For the third year running, I signed up to do the Run for the Kids, a charity fun run that raises money for the Royal Children’s Hospital, the same hospital that boy child has so recently spent time at. As usual, I sign up with the best intentions to get fit and actually run the run but reality sets in, I remember that I am essentially lazy and my training runs become gentle jogs and even they slow to peaceful meanders that contribute less than nothing to my actual fitness.
In years gone by, I have run as a part of a work team. Basically it is just a group of people that I work with or have worked with, or that have some affiliation to my work place. We meet before the race and then again after it for celebratory drinks and brunch. What that really translates to is all starting together, me deluding myself into thinking that I can run, keep up for a few kilometers and then get left for dust. As a result, I jog or walk the remaining 10 or more kilometers on my own, singing along to the random music on my phone, stopping to take a few dozen bad pictures along the way and send random text messages to everyone in my address book telling them that I am on top of the Bolte Bridge. The messages are more a distraction from the run, and more importantly a distraction from actually running.
This year it was a little different, we didn’t have a work team to run with, but still knew quite a few people running. I even suckered convinced a friend to join me on the run. We even had a piss poor training routine – we would go for a run twice a week together. A run that generally involved more walking and chatting than actual running. All of a sudden it was time for the run and we had done next to no training. Actually, let me clarify, I did nothing more than that training routine and the odd routine, yet my ‘sucker’ friend is a gym junkie who seems to actually enjoy exercise so perhaps I was the bigger sucker.
To cap off the perfect training routine and preparation, we had a few neighbours over for a quiet barbeque last night. One drink led to another, and then another. Before we knew it, it was really late. It was around 2 am that I actually went to bed, but I am not sure if it was 2 am Daylight Savings Time or now time, it is all a bit of a blur. Despite what time it was, it was way way past bed time. When I woke at 6.20 am (thanks to a cat that decided she needed to sleep under the covers) I felt as if I had hardly been asleep and it was almost time to get up.
I really didn’t have the motivation to get up and go in a hurry. Thankfully Lil Sis stayed over last night and the kids had jumped into bed with her so I didn’t have to worry about getting them fed before we left. That being said, we were still running late and had to run to the train. Just that run, that was for no more than 5 minutes, I was worn out, I knew it was going to be a really long day.
We made it to the station in time to catch the train. Never has an early train on a sunday morning been so packed with bodies. It appeared that almost all of the bodies were all heading to the Run for the Kids. There were plenty of people like myself that wanted to be fit and healthy, there were those that were clearly fit and healthy but there were also families who were there to take part with their kids in strollers.
We were at the marshaling point in plenty of time for the race start and then it was time to wait. The crowd was immense with almost 30,000 participants of all shapes and sizes, some running the short course 5kms and others running the 14.1km course.
So here we are ready for the run – me, my training partner (torturer, long time friend and cause of much pain) and man-child. We ran together for the first 3 kms, to the end of the domain tunnel, but then man-child decided he could run faster. It was around the same time I decided that I was about done. I was glad that my training partner was a first timer on the run and was happy to stop and snap a few pictures along the way. We ran the first 3 kms, then walked for a bit, ran another 2 kms, walked a bit more and then ran to the top of the Bolte Bridge for a few photos.
The bridge is the half way point. I was totally exhausted at this point, but I actually felt better there than at the 3km mark, I think that my legs had totally died and I couldn’t feel them any more. I was also thinking that the next part of the run was downhill. We ran most of the way, probably about 10kms, walking sections to try and recover a little and to take more photos. If I didn’t have a running partner, I would have walked a few more kms and I was actually proud of the part of the run that I ran. Of course the last few kilometers really hurt. My legs felt like lead, my upper body was aching and I was pretty sure that there was no skin left on my feet, but I made it to the finish line – eventually.
After the race we found man-child and he was in much worse shape than we were, we could actually walk a little faster than a snail! We were looking forward to a big brunch and then a long soak in the hot tub.
Even after a really long soak in the tub (a few hours) and then a nap, I still hurt everywhere. I know that tomorrow will probably be worse. Despite all of that, we have decided to sign up for another ‘fun run’ in May, the Mother’s Day Classic. Should we be a little realistic and register for the 4km event or continue in the delusional trend and sign up for 8kms?
Thanks for the photos Feed the Dogs! Despite the pain, and your incessant boundless energy, today was fun!