By Dane L.
When Amanda asked for some challenges for her birthday some 10 and a half months ago, it seemed like such a good idea to give her one with a healthy kick. Probably for the best given that other challenges included such indulgences as “Blow a stack of cash”, “Eat McDonalds-esque food” and “Watch 100 movies”.
Still, 10 and a half months ago, a 21.1km (don’t forget the .1) “fun” run didn’t seem like an impossible task. And given the amount of time we had to train and prepare, it was sure to be a positive experience for her, and myself. Yet, life gets in the way (or 29 other challenges) and we both found our training a little lacklustre. I have at least run the City2Surf in the past, and Amanda has done the Central Coast Bay2Bay, but we are both far from fitness freaks. As the date drew nearer and nearer we both felt a growing sense of dread, much rather than excitement for the challenge itself.
Despite the poor training regime, and despite morning nerves, we both (as well as Andy of course) actually managed to complete the course much faster and better than we thought possible. Even if, as one walking competitor remarked with a hint of sarcasm and a splash of remorse at the 7km mark, “This seemed *puff* like such a good idea *puff* 12 months ago”. We both manged to beat our PB’s (or “establish” one if you want to be pedantic) and neither of us succumbed to the need to walk up an incline or give up when the pain really kicks in around 18km.
I must say I was very impressed with Amanda’s time, not because I didn’t think she had it in her, but because I thought she didn’t think she had it in her. Running is, after all, a lot about mental space, not just physical fitness. I was at the finish line and in true skeptical brother mode said “I think Amanda will be about another half hour”. Not a minute later did we get the facebook report that Amanda had already crossed the 20km mark and was on the final stretch! Well, she sure showed me. Amanda hit the finish line with good stride as one of her favourite tunes blasted through the speakers, Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”. Luckily she didn’t need a prayer at that point, just a Gatorade please.
In the words of that classic song “Woah-oh we’re halfway there”. So maybe we will see Amanda at the starting line for the 42.2km marathon in 2014 as part of her “31 challenges before I hit 31”. She will have graduated to the next age class after all…
What did you think of Dane’s contribution to the list? Let us know in the comments below!