Out of bed I leapt as my alarm blared loud, 5:15 in the morning. Scrambling into my office I clambered for my mobile, turning off my alarm. Down the passage, my blurry-eyed sister wandered, poking her head into my office.
“That’s a really loud alarm.”
I chuckled. “Yeah.”
Loud alarm, so that I can hear it from my office, where my mobile phone lies charging overnight, otherwise I doubt I would ever clamber myself out of bed.
Our early morning wake up call was for the eventful day ahead, the Victor Harbor Half-Marathon. My little sister, Melissa, did not want to be late, and therefore, we were leaving at 6:00am, as her 10km race started at 7:30am. She had been training for this important day, being late was not an option. ( If you want, you can learn all about her jogging adventures at her blog 365 Days of Running.)
Last year I walked the Pichi Richi half-marathon, 21km, and busted my knee (again) and it hasn’t quite recovered from my second operation. In attempting to jog 200-meters I strained my LCL two weeks ago, and was unsure if I was even going to be able to walk my 5km but I strapped my knee up and figured on giving it my all anyway.
Our father had been hoping to also jog the 10km with my sister, but alas, he had also injured his knee a few weeks back. It was disappointing for him, however, he came as driver, camera man and supportive father.
There is an incredible electric hum in the air at marathon events. When you gather a group of people together who all enjoy the thrill of exercise, the joy of movement, of propelling yourself along by the power of your own body, the conversations around you are interestingly focused:
I heard one young man discussing how he was preparing for the Olympics. He was standing right next to me, he was perhaps eighteen. I’m sorry…DID YOU SAY THE OLYMPICS.
The atmosphere is something I love. Not only that. I love that through walking I can go distances. After having walked 21km, 5km doesn’t feel very far at all, but when I reached the 2.5km mark and turned around and looked back the way I had come that feeling of distance came over me. I had walked it, with my own feet, and nothing else.
I love that feeling. I love the sensation of having carried myself over a distance and looking backward, it is such an incredible feeling – it is worth the pain.
So, how did I do? I did okay.
As usual in these events, my whole body tensed up and I couldn’t relax it. However I did the 5km in 51 minutes, which is about what I expected.
My little sister did fabulously. I am, as always, in awe in awe of her. She did her 10km in 1:01:01 — that’s a lot of one’s Mel. ^.^
After the race we sat down at the kiosk, delighting in a vanilla slice, and while thunderstorms had been forecast, they had not yet rolled through. We were given a chance to enjoy the peace and bask in the moment. Days, months and years are all made up of precious tiny moments that can so easily be forgotten. Oddly enough for me, it is not the race, nor the thrill of being amongst fellow runners of walkers that I enjoyed the most – it was sitting in the car driving to Victor Harbor, watching the sunrise, listening to my sister and father talk and feeling the comfort of their presence after a lonely week. Nothing was as precious and special as that moment.