I couldn't think of any better way to finish 2008 then how I did.
I completed a half marathon on December 30th 2008 (unofficial half marathon). I have a circuit that is 10.7km from my house which I completed twice in conditions that were not ideal for running!
The heat here in Christchurch has been awesome post xmas and this particular day was the best we have had because we didn't have any wind!! I worked in the morning on the bike (part time postie) then went straight to the beach to meet the kids and Tracey where I spent 3hrs in the sun swimming with them before heading home to prepare for the next day (new years eve party)!
This particular day apparently got up to 30degress I can assure you that I didn't run at the peak of the heat but it would of still been at least 25degress by the time I started my epic journey!
Why an epic journey?
1) I choose not to be a runner, in fact I had only been for 2 other runs of 10km prior to this monster of a run! I don't run because I believe you can get more "bang for your buck" doing other forms of exercise in a metabolic fashion and you will get more then just aerobic fitness from working in this way!!
2) It was stinking hot and if you have ever been to NZ, you will know the sun burns here!
3) I took my son on the first leg of the run where he biked 10.7km, 5days prior he couldn't even ride a bike (very well) and today he bugged me and bugged me to go running so he could go biking (since we had gone biking every day since the 26th! To be honest, if he didn't bug me, I wouldn't of gone!
5:00pm rolled around and I could see Kayleb (my son) eyes getting more disheartened at the fact I was saying, I'm pretty stuffed son, we probably won't go running today.
I started reading 50 marathons in 50days by Dean Karnazes (the same psychology as putting on music to get you pumped to lift the tin) and after reading chapter 6 United we Run, on how one girl called Sarah just made it through to her first ever marathon and how much character she had to do it even though everything in her body, mind, soul, spirit was wanting to quit and the group she was with pushed her to the finish line.
My boy comes up to me and asks, "dad are we going running"? My body and mind saying NO from all day in the sun (and 4:30am wake ups for meditation then work), I thought f*%$ it, lets go then boy!
The first 3kms
6pm we start our run and his bike. I'm going to be completely honest and say the first 3kms almost broke me. My body and mind were tired, after all I had been in the sun everyday since xmas and been up at 4:30am from Monday!
I'm huffing and puffing and Mr Negative is rearing it's ugly head with thoughts, you can't run half a marathon, it's too hot, your too tired etc.....
Then as I'm thinking how I'll just do 1 10km loop, my boy asks.
"Are you okay dad"? "Mr Negative is trying to come out son and my mind is playing tricks on me" I respond while huffing and puffing.
He then pops out with what was to become my saving grace, "your doing awesome dad, I'm proud of you!"
Holy shyt, I start thinking as tears well up in my eyes. "Thank you so much son, that is exactly what I needed to hear"!
Here is my 5yr old son, telling me how proud he was of me and later telling me, "you can do it dad, don't let Mr Negative play tricks on you", you can beat him"!!
First 3km down and I now find my rhythm and most importantly the mental/spiritual capacity to push on knowing that it will all be fine.
So 70mins later and in between stopping for Kayleb to catch up or get him across the road, or a drinks break for him we roll back round to the house where I drop him off and have a quick toilet stop! To embark on the 2nd leg of this unofficial half marathon.
2nd stage of 10.7km
and NO Kayleb to
support or was it
him support me?!
I had found my rhythm now running and Mr Negative for the mean time was tucked away in the basement hopefully for the rest of the run..... yeah I would be so lucky........
Actually, nothing really started happening for me until the last 3km. I mean I had found my groove, sure I was tired physically but I was already that before I started so nothing new their really.
The last 3km felt like the first 3km for me except I didn't have Kayleb telling me his little positive affirmations. So I was saying them to myself instead, after all I didn't want Mr Negative to come out and give me the big slap across my body and allow me to take a short cut and justify it through however means I could, now did I!!
I did stop twice to walk for about 30m, for me it was more a "gathering of thoughts" to get my head back in a space of Mr Positive rather then burn the candle at both ends so to speak!
Then I would trott off again, like a snail or that is how it felt anyway!! One thing, I did notice was sooooooo many people where saying hello or waving to me! How is this, I was wondering amongst my many thoughts, I've been for 2 other 10km runs and you would get 3 other people saying hello?
Is it because they can see I'm in a world of pain?
Do they admire I'm running in ridiculous heat?
Do they think I'm a "nutter" for running in this heat?
look how slow he is going he may as well walk!
These are just some of the thoughts I had while running to explain why so many people where acknowledging me, after all I would have had about 10-15 people saying something or waving!!
Then the last 2km
came and so did
I finally hit my rail road tracks which are like heaven for me because I'm on the last stretch of run before I turn off to my house! So I give it a big hug an off I trot again before it all began like it started! Mr Negative comming back to visit me like a virus he is. This is where I walk for the 2nd time to "gather my thoughts" and to push away the hunger pains.
However, Mr Negative isn't finished with me, he reminds me how hungry I am and how much sugar would be great right now and how heavy my legs are........ as I'm pounding the pavement, I see 2 teenager girls eating candy floss which is like lotto to me at this point. As I get to them they say "hello" and without even 2nd guessing myself, I think once again "f*&^ it"! Excuse me, can I have some of that candy floss, I'm starving! They become my saving grace for the next 100m as they say "sure"! So I tear some off and put it in my mouth with the thoughts hope this stays down!
100m later, I'm back to be even more hungry then before.... So I start walking again for the 3rd time which was the best thing for me because I didn't want this to be a run where my ego takes over and I enter the mindset I will run NO MATTER WHAT, not today, this is about completion not how big is my ego!!
Then with about 1km to go, I'm thinking, man I would love Tracey (my partner) and the kids to turn up right now. 50m into my walk, it's like I was thrown a life line. I see them in the car and Tracey is throwing chocolate out of the car. God bless her......
Then she walks Kayleb across the road to my sheepish/fatigued reply of "thanks". Where he will run the last 300m with me after offering me the choice of 2 more chocolates (1 was for him). After we both scoffed them, we trod off, me in a world of mixed emotions of Mr Positive and heavy legs, Kayleb in his PJ's and socks.
2hrs and 30mins later and 21.4km later I was home. Having a beer, making a smoothie, eating dinner (which I could hardly do) and soaking in a cold ice bath!
What a way to finish 2008! Thankyou so much to the kids Sommah, Kayleb and of course to my lovely missus Tracey who is so supportive of me embarking on exercise challenges!! Isn't it interesting when you are down and out, you truly know who loves you and who talks of it. Turning up unannounced to me is "showing" love not talking of it and this is one of the reasons we get on so well, because we both believe in words don't mean jack crap when you don't have the behavior to support your talk!!!
1) I'm going to run or make public the fact I want to do 2 marathons back to back i.e. 84.4km. I've been "thinking" about it but too chicken to make it public due to the norm of failure, other peoples perceptions etc......
2) I'm also going to raise money for charities in this epic journey. I'm going to attempt to raise 100,000 dollars
3) I'm going to put together a "virgin Marathon-ers" group to complete the Chch SBS half or full marathon on 31st May 2009 so others can tick if off their bucket list! (Stay tuned for these updates because you don't want to miss this opportunity to be part of it!)
4) I love clarity exercise can give you once you have broken down or peeled away the the immature ego!