So The Hill to Harbour was the first of my four fun runs that I committed myself to this year is up. I booked a hotel room for the night before so I didn’t have to stress about travelling and being up at all hours of the night for the kids and can have one night of much needed rest and relaxation.
This is me – a little excited to be on my own for the first time in years:)
The room was great, huge big bed all for me – one side covered with magazines, books and my journal and a few snacks while the other side was plenty room for me and the TV remote. There’s a reason I don’t watch TV at home because a lot of the shows are infomercials that really manage to work their magic in making me believe that I truly do need that swivel mop or that new saucepan set.
With working as a shift worker and being mum to two young boys – having just a chance to put my feet up – what a luxury. Those feet needed as much rest as possible to face up to the challenge of my 10km the next day.
Fast-forward to race day. My bestie sent me a kind ‘wake up’ message when he hit the road to meet me at 5am – sad to say – I was already awake. Stupid internal body clock and nerves.
Head down in the attempt to get some breaky as I only packed a banana thinking I might not to be too hungry but I didn’t want to overdo it considering my options for toilet stops on the way were minimal to none.
Came a cropper – breaky doesn’t open till 7am on weekends. Damn you 6am! So, off to the car to go to Maccas to get one of their yoghurt thingers for breaky. On my way, met two people who stayed at the same place – the woman was doing the 5km while the male was doing the half marathon ‘yeah – just decided the other week that I was going to do it’. ‘Bastard’ I thought – no training, no prep, no head games – he just decided where I put so much thought into it, overthinking ‘can I do it – will I come last’ who cares? Just do it!
Get to Maccas and this is a good thing as it shows how long it has been since I’ve been there. No yoghurt thing to order. Hmm, cars lining up behind me, I ordered the bagel with jam, toasted English muffin and some apple slices. Of that order I got one toasted bagel, a toasted English muffin and one little pot of butter. No jam. No apple slices. Karma!
Jimmy and me waiting at the starting line for the walkers.
Jimmy has arrived and we set off to get his bib and land at the starting line. I’m feeling pretty good. Do some light stretches and try not to look at the hill that just looks like a shit of a thing. Was lucky enough to see the marathoners – inspiring.
Lining up and waiting …
So we line up. Up where the walkers are meant to be. It takes us about four minutes to get to the start line and kick off our time. First challenge – get up this bloody hill. It’s one of those ‘false sense’ hills. With the line of sight – you think that’s the top of the hill. Oh no. Keep going around the hill and up … and up … and up.
Officially into the race. The only smile while going up that hill!
I became self-conscious of my breathing as I was trying to power up the hill when Jimmy asked ‘are you okay?’ ‘Yep – just trying to keep up with my legs and we started to pick people off. ‘Red shirt’ and we’d focus on our stride till we passed them.
One kilometre down. I don’t really know which kilometre things started to hurt (probably at the start line lol) but I just pushed it to the back of my mind and started to focus on the woman who would jog past us and then start to walk and we’d over take her. This game of cat and mouse went on for at least four more passings.
Jimmy and I felt like we could have jogged for a little but we signed up for the walk part and I wanted to know what time I could walk it in – not walk jog. Bit disheartening when you see other ‘walkers’ jogging on by. Either way – my race – not theirs. My time – no theirs is what I was focused on.
For me there was nothing but inspiration. Even as I was passing people and being passed, I tried to puff out a coherent sentence of encouragement. Most of them just looked at me oddly. The hardest part for I think both myself and Jimmy was the last three kilometres. Things were hurting, people were starting to run past us to get the job done. I felt like my form was at its poorest. We snaked back around the lighthouse, along the foreshore, past the finish line to continue along the foreshore. The further we walked, it felt the finish line was never going to come. But that’s when the rains did. Just lightly though. Enough to cool us down and make us go that little bit faster to stop us from getting soaked. We started to overtake people as we powered along. More words of encouragement were sent their way. ‘In another 10 minutes – this will all be over and you would have done it!’ that’s when the smiles came.
And speaking of smiles, there were strategically placed photographers and I made it my mission to keep an eye out for them so they got a happy smiley photo – not one of how I was truly feeling. Picture, if you will, that contorted face of pain that’s struggling to breath that verges on that ugly cry face – yeah – you know that one. That’s what I was determined to hide. Coz everything hurt. A walker I am but one that keeps this pace is something I have to work on. At the end of the race, I could barely walk another step. We walked at least another 2km to get to the car and Christ, I just wanted to get my shoes off.
We made it off the road & on to the grass to the finish line. I asked Jimmy if he would hold my hand as we crossed the finish line.
One of the beaches in Merewether. Just out of shot are the rain clouds
Our goal was to finish and we had done that. Along the way we had decided to finish in under 1 hour 45. We did it in 1:34. I look like I’m being guided over the finish line in the official photo by my carer but we had achieved our two goals. Endomondo says 1:40 but that’s coz we passed the finish line, dove for the water cups, took off our timing chip and then I was like ‘Oh! Need to turn Endomondo off!’
Newcastle truly has some of the most beautiful coast lines – even the dark clouds looming out over the coal ships and the sound of thunder rolling over our heads didn’t deter us. The giggles, the sad moments (Jimmy’s dog that he had for 18 years passed just days before the race), the world’s and personal problems that we solved in our walk time. I don’t get to spend nearly as much time as I would like with Jimmy but every time I talk to him, it’s like the conversation had never stopped.
So one down. We are preparing to jog as much as we can and then walk what we need too for the colour run that’s on May 5. Hubby’s shifts and my roster are just going from bad to worse – my youngest had the measles and has been really sick from his needles. He’s teething with about 6 teeth at once so life is quite hard with him (no consistency) but I see this as my challenge.
At the end of race one!
On the days where hubster is home, I will have no guilt about getting some training in. On the days where it’s sunny – both boys can go in the double pram and I can get an arm work out in too. On the days where nothing goes my way, at the very least, when the boys are in bed, I can do a dvd. Not ideal but I don’t care how tired I am, or how over the day I am – I know I can never get that feeling of regret if I just get in and get it done.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day wherever you are.