I eat a banana and a yoghurt and drink a lucozade – family is still asleep.
I am apprehensive – I’ve trained for a sub 55minute 10km, but I’ve had a couple of weeks set back; my right knee has given me grief, but a few days rest seems to have hopefully done the trick.
The race plan was to have a warm up jog of 800m at less than race tempo 10 mins prior to start time to get the legs warmed up. I arrive at the “pens” and to my horror they are chockers (full) – I have no time for a warm up and need to jockey for position.
I decided to use one or both (whichever suited!) of the Runners World pace makers to follow for the entire race: Orange balloon (attached to their caps for easy ID) for sub 50 mins (this was hope) and lime green for sub 55mins – I’d trained for the sub 55 and this was more realistic.
I settled in the pen about 5 meters ahead of the orange (sub 50 mins) but soon I was shuffled forward or he was shuffled back and we had set off on different waves. I now had no idea what his start time was and could not be confident of following him with any certainty. How could I follow him when I was already 5 minutes ahead?
Brisk walk to the start line and I engage the Garmin 310 – we all seem to get into the race fairly quickly, but still at 5:30 / 5:45 per km pace – below avg pace for a sub 55min.
The first 800m seemed uphill and I was struggling – I wasn’t over racing, but my HR was way over 230 – there was no way I could do this – my mind raced from my staggered preparation to my nutrition/fluid intake, something was wrong -this wasn’t how I planned it. I felt like this was my first ever run and I hated it. I was traveling at 5:30min/km pace and this shouldn’t be a problem. I’d prepared for this and this wasn’t part of the equation.
After about 1.2km we settled down into a flattish/comfortable road, breathing settled and I was actually feeling rather good and skipped the first water station and then was hit by a steepish incline that went for 700/800 meters – but I still managed to maintain pace.
The first downhill happened at about 3.8 and I’d noticed this lass in a black and white top who seemed to be keeping the same pace as me and thought I use her as I’d lost “Mr Orange- sub 50 mins” (For the record I never set eyes on mr/mrs lime green)- we matched pace for about another 5k. In between I grabbed a powerade and lost a few seconds as we crossed the Yarra river.
Up and down Alexandra Ave was a challenge as this was a “U” turn at the bottom – down then up a steep incline.
Up and down Batman Ave and across to Rod Laver Arena – this is the 8k mark – at this stage I lost “my” lass in black and white, pacer and I took on a little water and poured the rest on my head. As we we rounded the corner to go over the footbridge to the MCG, one of the volunteers shouted ” you’re doing great, only another two really steep hills to go” Thankfully I knew that the hill was not huge (over the bridge to the MCG – Paul Kelly song!) and then the next up Wellington Parade – seemed to last forever and there were hundreds of walkers at this stage – I maintained my 5:30/5:45 pace and passed heaps until we reached a downhill Batman Ave and a finishing straight – I had my fastest average pace of the race in the final 400m which gives me a great deal of confidence.
Sprinting the last 200m at 4min/km pace I passed heaps of runners – I was that focused I didn’t even look out for Michelle and the boys, which was lucky as they weren’t looking!
Felt good crossing the finish line and would probably have cried if Chelle and the boys were there – I was on a mega high! By the time we caught up I was already down from my high and doing a few stretches.
Garmin says – 10.22km in 55 minutes 00 seconds – splits at 10km are 54.17, so I’m very happy with the time. Official time to follow.
Handed in my timing tag and picked up a bottle of water, a powereade and a copy of “the Age”
The upshot is – I beat a heap of people and a heap of people beat me, but more importantly, we collectively raised $1,000,000 for various charities.
Whilst it’s important that we all reached/achieve/attempt personal milestones, it is more important that we at least try:
I stole this from Neil Lock (http://www.neillock.co.uk/training-blog/)
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
And that is the sum of it – starting
After the race we took Michelle’s Parents to lunch at the Moreland – has been a great day – many more to come and many more to report.
I’ve had an awesome day and I’m still wired. 17.15pm