Sunday, 22 June 2008

My Race.

I wish I could bottle the way I felt yesterday. I tried to absorb every detail, to store it in my memory so I would never forget (and of course so I could blog it!) but lack of oxygen to my brain probably killed off a few brain cells dealing with memory.

I had seriously considered backing out. On Friday I felt really unfit, even the walk to and from school left me coughing and wheezing. I couldn't see how I could possibly do 5k. But I was wearing Ted Drummond's name on my back. Ted is a baby with leukaemia, his mum posts on a parenting forum I've been knocking about on since about 2001. On Friday after my moan, I read about Ted's latest ordeal having his Hickman line reinserted, and then I read that he had another 2 years and 9 months of this treatment to go. This was the arse kick I needed - how pathetic would I be not to go for a walk in the park compared to what Ted and his family deal with on a daily basis!!

So Saturday dawned, in a wet sort of a way. I was highly strung to say the least! I didn't know what to expect and I'm the sort of person who likes to be in control so I got a bit stressy. We arrived at Tatton Park just before 10am as instructed. There were already a lot of women in pink there! Some were wearing tutus and legwarmer, others had fairy wings. There was a good atmosphere building up, aided and abetted by Jane on the microphone, who I swear I know from somewhere! We were treated (in the loosest sense of the word!) to The Nivea Boys doing a little dancing and cheerleading...all good fun but they shouldn't be giving up their day jobs. Then we were led in a good fun warm up, and I may be singing "500 Miles" for the next week or so! Then it was time to head to the start line!!

I had decided to go with the walkers, since the likelihood of me running anywhere seemed low. But by the time I'd shuffled past the start line at 11:12am, I was feeling hemmed in, and so totally in the "zone" that I wanted to break out and run! Eventually enough space opened up for me to get into a jog/walk routine and adrenaline and endorphins all kicked in to make me feel like I was soaring. This is where my iPod was a godsend. I had been planing on changing the tunes on my playlist, but at the last minute decided to keep them as they were, the same as I had been training with. This meant that when certain music came on, I automatically went into jog mode (it would be a gross exaggeration to say I ran!)

After about 20 mins or so going up and down hill on uneven ground, my jog ran out of steam somewhat so I focussed on walking at a steady pace, and set mini goals such as overtaking a certain group of people so that I knew I was progressing. I got to 3K in about 30 minutes - this was good since I'd decided I'd be happy to complete the race within an hour. As I passed the 3K marker I may have inadvertently laughed out loud because I had Bon Jovi singing "Whoah, we're halfway there....." in my ears and I was thinking "No Jon, I'm more than halfway, ha!" Yes, I may have been delirious!

Shortly after this the 10K runners started lapping us, and Bruce Springstein rocked on about being Born to Run. So much apt music.

Passing the 4K marker, I realised I was going to do this! Then end was nigh and I was still walking and breathing and concious! I even dared wonder when the next 5K race would be. I had another little go at jogging at this point but my legs were so so heavy and I really wanted to save enough to run across the finish line.

Have I mentioned the rain by the way? It was torrential. I was soaked through to my skin, absolutely dripping wet. But I kind of think that it may have been easier that way than trying to do it in blazing sunshine.

Just enough time to listen to Duffy singing for Mercy, and then the 500metres to go marker appeared, we rounded a corner and the finish line was in sight! The Scissor Sister's didn't Feel Like Dancing at that point, and I didn't feel like listening, so I removed my ear phones and instead listened to the applause and cheers up ahead. This was my final chance to kick up my heels and run, and run I did! I lifted my arms as I ran over the finish line and even smiled, just before crying!

I only bloody did it! And I have a medal to prove it.


Rachel said...

Well done Wendy!

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I followed the link from your signature in the parenting website you post in. You have done amazingly well and I love the way you write! Keep up the good work, and a big "YAY YOU" for doing the R4L yesterday xx

Anonymous said...

Mega congrats Wendy on completing the race. Sorry to hear you had a rainy day, though. I don't have an iPod so I have missed out on the fun of hearing "Whoah, we're halfway there" in my head while I've been doing anything!

Well done on getting out there and doing it in the rain!

Loth said...

Brilliant, Wendy, well done. (Told you so!) Now, sign up for another 5k quick - nothing like another race for some incentive to keep going!

Jacquie said...

Wendy, your victory in finishing the 5K and in such good humour is really so great to read about.

Well done you!

Jacquie x

Shauna said...

so so so so so happy for you, well bloody done! :)

Another Wendy said...

Well done Wendy.
Is that photo before or after? You look great. I would be bent double & throwing up.

Wendy said...

The photo was just after I crossed the finish line covered in sweaty glory!

Mark said...

Hey Sis, that's fantastic ! Told you you could do it. Now when's the next one ??


Christine said...

Really great post :)

Congratulations on your first 5k! Such an accomplishment!

Lorne said...

Just read your post on the Race for Life... I actually got goosebumps reading it. I have just started a walk to run programme, couch to 5k in 9 weeks. I have never run in my life, and like you I feel as though now is my time....

( I am new to your blog, got the link from Bryher's site. Your blog is fab! And I shall return)