GCAM 17, part 3, post race 🏁

Crossing the finish line was the greatest moment of my day. I was exhausted but happy, I had finished a tough race, and in what I thought was a good time. Walking through the finish area I was unsure what to do for a brief moment, but following the other runners I saw the signs for t-shirts and medal collection. Ah, the moment I have been waiting for. Bling! One reason we love to do races. Thanking the girl I walked into the tent and collected my shirt, oh my it’s beautiful. I had seen others wearing their and they looked fantastic.
I took off my pack and lay on the grass for a few minutes, soaking in the sun, and having more drinks. After 5 minutes I wandered off outside the main area to do some stretches in the peace and quiet. And then it hit me. I got up and almost immediately sat on the ground, head between my legs, then I had to lay down, head spinning, my gut churning. Wait a few minutes and try another stretch. Message my husband. Walk a few metres and have to sit down again. Oh shit, I need the toilet, where is it, oh no, head is spinning…Somehow I found my way back to the baggage tent where, with head spinning and body all hot and cold, I collapsed on the ground and curled up in the foetal position. I could feel that fainting feeling, my head was about to blow off, my body couldn’t decide if it was hot or cold, and my gut wanted to burst out of my bladder (the problem I thought lay in not going to the toilet before the start of the race).
A few minutes went past and the ladies inside the tent came over and asked if I needed help. I think I nodded and mumbled a yes I did want help. The next half hour or so went in a blur, of jackets lain over me, tin foil wrap, the medic taking my blood pressure and sugar levels, sipping water, shivering like no tomorrow despite blankets,and my head not knowing if it was spinning or not.
The decision was made to get me into a wheel chair and head over to the main medical tent. We went via the porta loo where I managed to do nothing at all bar a small wee. Disappointed to the max. And my gut still hurt. The ‘best’ part of the trip was having to cross the highway – marathon runners and cheering crowds to boot – in a wheelchair wrapped in tin foil, skin white a ghost. That could have been embarrassing but you know what, I was feeling like shit and with that many people it was bound to happen to some. I very elegantly (not) laid on a stretcher and was surrounded by eager medics.
In the eigtheen months I have been running the only time I have come close to feeling like this, is after my very first half marathon where I knew nothing of recovery, race hydration and the like. Boy have I learnt a lot since then. It makes all the difference to your performance for the whole day.
I’m starting to feel better after two bananas and a bottle of water. I call my husband and have a chat then ask I feel I can head off. I’ve walked around, my head is not spinning any more and I’m not running hot and cold. Given I was there on my own I was advised to take it slowly so I didn’t keel over while driving.
My husband and I had agreed that I had major anxiety over the being late issue and after letting me run the race my body had gone into shock once I’d finished. It did take the fun out the afternoon for me, but I was happy that I had survived and done this amazing thing.
I wandered slowly back along to cross the road, and finally being able to use the loo was interrupted by the phone ringing. Not now, really…. the lady in the stall next door chuckles and has to listen to my phone til gives up. Talk about bad timing. I have a quick chat to my eldest son and message the other one as I cross the road back again and go looking for the car.
This is where things went bad again.
Away from the waterfront the heat was stifling, it was just past 12 and there was no breeze. I’m wandering along the street looking for the car and cannot see it anywhere. Now I know I was in a panic when I parked but I also know I was only one block back from the course. I was in the right street, just not far enough across. I say down on some steps to think, and hope like hell I didnt have to ring my friends and say I’d lost their car. No, I hadn’t lost the car, just gained them a parking fine for stopping in a loading zone. Shit. Not as bad as I had thought it would be.
Hoping to find a maccas or something on the way home was not to be and I certaintly wasn’t going to tempt fate and make a detour. I made it back up the mountain to my friend’s house without any further directional difficulties. Noting that one was home and feeling glad for a minute, I stripped off, climbed into bed and promptly fell asleep. An hour later I wake feeling somewhat better, and stumble into the shower. Omg. That is fantastic, hot, good pressure and soapy. I stand there for what feels like an eternity before drying off and cooking up Vegemite toast. Just what I needed. By then I was starving, although with a slight headache still. I head upstairs where I’m asked, after the how’d the race go, if I wanted to head out for a drink. No alcohol for me but a bowl of sweet potato fries filled the spot. Back home and I head back to bed before dinner.
After dinner I have a long soak in a radox bath before packing my bags and catching yet another early night ready for my trip home. I wake at 4.45 for a 5.15 trip to the train station and notice that for the third time the pillow has a lovely wet patch on it. You know the kind of deep sleep where you wake having drooled on the pillow – yep, that was me three times in 24hrs after my race. I had been exhausted in more ways than just the physical and I must admit I woke on that Monday morning feeling of refreshed and ready to go.

In the time between my first and second nap I browsed Facebook and saw the times had already been posted on their website…ooh, how exciting, lets check out what I achieved….I must say I was plesaently surprised. After what I thought was an ok time turned out to be an awesome time. My chip time was only a few minutes over my previous PB. So to say I was happy is an understatement. I was excited. It wasn’t as bad as all that. The pain of the post run struggle was worth it. It may not have been a new pb (I knew it wouldn’t be by the half way point) but it was well within reach of my other times. 2.27.50!


The time above is the gun time, which I’m still pretty happy with, and the other time is what comes on my itab, and whati am saying it did it in. After all, it took that 9minutes to get from my start to the actual start.

It’s been a good week and a half since my trip to GCAM but already feels like a life time past. In that time I have moved house and continued my usual 9-10hr a day job. So much happens each day that I feel like it is old news already.
The things I learn t along the way on this race are many and varied.
– be more prepared and check out the timing of travel (airport transfers to start with)
– get there earlier to make sure I know where I am going on race day.
– stay closer to the race precinct.
– take my husband with me.
– all of the above.
– relax and breathe more during a race.
– drink more during a race – despite not feeling so bad, it was a lot hotter than what I have been used to so was mildly dehydrated at the end.

Stay safe, run with fun and enjoy your races, jennifer

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GCAM 17, part 1, Getting to the precinct.

I’ve done the training and am ready to do one last long run and keep up the strength workouts.  I am ready to go, getting excited and nervous and then I wake up one day a with a sore throat. You know the one. It says I’m going to make your life a misery for a week or more. Well it lived up to its reputation. For nearly two weeks I was full of snot, dizzy heads and no energy to do any kind of exercise. I really wanted to but knew I’d get my arse handed to me if I tried. If not by the cold then by my husband.
The week I was flying out it eased and I was just coughing my lungs out.
My bags were packed by the Wednesday with only last minute things to add Saturday morning. By this time I was feeling and unfit, I know I wasn’t but it’s just the way it goes for runners when you don’t do exercise for a while.
Waking early I had my coffee and small breakfast before we left for the airport.
From Hobart to Brisbane was pretty typical of flights with a short stopover in Sydney where I had a lunch of coffee with chicken avocado whole grain sandwich.
Having pre-paid my train ticket made it easy for the next step. Let my hosts know where I was and they told me which stop to get off at. Then sit back and relax.
After a bolognese dinner I head back to my room. My gear is ready to go, flat me photographed and facebooked/instagrammed. I make my phone call to home and have a shower. The bed is really comfy and I surprisingly a good amount of sleep before the 3.30 alarm goes off.

It’s now Sunday morning, about 4.15 am, and I’m on the way to the Gold Coast marathon precinct. I had wished my husband a happy birthday and was headed towards my first interstate race. The half marathon, a good middle to long distance run, that I quite like. I was excited!
Within 20 minutes it all turned to shit.

To say my ‘anxiety about being late’ went into overdrive, is an understatement. I’ve always liked being somewhere early, even to the doctors, when I know I’ll be sitting there waiting anyway, so this was going to test me to the limits.
I had been worried about this exact thing happening several weeks before.
I was going to be in a place I don’t know, on my own and driving someone else’s car, to a place I didn’t know. Hmm, recipe for disaster. And disaster it was.
I would love to see the tracking of where I had driven, it would have looked like a crazy cat going nuts. I realised afterwards I had taken either a wrong turn or turned at the wrong place and that set the wheels in motion. Somehow I ended up on the freeway going in completely the wrong direction. This is what happens when it’s dark, and the streets don’t always have signs.  I stopped several times, close to tears, hyperventilating, before taking a breath and looking at the map again.
The result of that – I got lost not once, or twice, but three times, and at 5.30, with only 15 mins to get there I rang my friends to ask for directions.
Luckily for me I was very close and it took me no time at all to get where I was going.
Joining a group of cars I found the right place and scoured the street for an empty park.
Shit shit shit, where is a space, these got to be one here somewhere….I spy one and pull in sharply, grab my gear, jump out and run. Doing a half turn I lock the car and quickly start to follow another runner I see ahead of me.
I catch him up and ask where to go, he points the way and we run on. By this time it is the cut off for gathering in the corral and we are heading down the last kilometre of the race route. The support and running club tents are up and people are out watching, getting reading for us to all run past. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights with a crazy panicked look on my face. I duck and weave those standing around while looking for the sign to corral D.

To be continued…

Marathon dreams

Eight months ago I had a dream. One my husband was happy to help me with. And we started right then and there – booking flights to my second marathon.
Today, I write that my marathon dreams are over. At this stage I highly doubt I will do another one. I won’t write it off completely, but right now it’s nowhere on my horizon.
Shortly after my DNF in January while I was in recovery mode I made a decision. Do two more marathons (GCAM and give Cadbury another go) then ‘retire’. Concentrate on halves and 10k runs. Races that are relatively easy to train for and don’t take up all my time and energy. As I’ve written before, training for a marathon takes a hell of a lot of time and effort. By the time you have finished the race you have been on the go for up to six months. Totally exhausted.

I am 3 weeks out from what would be my third marathon start and I have dropped to the half. Last week signalled the end of my marathon dream. It also signalled the start of a whole new chapter. One I will start on the Gold Coast, not in Hobart.

The history of this decision..? Week 7 of marathon training and I roll my ankle during a short run. Somehow I manage a tough but excellent timed 25k 3 days later. The following week I am planning a good 30k and all hell breaks loose. My body and head were fine, it was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect – especially a long run like I had planned. My foot on the other hand had other ideas. From 6k mark it just wanted to shut up shop and disappear. Every step was painful and it felt like my whole foot was a bruise. To touch it hurt like the proverbial. Putting my pride aside I made the call at 13k and finished fifteen of the slowest kilometres I have ever done.
It was at that point I knew I should probably not push the distance. Hubby agreed when he got home from work and it was as easy as that.

My feelings about all this… well I realised the next day how much stress I had put on myself to do it. Which on the day would have resulted in another injury or meant the day before I would change to the half and then be disappointed right when I should be feeling on top of the world. By making that decision now means I can spend 3 weeks preparing my best for 21kms.
I cancelled the app with my marathon training and will make small adjustments to the written version to finish the deal.
The aim is to keep doing the main runs (2 small/med and 1 long) while concentrating on strength and stretching in between days.

All this aside there is one very special reason why I want to finish this race, enjoy the run and have a blast. I want to arrive home on a high, enjoy the trip, cry tears of joy and embrace the atmosphere – it’s my husbands birthday on race day and he will be at home with our boys. If there was ever a non-selfish-most-supportive thing a person could do,this is it. Pay for your wife to travel interstate on her own to do something she loves. Now that is what I call support and honest to goodness deep love.
That is the reason I am happy to do the half not the full, to look after my body so it is healthy and able to love for a long time to come.

Keep training, look after yourself and do what you love, jennifer.

Feeling stronger than yesterday

There’s a lot to be said about motivation and lack thereof.  Three days ago I was in a funk and really feeling the down. Today, I feel strong and invincible.  In those few days 1)hubby stated he was doing this years city to casino and 2) I went to the physio.

The city to casino will be good for both of us, myself for GCAM training and hubby to help his fitness goals. He used to run a lot when he worked away and I know he would be good at it if he really wanted to push that bit further.  Competition aside, a 10 (or 11k ) run is a good distance, not too long to get bored or need excessive amounts of training, and not so short at it’s over before you get into a rhythm. I have all faith he will do it, and help me along at the same time. It will be good to get in some distance again.

My visit to the physio went well. She wasn’t too fussed about the lack of workouts, the fact I concentrated on getting my form right when I did them was more important. I got a massage again, and she tweaked a few things, changing one or two exercises to better help my recovery.  I’m not sure what it was, but when I walked out, I felt strong and ready to conquer the world. To lose the phone and wallet and just run. My white board will be changed again to accommodate  the added exercise and my weekly strength workouts from my fitness magazines.  There are so many workouts and routines and I want to try them all, so I’ve decided, one way to keep the body thinking, burning calories and being in top shape, is to use one of these for a week before moving onto another one – most of them are a full body set up. This is my year of strength.

Looking forward to a run tomorrow and on the weekend. It’s time to bring it!

Run strong, be your best version, Jennifer

Running scared – no excuses

I’ve been lazy with my workouts.

Its been busy at work – I’ve been lazy.

Physically I am tired – I’ve been lazy.

My body has ached and is sore – I’ve been lazy.

I really want to run – I’ve been lazy.

I really want to run – I’ve been scared.

I’m scared it’s going to hurt.

I’m scared it will cause more damage.

I now have to admit this to the Physio on Tuesday.

I’ve been lazy and scared of doing my workouts.

There are no excuses.

There are no reasons why I cannot and should not do them.

Mind over matter – I Can do this. I Will do this.

Being lazy will not get me running again.

Being lazy will not get me to GCAM.

Being lazy will not get me stronger.

Being scared will do me no favours.

Being scared will get me nowhere but stuck in a rut.

Being scared and lazy will only damage me in the long-term.

Time to pull on my big girl panties and get the job done.

 

Be safe out there, and keep your strength up, Jennifer