Standing in the shower, (don't worry, no parental rating required here) the night before the race, head leaning against the glass trying to sum up the energy to go out with the AP.10 Crew girls, I seriously considered pulling the plug and staying home.
ok, first beer of the night rolling across the table and hitting the paving floor of the bar and Sammi is off to an epic start. I managed to make it through the night and crawled into bed, a reasonable enough 11pm.
Alarm, 4.10 in the freaking AM. Not Reasonable, Nuts! This isn't really happening. And worse still, picking up a friend on the way and a drive to Sydney doing pleasantries instead of curling up in a ball in the passenger seat for an extra hour of sleep.
Arrive at the start line for the Sydney Harbour 10k run and warming up to a Zumba shimmy with my buddies errrr not your usual (and certainly not Coach approved) way of easing in to your run day, but I had done the usual Wednesday morning warm-up and what's a little Zumba amongst friends. Finally the Codeine was kicking in, the mouth was dry and the starters gun fired. We're off and cruising.
In front, Sandra, confident in the knowledge Di and Gail were behind me, I fixed my gaze on Sandra's back and followed her through the crowd. About 1km in and feeling fine, I stepped up onto a curb. I didn't see the step off the curb and the right foot landed half off the curb and rolled forwards. Before I knew it I was 'presenting' to the runners behind me, on all fours. Nice one Sammi, FUCK!
A split second, up and running again, checking-in on the body as I ran. No time, just keep the pace, work it out later. 5kms and that all too familiar noise, the itbs are screaming, legs are tightening up once again feeling the burn raging at my knees. <insert almighty scream>
Time to dig into the hurt locker. 6kms, pain sawing across the knees. Pick a box Sammi, small harbour bridge shaped, grey, steel box, shove the pain in and just keep running. 7kms the lid of the box keeps popping off. My mind slams the lid down hard and I sit on it as 7kms pass by.
The 8km flag flapped lazily in the breeze, completely unaware of the thousands of runners passing by it. This flag signifies, 'you're all-but home, Champ.' Some perspective that's just 5 times round a 400m running track and it is all over. Too easy!
Sandra and I had been playing tag as we passed each other at aid stations and now it was her turn to be in front. I held her in my sights and slowly closed the gap. She was fading, tiring, I could see it in her posture. The side of my knees where the fascia meets the knee bone was ripping at the joints, screaming with each step and my hips were now going out in sympathy. This is crazy, I run 10 every Wednesday, why is this day so different. Ok, I don't fall everyday either I suppose but geezus!
Up ahead a tiny flag strapped to a runner, that must be the 1 hour pacer, if I pick up the pace, I might make it under the hour. I move pass Sandra and focus on the finish line now in sight and finally I can hear the crowd, Gazza calling my name and Mel.W who unexpectedly was waiting for me at the finish line. Who wins a 5km race and then rolls over to watch an average raggy doll cross the line? 56:30! The flag in front had been the 55 minute pacer not the hour. BOOM!
I finally have time to assess my injuries. Throughout the race I had battled negative thoughts and I had decided there and then that it is time to quit this crazy journey. Seriously, enough is enough, my itbs are shot AGAIN! Even with a P.B, emotionally I am so tired of the battle with my itbs, I write Coach an email telling him I'm just about through and suggest croquet as my next sport. He pleads with me not to lose the dream.
I wake up the next morning, can't walk a step without pain searing through my foot. Oh happy days! I spent the rest of the day searching for........
and found it from within, and always, with a little help from Eric Thomas. And it helps also to hit yourself over the head with the same shovel you use to dig through the shite in search of the diamonds occasionally too. Hold on to your dreams Sammi!