Running 21kms on Zero Sleep
For YEARS I had the goal to run a half-marathon, but honestly I never thought I would. Most of my life has been filled with excuses. “I'm not fit enough”, “you can’t do that”.
Throwback to last year, I registered for the Run Melbourne half-marathon.
I was pretty fit already but certainly not half-marathon fit. I boxed twice a week, played basketball once a week, did Kayla Itsines' fitness program when I had the energy. And I did run occasionally, but I was no "runner". I was more like a snail - a fit, slow snail.
My goal was to complete a half-marathon. The time I ran wasn’t a consideration, I just wanted to achieve my life-long dream.
Being a mum and a business owner, I'm time poor. Any minutes I spent training was time taken away from my son. Enter mummy guilt. So I only trained once a week on a Saturday morning when Jesse was home, sometimes twice a week after I dropped Axel at mum's on a Thursday morning.
I was feeling GOOD! Like, cloud nine good. I ran 16km a few times and although not a breeze, I did it comfortably. Then a month out, something changed. Axel started waking in the middle of the night, like, every night. Jesse and I were EXHAUSTED!
But I didn’t stop training, I just pulled back. That was until three weeks out from the half-marathon when my energy levels were LOW! So I stopped running and I was instantly filled with fear. HOW ON EARTH AM I GOING TO DO THIS? I have always been good at looking at the positive aspects of life, so I just knew somehow I would wing it.
The night before the race, my friend Kirk Peterson and his son Jansen held a Christmas in July function in support of the Royal Children’s Hospital newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at Crown. Obviously, I couldn’t go as I desperately needed rest.
So I sent Jesse as my bestie's date and I shipped my baby boy off to my mumma's for the night, with a warning he will probably be up at 1am for hugs, which he was (sorwiiiiiii mummy). Ahhhhh a pleasant night’s sleep. Yeah, right. After yet another broken night’s sleep, I woke at 5am, stressed and exhausted.
At 6.20am, I caught an Uber to Flinders St to somehow "wing" running 21km (oh dear). I knew I needed help, and I'm not a coffee drinker, so I made some Matcha Maiden protein balls and packed my MATCHA x REECE CARTER pre-workout powder to fill up at drink stops (this stuff is THE BOMB).
It was the peak of winter, it was FREEZING, so I had 15 layers on. When I rocked up, people were in shorts and singlets. I couldn’t believe it. Were they nuts?! I commenced a run/jog. Up until the 7km mark, I was fine – after shedding most layers of clothes.
Then it started to hurt a little, but I pushed through. Running long distance is more about mind over matter. In my mind, there was NO WAY I was stopping, even for a minute. The issue was my body. From the 8km mark, I had muscle cramps down my right leg. Ouchy.
I hit 16km and I sighed a sense of relief. I got this. Even though I knew this was the hardest part.
I was in PAIN but I continued running. 19km. 20km. OH MY GOD!!!!! I could see the finish line. I finished. I EFFING FINISHED. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
I had so many emotions running through my body that I seriously wanted to burst into tears. I had just completed a life-long dream. I was sooooo proud of myself. But it wasn't me that deserved the biggest congratulations.
The course was seriously a place of so much love, happiness, and encouragement. There were so many inspiring people, and messages which made my heart smile. I ran the entire way behind a lady who had brain cancer, and the back of her top stated that surviving brain cancer made her appreciate and live her life.
I had one of my follower friends who I had never met (and coincidently has become a close friend) tap me on the back and say "keep going". (Hihi Ang).
I saw a man who looked about 60 or 70 running (and faster than me I might add) with his coach by his side egging him on the entire journey.
I lost count of the amount of "awwwwww" moments I had. There were so many people high-fiving each other and giving others pats on the back. I saw kids who created signs, cheering their parents on, and a man running with a pram with his two kids in tow (I can't even).
I LOVED how much cheering there was, and the messages from complete strangers uplifting everyone. There was so much love and support and it made me wish our day-to-day lives were filled with that much praise and passion.
Can you imagine how much happiness there would be in the world!?
I'm so very glad to tick the half-marathon off my bucket list, but would I do another? I really don’t think so, unless it was for a very worthwhile cause. Running that far was very harsh on my body. I couldn’t walk for three days after the race.
I am locked in to do the 2017 Run Melbourne 10km with Lululemon this year with my beautiful friend Ang. I feel smaller distance is much better for me.
But if there is anything you can take from this; No matter WHAT you want to do in life, you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. Whether that be a dream run, to fly a plane, write a book. Anything. Just follow your dreams and passions in life. Don’t worry about what other people think and don’t be scared to be who you really are.
What's next for me?! Who knows, but I'm pretty damn excited.