So, fed, drugged and massaged I headed into the city at 6:40am for an 8:00am start. I felt pretty good although by the time I found a park in East Melbourne and walked down to the start the 42k’ers were just heading off- 7:00am
Had a pee out of boredom- heaps of toilets at the start which is what all of us have been screaming for -finally they listen.
Positioned myself at the “2 Hour” marker and waited for Tony (Tiger Boy) but as we were getting ready to leave he was way behind me and closer to the middle of the road whereas I was close to the pavement near Rod Laver arena.
The drugs were doing what I’d hoped and my leg was feeling great. First k up hill north up Batman Ave and west into Flinders St although not too steep my breathing was heavy which is not unusual – I tend to go out fast on all my runs.
The next 3 or 4 k down Swanson/St Kilda Road and my rhythm was good, my breathing settled and way ahead of goal pace -at the 5k I was nearly 2 minutes ahead of sub 2 hour pace.
Adductors started talking to me around the 8k mark, just as we started the loop around Albert Park Lake (The Australian Grand Prix track) – just after I’d passed the water station. In hindsight I should have taken the two Panadeine Forte earlier, but like most things that are painful, you only seek relief when it is.
There was a small rain shower at the 9k mark but I had to wait until around the 11k mark to take the two tablets, but I think it was probably too late, the damage had probably been done and I had little chance of relief. I soldiered on back up St Kilda Road (Northbound) but started struggling, the pain was very uncomfortable and about half up (16k) I had my first walk break.
In between I overheard a conversation between two ladies who were no doubt faster than me as they kept overtaking me, but then stop as one of them was injured or had a problem. At the 10k marker they’d stopped again for the umpteenth time and I heard the “unfit” one (as in injured!) say to the other “I can’t breathe”
The fit one replied ” Ok, but apart from that you feel ok?”
It was just prior to this that the realisation hit that I was not going to break 2 hours – I had just over 5k to go and less than 25 minutes to do it. Tiger Boy must have passed me some time ago, but I was preoccupied with my discomfort and far less cared.
I’ll now take you back 12 weeks to the “Run Melbourne” half – yep I struggled there too but that was due to no preparation – and as I hobbled south on Batman Ave 20 odd k in I espied a lady who had striking blond hair and a T shirt about human rights – I commented that if she truly cared about my rights then she’d stop me running. We chatted briefly and she was from the midlands in the UK.
There would have been 6000 people on the “Run Melbourne” half and 9000 on the MM half today – and who would you think I’d run into at the 16k mark? Yep, same lady! We chatted again and like so many others commented on the lack of KM markers. Having the Garmin negates this issue for me but I can see how frustrating it must be for others.
I crawled the last 4k and in the end was just happy to finish – A PB by 10 minutes, but I’m not happy -this is a flat run and the weather was perfect, but yet again I had an injury.
Collected my medal, goodie bag, chatted with Tiger Boy and left to head to the Transport hotel -walked 5 metres and bumped into Andrew – we had a couple of beers in an empty hotel and headed home.
Bath, beer, red (Leasingham shiraz 2006 – superb) and a quiet and early night for me.
If you ran today -well done, if you didn’t, there’s always tomorrow.