Cadbury Marathon 11 January 2015. I finished in 5:12:31.
This is a post to purge my demons. I understand if you don’t want to read it. I need to get them off my back. There are exactly three months to go until Marathon Number Two and I would like to go into training with a happy, free heart, ready to run and have fun. Writing allows me to deal with things like nothing else I know, which is one of the reasons why I blog.
One of the biggest downers at Cadbury Marathon was that as I was about to turn around to head back out on lap number two, at the 23km mark several runners who were doing the half marathon at the same time made negative comments to me. As they were about to dash up the hill to the finish with less than 1km to go, I heard I’m glad that I’m not going out to run another lap. Poor you! Or words something like that. My heart flopped. I was so discouraged. Now not for a second do I think that these runners meant to be discouraging, but it was to me. All the air went out of my lungs, my legs turned to lead and my lower lip trembled. How on earth was I going to finish? It’s only 23km. I ran 37km in training and loved it…how could this be happening?
We’d had a torrid time on the farm for the week preceding the marathon. I haven’t written about it because it sounded like an excuse for not doing as well as I’d hoped.
Up until the Thursday before the marathon it was looking like Pauly would have to pull out and stay and work on the farm. All that training for nothing. We were having those conversations about what would I do if he had to stay. I wasn’t comfortable with going and I wasn’t comfortable with staying either. In the end we left and Paul’s phone did not stop ringing as he dealt with problem after problem over the phone. The farm was in the capable hands of our 2IC. Paul had administrative issues that only he could deal with. Our beloved girls (the cows) were being well cared for. Farming is an around the clock job, weekends are meaningless.
Finally on Saturday at lunch time, with less than 24 hours before the marathon we said ENOUGH. I’d been in tears. Paul was strung out. We said enough talking about it. We shelved the problem ready to pick it up again at lunch time the next day, hopefully after we’d run the marathon.
To help with stress relief Pauly went to watch a movie at the cinema (phones have to be off in the calm darkness of the cinema). I stayed at the hotel and watched Spirit of the Marathon to get into the groove. We needed down time to get our equilibrium where it should be.
But the marks of stress were there in every fibre of our beings. I’m pleased to say that everything was dealt with in the most positive of ways (it took several more weeks but all the dust settled and we came out on top). If anyone says to me again move to the country for a quiet life and become a farmer, I shall completely lose it and be taken away by the men in white coats!
Paul should’ve been able to run that marathon in 3:47:00 but the stress got to him too and he did a 4:09:00. I should’ve been able to run all the way and not let perceived negative comments get to me.
There was a lot of cortisol zooming around in our systems. When those comments were made at the 23km mark they went straight to my heart. I took them in and held onto them. My mind and body were so weary from stress that I could not bat them off. No matter how many happy mantras I said, or smiles I plastered on my face, I couldn’t find my positive groove. I tried to act and be happy but in my heart I was defeated. Digging deep didn’t happen, I was only raking the surface and becoming more miserable as my running slowed and during the last 10kms my steps became walks instead of runs. The issues from the farm crowded into my head and the sticky tape that holds my heart together began to peel off. All I wanted to do was sit down and cry.
When I should’ve been holding onto all the beautiful encouragement from friends, all the cheers and hugs of support, I chose to hang onto the negative.
Marathon Number One wasn’t the experience I’d hoped for. But I did make it to the finish. My medal is a symbol of so much more than running. It reminds me that even when things are lower than low I can keep on going. I could so easily have given up.
This has been a post to purge my marathon demons. My first marathon was what it was on the day. I did my best with what I had.
I wrote another post with lots of highs about the marathon – it wasn’t all bad, but what I have written above needs to be thrown in to purge my demons and to add a layer of pure unmodified honesty that hasn’t been through my polly-anna filter.
Happy running 🙂
PS and yet again we are facing challenges of a different nature on the farm. It just never ceases to stop. Paul likes to say that with each solved issue we become battle hardened. I like to think that with each challenge faced and achieved we become more confident and more hopeful for positive outcomes for everyone.