There are no more delayed posts. I repeat. No more delayed posts.
As always, I appreciate your patience and we now resume normal transmissions.
While its still fresh in my mind, I wanted to recap my half marathon experience! After our 3rd negative, I wanted to throw myself into something to take my mind off surrogacy for a bit. I knew that even though I hadn’t done much training at all, I would regret not attending the Melbourne Marathon Festival so I signed up for a half marathon. 21km!
My preparation started off with a 10km run. It was really emotional as it was my first run after our negative. I cried at the end in the arms of a friend. Then I went to a 12km, 14km and 16km distance in the 3 Saturdays leading up to the event. Combining them with Parkrun meant that I could fit in the longer runs before and after and I had plenty of people to encourage me along the way. I still did my pump classes but there was little time for much else as I was coming up to the final weeks of uni, which included an exam!
On Thursday 13th October, I did my exam- Australian Media Policy. Fun. I think I did okay but have to wait until the start of Nov for my results. Friday was a pump class and then on Saturday, instead of running, I took the kids to Parkrun and turned my legs over as tail walker!
Remind me to NEVER bring all 3 kids to Parkrun again. I alternated between carrying, bribery, intervened in arguments about who collected the markers and being the complaints department about the wind… We smashed it with a world record time of 1 hour, 17 minutes!
(they are lucky they are cute)
The rest of Saturday was taken up with the kids swimming and then volunteering at a Bunnings BBQ for our multiple births association. Then pasta for dinner- of course!
I didn’t exactly wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5.30am on Sunday morning. My hay fever had been playing up and I was tired! But I dragged myself out of bed and popped my gear on, had some photos, Vegemite on toast and off I went!
I chatted to KiT on the way there, I was more excited than nervous but had a moment of panic when I realised I had forgotten my hay fever meds! I was so lucky that one of my Parkrun buddies, Emily was able to bring one for me. Phew! I had a photo with the other Running Mums Australia (RMA) ladies and we made our way to the start line! At this stage, because of the wind, I rejigged my expected finish time from about 2 hours and 40 mins to closer to 3 hours- the wind was really breezy and would definitely hamper many on their quest for PB’s.
To be honest, I needed to pee before we started but there wasn’t any time to go! I ran the first 500m or so with the gorgeous Emily. She was a bit nervous so we mucked around a bit to take her mind off things. She told me she was sticking with her training plan, so just before Flinders street, I kissed her on the cheek, wished her luck and ran ahead. Pretty sure I did my fastest km in that first 1k! Just slighly excited. There were SO many people there! Almost 12,000 just for the half. I spent the first couple of km along St Kilda Road just easing my way into it- focusing on my breathing but remembering to take in all the sights and sounds of this amazing event. People lined the streets to cheer everyone on- my fave sign mentioned wine- of course.
I set myself a challenge to find as many RMA’s as possible to say hi and offer words of encouragement. If I saw one up ahead, I would increase my pace a little to catch up. I also received the same back- lots of “GO RMA!” and “Well Done!” What an amazing team to be a part of.
At 10km, I stopped for a pee break- about half way around Albert Park lake. I felt like an excited puppy after that with a burst of energy. Some random lady on the side of the road gave me a lolly snake so I ate 2/3 of that just to get a sugar hit and at that stage had got some fluids at all stops except one (I was in the zone and missed it). I then saw Emily who looked amazing- we high fived near the U turn point which was an awesome place to run because you could see runners coming in the opposite direction which made for good RMA spotting! Circling back around the lake, we then ran along St Kilda Road with the marathoners who were making their way through. We were at about 16km- they were at about 34km. Watching them run was inspiring- they were so speedy! I tried to keep up with one of their pacers but holy shit- they were running so fast!
I hit the wall at about 17km. Mentally I was struggling. I wanted to walk but I also didn’t want to. Apart from the loo break, I had run the whole way so far. In that moment, I couldn’t remember where the RMA ladies had their cheer squad. I kept looking for them, searching the crowds, getting paranoid that I had missed them and I REALLY needed their boost. Finally, after leaving St Kilda Road and circling under the arts centre, I found them. And totally lost it! The amazing Caz (my amazonian kindred spirit) ran with me for a bit, reminding me that I didn’t have far to go, that I could do it, that I would be a half marathoner and that she believed in me. After that, I was afraid to stop running for fear of disappointing Caz! lol
That was the boost I needed to get me home. But first I needed to run up the ramp heading towards the MCG. Talk about torture! Everything was burning. Then you run down the other side of the ramp and you can see the G in the distance and you are thinking to yourself “this is IT!”. But no- the event organisers are cruel bastards and U turn you before you get there! You run under the torture bridge you just ran over and then onto Brunton Ave between the G and the train lines. SOOOOO many people there cheering you on.
And then… The turn off for the G. The holy grail. In between the grandstands you run and then out onto the turf. There is still about 400m to go, but you can see that finish line. I ran. I gave it everything I got and sprinted to the finish. I was crying, sobbing, burning, giving it everything I could. Then I ran over the line. I was a half marathoner! I was freaking elated. I had run the entire way and I did it in 2 hours and 30 minutes! I couldn’t believe it! I had turned all my Garmin sounds off and changed the screen to the time so I had no idea how I was tracking. I only checked my speed once- at 10km but apart from that, I didn’t want to look at the time or pace and over analyse things. I think this was a good call to make.
I went up into the stands to collect my medal (I curse the people who decided you should walk up stairs after running 21km) and then headed down (via more stairs grrrr) to get a drink.
(my bling- <5 mins post race)
KiT was there to see me bound home and she found me in the stands to congratulate me and I gave her a big, massive, stinky hug. It meant a LOT that she was there. She took me off to have something to eat (a hot dog lol) and then I went to find Emily to see how she was going. She smashed it as well- so proud of her.
KiT went home and I hung around to see the AMAZING, INSPIRING, AWESOME, BRILLIANT (insert more adjectives here) Melissa Flentjar finish her first full marathon! I snuck into the finish line area to see her come over the line and it was awesome to see. 42km she had just run, what an achievement. We met up with some more RMA’s and then I headed back to the train to get home. The kids were excited to see me and wear the medal- or as they called it “mum’s met-ool”. We spoke about the fact that I didn’t win but that it didn’t matter- that I had tried my very best and that I was proud of myself. I showered, did another half marathon trying to get my compression socks back on and then I dropped!
Boy did I sleep well Sunday night! Even today (Tuesday), I am still tired and sore. But I have a massage booked for tonight which I am looking forward to!
I want to finish up by sharing a photo of me at the finish line. I was so emotional- everything I had I was giving and there was a lot of hurt. But at the same time, I was also releasing. The last few months have been tough- really tough. There were times that I was just going around in a surrogacy circle- I put my all into it and felt every bump in the road. This half marathon allowed me to focus; to take my mind of my uterus and our negatives. To put my physical and emotional energy into something else. And although my preparation was short, I had an amazing experience. And you know what?! I would do it again!
Next step- getting pregnant. Surgery is this Thursday and then we go from there. Send luck, chocolates and wine 😉
(an ugly cry that Oprah would be proud of)