This running thing takes us to more places than just start and finish lines. This running thing is a window that opens up on possibilities never dreamt of. Never considered. It shows us who we really are and what we are capable of.
Today was the Budget Hobart 5km Fun Run in Hobart, Tasmania Australia (Tasmania is the state of Australia I call home, a small island to the very south of the continent). And it was a Fun Run in every sense of the word. Sure there were some antelopes who sped around those two 2.5km laps in double-quick time, but there were all the other everyday runners there too. Beginners, experienced and all places between. They lined up to have some fun and run 5kms. There were a lot of awesome walkers too. Parents running hand in hand with children or pushing prams and family groups were the order of the day.
And it was cold! And windy! Tasmanian weather is gearing up for what’s being called a Polar Blast. Snow is forecast to 100m for the first time in 20 years. At 9:15am today it was hard to ditch the puffer jacket and wait those 15 minutes until the start in just running gear.
A highlight of the day was encouraging a lady who was walk-running. We chatted and talked about how much running has become our thing. Another was coming up behind a man who was walking with just 800m to go. Come on! I said, Just 800m, you can do that, keep running! Off he went and beat me! At the finish he waited for me to cross the line and then gave me a hug and said thank you. It’s amazing what a few words of encouragement can do.
It was a joy to see Sam out there today, she lapped me and then waited to say hello at the end. A 5km PB for her after a recent 10km PB AND just six weeks until her 70.3 Ironman! She is pumping. Good luck Sam, I hope you really enjoy your first Ironman. There are just no limits for this lady!
It was my turn to encourage today but yesterday it was my turn to be encouraged.
Half Marathon Number 13
Can I believe that? 13 half marathons in exactly two years. I can’t. As I type that I shake my head in disbelief. Me the Unsporty Woman, loather of running and totally unsporty has run all those half marathons. Hang on…how many kms is that? The Unsporty Woman grabs her calculator. 274.3kms or 170.3miles. But they are more than just distances. They are weeks of training, weeks of running with friends, with Pauly, on my own. Weeks of cross training and weights. Weeks of determination to get ready to go the distance.
Weeks of redefining myself from someone who thinks she can’t to someone who thinks she can.
Half Marathon Number 13 was back on the course of my very first Half Marathon in 2013. The Launceston Running Club’s Scottsdale to Bridport Half Marathon. This event starts at 200m of elevation and descends to sea level. In the middle are some epic inclines that really scream CHALLENGE! It’s a handicapped race so most of us run on our own with the odd antelope or grey hound bounding by. I had a handicap of 46:25.
Everything was going well. I was battling the headwind and chipping away keeping at a great pace (for me). I got to the one drink stop at the 10km mark and was feeling good. I had one lovely runner who is usually much faster than me in sight and kept her there until the 17km mark. At the 17km mark we ran out of hills, no more ups and no more downs, just flat. It’s all flat until the finish. The headwind had been relentless pretty much all the way. But at that point it picked up even more. Bridport is a seaside town; the wind was coming right off the coast. This is where I got some wonderful cheers to keep on going, a car slowed down and a lady in the back seat wound down her window and clapped and told me I was doing a great job. Those words were golden. It was my turn to receive some encouragement on the run. Those words made the difference and I kept chipping away. I put my smile on my face and bent into the wind. I can do this!
After those cheers I thought about a blog follower called Nina who wrote a beautiful comment just recently. She said that when she feels like slowing down she thinks of me and the encouragement she receives from my words and digs deep. On Saturday I thought of you, Nina, and I dug deep. Thank you!
A course PB for me. Half Marathon Number 1 back in 2013 time was 02:18:04 and yesterday it was 2:10:15 – a PB of eight minutes. I was so pleased – and terribly surprised!
Never under estimate the power of the cheer. It really has magical powers.
13 half marathons? Who would have thought it? Definitely not me. If I can do this running thing and build up to this level of distance and endurance then anyone can. Never Give Up! Who says 13 is unlucky? It might’ve been tough but it was fantastic!
Happy running 🙂
Ps the Polar Blast is coming. Today on our drive back home there was snow falling at the higher levels of the Midlands Highway. The farm sits at 300m so we may well have snow tomorrow. I washed my car at 5pm and the temperature said it was 2°C. Brrrr.
PPs The Launceston Running Club’s Scottsdale to Bridport is the one event in the Club calendar where any runner is welcome to register and join in.