I Finished and Did Not Die

Well as you already know, I DID IT!  I successfully completed my first Tely10 in 3 hours 30 minutes and 42 seconds.  I also happened to be the last person to cross the finish line before they stop recording time, so I do not know if anyone finished after me. However I was told I was the last one right around Mount Pearl Square.  There were 4682 registered and I was 4164th place, so there were 518 people who either dropped out or did not show up.

As I tweeted before I have never been so happy to finish last.  I had responses that mentioned that I did complete it and no matter when I did I should be proud of myself.  I am proud of myself no matter what place I am in, and I am just happy to see my name in the results list.  Before I get into more details I first want to thank everyone who reached out on Twitter and Facebook offering me advice before the race and their congratulations when I finished.  It meant a lot to me to see so many people interested in my endeavor.

I was hoping to have this posted sooner but I am in rough shape after Sunday.  When I got home Sunday I showered and went to bed where I pretty much slept till Monday with a few brief periods of being awake.  I cannot recall another time where I have been so tired.  It is now Tuesday and my feet and legs are incredibly sore.  My feet have huge blisters which are not helping matters and I had to deal with them yesterday.  I am currently walking around like a very old man.  Kind of reminds me of Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show when he played the butler.

I thought I would take some time and describe my experience on leading up to Sunday, and the race itself.

Leading up to Sunday I was extremely nervous.  As this was something I have never done before I did not know how I would do and that shook my confidence.  To be honest I was about 70% confident I could finish.  I just did not know if my body could hold up to the distance.  I also have not trained as much as I would have like, only completed at most 8 km of the 16 km required.  Then there was the weather.  Early in the week the forecast was cooler with sun, and by the end of the week it was rain and high humidity.  I will tell you now I hate humidity with every ounce of my being.  I do not do well in humidity at all so that added to my overall nervousness.

Friday

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I picked up my race kit and some “snacks” for the event.  I got some Jelly bean, gummies and gel from the Running Room stand.  Several people suggested I get some of these items to help me along with some energy for the race.  They are filled with some kind of magic (not really magic) that gives you energy.

Saturday

I had a very quiet day with little activity.  As suggested I had a pasta meal for supper.  I did have trouble falling asleep and all I could think about was the race.

Race Day

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I got up around 5:30 am to start getting ready.  I had a protein smoothie with strawberries, yogurt, protein powder and a banana for breakfast.   As I pinned my bib on it the nerves went away a little and I was resigned to my fate or participating in the Tely10.  My wife dropped my off near the starting line around 7 and I walked to the 120 minutes+ area.  While there I listed to some music and stretched.

 

 

 

 

As we got closer to the start time the corrals started to fill and I was suddenly in the sea of humanity. One collective group with one goal; to finish the Tely10.

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Do I Look Nervous?

One thing I like about this event is that it is personal. Unless you are trying to win the thing, you are doing it for personal reasons.  People are there to either beat their previous time, or as I learned there are a lot of people doing this for the first time and have a goal to finish.  I previously joked my goal was “to finish and not die”.  In all honesty my goal was to finish it by 11:30 as that is when they take the finish line down and stop recording time.

The gun goes off and everyone starts moving and here is big old me wearing my headphone strutting my stuff headed down the road. It maybe the jelly beans talking but I feel energized.  Seeing everyone with smiles on their face at the time and people on the sidelines cheering us on was very reassuring.  I even spotted some relatives of mine cheering me on as I passed them which was really nice to see.

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Look at me Strutting my Stuff

As I set out I quickly notice most people passing me, but I don’t mind.  I don’t try and speed up, I just keep my pace.  The next thing I notice is that we are entering Mount Pearl.  By this point I am in the back of the pact, and once again I don’t care.  I am doing this for me and me only.  Right around the time I get to Commonwealth Avenue I notice that my feet are starting to hurt.  My legs are fine at this point, but I am noticing my feet.  Around here I have my next snack or the energy gummies and some Powerade that I took with me.  I also avail of every water station I come across.  One glass of water to drink and one to pour on a clothe that I took with me and placed it on my head.  I am sure I looked ridiculous, but it helped.

Right around the time of Mount Pearl Square a couple of first aide attendants on bike rode up to check on me.  They ensure I was okay and mentioned that there was no one behind me.  I am now in the back of the pack.  This was also near the half way point of the race.  I know this is going to sound stupid, but I enjoyed being by myself at this point.  Everyone that cheered you on was doing it for you only and there was no one else around and that felt kind of special.

Now I am passing the village mall and looking up Cornwall Avenue.  This is the portion of the race where I start to get nervous.  Not for anything physically but mentally.  Up to this point I am familiar with the route and knew what was ahead of my but now I have no idea and that worried me.  I make my way up the hill huffing and puffing, one foot in front of the other.  By this point the First Aide attendants are back and they will stay with me for the rest of the way.  They were helpful in blocking traffic as the roads were open by this point and telling me how much further we had to go.  I pass mile 9 at about 11:10, and I don’t think I will make it by 11:30 when they shut down the finish line.  It was important to get there by this time because I wanted my name in the results list.

I make it to Government House and the end is in site.  I have everyone near by cheering me on, a police officer turning on their sirens and it was amazing.  The rush I felt when I firmly planted my foot is an experience I will never forget.  I did it.  I completed my first Tely10 and the first long term fitness goal I set for myself.  They must have seen me coming so they kept the finish line open until I arrived.  I am very thankful to the organizers for doing that.

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One Large Step!

After I get my medal my first call is to my wife to tell her I made it.  She has been so supportive of me on this journey I don’t think I could have done it without her support.  My next call was to my parents (who had people over to dinner).  It was great hearing the cheering in the back ground from relatives when they got the news.

After hearing/reading similar stories from individuals who were in the same situation as I, it makes me realize that anyone can do it.  You just need the drive and determination.  I am still very out of shape and heavy and I completed a 10-mile (16km) race.  If I can do it then so can you.

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Finally I will end with this; I have been asked a lot if I will do it again next year and my answer is this…..

Maybe (just kidding).

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To Finish and Not Die

Well it is only a few more days until the Tely10.  I would be lying to you if I said I was not nervous or a little worried.  If I am being honest I am not as prepared as I would like to be.  With the weather lately, I have not been out walking as much as I wanted.  I have been getting up to 8k walks which take me about 90 minutes so I should finish in about 3 hrs.  These 8k are on trails which have various inclines and declines and can be uneven.  On the plus side my thoughts are when I on the road it will be easier as it is on pavement and generally flatter.  I also imagine the adrenaline and the crowds cheering you on help with the pace.

According to the weather it will be approximately 19 degrees by the time I finish so I am glad it won’t be too hot.  Hopefully it is windy and no humidity.

Finally, for anyone who has participated before I need your help.  I have some questions that I am looking to get answered:

  1. What should I eat the night before or that morning?
  2. Is there any preparation that I should do before I head to the race?
  3. Is there anything I should bring with me besides water?

I am as ready as I will ever be for this Sunday.  Wish me luck, hopefully I won’t need it.