Even though I did the Brentwood half, if I'm honest I always smile in photos - but inside is a different story. I am not a runner and never will be a runner, but. my determination is such I start and I shall finish - however that may be. As, my training had reverted back to square one. I knew that for this event I would try and jog/walk as much as I could, and then simply walk the rest. I am happy I had Jade as below who stayed with me the whole duration and also my friend Tom.
I think I managed about 1.5 as a slow run with short bursts of jogging with walking. Then, I realized ok 13 miles this IS actually a huge distance and I don't want to wear myself out. So, walking it was after that.
I have to just say that I decided to actually get some before photos before we all started. In hindsight, this was a blessing as you will gather at the end nothing was left when I completed! I will explain more later.
Here we are mile 1 - YAY! I wanted to be able to capture a photo at each mile for each as an achievement conquered. With the exception of mile 11 as it was raining and admittedly I was too exhausted to even cross the road at this point.
Come on Jade - let's keep going......
Happy at mile 5
Gosh only 5 miles in and still a very long way to go. Running now or even attempting was just like a hell no as I needed too make sure I would make the finish. Time to save my energy/puff. So onwards we all trundled.
Oops.. apologies here as I decided wouldn't it be fun to play peep a boo behind a tree. Any excuse to add like a kid and put fun into my day :)
Can't believe I was caught red handed checking out buses ;)
Time for another zany pose as below....
Somehow I don't have a photo for mile 8 - we were all running so fast it bypassed us! Actually, I think what happened was that we didn't see it maybe we were giggling and chatting away..then was like oh we are at mile 9!!
We are looking all happy and smiling - but what we couldn't capture what was an attack of hail stones just after mile 9 and it was horrendous pounding at us all. But, we kept going and thankfully it did stop!
But after resting my eyes on the mile 12 sign....time to get some more smiles in and get going. I CAN do this!!!!
The only thing left was the 13 mile sign on the floor ready to be collected and cleared away. So, I sat my bottom on the floor to capture how my day finished.
I am very grateful to Jade and Tom who stayed with me and to some other ladies part of Lily's legend who walked with us too.
It took just under 5 hours around 4 hours and 50 minutes. The duration itself totally exhausting. The last mile from 12 to 13 was a slow painful step, a pained face, and hardly any words from me. But, a sense of yes I have done it - was in my mind but after feeling deflated by the finish, I just wanted to get home to eat and collapse on my bed. I must stress that even though I say I am not a quitter....I do know if things got really bad - I definitely would have bowed out if I had too. I mean - there is only one of me and not another and especially living on spare parts.
Total exhaustion and a very naughty KFC dinner and a bed and I collapsed!
This photo shows how all 3 girls helped me to get over these haystacks. I probably would have walked around as its tough for me to go up. But, they were determined to help me and I was so grateful as I did make it!
The girls left me at mile 12 for me to finish to mile 13 on my own, as they were going to finish to 20 miles and 200 obstacles. A fantastic achievement and I was so proud of Carrie, Sam and Claire continuing on. From around mile 10 things were getting tough for me and I wasn't sure how much longer I could go on. Exhausted an understatement and I had been out for so many hours. Walking being a chore almost like how I felt towards the end of the Brentwood half marathon. I was just thinking walk to the finish avoid the last items to do and finish. Keith (Carrie's husband was so supportive as were the other partners) and Keith was encouraging me to try and do the last obstacle - the wall. I really wasn't sure initially.
I did manage a few more obstacles before the wall as below, they seemed a bit of fun and not too strenuous.
The photo below was the final obstacle to get over.......the wall with 3 walls. Gulp.......
The last wall I was almost in tears as I got stuck on the edge of the wall just underneath the scar of my transplant, and I screamed out so loud :(
I have a nice yellow bruise line by my scar still healing over a week later. The last wall was excruciating - but I am smiling now as I start my descent to the finish.
Ok, so I made the finish - and was totally done in - in myself as you see me here and I thought, I just can't get down now sitting on the edge.
I managed to raise a hand and wave, as suddenly I heard my name over the loud speaker to wave. It was announced who I was and about my transplant - it was such a nice touch and it was hard not to cry.
Some people were assisting me now to make the ground.
Looking like a rat with tufty hair - I was in shock and saying. 'I've done it...I've done it'........
I crossed the finish line and burst into tears, I was so emotional to those who saw me just after. I just found a space of grass and tired, exhausted, hungry, body shaking, ate a burger and drank a hot chocolate - then time to freshen up and rest back where I was staying.
So after learning of my results as a mammoth 6 hours 20 minutes to complete 13 miles and as many of the 150 obstacles as I could. I came in 890th out of 954 entrants. For the women who competed in the 13 miles, I came in 414th out of 452 ladies. I am no longer last anymore and seeing improvements slowly but surely.
I returned back to the room sharing with my friend, Kat, and as she was on her way out to party. I crawled into bed to flake out! After some hours I managed to join all the girls who helped me and their partners, for a huge Chinese feast. Then bed it was for me!!!
So there we have 26 miles and that's a wrap. I get my hospital results from my scan in May and hope all is good. Until then, I will keep smiling and doing as much as I can. xx