July 7, 2015 by pecanbutter
It is true, what they said, about the ability of your body to go through what your mind sets out to accomplish. Throughout a huge part of the run, everything was going according to plan. I was delighted I was going to kill the run, murder it in cold blood in 5 hours.
Okay. The watch says I am going at about 1 hour 10 minutes for 10 km. I was hitting 3 hours 30 minutes when I reached my 32 km. Nice. I could feel the satisfaction of having the finisher tee in my hands.
However, 3/4 into the run, things took a bad turn. The run countered my joy and summoned the demons of past injuries. The ankle and the knees have been kept in good condition so far, kept away by my strict abstain from doing any form of martial arts training. I’ve even forgotten their existence for a while.
I got the wind wrenched out of me. I struggled through the last 6km in a lot of pain. Every step I took resulted in sharp excruciating pain travelling upwards to my brain. I tried to move a little, perhaps jog not walk the remaining way. But something kept getting in the way – pain. It was real, the pain. Very real.
As the minutes went by, these words kept looping in my head “I was failing in my mission today to finish strong.” … “Noooooo.. I don’t want today’s run to end in me going out in a stretcher.” …. “I want to cross the finish line with my head high!..”
Unbelievably almost in tears. The pain of not reaching my goal when I was so close to it, was unimaginably more painful than the pain the demons inflicted upon me. “Make it stop” I told myself “make it stop” ..
Then, at that moment, I realised that the only person who could help me stop the pain, was in fact me.
“Stop whining and be the fighter you say you are.”
My ego was back to punch me back into shape I had to find help, a spray, ice, whatever I could land my hands on to alleviate the pain to finish the race.
Thankfully, there were many cheer leading ra ra groups along the way and each of them helpfully loaned me their painkiller spray whenever I ran up to them and asked them if I could borrow something to kill the pain.
Aided and motivated by their generosity and encouragements, I found courage to block out the pain. I gritted my chattering teeth, kept calm and ran on. I said a little prayer and run and jog and run and jog till I saw the flashing lights of the words ‘FINISH LINE.’
It felt like an enlightenment of sorts.
On 5 July before dawn, I finally made it back to where I started, to where I wanted to be.
That moment felt great. My heart cried tears of joy and jumped in leaps and bounds.
“Oh my gawd. I survived my first fm!”
“I really did!”