It was the 11th of January 2015 and I was off to race the 2 Bays 56k. I headed off in the cool morning to Cape Schanck with a mate, caught up with some old friends and a few new ones at the start line. It felt like it could be a good day for a run through the hills. I was confident of getting a good time if certain niggles that had been playing up would behave themselves. But it wasn’t to be the case.
The last few months had been tough to say the least. I have two daughters (5 and 8 at the time) who are the most gorgeous girls you have ever met (alright, I may be biased) and the eldest one just hadn’t been right. Abbey had lost her appetite, she’s normally a good eater, she had lost weight from her already slender frame and was looking pale despite living within 100 meters of the beach with the rest of us being your typical bronzed Aussies. Add to that, she was experiencing lots of joint pain and barely able to walk at times. The doctors had spent the last few months trying to find a reason, but everything turned up negative. Doctor Google was consulted and we really didn’t like either of the options that he came up with. One was juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, the other leukaemia. One was right, but to save repeating myself for those who have read it, I wrote all about it here.
So anyway, despite this burden on my head at the time, I hit the first 28 at a good pace, turning around only a few minutes off my best 28k pace and feeling OK. I climbed back up Arthurs Seat and the niggles started playing up. So much so, that I couldn’t even run down Goolgowie St despite the slight decline. I knew I just didn’t have the mental strength at the time to run (or walk more to the point) another 20k to get the finish. I had had enough. I should have gone with my previous instincts to drop back to the 28, but I really didn’t want to!
So that was my 2 Bays for 2015, but this is not really about 2 Bays more the fact that it was my last real run until October. Because it just so happened it coincided with the diagnosis of my daughter the day after on the 12th of January. On Friday, we had just paid $350 to the only Pediatrician willing to see us without a 3 month wait (thanks to plenty of begging and pleading from my wife) to find out what was wrong with her. So Monday morning comes around and we both get a phone call to come in a see him again following some blood tests. We enter his office to be told – “Go to hospital, go directly to hospital, do not pass go, do not collect $200”. Well not really, but that was the gist of it. We had to get there so she could be treated for leukaemia.
We were in and out of hospital (sometimes more in than out) from mid January until the end of September (during September, we were in for 26 days out of the month). It was only October I felt I could actually start training again. So what did I do? I stupidly agreed to run with my best mate and running pal Shaun Brewster so we could film the Surviving Two Bays Trail video. Just a quick tip, running 28k after having 9+ months off isn’t a great idea. I didn’t run again for a week! So if I looked a bit tired in that video, you now know why!
So the point of this whole post is not to get any sympathy. Abbey is doing great and she is in a phase called maintenance which is less intensive than the first 9 months or so and will finish around May 2017 with the hospital stays being minimal, if any (hope I didn’t curse us!). The point is more the fact that I will be back at 2 Bays this Sunday, in a better head space, legs not quite as strong or as fit, but I will be doing the 28k as a “fun run” as I am still not in a fit enough condition to break any PB’s. Hopefully Abbey (now 9), her little sister (now 6) and my amazing wife will be out on the course cheering me on at some point. So if you see them, please give them a high 5 or even just say hi.
But most importantly of all, if you see me struggling, as I may at some point, give me a slap over the head and tell me to get moving again! Thanks in advance.