The more things change the more they stay the same. Melbourne was home to the first marathon I ran so I felt it fitting that it would be home to my tenth. Honestly a few years ago, never would I have thought that I would end up running ten marathons. But as all runners know, there is an inherent burning desire to run faster, run further and to keep on racing. Every runner knows what I’m talking about. And nothing, not even the pain of running 42.2km can extinguish that flame..
NRG had a massive contingent representing in both the full and half events. It only occurred to me afterwards that it basically was an NRG “girl’s weekend” away with a few males thrown in. And to further accentuate the “girl’s” nature of the weekend, I had spent Friday night and all day Saturday teaching girls how to program at Railsgirls. As I had done the Sydney Marathon only four weeks ago and the battle scars both physically and mentally were still there.
I lined up at the start line and it wasn’t really overly crowded. They had self seeding start groups. The tricky thing was that the groups were on alternating sides. So if you were only in the left aisle, you may not have seen your start group as it may have been on the right side. It was very confusing to me too Dani! The surprising thing for me was that I didn’t notice any other fellow club runners. Where did they all go?
Gun goes and I’m off. I bolted off like a kid rushing downstairs to open christmas presents. I was running WAY too fast. But I felt that it was ok, kinda, maybe… Then Robyn comes up and disappears off quickly. Bec who made a comment about me running 4:30s… and I muttered back to her that I think I’ve made a mistake. Then Chantelle came and went. The great thing about running in a running group is even when you go to another city, you still get awesome support. I saw some many NRGers on the switchbacks and had some many shouts of encouragement, I felt like I was running in Sydney again.
The course was pretty flat and simple. It started outside the Rod Laver Arena, down St Kilda rd, around Alert Park, out to St Kilda beach, back again and finishing with a half a lap of the MCG. I felt the out and back around the esplanade pretty hard and that’s when I paid the price for going out too fast. Kilometres 27 to 35 were torture. I mean I should’ve known, I’d run enough marathons to know that going out too quickly only results in one thing. PAIN. All my little aches and pains just got really magnified. And I found it hard to deal multiple things wrong with my body. All up I think my season of racing had finally caught up with me.
At the end, I was shuffling just as much as an iPod. I couldn’t really go any faster as I felt like I was going to cramp. I dug in and just gritted my teeth and just pushed and did the best I could given the circumstances. I did have flashbacks to my first marathon when I was cramping in my legs and for some parts of it I felt I was in as much agony as that first one. After what felt like an eternity, I found the MCG and did what I thought was a sprint but probably was a light jog around the MCG. I noticed my friends Erinn and Dom shouting my name (or Razzle which is their nick for me) at the end from the stands and I could barely raise my arms in acknowledgement. I had finished number 10.
So here are my final random thoughts. Apologies if I forgot anyone… everyone did really really well!
- Gillian congrats on running a PB and sticking to 4:30min/kms in the half as instructed! #FOMO
- Dani for PBing and Petra for smashing another half
- Iain nice work on bettering your Sydney half time! Tammy for finishing the half with no training!
- Amazing effort from the always smiley and happy Chantelle for smashing her PB again and forever being a model of pace consistency and even splitting
- Bec B PBing with little to no running. I don’t think you made any mistakes out there..
- Suzi, Robyn, Bec R, Vic, Emma, Jody, Gavin, Julia and everyone else who completed the full
- Congrats to Dom who wasn’t a runner and who has now run her 4th half! Also how close did you get to your PB without running for a month!
- Nice work Patrick on saving that guy’s head from hitting the ground and also finishing the half!
- Don’t do the Sydney and Melbourne fulls. Or I won’t ever do both again in the same year. There just isn’t enough time to back up. I mean maybe physically but not mentally
- Finally congrats to me for number 10!