So, where do I start? First of all, I have to say that I am very excited that I can even write this blog post and say that I have finally ran 10K in a marathon. Woo Hoo! An impossible dream of mine accomplished. Tick. Check. Cross that one of the list and insert excitement and cheering!!
My morning started very early at 3:30am where I woke up, showered and got myself ready to be picked up to drive down to the Gold Coast. My lovely running companion was Tish, who I have only met once before, but know well from our friendship we have online. We arrived there whilst it was still dark and was immediately surprised by the amount of people gathering on such a chilly morning to run in the marathon. We went about the usual preparation, leaving our bags at the storage tent, lining up for the toilets and generally feeling nervous and excited about running in our first marathon.
We found our starting zone for the race and joined our group. We had placed ourselves in the last running group for the 10K marathon as my goal was not to try to run the race fast but to simply run the race non-stop and to make it to the end. It was incredible to see just how many people had entered the race and it was wonderful to see such a variety of people from all ages, sizes and shapes. As we were waiting for the race to start I felt happy with the training I had done and felt so pleased that I had pushed myself to get to this stage.
The atmosphere at the start of the race was loud, fun and exciting. It was great to be amongst a large crowd and to move with them as we went from walking to running to begin the 10K. You could also tell that many people were ready for a run full of laughter and happiness as well as sweat and hard work. I loved looking around observing the different characters of people running for different reasons. People had t-shirts sharing charities, others promoting teams they were running with and others dressed up just for fun.
Tish was a brilliant running companion as she just let me set the pace and stayed with me the whole race. My goal in running the race was to start off running at a speed I felt comfortable with and to stick to that speed for the whole race. I am really happy to say that I was able to do that for the whole race. Except in one part, where I was surprised when Tish mentioned to me that I had picked up the pace and was running faster than normal. I explained to her that it must have been because I was watching the 'fast' runners on the other side of the road. Without knowing it, as I was looking at them, I realised that I was pretending that I was running like them and had started to run faster!
The kids made me some signs to encourage me along on my run and I really appreciated my family coming down so early to support me in my big race. Matt did a brilliant job of getting them to different look out points to catch a glimpse of me running by. No easy feat with so many people watching the race.
Everytime I saw the kids I ran over to where they were and gave them all a high five. Here I am red faced, sweating it out, high-fiving my kids. Great photography Chelsea! Thanks :)
Sadly, my goal of running my butt off did not work and it was not left on the road at the Gold Coast but is still firmly attached to my body! Running off after high-fiving the kids and that is Tish in the striped top in the background laughing.
Mentally, the race was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. There was so much to see and hear and so much laughter happening in the race that I did not feel the need to really push myself. It was the first time that I had ran without music and physically it was a challenge to run the 10K non stop but I really felt happy to be out there doing it. As we passed each race marker I would yell out who that Kilometre was for and would celebrate that I had made it that far. Tish and I did a big high five at the half way mark and let out a yell of excitement for making it that far.
Tish and I after the race. Running the last kilometre of the race was awesome. There were a lot of people yelling and cheering to spur you on and it was so fantastic to see the finish line. I crossed the finish line in 1:22mins. I am not a fast runner but was happy that I finished before my goal of 1:30mins. It was the fastest I had ever ran the 10k so I was delighted. I could still walk fine afterwards and felt great!
Here I am with all the family, who had waited around for a long time for me to finish, had been up very early in the morning and had simply had enough. As you can see it was very sunny that morning :)
Now, I have a new necklace to add to my jewellery collection: my first running medal. A little exciting for an ordinary mum who never ever thought she could run in public, in a race, for 10K. Thank you so much for all of your support and for following me on my journey and encouraging me when I had those moments where I did not think I could do it.