Friday, April 02, 2010


If you've caught up with my FB status you'll know that my Bun Run was a disaster on a number of fronts.

Firstly today was only my 2nd race ... ever. I nearly pulled the pin thinking I might just runs 10kms where I normally train and time it as the run wasnt a timed one anyway. Then I decided that I probably needed "race experience" so hauled my arse out for the 8am start in a suburb well away from where I live. This was after a bad night's sleep of waiting for morning to come.

I should have expected that running so close to the foothills was going to be hilly. The blurb and info on the run described the track as "undulating". I disagree. "Hilly" was a more accurate description. Not good for a girl who lives on the plains and trains on the plains as there is NO other option at 5am. In a word.... the hills killed me.

As we set off in a large group I quickly realised that I'd be in trouble. My pulse rate shot up fast and high (partly through nerves) and my breathing became quite heavy within a few minutes. Little things niggled at me and I longed to be more comfortable so I could just concentrate on setting and maintaining a good pace. In a few spots I overtook people but this was short lived and it wasnt long before I was being overtaken by more and more runners. It was demoralising.

The hills were wicked, as was the wind. Not long but steep enough that on about the third one I walked up along with a few other people who obviously werent 100% committed to running it all. After that I walked some more hills as by then I felt defeated. Amazingly I have trained for about 10 weeks and I have never walked in my training (unless specified in my program). So here I was in a race setting and walking. This is not how I had pictured the event to be.

At one stage after beinhg overtaken by several people I looked behind and saw nobody. That was my lowest point (until a little later) and I thought to myself "Well done Magda. You are officailly the worst runner here." Then a group came around a bend in the track and I felt some small relief.

Near the end it was absolutely sinking in as to how badly I had run. I didnt know how long I had been running but judging my our location I knew we were approaching the end. Then I started to get really upset and I could feel the tears coming. As I choked up I found it harder to breathe and got scared when I couldnt get any air in for a few breaths. I needed to pull myslef together damn quick before I keeled over on that pavement and I just managed this somehow.

I finished the run and checked my time which was well under my goal of sub 65. Something wasnt right and this was confirmed by another runner, gadgeted up to the max, who informed me that her iPhone had recorded the distance as 7.86kms. So we had been shortchanged on distance and my time  trial was invaild.

So here I am with 10+ weeks of training under my belt and today I ran like a novice that had never trained before. There was nothing I could pull out of my bag of tricks to save my performance today. It was woeful. I didnt hang around for the buns or the raffle or anything. I didnt feel like I belonged there.

The Greenbelt Half Marathon is in 2 weeks time. It starts from the same place as today's run but heads in the opposite direction. I havent checked the track but there's a bloody good chance it'll be much like today's, at least in the beginning for ???? long. Now I dont feel prepared or ready and am not sure what to do so as not to embarass myself on the day.



Kerry W said...

I'm sorry to hear how upset you were Magda.

I don't know much about marathon running, but I suspect that 10 weeks is not a long time to have been in training. You seem to have put alot of pressure on yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself.

For what ever it's worth, you've had the courage to try and you finished the race. Your words convey alot about 'comparison' and 'competing' with others. Remember, it's about bettering yourself. You've come so far from the person you were last year. You're better than you were last year. You may have stumbled, but don't let that stop you. Use your experience to move forward. Work out what it is you need to get to where you want to be, if that's what you really want. Is this really about winning the race against someone else, or winning the race against yourself.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and begin again. Just be better tomorrow than what you were today. If you stumble, begin again. :)

Gillian said...

Hi Magda:)

I agree with Kerry, you haven't been running all that long, and so to be able to run for 2 hours in that short time is an accomplishment in itself!

It sounds like you became oxygen deprived very quickly due to the fact that you were suffering from nerves and also hit the hills very quickly. When this happens it is very difficult to get your body back to where you want it to be. With your half I would suggest doing what you knew in yourself for this race, and that is getting into a comfortable pace straight away, just like you do in training. Try to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, it really helps.
Personally I would see this race as a wonderful teaching experience. You will now have a greater knowledge of how to attack your next run. The mind is a wonderful and powerful thing, keep visualising how you want your half to go and you will blitz it. I don't think there is a runner out there who hasn't got a woeful tale to tell, just focus now on the next goal!!!
The fact that you finished just shows how strong you are mentally!!!

SeLiNa said...

Magda, you probably know I'm a runner as well (and previous client of Pat's!) and let me say I can relate.

We all had bad runs, we all have runs where we feel we weren't prepared or ready. The bad runs make us appreciate the good ones that much more.

You said you haven't done much hill training - therefore of course the hills took it out of you; and of course it's not a 'bad thing' to have to walk.

The thing is Magda, YOU KEPT GOING! You could have pulled the pin at any point but you didn't. I can bet you some of the runners had to! I know it's the last thing you want to hear and it probably won't make you feel any better (remember, I've been in your headspace!) but - you're a winner for not quitting and finishing the course!!

DO NOT EVEN CONTEMPLATE not going in the half marathon. Change your goals! Let Pat know how you're feeling and you can work around that. Imagine how much worse you will feel if you don't even give the event - the event you've been goalling for ALL YEAR - a go! You will feel 10x worse than the 'pain' it will be to finish. But there will also be the feeling of accomplishment.

Pick yourself up, reset your goals, and never give in girl! Remember "winners don't quit and quitters don't win!"

xxx (off my pedestal now) ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I echo what the others have said. It took me well over 18mths to go from short runs to my first halfer. And that was with persistent effort. As Selina said, you didn't pull the plug when you could have. THAT makes you a winner. You may have to look at why you are doing the half. Is it to finish? Or to beat the elite? Or to fulfill a goal? Only you know why and it is only for you that it is important. There is not one person who has never stumbled, but the thing is how they dealt with it. Your grace comes from saying that you will do this halfer and do it to the best of your ability.

Magda said...

Kerry, Gill, SeLina and Kate thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment after this depressing event. I have read your words over and over and each comment has struck a cord in some way. Your words have opened my eyes to the glass half full viewpoint and lifted my spirits back to being normal and balanced.

Thanks again guys.