The best piece of advice I was given leading up to this event. “Triple tie your shoe laces! Because you don’t want to be bending down to tie a lace just to find you’ll never get up again!” – Invaluable!
Race Day. (It’s here already?)
6.30am – Rise. (…But I want to continue sleeping!)
6.35am – Saltana Bran for breakfast. (…But I’m still full from my carbo loading dinner the night before)
6.40am – A shower to warm my muscles. (Okayyy, if you insisttttt :)
6.45am – Why aren’t my eyes opening? (…Because it’s far too early!!)
I’ve had Marathon thoughts for some time now. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m an avid runner. Nothing elite or crazy. But I do like to run. I often have friends saying to me “Only Heather would enjoy running!”. But I do. I love my 6km run around the river, I’ve been running my entire life. Not to compete, but just for the enjoyment of it. It’s just an added bonus that it’s good for you, your figure and your health! Win-win! :-D
Yes, there was an ulterior motive for doing the Christchurch Marathon this year… I’ve always wanted to do the New York Marathon. A bucket list thing if you will.
So 2014 is my aim. Apparently they don’t let just anybody in… so I’m applying early to secure a spot. I love New York and I can’t wait to go back, what better reason..than to run one of the world’s most famous marathons.
This is sprightly me. The one who thinks anything is possible. And only thinks about the pain when pain arrives… (This is the only photo where I look remotely human from now on…. you’ve been warned!)
Due to the earthquake, the traditional SBS Marathon around the Avon river in Christchurch had to be moved to Lincoln. (It was almost cancelled). But, 9.15am *Bang* and we’re off with excitement in the air.
And still a smile on our faces.
Ostriches, super girl and toe shoe man came to the party!
I love the flow of this shot.
I saw my parents only twice on the course. That’s probably because they spent most of the time looking at the map wondering where to move to next. Ha. Just kidding parents, they were sitting in the freezing cold weather cheering on all the other participants too! Which was super dooper of them because to all the strangers cheering me on… Thank you! I really think it made all the difference!
Coming up to the half way mark I made a friend of 5 minutes. Mike. At this point below they were calling out “Half Marathon runners to the left, Full Marathon runners continue to the right”. Mike exclaimed “FML”… and I called out to him..”Ditto”. And we started laughing at our own expense. I tried to make a friend in him for some company… but he couldn’t hold my pace. (Seriously?…I was going pretty slow)… and off I went again on my lonesome. Only in the second lap (and after seeing all the photos) did I realise that Doug had been by my side or behind me, the entire time. Thanks love!
After the first lap, I ditched my iPod. It was annoying me. Darn, and after I’d spent so much time compiling a good ‘Marathon mix’. Oh wellll.
But there was plenty of entertainment along the way…
And the supporters were awesome! High fives and “GO 237!!!”
The 26th was not a bad k, but all I could focus on was my sweaty palms and the fact my fingers were swelling uncomfortably.
By the 31st km. It was just 11km to go. Easy peasey is what went through my head, ‘Just 2 laps around Hagley Park.. you can do this!!!’… Until the constant wind and rain kicked in and never went away, no matter how many corners you turned. I summoned my energy to scream to the skies “Come onnnnn!!!”. I mean, as if the task wasn’t hard enough lol.
Having never done an event like this before, I discovered what my body can cope with and the phases it goes through in such a long distance.
Phase 1: 1-10km. Getting your breathing under control, keeping your pace and not getting sucked into the fast or slow horde of runners. And bouncing along to some sweet tunes.
Phase 2: 10-20km. Preparing your mind and body for a further 30 k’s. The discovery of Leppin (a sports gel mixed with water), who then becomes your best friend. An instant boost and all positivity and goals are restored.
Phase 3: 20-30km. This is the “Oh yeah, I just did a whole lap… oh crap, I have to do the same lap again” phase. This is when I ditched the iPod and wanted company. I was surprisingly chipper though as I nattered away to Doug.
Phase 4: The last 12k’s. The day before I’d been excreting bricks over nervousness. Now those bricks came in handy to build me a wall that I consistently kept running into. This is the mind over body phase. “You can do it, you can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!!!”.
I was pretty casual about this whole thing. I trained (but not too hardcore) and I took anyones advice who was willing to give it. One piece of advice may have worked for this person, but certainly didn’t work for me. And that was to have a moro bar to keep energy levels up. I took 2 bites and it dried my mouth up soooo much, it felt like a century to the next drink station… it was horrible! But that’s ok, we live and learn. Leppin on the other hand… you can be my friend ANY day! :)
I have a bone to pick with Forrest Gump..what was he thinking, running for 3 years? or giving the impression that it was so easy! Hmmm, now I feel like watching that movie again. :)
I started to realise as I kept an eye on my watch that there was a likelihood I could get in before 4 hrs. I tried. But just to be finishing… was good enough.
I aimed for 4 hours…
…Expected to finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes…
…And finished in 4 hours and 3 minutes. I. was. stoked! (But clearly not as stoked as the girl finishing ahead of me lol)
I asked a runner along the way… “What happens when you stop?” I didn’t really get an answer… but I’ll tell you what happens. CRAMP! lol I was dancing circles around my family because I was too afraid to stop dead. It was surreal feeling running through my body. But ya… cramp is painful! lol
One very nice hot bath, a good rubbing of deep heat and a day of hobbling like an old woman with the disbelief that I actually ran for 4 hours… and I’m back to myself and ready to get back to my regular training. But that doesn’t mean Marathon’s arent still on the radar. It sounds like Doug’s going to be doing next years. So I reckon I’ll do the half and try for a good time. (Now that I know what to expect)
Now my number sits on my pinboard in my office, reminding me that I really am as crazy as some people say I am. But also reminding me that, well… anythings possible… so long as you put your mind to it!