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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Half Mara 40: some thoughts

*I have had this written for a few weeks...just haven't published...

This past year (if I am to be honest it has been a FEW years) of struggling and feeling frustrated with myself seized by the thought I am not 'good enough' or 'fast enough' (not just in terms of running either).

I have ebbs and flows of anxious moments. I am trying to get out of the grips of anxiety. Heck, I avoid reading peoples stuff (on social media) about "I hope I run decently" or "that run was crap" because it sends me down the rabbit hole. Because more often than not the people writing that stuff are WAY faster and fitter or more accomplished than I am. And, reading that puts you in the I SUCK comparison trap.

And so fighting that off I decided to do a small local race as my 40th Half.

Pre-Race Bad Assery

I thought numba 40 would be unicorns and rainbows.

Instead it was pissing sleet and rain. And the runs. Literally.

Um yeh. This race showed me that a PB was NOT happening.

But respect, love, admiration and persistence DID HAPPEN.

Pre Run laughs with Cori and Leana! THIS is why race day is awesome - seeing friends!
This pre race - OMG we are freezing - Someone get a photo of the insanity - pic sums it up - you can't see everyone in this pic - a few peeps are hiding or got cut off. BUT it shows the happy in the run community. The friends I have made. It just doesn't tell you all the back story to each face there. But I know that story. Each person in this photo represents something to me. A funny story, a laugh along the way. And that my friends is running for me. It saves me. It leads me out of darkness. It makes me laugh. Each of these ladies (and many more not pictured) have helped me be where I am at today. I love photos like this. Except I prefer it when its actually a better photo. HAHA

In spite of this year bein a 'hard one', I have got some solid runs in. I have yet to even come close to PB. But in this year (even more than other years) I truly learned PERSEVERANCE. And, that it, and friendships and encouragement on a run means WAY more than any PB. I didn't have a single running injury. AND HAD FUN! And, I like to think the pics in this post (and many on my blog) show that I did it lookin' pretty good. (with the exception of race photos)

I have been upset about not having had 'a year of improvement'. But the thing is I have improved. Just the last couple races fell off my consistency train. Maybe (as one person I know thru running told me) I am too complacent with being average and I need to get a trainer and go for it. I can use advice they gave me in order to push on...but I don't have a full time job (and that makes me feel -  well bloody anxious). And, most certainly not able to afford a trainer or gym membership. But I have had a year of immense learning. I tried new things. Hey, I came in 3rd last a few times. And came in in the top third too. I learned (over and over again) that all I need to do is keep on. Train, relax and laugh my arse off. And I keep on running! Because how I FEEL when I run needs to trump what I place. OR how fast. I have eliminated the people in my life who constantly ask 'how fast do you run?'. I do not need to justify my pace. I also know how to sidestep the few who say talking a walk break isn't really running. Or those who have never done trail or mountain races and then say 'wow that is a slow time.' Go ahead. Look up my time. I don't care. But take off the judgy pants. They aren't a flattering fit.And how bout trying to be encouraging, not bitchy or say something about a race you know nothing about. Oh you haven't run a halfmara? Then STFU. (oh was I ranting there??)

So right back to that well...I ran. stopped to go to the bathroom THREE times. So when I say GI distress - I really mean it. I don't mean rumbly tummy. UGH. just UGH. I also 'lost a glove' on that run. If ya catch my drift. There were no unicorns or rainbows. Nope. Just 13 miles of slogging. And digging deep knowing this race sucked.

This was me finishing halfmara number 40. 3 bathroom breaks and giving er hell at the finish. The last 4 kilometres rocked. I pushed. I swore. I finished.
Do you see those damn red legs? I was bloody freezing!!!
I was super upset at first. AT the time and how it all went. OR didn't go.
Then I thought. NO WAY. I finished.
I do not believe in 'junk miles'. I believe all these SOBs count.

A few times this year I crossed a finish line thinking I had failed due to the TIME on the clock. Thankfully, I had some wonderful friends and family who kicked my arse and said something to me. I hate to even write this...but I have really struggled the past few months with feeling poorly (and feeling like I was not successful in attaining my goals). I appreciate being told, "You pushed on and FINISHED. NO POUTING!" My friends who love and support me and who are my fav bitches are right. My struggles and perseverance and determination has given me 40 half marathons since 2011. a post from over a year ago I found these "lessons":
*finishing a hard fought race can teach you a LOT about yourself. 
*having the courage to continue is more meaningful than a PB.
*good friends will kick you in the arse when you say crap about not being 'good enough'
*celebrate the successes, every damn one. the small ones may turn out to be the big ones.
Keep running my friends.


  1. After 10 months of injuries, PB's are all you need in running. The courage to go after your goal, the strength to run those miles and the tenacity to finish the distance - far better feeling then a personal best.
    Way to go girl!

  2. Running should never be about your time. But, our heads have a way of screwing with us.... I've had a tough year too running. I'm slower than I was in the past. I didn't enjoy most of my races and yet I ran a lot of them. I beat myself up over not hitting new or even old PBs. Then, I finally gave myself permission to stop beating up myself. And, running became fun again. I hope you can do the same. I love following your adventures, and your positive attitude and smile always make meant to have as much fun as you.

  3. There are so many positive and awesome things you've achieved through running. Take a minute to really appreciate that. During the hardest runs, the victory is in continuing and pushing yourself through - making yourself STRONGER. For me, feeling strong is my number one goal. See you in Van bjitch ;)