The Race

So this morning I completed my second ever official half marathon..... and I can tell you with every sore part of my body from my hips to my toes that I really had to work for this one!!!! But before I get into what happened with today's race, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about how I got to this stage.

It all started about 3 years ago when Tayla was a baby.  A friend got me onto an app called "Couch to 5K" which I reluctantly started.  I only had the desire to get through the app and be done with it.  But the following year (2011), I was working out with a fitness group called "Active 8" and the lady that ran it convinced me to have a go at the Australia Day Fun Run (4.5km). I gave it a go and managed to survive the race.  From there I became interested in running, but the excitement quickly went away and so did my motivation to exercise. After that I gained a lot of weight and things started going downhill for me emotionally.

A year later, I did the same race again and made improvements. The desire to run started again.  After that, I did the Mother's Day Classic and King and Queen of Castle Hill. By July,  I was became addicted to running! Around that time I reached 10km for the first time while going for an afternoon jog, which was quite exciting. From there,  running became quite a regular activity for me.  I suddenly had this enormous desire to run further and further.  I don't know if it was before I was facing a lot of emotional baggage at the time and needed a way to find myself, but I had this fire burning within me that I just wanted to run.... the further the better!

First half marathon - 2012

From there I decided to set a goal of the half marathon at the 2012 Running Festival.  Not long after I registered, another friend of mine got me onto the Townsville Road Runners 3-day race (3 races over 3 days = 42km).  Around Christmas time, I had a desire to train for the Marathon in 2013.  Sadly I didn't get to where I wanted to be in relation to my marathon training (new job, being a single parent and my other various responsibilities) so I decided to do another half marathon on two conditions:

1. I better my time from last year.
2.  I push myself to my absolute limits.

Today's race was just that:  I beat my time from last year and took my running to a new level.  Today my inner strength was stretched and tested! And above all, I learned that complacency is dangerous. So basically this week was a really intensely busy week for me.  It was my week to have my daughter, my work was doing their Musical (so I had late nights EVERY NIGHT of that week) and on top of that I still had to work full time.  As you can imagine, Sunday morning I was pretty exhausted.  I walked into today's race tired and a bit cramped in the stomach but confident that I was going to smash it.  After all, I have run this distance MANY times prior to today so I knew it was doable.

So I am running the race and feeling 'quite good'.  I had a good rhythm going and was keeping a quicker tempo than usual (maybe a little too quick).  I was still feeling good at 18 kms so I was certain I was going to be fine.  Then suddenly at 19 kms..... I hit a wall.  Actually more like I felt like I was picked up and thrown against a wall.  My body started to give out and I started crying and going into panic mode (I NEVER cry.... I am usually such a calm runner) I was feeling a mix of anger and anxiety.  For the first time, I was genuinely concerned that I wasn't going to finish the race.  The body was aching, the breath was getting faster and I was ready to pass out.  But I was determined to not give up!  I was determined to not stop....... I had a small expectation of myself to perform, and I felt like this 'wall moment' was a failing moment.  I had a couple of small moments at the 19 km mark where I had to walk because my body just wouldn't work with me which frustrated me more.... but I had to keep pushing on!

But when I crossed that finish line, I diverted to the side, collapsed in a heap on the ground and just cried and cried.  I knew this race had so much significance to me.  Even more than last year's race.  It was a moment where I realised how strong I truly am.  That moment I crossed the line, I began to love and appreciate myself more.  I felt like those hurtful self-doubt words that go through my head each day just washed away with my tears.  I felt so much love and support from other runners and spectators throughout the race....... and it fills my heart with confidence to know that I am lovingly inspiring others.  And most of all, I feel so incredibly blessed that I have running as an outlet to grow as a person and release the hurts of the past and present.  Despite feeling completely exhausted and very sore, I hold this race close to my heart!

2nd half marathon - 2013

So why do I love running???? I wrote a short poem about it last year:

The sun sneaks out at dawn,
my tattered shoes sit waiting in anticipation to kiss the pavement.
Those runners with the tiny hole hear the pinky toe.
My body aching to be pushed,
my heart pleading to pump life into my body,
my soul aching to soar!
I move my feet in sync to my ipod,
left right left right,
my calves aching from the day before.

But my soul doesn't care,
my spirit doesn't care
They want to be free!
No one to judge me.... no one to be better than me.
Just me and the sun and the breeze!

Sweat dripping, body tiring, pain release!
Muscles crying,
Brain taunting me.... GO HOME..... GO HOME....
But the wind whispers in my ear to keep going.
I persevere and I fly.... to the end.
I am liberated.
I am free.

I feel this story about my race and the poem that accompanies it can strongly apply to life.  I have my moments of weakness where the pain sets in and I just want to throw in the towel. But then that whisper comes like music to my ears, picks me up and lovingly carries me across the finish line.

So next time you're feeling like you're ready to give up..... seek and pray for that whisper.  Let it pick you up and carry you to the finish line.  Allow it to fill you with strength to see things through.... because you are stronger than you think!

Enjoy your night!


  1. Wow that was nearly me you were talking about there.
    This was my very first half marathon and I too hit the wall at 19km. If it hadn't of been for that PJ party I would have given up.
    I too pushed on and what a fantastic feeling it was to see the finish line. Sprint finish and it was over.
    My three children were there to meet me as my husband of 19 years is overseas serving with the ADF. Seeing them I burst into tears. I had achieved this. ME.
    I'm still shaking my head that I ran that distance. Only having ran 12.5km in the past. I, Kim ran a half marathon.
    We ladies are much stronger than is govern credit.
    I moved here from the UK four years ago. My husband is away more than he is home. I'm raising three children. Selling a house. Studying at uni. Learning to ride a motorbike and all the other day to day stuff and still managed to do this amazing thing.
    It's mind over matter. With a bit of grit and determination we can achieve what we set out to.
    Well done.


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