I lapped it up, all 5km of it

By Ivy Jensen

IS IT a bird? Is it a plane? Maybe it’s a tortoise?

Say what you want but it was still Ivy finishing the Sweat versus Steam.

Yes, I did it. I ran 5km from start to finish yesterday. Without so much as a break, never stopping, let alone collapsing from exhaustion as expected (almost awaited for by some).

If you had asked me 12 weeks ago when I stopped laughing I would have been at the head of the collapsing queue.

It’s a bloody miracle.

So it just goes to show, commitment, hard work, dedication, the sheer embarrassment of failing and pride certainly go a long way.

Plus Laurie Edmondstone’s training tips every Monday in the Riv — it worked exactly as he promised readers.
It also spurs you on when you have hundreds of spectators staring at you while Brady Threlfall passes you in his second lap of the 12.5km.

However, my end goal was never to score the best time, but simply to keep running and finish (without going via the emergency room).

And that I did. And with a time of 34 minutes and 20 seconds — a whole six minutes better than my PB.

Oh, yes, I have a PB now.

It was hard, especially that last 2km. My lungs were burning, my legs were cramping and my joints were aching. 

But I couldn’t stop. I had done too much to give up.

I thought about all the times I hadn’t even tried something because I was scared to fail, I thought about my girls and making them proud, and I thought about not wanting to endure the regret.

As well as doing this for myself, my daughters were part of the reason I set this goal in the first place. 

I wanted to be a more active mother and keep up with them (although that’s pretty unlikely seeing they have the energy of a squirrel on Red Bull).

It’s been 12 weeks of blood, sweat and tears but I stuck with Laurie’s training program to the centimetre and the second.

I always believed I never had enough time to exercise, but I soon realised you can always find time.

I woke up earlier, I ran at night, in the rain, as soon as I finished work, I ran instead of sitting around waiting for the girls to finish sports or as they played in the playground.

And I ran when I didn’t want to run. When I was tired, when I was sore and when my body said ‘Seriously? Let’s give it up girl’ I kept running.

And slowly but surely, I went from running two minutes at a time to 2km, and eventually 5km.

Crossing that finish line yesterday was a feeling of intense fulfilment.

It’s given me the confidence to tackle more challenges, new challenges. And those things I had put in the too-hard basket.

I must thank all my supporters throughout this rewarding journey, including my awesome colleagues at the Riv who never once doubted I could do this and, of course my girls, who proudly cheered me on every step of the way — either by my side or on Facetime when they couldn’t be bothered running with me.

Then as I drove away this little thought kept niggling in some dark corner of my mind: ‘Hey Ivy, just 37km more and it’s a marathon’.

It was sort of dreaming, so I pinched myself. Hard. Really hard. And went home for a marathon hot  bath.