My City to Surf experience was NOT all I had hoped. I was quite tired and feeling sick the night before and though I woke up feeling better, I was not 100%. The thought crossed my mind a few times that I should maybe just not go.
So my sister and I dressed in our fancy tights and set off without breakfast or coffee. I felt uneasy, my tummy searching for equilibrium but finding only turmoil.
We managed to get off the train at the wrong-ish stop and we had to make our way to the correct corral after the gun went off. No matter – the surge of bodies was thick and slow. No danger of being late!
I ran up Williams Street, through the Cross City Tunnel and then I told my sister to go on without me. I bent over, needing air, needing to vomit, needing a toilet, needing a good lie down. Slowly I got up again and started to walk. I found a toilet and queued for about 4 hours till I was first in line.
Not for the first time, I thought of recording a DNF. Even if I did feel well enough to run, my time was blown out by the stops. Better just to stop! But I pulled myself together and started to walk.
I started to pull myself out of the competitive funk and enjoy the day. The sun was shining and sexy smurfs were dancing on the side of the road.
I stopped to rest/battle waves of nausea a few more times over the course. At another point I thought seriously about dropping out, and then realised that I would be hard pressed to get a cab from “middle of beachside suburb I’ve never been to before”. I ran a bit of the hill. I walked a bit. I reflected on how much effort people put into making this run fun for everyone.
I lusted after Mr Whippy.
When my sister finished, she came back on course to meet me. That was great because I was a tiny bit disoriented by then. Not a lot – just not quite able to make decisions. I really needed help and support to fight through the lines of people waiting for a bus. Without my sister there, I might have just curled into a ball and cried. She is just so wonderful.
We finished together – just under 3 hours. Along the way I kept having to fight an urge to tell people that was was supposed to be running, that I should be waaaaaay ahead of them. Fortunately I managed to get over myself and enjoy the sunshine instead.
Even though it turned out differently to how I expected, I earned my finishers medal
… And chips for lunch.