Today I’m going to blow my own trumpet, for tomorrow will no doubt bring some self flagellation, but for now I am so proud.
Proud because of my time? No, but not disappointed
Proud that I ran 21.1k? No, I always new I could do it
Proud because At 16k I was ready to pack it all in. Mentally the demons arrived at the 12k and gnawed at me until I nearly convinced myself to stop. Hell I was even working out the shortest route to the car.
My calves ached and my left hammy had what felt like a tennis ball in it. Left?? it’s always my right leg that gives me grief.
Up before the alarm (5:00am) and had a couple of cups of coffee and a fenac; the leg was feeling ok but I took one as a precaution.
Found a car park about 300m from the start line and arrived about 30 minutes early (7:00am start for the speed merchants) Considering yesterday’s cold start, today was mild, even perfect for running. There’s something special about Melbourne in the middle of winter before the sun comes up – the crispness of the clean air, the lights showing of the statues, the perfectly manicured gardens and the “ding ding” of the trams – it’s a great place to live.
I placed myself at the back near the 2 hour 20 minute pacer and luckily I was unable to run any faster than 6:00 minute/k’s to start with due to the huge volumes of runners – perfect!
Running under 6:00/k’s for the first 12k and I felt I was traveling well until we hit Birdwood Ave the 2nd time around where it’s uphill for about a k. It’s here I started the mental games and a few extra walk breaks.
At 16k I was spent; a fortuitous opportunity at the loo on Alexandra Ave, saw me stand and sit, if you catch my drift. My mind was a mess, my guts were doing cartwheels and my legs were screaming at me. The only saving grace was that my breathing was comfortable.
The demons had gained the upper hand and I was going to stop until I conversed with a younger guy who was in the same boat, we then agreed to do what was needed and to finish the race together. I made the decision that if I had to walk the last 5 k’s I would.
I/we very nearly did, it was a struggle but I’m so glad I didn’t give up. I guess next time I’ll be better prepared physically – 18k in the last 6 weeks is hardly doing it it justice.
I’m feeling pretty good at the moment and we’re heading back into the city for a Greek meal and a few beers.
I did it!
PS. Well done to Cilla for completing the 10k