Last weekend, I did my first ever fun run! I wrote about what led me to this decision (here) and the challenges I encountered (here). Since my last post, I had been really good and took every opportunity I could to rest my leg. There was a lot of hobbling, wincing and ice packs involved to the point where I decided to see my GP about it. Surprise, surprise, he told me all this information I hadn’t already known about resting. Here I was, in absolute agony and limping into his office, and there he was absolutely nonchalant about it. Doctors and frustration seem to go hand in hand!
Nonetheless, I rested as best I could in between moving houses, two Family Camps, placement for my dietetics course (i.e. not much really). Yet, I did notice that the pain from my suspected shin splints was slowly going away. With that, I became slightly hopefully for the fun run. When 21st July finally came round, I managed to raise $235, which was way beyond my initial $100 mark. Thank you to everyone who donated and supported me. (It’s not too late to donate here though!)
Being my first run, I had no idea what to expect, what to bring or even what to wear! Luckily Team Freestyle provided a T-shirt, which I wore under more layers as it was absolutely freezing that morning. However, we were extremely lucky to have sunshine as the previous few days had sported showers. I decided to bring a little backpack to for my diabetes stuff, wallet, unwanted layers etc. And as for what to expect, I was definitely in for a treat! Alexei and I took the train into the city for the run. As we got further towards the city, more and more RunMelb participants piled on into the train. At one point, we tried to attach the electronic timing tags onto our runners (which was really hard in a tiny confined space). Whilst that saga was underway, I noticed a a couple of kids sitting near us excitedly nudging their parents and pointing out we had the same tags they did. It’s heartwarming to see an entire family doing a fun run!
We arrived in the city well before the start time. But trying to navigate our way around people to find the starting line was slightly ridiculous. Before we knew it, we were near the start line and I still had my backpack on me! We didn’t seem to pass a bag dump area along the way! It was tremendously nice of Alexei to carry my mini backpack during the run. Because it had my meter and hypo food in it, I knew he wouldn’t be far. 5 mins to go before the run…
Nerves & excitement – sky high.
And the thing I couldn’t get over was how many people had turned up for this event.
I mean, they were EVERYWHERE!
People were cheering on from the side stands and yelling out to loved ones or friends waiting for the siren. The atmosphere was intense! Some runners were eager and ready to go, others were clearly in it for some fun. Alexei was still stretching while I was jumping on the spot, trying not to freeze to death. As soon as the siren went, we were drowned in cheers that had erupted surrounding us. I was so excited, I got the giggles (typical). Throughout the run, little pit stops with live bands added on to the novelty of the whole experience (I almost wished there was a mexican band playing La Cucaracha!). Aside from everything, the most important thing in my mind was keeping an eye on where Alexei (and my hypo bag) was and not to stop running. Halfway through, I had a terrible stitch in my side that threatened to see me walking to the end. But I pushed through it. To be honest, I was so focussed on running that I couldn’t even tell you the route we ran. I just followed the crowd and the signs. All I remember of the track was that we passed the citylink toll point at one stage because Alexei had yelled out at me to ‘cover my bib number or I’ll have to pay the toll fee!’. You can clearly see why I love this guy. With the finish line in sight, everyone was bursting with reserved energy as we sped through with a finishing time of 31 mins. Not bad for my first 5km fun run! The most exciting (and reliving) part of the whole run was good BGLs before and after! Although I may have had a low later in the day, I can’t remember…
And we received medals! Like a boss.
A few days later, we were offered to purchase official photos taken of us during the run! Looking like I’m running for my life is not my most flattering angle. But no matter how (un)attractive I looked (particularly as we got towards the end), I am still immensely proud of myself. For running 5 km as a personal goal and for fundraising at the same time. It’s definitely a win-win! I couldn’t have done it without lots of support though, and I’m looking forward to our next run!