So, this is it! Today IS the day for my 10mile run (17k) with Imi Spencer and Bev Pearson.
I must admit, that I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of people - the atmosphere was electric! And my emotions were getting the best of me....I needed to hold it together. Quite surreal, that I AM still alive, and missing Marc Prosser who died a few months ago (who was also going to join me on this run). To my donor, who has made this possible, and thinking of other friends loved and lost with their own illnesses or pre/post transplant. Every day, really IS a bonus, and no one can ever accuse me of not living my life and making the most of every single day!
Although, I was starting to feel slightly exhausted and this was putting a lot of pressure on my body. I decided it would be best to actually walk a whole mile until I reached mile 6, then start to run again. Approaching mile 7, suddenly I felt a pain my left leg and almost lost my balance? What was happening? I tried to continue to run again, and on/off this pain kept coming into my left leg. The only way I can describe it, as if a piece of elastic was going - ping and making my leg fall and limp over in pain. Oh dear, sadly, this is where it all kinda went downhill and went from bad to worse and my tears came and went. All my emotions again getting the better of me, and now suffering and feeling unable to run/even walk.
However, I kept going - it was like start/stop/start/stop......just as I thought the pain had gone and I had run a few steps...I went down again. So, I walked - only to find the pain was there still. I was making good time and thought I would be able to finish the event under 3 hours and was overjoyed that this would be such an amazing thing, and I wanted to work through the pain and keep going. In true Jussie determined - I am going to do it style!
I braved a happy face, and owe a lot to Imi and Bev, who had to help prop me up each time my pain came and keep hold of me - as otherwise I would have toppled over. So, now reaching mile 8 was fantastic, and I thought just 2 more miles to go - I CAN make it!! I knew I was struggling heaps but just didn't want to give up. WOW - I could see mile 9 marker and stopped for a photo and smile. This IS it - last mile - woohoo - nearly finished so off I started again. OUCHhhhhhhh........oh my goodness, I burst into more tears - the pain was now like agony and I was crying in pain tears. I could barely walk without wincing and struggling. My leg was throbing, it was awful. At this point, I thought as much as I want to go on...that I'm not going to make it and was devasted as so near, and realising the daunting fact that I just can't do anymore. I am not a person who gives up, and thought I MUST get through this. Both Imi and Bev was so supportive and kept encouraging me (aswell as helping me walk).
The last 100m and I thought, right pain or no pain I am going to run the last 100m and smile all the way to the end. I remember seeing Nigel filming us three approaching and got a surge of adrenalin and went for it...I can see the finish line..almost there..just a few more steps.......yes......WOW......
Then......unexpected my right leg screamed out at me in agony and went limp - I lost my balance. Then, like a terrible nightmare - my left leg went simultaneously at the same time. I felt my body just go and was falling. I called out to Imi who at this point didn't realise both my legs had collapsed, and dragged me over the finish line for the last few steps.
I was screaming in pain and needed to be helped into a wheelchair as couldnt walk. OMG, I was hurting and crying so much. I wasn't even happy that I had finished, it was just all too much to cope with. I was rushed to the medical team who looked after me for about 20 minutes to observe that I was ok. The medics actually informed me that it was a build up of lactic acid in both legs. The ironic thing is, that I had dreams that I would collapse doing this event, but, that it would be my lung collapsing. How bizarre for my legs to go, and I couldn't stop laughing when Imi said, "double-leg collapse" (I've had a double-lung collapse too) guess no singles for me - my body likes to cause optimum pain times two...though I'd rather it didn't!!
I don't have any photos of me at the finish line because of my drama, I will wait until the Bupa Run website publishes what they have and see my moment of falling glory before the finish line. I can't believe it - just 5 seconds from the finish - why couldn't I have collapsed afterwards...haha......and Why Me? Nothing ever runs smooth. BUT - I DID it!! The whole run took me 3 hours, 1 minute, and 59 seconds.
I later found out that there were not 21,000 runners - but 13,917 and I came 13,871, 46th from the last.
So, here I am in sick bay being monitored. My medal came to me, as I was unable to collect it from the finish. I put on a happy smile and consume the complimentary hot chocolate given to me. Sometimes, there are perks to being ill...haha. The medics couldn't believe that I had actually done the run, and were amazed and said I was an inspiration.
Well, I have learned that this challenge I set myself for year 3 being alive, was definitely ambitious and one that I almost never finished. Never again!!
BUT...now I have had a few days rest, and have been discussing doing another run! YES - I am mad, but, a shorter distance 10k not 17k! Also, roll on year 4 being alive and to a new challenge that I am still deciding what to do........
Lastly, somebody - and I have no idea who mentioned me whilst Channel 5 covered the run. I was informed that the message on the screen was something like, "every year Double lung transplantee Justine Laymond chooses a challenge and this year it is to run the Great South Run"........I have asked and even posted this headline on Facebook - but still clueless - and wish I could thank whoever did say this!
Well..thats it.......Jussie over and out, a hard year of sporting challenges to raise funds for LAM. My link is still open for any last pennies..lol
MY Justgiving Link
Thanks for everyone's donations so far, I have exceeded my target! And thanks for everyone's support of messages spurring me on, it all helps me.
Over and out, love you all x x