As I lined up on the start line of my quarter marathon in Blenheim last weekend, I wished I was anywhere else in the world but there.
Not that I hadn't prepared. I'd taken my months of training seriously and learnt many things- that having a wine before a run is a very bad idea, that it is perfectly acceptable to listen to Eminem when you're running, and why it's important to put vaseline in your sports bra.
My transformation from a swimmer to a runner was officially complete.
Over the months, I'd taken a lot of running advice- from the online world, the physio and from keen runners. I even read a running magazine, which told me to imagine my body as a machine and to repeat the mantra 'my legs are pistons' over and over in my head. I tried this on one run and got a stitch from laughing so much.
I'd also taken a lot of flack. "Why would you even bother training for a 10km run? I do that in my sleep," one of my flat mates charmingly declared. I had needed that training, though. At the beginning I could only run about 800m without stopping, and that was at the pace of a baby giraffe learning to walk.
Now it was time to put all that work into practice. As the start buzzer went I had all those first race nerves: What if I come last, what if I collapse and end up crossing the finish line attached to a drip in the ambulance?
But once I started running, and got to the first chorus of Lose Yourself, it all melted away.
I found the key to running longer distances was switching my mind off. If I could distract my brain- not easy for someone who is constantly over-thinking everything- then I could fool myself into not realising what agony my body was in.
However, this may have worked a little too well, as somehow in the excitement I missed the drinks station. I only realised I'd missed it when I saw lots of paper cups on the ground and other runners looking disgustingly hydrated. Epic fail.
I crossed the finish line in just over an hour, sweaty, puffed and dying for a drink of water .
But I felt like a champion.
Once some oxygen had returned to my brain, I remembered my good friend and fellow reporter Tracey still had two hours left of her marathon- a gruelling 42km in the hot sun. We headed out to the 35km mark to cheer her on and hand her some jelly beans.
Even though I was stoked I'd completed my first running race, the highlight of my day was definitely seeing her cross the finish line. She was exhausted, she was emotional, but she'd made it. I was very proud of her.
Completing a full marathon is one of the most torturous things you can put your body through, but it's also an awesome achievement that very few people have the guts or determination to do. Four hours of pain earns you a lifetime of bragging rights. It was very cool to be a part of that with Tracey.
We celebrated with a toast of some famous Marlborough wine, before passing out in exhaustion on the floor. It was a great feeling.
After the race, inspired by Tracey and my new found passion for running (that may have just been the dehydration), I entered a half marathon being held next May.
Tracey's even agreed to run it with me as my support crew. Once she can walk again, that is.