Effie's Story Part 1

Well! Where to begin? I will drop this squarely at the feet of my good friends Viv & Jane, who for reasons unknown to the sane at the time worked their way up to walking their first marathon in Rotorua 2007. “Great! That’s amazing, good on you both, good luck and I’ll be thinking of you both”.

“Actually Effie why not come with us?” Viv said. “We’re making a Girlie weekend of it. Liz Sue & Rozine are going to do the 10km walk, you can handle that mate come on”.

Well how could I refuse such an offer? How hard could it be? Afterwards we’ll hit the vino and have a great evening.

Wow! What did I just do! I haven’t done any form of exercise since I can remember and then some. I couldn’t walk to the top of the street but thought it was good a time as ever to start. So there I was out walking the streets of Pukekohe at 5am in the morning, in the dark, to be back before day light (so as not to be seen by the public) and home in time to ready for work.

Geez, I was huffing and puffing just getting to the top of my street – and if you knew how far that is it’s laughable! But I went out for an hour at a time and I must say it was a bloody mission, however Rotorua weekend rolled around soon enough. There I was with the other girls who have been walking regularly, for years I might add, so with a smile on my dial and a false sense of ‘I can do this” we, set off.

Now! What was it I said, those famous last words “how hard can it be?” Bloody hell my feet hurt terribly; damn I was hoping that the girls were thinking of staying in that night. But I did it! As for my time I didn’t care I just wanted to shower and sit with my feet in a bucket of iced water with a wine in hand. I thought to myself I was never doing this again.

Later that evening though, I was proud of myself and the other girls for completing it.

Viv and Jane completed their first walking marathon and we were there to bring them home. We were so happy & proud of them. What an achievement! Our pain was forgotten that night and a great time was had by all that evening.

That weekend, that marathon! Viv was now on a mission. She was going to run her next marathon and worst of all, she was going to take us with her! Later that year Viv does her usual ringing around and informs us all of the Kerikeri Half coming up. She sets off on her spiel to soft sell the event to us and I find myself thinking what the hell it will make for a great weekend. Hubbies would meet us at the finish line, head home to put in the final touches to the hangi, and pamper us on our return. We girls would stay for prize giving and catch the bus back to Whangarei. Viv had it all figured out for us, and again I figure I have already walked a 10km so I’m half way there “how hard could it be?”

I decided that I would need the right shoes to walk this one, so off I go to a podiatrist as I need orthotics and a descent pair of walking shoes due to my flat feet. With that all done I hit the streets again in the mornings and marvelled at how much easier the walking was getting and how much further I could go. Despite the positivity I was still half-hearted about the race. It’s only fair to tell you that my weight wasn’t going down, it was going up and not too slowly either. I was rewarding myself for doing such a good job exercising. Lol.

And so our long planned Kerikeri weekend came around! Oh my god it was hot! Those small hills Viv mentioned in passing were like major bypasses in the Alps to me. Did I mention the heat? “Bloody hell this is nuts” I though to myself. There were about 2km to go and I look down at my ankles – they’re sore as hell! My ankles are swollen and my calf muscles are going into major spasms. I’m limping, shuffling and dragging my arse and did I mention it’s bloody hot! About 800 metres from the finish I see my mate coming to meet me, looking freshly showered, skinny and cool. She has a grin from ear to ear and is attempting to give me encouragement and support to get to the finish line, spurring me forward. “You’re nearly there, you look great girlfriend (liar) so proud of you”.

I see all the other girls are in now and resting their pins. It was here that I tell her I am going to have to stop, the cramp in my calves and ankles is excruciating and I’m nearly keeling over with the pain. “No! No! No!” she says, “you have to stride it out keep going”.

I pass the boys on the way in; I see the look on theirs and my husband’s face, which is a mix of shock horror bordering pity. As I cross over the finish line they all tell me how proud they are of me, I fall into a chair and can’t even bend to take my tag off. Thank goodness for the volunteers I think to myself.

Viv is beside me now smiling her big smile laughing and so very proud for me. “How do you feel?” she says. I think my answer was something like “how the f… do you think I feel?” I look like shite, feel like shite but I laugh anyway and give her a hug. I call her a few names not worth mentioning, and probably told her never again. I need a massage so Ian has the honour since I can’t make it to the massage tents, and it’s still f%&@ing hot…

LOL!! Mavis you are so right. After the sleep deprivation passes and Canckles go down and your weary body finally repairs itself, when you drag your arse out of bed under protest early for a 10km run and it pisses down half way around, it was in that moment I was feeling “great ” hence, I was reflecting on our trip in that moment, and could only remember the good / fuzzy parts, the camaraderie of our group, meeting new friends, walking the Great Wall crossing the finish line.
All the pain and crappie bits forgotten…you took us there Mavis! You pushed and prodded where needed…so bloody well done to you. You took this group away and got everyone home.

I am now reflecting on my next marathon….

Effie Finish with Medal