Sunday, April 18, 2010
THE GREENBELT HALF MARATHON
Well here I am post Greenbelt Half Marathon tired, sore but very very happy. Happy that I had the guts to give it a go. Happy that I achieved my goal of running without any walk breaks and very happy that I bettered coach's time goal of 2:30 - 2:40. I crossed the finish line in 2:28.
I promised to blog the good, the bad and the ugly so here it all is for anybody who may be interested.
Two days before the race I was feeling the worst I've felt for a long time. I was in a bad place emotionally. I was run off my feet, feeling overwhelmed, tired and cranky. It was my son's birthday and we had a family dinner to celebrate. I felt so crappy that I stayed in my trackie pants and T-shirt without bothering to dress up (I would normally NEVER do this). What a piss poor effort, Magda.
Saturday was better as I knew I had to pull myself out of my hole and I managed this ok. My emotional state improved and I was more aware of my food and trying to keep some balance. We had another birthday party and fortunately our guests didnt stay late so I could get a good night's rest. I slept pretty well :-) and woke up feeling quite good.
The weather was glorious. I couldnt have asked for better as it was mild with only a light wind. I felt rested and quietly confident. Peter drove me to the start and I was shocked at how many people were there. I was told between 700-800 - ah the world is full of more lunatics who think that running 21.1 kms on a Sunday morning might be a good idea LOL.
Miss R from work was at the start to give me some moral support. It was a lovely surprise to see her there and again as I battled out the hilly stretches that formed the first 5 or so kms. I took it easy in the start as I knew the hills would be hard. I was near the start line when the gun fired and for the first 5 or 10 minutes I just watched 600 people overtake me. I didnt care. This was about me doing my best and not comparing myself with anybody else. I just ran. And I ran each and every hill, albeit very slowly up some of them but my goal was to NOT walk (except at the drink stations while I had a drink).
As expected the first 5kms were very undualting but this time I was mentally prepared. I thanked God that I had attempted the Good Friday Bun Run even though it was an awful and disastrous run, it had prepared me for today. The bad was behind me and todays was going to be good.
At 11kms to go and having just had a drink I hit my "zone". The endorphins started coursing through my body, a great song came on my iPod (sorry cant find/remember its name) and I comfortably upped my pace and started to overtake other runners. "I am a distance runner" I told myself and I was on fire!! However after a few kms I knew that I needed to be a bit more conservative if I was gonna make the 21.1kms and slowed back down to a nice jog.
As coach had predicted the last 6kms were pretty hard and the last 3 felt like they were 10kms long. The countdown markers seemed to take forever to appear. At the 5kms mark I'd had a bit of Gatorade which I'm not used to and it gave me a stitch. I was running in pain. My right ankle was also getting really sore from the slope of the pathway and I tried to run on as flat a surface as possible. But the bottom line was that I ran a few kms near the end in total pain, yet determined to push on and not let such a short distance beat me.
Finally the finish line appeared and my family were lined up on the final stretch with cameras ready. My son waved a big happy "Mummy!" and my mother-in-law and Peter were smiling for me and taking pics as well. I crossed and only then did I look at my time - 2:28. OMG I had beaten coach's goal or prediction that I would take 2:30 -2:40. I WAS OVER THE MOON. I had always secretly hoped that I'd do it in less than 2:30 but had after the Bun Run I had no confidence at all of achieving that.
My post race reward was a breakfast of pancakes with berries and ice cream. I inhaled it but I did enjoy every mouthful. After all, my glycogen stores needed replenishing LOL.
So here I am having completed a half marathon. If you'd have told me 12 months ago that I'd do this I would have told you that you're insane. Isnt life a funny thing and yet again I say "never say never". Thank you to some special people who helped me to get where I am: Pat Carroll was a fantastic coach. We never spoke in person but he sent words of wisdom and encouragement at just the right times and I knew I was in great hands. If you're considering running a race or just wanting to improve your running, Pat's your man. My wonderful husband Peter for rearranging his schedule to allow me to do all my long training runs on a Sunday morning and putting up with my moods swinging from total elation to total lack of self confidence. To Hilde from Get Active on Line who encouraged me back into running near the middle of last year. Then when I moved house and I wasnt set up for weight training she just gently encourage me "keep up your running". Well I'm so happy that I did.
Thanks to all for your words of support and encouragement. They always mean a lot to me and helped me get over that finish line today.
I'll be off line for a while now. We are moving house this week and then I want to take some time to work through some personal stuff that has gone off the rails for me lately. I need to do this privately and at my own pace, in my own way. I may share down the track but not just yet.
Posted by Magda at 9:29 PM