I’m a runner

8 Aug

Where to begin…. It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog – but I’ve been busy working, studying and oh yeah… running!!

On Sunday the 4th of August I did something I never would have considered doing – I ran a half marathon. For those of you who, like me in November last year, really don’t know too much about running, a half marathon is 21.1km. That’s a decent run. For all my friends and family back in Adelaide that’s like running from Golden Grove into the city…. Or for those who have been to my house – it’s like running into Brisbane and then turning around and running home again… Getting the picture?

So, after loosely following the 12WBT half marathon training plan (I didn’t do well on the regular sprints…ooops) I rocked up on Sunday morning ready to give the half marathon a good hot go. I had run 18.5km before in one go but no further. So, I was about to embark on something I hadn’t ever done before – in more ways than one!

The 0600 start time was a little nasty – it was still dark, and a chilly 9 degrees, but with my coach and supporter on the sidelines (with the camera) I was ready to go. We followed Robert De Castella to the start line (then he went up and got ready with the start gun) – and for those that don’t know who Robert De Castella is, he is a famous Australian runner – won the Brisbane Commonwealth Games marathon about 30 years ago (and quicker than I ran my half marathon… but I’m getting ahead of myself…).

The gun fired a little after 0600 (according to my watch). I went out with the pack – which is pretty much all you can do – it was a bit congested as we ran over the Story Bridge – and the pedestrian path wasn’t ours exclusively so we were dodging drunk pedestrians going both with and against the flow… that and 1000 runners and it makes for a tight trip… but after almost slowing to a stop at one point I got through the bottleneck and kept going. Once over the Story Bridge I was able to find some space and some rhythm. Amazingly a rhythm that kept me at a bit over 6:30 minute pace for the entire run. I ran around Kangaroo Point, past work and down along Southbank. It was here I saw my first supporter – Dave was standing on a ledge, with the camera cheering me on. It was about 7.5km and I was feeling good – started to take on my first energy gel and some more water. Shortly after, I could see the leaders of the pack (with Police escort) – on the other side of the river – so about the 17.5km mark. I really wanted to tell someone hey – check them out – aren’t they amazing – but instead I just watched in awe, shook my head in amazement, gave them a small clap and kept on running…

A few more kilometres, still running and I was still feeling not too bad. I’ve got this, I kept telling myself. I shall run and not grow weary, I kept telling myself… Up and over the Go Between Bridge, about 15.5km and who should I find but my number one fan – again he had the camera poised and was there to cheer me on.  Legend.  Awesome way to break up my journey.

I kept going, after all, by now I was on the home stretch. I hit the 18km mark and everything was starting to hurt. I was no longer feeling great I was just reminding myself to put one foot in front of the other. My GPS was about 500m out – so by the time I got to a km mark in my head I knew I still had quite a way to go to see that distance marker on the course. It was doing my head in! Just keep swimming… just keep swimming…  At about 18.5km I passed Dave – he saw me again (good job picking me out of the pack every time!!) and from there I thought I’ve just got to keep going. Approaching the 19km mark I heard a voice cheering others on… it was a voice I recognised… Arna’s there!!!! My pace picked up – I’ve got this – I’m not that far away!!  Then I saw her, then she saw me! Oh my goodness!!! The excitement on her face as she realised I was there was awesome! She was such an encouragement, as she excitedly told me (yelled) I was doing an awesome pace, I turned and saw a hill…. Oh man!!  Never fear – Arna’s  “you’ve got this Jen, run up that hill, I’ll see you at the finish line” was just the motivation I needed to put one foot in front of the other. I admit at this point I wiped away a tear – what a blessing to have her there – right where I needed the encouragement! I could still hear her cheering as I put one foot in front of the other and headed up the hill. The last couple of km around the botanic gardens was hard work, but I kept telling myself I had come this far and Dave and Arna would be just around the corner – and so would the finish line!!

At 21km, with only 100m to go (and plenty of people saying “only 100m to go” – I have to admit my thoughts were “only 100m… I know that doesn’t sound far but you haven’t just run 21km…”). Anyway – I came around the corner – to more of Arna’s cheering and the last few meters to the finish line!! WOO HOO!!!! I DID IT!!!!

At the finish line – with sore, tired muscles, I was so excited. Who would have thought I would ever have run half a marathon!! Certainly not me (and I can guarantee my high school PE teacher never would have thought it – hey Mr H – if somehow you ever read this – you can be as amazed as me!!!) Dave and Arna gave me hugs and congratulations as I tried to recover. 21.1km – the time I crossed the line was 2:20:29 – but my official result (accounting for when I crossed the start line) would be pending). Then Tracy – a previous work colleague found me – not sure how amongst all those people!! We celebrated together as she had just run a sub 2 hour half marathon – amazing woman. We were both buzzing with excitement! I could line up to get a photo and an autograph with Robert De Castella – so why not! He was a really friendly guy by the way.

From there Sin Hok met up with us to say congratulations so we grabbed a quick drink on the way back to the car. I was tired but so pleased with my time and my achievement. It was the longest I had ever run, and the fastest over that distance – boy would I be tired later, I thought (and I was right)!!

We drove home and as we pulled into the driveway I burst out laughing. Dave looked at me puzzled and I said “someone’s been to our place”. As we both looked at our front door, the balloons, streamers and “A legend lives here” banner – were the icing on the cake for my morning. That my friends celebrate this achievement with me is such a blessing to me!

So my results – not that the matter specifically because all I cared about was crossing the finish line after running the whole way…. Official time 2:18:55 (I wanted to do under 2:30 – success!). I finished 1577/1798 entrants, 241 of 285 in my age category and 693 of 851 females. My second 10km was faster than my first (!!) and the last 1.1km was done in 7:01 (still faster than my initial 1km time trial 10 months ago…). For those who were wondering, the first half marathoner crossed the line in about 1:09 and the first full marathoner crossed in 2:30 (so shortly after I finished my half…)

So my final thoughts – well I’ve rambled too long already – so I’ll dot point to ensure they are brief:

  • Thanks to those that came out to support me, or supported me with banners or cake – Dave, Arna, Tracy, Bron, Katie, Tom, Sherelyn and Sin Hok – and all those who were thinking of me back home and in Brisbane – thank you. Your confidence in me was just what I needed to keep on running!
  • Thanks especially to Dave – he got out of bed at a stupid time of the day, to cheer me on. It was cold and dark but he didn’t care. 12 years (and a bit more) – what a journey. Thanks for hanging in there with me through thick and thin (and diet after diet, fad after fad – this one’s for good!).
  • I’m no-one special – if I can do it, so can you – give it a go! 10 months ago I couldn’t run 1km
  • Thanks to the 12WBT program – I’m about 20kg lighter – that’s almost a kilometre for every kilogram I lost
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – I firmly believe that

PS Arna – next race you and I are going to be running it together. Thank you for the amazing opportunity to wear your bib, for being there when I needed the extra encouragement and for genuinely sharing my joy. I so greatly appreciate it!

Here are some photos:

Image Image

ImageIMG_2675dave and i IMG_2707IMG_2722 IMG_2732

ImageHalf marathon workout analysis map my run

9 Responses to “I’m a runner”

  1. Katie H. August 8, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    You got one thing wrong Jen… you are someone special : ) xoxo

    • jennifernutchey August 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

      Oh Katie – you are just too kind. You’re pretty special yourself 🙂

  2. Arna August 8, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Talk about tearing up. I did as I read this. I am so glad that I made even a small impact. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I give thanks to God every day that you made it into my life.

    • jennifernutchey August 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

      Thanks Arna – I meant every word in that post – you are such an amazing encouragement to me.

  3. josashimi August 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Dear Jen, I have tears in my eyes! This is such an amazing achievement! I’m so proud of you. And. Totally inspired. I never ever thought I could run but hearing about your running journey made a voice inside me whisper-maybe I can do it too… Thank you for giving me the courage to try. Running (and you!) has changed my life.
    I love these pics of you. Those wide, wide smiles! I’ve never seen you smile like that-not even on your wedding day! (Sorry Dave!)
    Jo x

    • jennifernutchey August 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks Jo! Hope your running is going – hang in there – like I say if I can do it – anyone can! Register for a fun run – they’re a blast!!
      I’ll compare photos of our wedding day to Sunday. I hope I was smiling just as much – my cheeks didn’t ache on Sunday but they did on our wedding day 😉 – but I was pretty stoked on Sunday too 🙂

  4. Chris August 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Wow Jen, you’re amazing, absolute legend! Your determination and persistence are an inspiration, what a woman! So proud of you. You’re quite the wordsmith too, love reading your blog. Proud of Dave too, way to go Dave!! Cxo


  1. How do you feel in your own skin? | This is life... - March 14, 2015

    […] Sunday 4th August 2013… it would have to go down as one of the last dates I truly felt good in my own skin… I’d just run a half marathon without stopping (21.1km… in 2 hrs 19min), I was 85kg the lowest weight I can remember being and I felt energetic, strong, fit and healthy. I even called myself a runner (https://jmnutchey.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/im-a-runner/)!! […]

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