Thank you to all the texts and well wishes, thinking of me as I attempted my first HALF marathon - I highlight that HALF as there is a huge difference between 21.1 km and 42.2 km..... I only did the HALF... this time....
Just to say it was a totally fun morning, which started at 4am. Staying at my running buddies house, we downed our bowl of steaming porridge at 4.15am and then headed for the ferry to Devonport, getting the 5.15 sailing. Wondering what we could possibly do for the next 1 hour 45 before the start, we quickly found it would be queuing.... After 30 mins queuing we got a coffee, then after dropping off our gear and milling about with thousands of other bleary eyed people, we queued for 40 + mins for a toilet.... so desperate were we that we missed the start! But actually we had figured out if we started late (but happy bladders) it was better than starting on time and stopping enroute (to make happy bladders) as our time was activated by the timing chip tied to our shoe crossing the start line.... so after making friends in the queue with the added benefits of gaining tissue paper as the toilets ran out of paper, we started 8 mins late BUT with so many entrants, people were still crossing the starting line. I guess we were in the last 100 to start, but this had the benefit of all the fast people long gone and then we just plodded on and went for it.... and we finished in the top third! Weather was perfect, drink stations at just the right places and the supporters enroute loud and fun. It was much hillier than we thought, with the bridge being a real highlight, although plenty of the hills were bigger than the bridge.
So 2 hours and 12 mins later we crossed the finish line - so much more than just a run, it was 6 months of learning about perseverance, raising awareness and funds for Kids Foundation, and learning that just about anything is possible if you put your mind and effort into it. Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can.
I need to say a huge thank you to the many people that sponsored this run. Including postal and online donations, $2,500 was raised for the new transplant home planned for Auckland for NZ families. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am so aware that you have sacrificed in difficult financial times and that you all could have done something else with those funds - I am honoured and grateful that you felt to give it to this cause.
NOW on to the motivation for the run: SAM. Without Sam and this privelege of life with him I doubt I would be writing about having completed a half marathon....
In the weekend he had a couple of major falls due to wanting to be right in the thick of the action....'Sammy do too!' is often a phrase we hear before he tries to chase after his siblings or friends. Sadly he lacks the strength and stability to do all they do, so he had one fall that saw him whack hard on the door frame. The next day Candace ran in, 'Mum come quick, it's real bad this time - blood everywhere!'..... and there he was with blood streaming from his face outside where he's been trying to play with the kids. But all his teeth are intact, but he has a very fat top lip and bruised cheek.
Today we went to hospital for an ECG - as we were driving up to the hospital he sat up and was beaming and so excited, 'Hospital!' he screams with delight. As the nurse sticks on all the tabs and then hooks up all the monitor reading things he looks at her and said, 'Sams blood pressure?'. It was so cute and made us laugh so much.... When I had stopped laughing I said, 'No hon, it's an echocardiogram'......'oh', Sams says, 'egg-o-car-gam'... it was a pretty good try! On Thursday I have our 6 monthly review of assistance we get at home to help support Francis & I as we juggle family life, but I'm not really looking forward to it, as it's been nearly 6 months since it was approved that our supports change and nothing has happened... It's hard to see where to go from here when we are continually told to 'be patient' and that is with our Member of Parliament being involved and speeding up the process! I try to be polite and respectful in these processes, but sadly management have admitted that the 'loudest squeak gets the fastest and most oil'. I find this admission very sad, as our kids conditions are known to medical staff and on paper and I shouldn't have to be a screaming ranting mother to get noticed - Sams condition speaks for itself and it's hard enough living with that without the stress of bungling bureacracy and having to turn into a monster to be heard. But after 3.5 years living on Planet Hospital it really is the sad truth that this is how the planet is governed. So I would appreciate prayers for wisdom on Thursday and courage to say and do what is necessary so that Sam and other families get the support that they have been told they can get..... when I get down about all this rubbish we have to deal with I am conscious of and bolstered by the fact that I am acting for the hundreds of families who don't have the English skills or lack the knowledge or ability to advocate for their child. This is so not a solo cause. It also irritates me that so much of my time is taken up, wasted by paperwork and meetings with very little to show for it, and frankly I'd rather be out digging in the garden and putting my tomatoes in - atleast there is an outcome!
On Friday Sam has a surgical review at Starship to talk about possible future surgeries - ilieostomy moved to become a colostomy? Tonsils and Adenoids to be removed? etc .... Sam is so looking forward to going - he has been asking for about a week, 'Sammy go hospital?.... go see Cate?.... go see Karyn?'. It is so great he's been so well and has hardly been in hospital best part of a year, but he is really missing his favourite nurses! I find it cute, bizarre, endearing, sad... all at once!
Anyway, I leave you with a photo of me and my very special running partner - we have chatted our way literally over hundreds of kms together, she is far fitter than I and has motivated me up many a hill I'd rather have run around and Sunday we chatted and smiled our way over the Auckland harbour bridge (I had a cool number ... would have been cooler if the 5 and 4 were switched!)