top with pride!

As the GPS ticked over 6kms I started to flag. My pace slowed. Just as it did I remembered Bruce sitting on the couch with his leg in plaster. It’s all plastered up after surgery to fix an injury that has stopped him from running ( just for now). I pushed on thinking how much he’d like to be out on that chilly course giving it his all.

Some members of The Running Group pre-race.  The Lovely smiling Janette is there right on the left.

Some members of The Running Group pre-race. The Lovely smiling Janette is there right on the left and Cathy beside her.

And then there is the ever smiling, ever believing lovely Janette. After a terrible bout of dinky-di flu she wasn’t fit to run. Instead she held our bags and zoomed from cheer spot to cheer spot. Her smiling face, enthusiasm and awesome cheering hit the spot. But not only that. She really believed that I could run those chilly 10kms with the 50 minute pacer. I didn’t believe I could, my doubts were there and my confidence wobbly. But I trusted my friend enough to want to try. I tried my hardest! Sole Sisters. Thank you Janette xxx  …what was that about a marathon?

And there is Pauly putting in his all just about to cross the finish.

There is Michelle and Piper cheering us all on as Pauly puts 100% into zooming the last few meters to the finish line.

I get by with a little help from my friends. Reflecting on today’s race I worry that I get so much from them, but do I give back? Their support and kindness makes the difference. When I don’t believe, they do. When I don’t think I can keep on going, they know I can and give me the right words to keep pushing, to keep trying.

Running and friendship? It goes together like shoes and laces. Bum bags and tissues. Medals and ribbons.  Sore muscles and Epsom salts.  Friendship and running!

But who knew? Not me. But how absolutely fantastic that it does!

So how did I go?

Not 50 minutes, not sub-50 minutes. A PB of 51:57 (52:36 last year) AND best of all a 5km PB of 24:35!  My 5km PB has stood for a couple of years at 25:20, but not after today. I’m in the 24s!!!  Average pace overall was 5:05 minutes per km.  When I started running if someone had told me I could hold that pace over 10kms I would have seriously lost it with laughing!  But I did!!!

Can you believe three consecutive kms under 5 minutes?  I can't!

Can you believe three consecutive kms under 5 minutes? I can’t!

Huey, Dewey, Louie and Daffy at the finish - four members from Team Quakers.

Huey, Dewey, Louie and Daffy at the finish – four members from Team Quakers.

The Quakers all ran PBs today.  The Lovely Louise, Louie, ran 46:41. Pauly, Huey, ran 44:23 and the awesomely fabulous Grant, Daffy, ran a speedy 50:51.  But guess what?  Daffy had done basically no training at all!  How can he do that?  He took over 10 minutes from his last 10km in October 2014 at 1:00:39.  Four PBs for the Quakers!

As I ran back to the finish after the turn around point I saw the back-of-packers labouring forwards. I saw their red faces, their exhausted look and yet in their struggle was a look of pure determination. I wanted to cheer every single one, but I was pushing so hard I had no voice. I remember being back there and seeing everyone zoom by and yet here I am getting towards the middle of the pack, just a little faster with each year. If I can improve this much anyone can. Just keep on trying.

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My wish is for everyone to have such a wonderful bunch of running friends to run with. Joining a running group was way outside my comfort zone, but in so doing I have gained the most beautiful friends who I treasure so much. And when my resolve is down and the doubts are loud, their sweet encouragement and belief makes the difference every time.

I get by with a little help from my friends. I can fly with a lot of help from my friends.

Thank you.

Happy running 🙂

PS some photos are mine and others are shamelessly stolen from facebook!  I get by with a little help from my friends is a Beatles classic that just seemed to fit today.

34 thoughts on “I get by with a little help from my friends

  1. Wow that’s great to hear! Your 5km time is amazing. I did a Parkrun on Saturday for the first time in ages but am still very slow. I did come 2nd in my age group so am hanging onto that. 😊 I think I need some running friends after reading your post.

    • Thanks Debbie 🙂 I wish I could remember what my first 5km time was, I’m pretty sure it was about 42 minutes but with a walk break at the half way mark. That was on the farm with Pauly before parkrun started in Launceston. parkrun has been the thing that has introduced me to other runners. I found out about The Running Group there. I was so nervous when I spoke with the Event Director asking if there were any groups that someone like I could join. But now, no looking back!

    • Thanks Sam 🙂 It sure was! I didn’t see you speeding back from the turn around point but you are in quite a few Examiner photos looking very focused. Well done on an other great run!!!

  2. You ran amazing!! And never ever ever worry that you don’t give anything back to other runners. You are one of the loveliest, most supportive runners going around! Just seeing your pink cap helps me out, and I probably would have been lying in the ambo tent if you weren’t there for me at the finish lol!
    Well done Annie x

    • Thanks lovely G 🙂 I doubt you’d be in the ambo tent, you just needed a friend to lean on for a few seconds. And a few seconds for the fog to clear from your glasses! Very well done on your run too, it was so cold out there! Thanks for the lovely comment, that is very warming of the old heart xxx

  3. I’m SO, SO, SO proud of you!!!!! Wow, what a run! Well done to all the Quackers today – PB’s a-plenty. As has just been mentioned – never doubt you don’t give back – you give truckloads of encouragement!!!!!!
    Hmmmm – marathon ….. (never say never ….. hehe)

  4. Wow Anne-Marie – that is a seriously impressive time! AND under the 25 minutes for 5k too!! You have so earned that, all your hard work is really paying off. x

    • Thanks Tahnee 🙂 no one is more shocked than me. I never thought I’d ever get in the 24s. There was a huge temptation to slow down at the half way mark, I just felt so awesome (and totally exhausted) that I’d done that time that I thought I could slow down for the rest of it. It really does show that I can do so much more than I think I can. I am still learning that lesson with every run.

  5. Your achievements as a runner are one thing and certainly something to be very proud of (I know I would be!!!) … but the affectation and appreciation you show for your running friends is clearly evident in every post. It’s what truly stands out whenever you talk about your training or a race. Congratulations on both!

    • Thanks Joanne 🙂 running has taken me on the most amazing journey of discovery – that sounds a bit corny but it’s so true. Your comment is so lovely, I really appreciate it. I’m so glad my writing comes across to you like that. Really warms my heart x

  6. Congratulations on such an amazing run in very chilly conditions! Just look what you can do with a little self belief and a whole lot of support 😄
    You certainly do give HEAPS back Annie, don’t ever doubt that, I’m always telling my family about you and your positive attitude and support x

      • You certainly look a lot better than me towards the end, I’ve seen a couple of best forgotten photos of me, mouth wide open and gasping whereas you are smiling and looking very fresh, 5min kms definitely not a problem for you 😀

  7. I have had a little bit of reading to catch up on. You have been busy going here and there across the ditch parkrun, runs, birthdays wow. Now to your latest blog OMG congrats to you and your wonderful team, you all totally smashed it. So true the running community and the friendships built. I certainly have been blessed to get as you say help from my friends and partner from the sidelines, gives me such a buzz. I thought of you all yesterday what looked like freezing conditions. Anyways looking forward to your next adventure. Thanks for sharing.💕

    • Thanks Leanne 🙂 it’s been a busy few months. I’m looking forward to a catch up and that run followed by scromlettes! It was cold on Sunday, perhaps a little too cold but one for the memories that’s for sure xxx

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