Emil Zapotek said once “If you want to win, run 100m. If you want to experience something, run a marathon”.
The Melbourne Marathon was an EXPERIENCE of a lifetime.
From the moment I signed up for it to the moment I crossed that finish line inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), every second was a life affirming experience that will be burned in my memory forever. Heck, even the trip home was epic (the only word that could really describe it!).
A bit of context: The Melbourne Marathon was my 2nd marathon this year. It was also only my 2nd marathon EVER. I did my 1st marathon in April, the Canberra Marathon, and I had a blast training for it and running it (okay, that was a lie; of course there were moments I wished I had never signed up it and moments I felt like I would pass out).
So, of course, not long after that torturous but nevertheless rewarding 42.195km, I signed up for ANOTHER one!
How did I go, you ask?
Well, from a statistical point of you, I ran a PB of more than 18 minutes. My net time was 4:42:39, which I am really happy about, despite of the fact that my original goal was to do it under 4:40.
Going beyond the numbers, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of it. I felt strong and confident throughout the run, and didn’t really hit a wall but, rather, I felt like I managed to push through the physical and mental struggles that I had encountered in every single stage of the marathon. This time around, I was mentally much more present and was therefore able to savour all the little triumphs building up to the finish.
This climax was truly amplified by the many downs I experienced leading up to race day. Firstly, I “only” managed four 30+km runs and none of them went beyond 32km. All but the final long run ended with me feeling completely spent, hammered against “the wall”. Secondly, winter presented a huge challenge not only in terms of training conditions, but also in terms of increasing my chances of getting whatever sickness my toddler brings home from childcare. Thirdly, work progressively got busier and smartypants me decided to take on a second job (teaching); a decision that had put me a little off the wagon for a bit.
Finally, I had a horrible time tapering–My family and work mates must have felt the strong desire to commit me! There was also the little glitches leading up to race day (although there is nothing little about messing up your travel bookings).
But, evidently, everything came together very well for me in the end.
I had a lot of help along the way. The major theme of this journey is friends: I am forever grateful for the support of so many generous souls–from my bad ass mother runner tribe, virtual running buddies and fellow Melbourne Marathon campaigners to strangers I met on the course. Thank you.
My little wall of fame
More details in my next post, including my review of the race organisation. Excuse me while I roll my sore and stiff glutes and replace my lost toenails…