WOW. I did Melbourne Marathon yesterday. The 2016 edition. And boy was that an adventure. Every time I feel that I’m making progress running marathons, something happens and thud I’m brought back down to earth. This time by a gust of wind.
Being the 3rd time I’ve attempted Melbourne, I know the course pretty well. It’s a simple layout really. You run up Batman Avenue, down St Kilda rd, around Albert Park, run up and down the bay a bit, then back up St Kilda rd to finish in the MCG. Simple assignment yeah?? 42.2km DONE.
WELL there was one curve ball yesterday. Somebody forgot to tell the god’s not to turn on the wind! In all honestly, I didn’t really notice the wind too much at the start. I started I thought reasonably conservatively, with my pace between 4:40-4:50mins/km. Albert Park was a bit windy. However what made me really worry when I was running along the bay and I could see running machines like (Adrian, James, Suzi) with a slight grimace (or was it a look of sheer determination) on their face. I said to myself they’ve got their game faces on.
Definitely running along the bay was the windiest bit. Basically KMS 16 – 30. I thought once I was running up St Kilda rd it was time to shift into over drive now. But nothing happened. Ok I had “The Greatest” from Sia playing (a lovely song recommendation by Jody) and as she was singing “You’ve got stamina” I tried again to shift into my faster gear and nothing. If anything I slowed down. My legs were definitely tiring. I was rapidly going into survival mode.
Now the last 10kms of a marathon are always the worst. Time goes still. It’s like when you’re running on a treadmill with your towel half covering the dashboard and you only allow yourself occasional glances at the KMs you’ve done. And of course it only slowly creeps up. That’s exactly the same as the last 10kms of a marathon. Each time you look at your watch, it doesn’t move. It’s like you’ve lost GPS reception. I had reached that stage.
So I relied on my music, running mantras and all the positive things that people have said to me over the last few weeks leading up to the event. I slugged through the last few KMs and just powered through the last bit. Soon I was running around the MCG doing the last few hundred metres of the marathon. I was done. In a time of 3:34:34.
Here are my takeaways:
- Congratulations firstly to everyone who completed the Half (Patrick, Jody, Teresa, Dom) or Full (Gina, Seth, Enrique, James, Suzi, Adrian, Fred, Meryl, Leigh, Tom, Ross) yesterday
- Marathons are tough and you have to deal with all sorts of things, some outside of your control. It was the wind for me in this race
- You need to take positives out of every race. My positives are that I ran my 3rd fastest marathon and my fastest in Melbourne (now that I’ve done 3)
- Off season begins NOW hehehe
Thanks everyone for their unwavering support and even though I didn’t PB, I’m sure when I do, it’ll be extra sweet and worth the wait.