Sunday, July 3, 2011

What Does 2:17:59 Really Mean?

Two hours, seventeen minutes and fifty nine seconds.
I am officially a half marathon finisher as of about 8:30 this morning.

After much angst I toed up to the line this morning, looking a little something like this:
Note: fearful smile and lack of make up
It really was a perfect morning to go out for a run; the sun was just coming up, there was a slight breeze coming in across the bay and it was exactly the right temperature.
Mum took this picture of the marina while she and Dad were waiting for me.
We ran along the streets of the Gold Coast, winding through suburbs where people were just waking up ready to start their Sunday morning. It was so wonderful to see all the support that people showed each and every runner; family and friends had made signs for their loved ones, but no runner was left out, there was a cheer or a smile for every person out pounding the pavement this morning. 
I really can't remember every single kilometre, in fact I don't even own a Garmin or a sports watch for that matter so I couldn't tell you time splits or any other interesting technical stuff like that. I do however remember that whenever I thought that I couldn't keep going there was someone who crossed my mind and lifted me up, and made that next step possible.
I want to say that this 2:17:59 was only made possible because of all the support I have received over the past three months, and especially in the last week as the starting line has loomed closer and closer.
As I stood at the starting line I thought of the lovely emails, blog comments, text messages, hugs, pats on the back and phone calls I have received in the last week encouraging me and inspiring me.
My beloved emailed me this morning telling me to embrace the butterflies because I would want to remember the feeling of standing at the starting line and to savour every moment of the run. Thank you darling and I did. Every breath reminded me that it is wonderful to be alive, to be able to run and to have a gorgeous morning racing into breathlessness. 
I remembered every other person who has trod these 21.1 kilometres before me, their footfalls chanted in my mind 'you can do it', 'you are doing it', 'you really are doing it'. Thank you to all of my darling blog buddies who have sent me messages of support in the past couple of days. You were right, it was worth it!
Thank you to my wonderful Casey and Matt who helped me carb load last weekend. Especially Casey who nursed me through my first ever real run (5 minutes on the treadmill in 2005) - thanks for starting me on the journey.
Thank you to Lauren who helped me keep going with training when we would both turn up to work blistered and sore.
Thank you to my patients who supported me in achieving my goals, especially some of my breast cancer survivors. This road was nothing compared to what you have been through.
My beautiful sister who wrote a huge note on the bathroom mirror this morning wishing me luck and never doubted that I would cross the finish line.
Thanks to my Mum and Dad who drove me down the coast in the pre-dawn light, waited for me, and gave me huge hugs as I crossed the finishing line and always taught their daughters that they could do anything they put their minds to.

That's me all in black with the red hat. 
Thank you also to this brave and wonderful girl. My Molly. This one was for you.
Brave and Beautiful - how does she do it?
So now, sitting back with my coffee and banana bread with raspberry jam, 21.0975km behind me this morning I wonder what I have learnt from this experience. Allow me some nostalgia, I'm just like that sometimes.
I have learnt: you should never underestimate yourself. You are greater than the sum of your parts, just when you think there isn't any more, there is, so much.
I have learnt: no matter what road you walk, run, wheel, hop or crawl; you are never alone. All those who love you are never really far, they are carrying you more than you know.
I have learnt: to embrace my fear. There is learning there, and pride, and uncharted parts of Amy left to discover.
Lauren and I, sweaty and happy! (She did it in an awesome 2:07!)
So thank you everyone who believed in me. Every step of every mile I felt you there.
Here's to the next 13.1 miles.


  1. CONGRATS!!! woohoo, i'm so proud of u girl and feel lucky to have been able to catch the tail end of ur journey to the half marathon! but i also kno that u have SO many more wonderful races, memories to create, and accomplishments to reach in the future and i know so many of us are excited to watch you do them. :) rest those legs up, you should feel super proud and of you summed it up perfectly...set NO limits! :)

  2. WOW! Congrats on such an amazing race! I love the recap and how you reflected on everything you have learnt along this journey! You are now a half marathoner and there will be any more to come :)

  3. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! CONGRATS HALF-MARATHONER!!!!! you are amazing and awesome and I am so excited for you! what a beautiful post and GREAT reminder to always believe in ourselves...because we are capable of so much more than we think we are!

  4. Congrats on the Half Marathon!!! Hope there are many more to come :)

  5. Congrats!! I loved reading this re-cap and this is such a huge accomplishment. Wait to go girl!

  6. Found you through Julia's blog....congratulations! Such a huge should be so proud of yourself! :-)

  7. OH! And how did I forget to add that Molly really is so brave and beautiful! I totally agree. Such a sweet pic of her :) I am sure she is soaking in all of the love you have shown her and channeling it to be able to heal quickly. Plus I am sure she is showing you all kinds of puppy pride for your accomplishment!

  8. Congrats on finishing your first half marathon!!! I am on week two of training for one in October