|The beautiful, inspiring Liz and I|
On Saturday night I walked a half-marathon (21km) as part of Walking Stars to support the Cancer Society.
It was an event that I signed up for way back in June and to be honest I always thought I would have done enough training so that it would not be a massive mission to do the event. Suffice to say I did not train for it with walking etc. After I did The Dual for the first time in 2012 I always swore that I would never do an event without training beforehand…oops! About 6 weeks out I knew that it would be really difficult or even impossible for me to complete the event and I wanted to pull out. A friend from MotivateMeNZ encouraged me not to pull out and so I went with trepidation in my heart.
It is the longest distance I have walked to date. Also, it is a night event which started at 8.30pm on a Saturday night. I would love to say that it was a beautiful starry night however it was overcast and showery at times. In retrospect this was probably good as it would have been hard going on a ‘hot summers night’ (yay Meatloaf).
I am not going to lie…it was hard and without Liz there I would have probably given up and caught a taxi back to the domain. At about 10.1km I was really starting to hurt; not muscle pain so much but my feet were aching. It probably did not help standing at a carboot sale from 5.30-10.30am that morning. I also moaned and slowed to a virtual crawl in some places. The long walk from under the harbour bridge to The Strand seemed endless and the point where I realised I had to do another lap of the domain just about brought on tears of frustration. The really good thing though was that I did not get blisters (thanks Kate for your Coconut Oil tip) and my joints did not really hurt like they have in the past.
I am amazed at the power of the human body and what it is capable of. We finished in 4 hours and 50 minutes.
However, it was the people along the way, the supporters, the volunteers, and the random high fives from people in bars, the toots and yells of support that made everything a little bit more bearable. Then there were the people who were in pain in the final few kilometres of their journey and they still managed to dig deep and be supportive despite their own struggle were amazing.
So many people took the time to really think about their outfits and we were surrounded by men and women wearing glow sticks, Christmas lights, bunny ears with lights and stars…it was amazing! I had outfit envy a lot.
I do not know if I will ever walk that distance again; if I do I will definitely train for it physically and mentally. However, I did realise that I never want to run a half-marathon as it is simply just not me. I thought I did and now I know that running is not necessarily for everyone.