31 May My marathon journey…. Part 2
…BOOM! And just like that, marathon donesky!
On Sunday I completed the Adelaide Marathon and just like Culture Club’s hit song from the 80’s ‘It’s a miracle’ indeed it was a miracle, for two reasons – 1. I knocked an hour off my first marathon time and 2. I didn’t go to the toilet once for all 4 hours and 38 minutes. (If you haven’t read the first blog, read it here to understand the toilet anxiety I felt leading up to race day!)
Back to the start.
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling well rested from a good night’s sleep and ready to run. After breakfast I decided to have a quick meditation and in my grounded state I asked the angels if I could borrow their wings for the run, and asked my brother (no longer earth side) to hang with me for the day and keep me company. In meditation I received a message from Jason that said “Put Express Yourself (Madonna) on your playlist”, so I did.
The race started as the sun was coming up just outside of the beautiful Adelaide Oval and although it was forecast for rain and 30km winds it was calm and dry, people were smiling, strangers were high fiving, we were ready to run 42 kilometres.
Get ready… Get set…
Eye of the Tiger was playing loud on the speakers, and the gun went off, we hit our watches to track our time and we’d begun, the lengthy and at times brutal road towards completing a marathon. A marathon is as much a mental game as it is physical, and to be honest, mental strength I feel I’ve got all day long, but in the second kilometre running up what I considered a hill, I turned to the woman running next to me and said “Wow, I wish I’d trained for hills!” she replied “This is not a hill!” and laughed. We ran together for another 30 seconds before she turned to me and said “Do you need a puffer?” “No!” I replied sharply “I’m not asthmatic.” She was actually being really nice, but mentally I wobbled a bit, thinking “Oh no, I’m already puffed and I’m 12 minutes in, I’m screwed!” I had to re-group in my head very quickly and thank goodness the sweet sound of Dolly Parton’s song “9-5” streamed through my headphones and I was okay again. I don’t think there are better written song lyrics than “Stumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition”. (insert fist pump, go Dolly)
All the details and a banana…
The Adelaide marathon is 2 x 21km laps, a course that had bothered me a little because I knew from months of training that I liked to either run to a destination and get a lift home or run in a big loop. Never before had I trained to do something really hard, only to mirror the same path and do it all over again. I have to say though, Adelaide is a beautiful city and the marathon course takes you along the River Torrens and through the spectacular Botanic Gardens so although doing two laps was challenging, it was also breathtakingly beautiful. I also knew coming up to my first lap my Mum and Dad would be there cheering me on, and sure enough because my Dad is tall with silver fox hair, he was easily recognisable in the crowd. I stopped to give them both a big hug, and Mum (as instructed) gave me a banana that not only fuelled my body but also acted as a random prop for all of the event photography photos. Now I not only have photos to remind me of how I conquered a marathon, I also have a reminder of what a dickhead I can be, ‘phoning a friend’ with my banana, banana smiles, banana sword, banana… you get it – idiot! (I blame the adrenalin!)
The best thing I did was smile.
Around the 32km mark, the wind started howling and it absolutely bucketed down with rain, soon my shoes were water logged and I could feel my feet beginning to rub. It was probably the hardest time in the marathon, knowing that I still had 10kms to go and running conditions were less than ideal. So I decided to find the light and started smiling. I smiled at other runners, the volunteers, the supporters on the side line, I just smiled. I’ve always found that in times of sadness, despair, or anxiety that giving out good energy to others brings even more delicious energy back. When I passed people who were in a similar struggle to me, I would offer a high five or “we’re almost there” “or a “keep going” and then people started doing it back to me. It was like the rain and wind brought us together, we bonded even though we were complete strangers.
My 3 fav M’s welcomed me to the finish line.
Thank goodness the rain passed quite quickly and I before I knew it I was counting down the kilometers, 35km mark, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40… as I approached the Adelaide Oval Mat (hubby) and my darling girl Miki were there cheering me on. I felt a bit of a lump in my throat but pushed through the urge to cry as they scurried off to get to the finish line. It was a surreal moment running around the outside of the Adelaide Oval about to make my entrance into the glorious stadium. On my first lap of the marathon I had a fleeting thought which was ‘imagine if, out of all of the songs on my Spotify playlist (on shuffle mode) Express Yourself played as I entered the Adelaide Oval’. Sure enough, as I entered the stadium, right on cue, “C’mon girls, do you believe in love, cos I’ve got something to say about it and it goes something like this…..”
And if that wasn’t freaky enough…
…as I approached the finish line the MC referring to another runner on the course says over the microphone “Congratulations to Jason” followed by something something something that I couldn’t quite make out because my entire body was bursting with emotions. Excitement, because I could see the finish line, love because I could see my daughter, pride because I had run 42 kilometers and joy and contentment because without question the angels let me borrow their wings and Jason was with me every step of the way.
I did it all for the kids!
I started this marathon journey loathing running but with a mission to raise as much funds as possible to make a life-changing documentary for our kids. We’ve just tipped over a total of $45,000 which is a really great start, but we still have a way to go. I won’t stop until we’ve financed this film and it’s created and in the hearts and minds of those that need it most. As for running, well, strangely I don’t loathe it anymore but I sure won’t be putting my hand up for another marathon anytime soon! Rather you’ll see me out on the road
gazelle like plodding along with a big smile on my face and inside I’ll be feeling grateful, grateful to live in this resilient and magical body of mine.
My body is not an ornament, it is the vehicle to my dreams.
Love Taryn x
You can help us change lives.
Massive thank you goes to…
Thank you to the team of health professionals that have supported my marathon training. To my running coach Nicole Bunyon at Running Mums Australia, thank you for your endless encouragement and making the impossible seem possible. To Tim, Scott, Emily and the team at Flex for keeping my body together even when it felt like it was falling apart! We got through shin splints, swollen knees and a sore back with weekly physio, the odd dry needling session, altitude training and massage. Thanks to my favourite (health at every size) dietician Jen Pfeifler from River Oak Health for all of your wisdom and nutritional advice. Modibodi for your underwear, Active Truth for your active wear (with pockets!) LAJOIE SKIN for your Calmme cream (no chafing!) and all the magnesium products from Amazing Oils. And of course the South Australian Road Runners Club for hosting this incredible event.