Well. I am finally home in Perth and have had a week to think about the race and I finally feel ready to write up my recap. So Ellie and my Mum can read it. I was thinking all week how I would write it but for some reason I can’t remember much about the race! That has been the case for the previous 2 marathons also…..I remember bits and pieces but there is no way I could do a km by km recap like some people can. So I’ll do my best and add lots of details before and after to flesh it out.
We landed in Melbourne on Thursday night and the race was on Sunday. So plenty of time to relax and enjoy some sights and lots of food.
Saturday I had great intentions of relaxing and staying off my feet as much as possible. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. There was just too much fun to be had. Ronan, Franman and I started off the day with a quick 3km run and some strides and headed out to brunch after. We had a recommendation for The Grain Store in Flinders lane from the baking jogger blogger. This lady knows her grub and it didn’t disappoint.
I had the fancy granola – there was chia seeds, elderflower rhubarb and other exotic ingredients in it that I can’t remember. It was lovely. I was conscious of carbs so had some sourdough toast with THE BEST blackberry jam. Ever.
We hit up the expo in the MCG – a huge stadium in Melbourne where the race was finishing also – which was fun. It was really hot so we didn’t stay too long and walked up to Ausbike afterwards. We saw a flyer for this in one of the 6 bike shops we visited on the Friday and Franman was super excited to go. Basically an expo for bike lovers…they loved it. I got bored after a while. They all look the same to me.
We headed back to our townhouse at about 5 and went to a local Italian for dinner that night. Spaghetti and meatballs, nice and plain and just what I wanted. I was in tucked up at 9 with my gear and fuel all laid out and excited to run.
I had 4 of the GU’s, ½ a pack of power gels and a skratch labs. I couldn’t have been more over sugar by the end!
I slept really bad that night;I was a little jet lagged…..9pm in Melbourne was 6pm in Perth…..and our neighbours were having a party which kept me awake. Initially I was stressed about not being able to sleep but remembered having read that most people don’t sleep with nerves anyway and the adrenaline would carry me through. When my alarm went off at 5am I was in such a deep sleep I couldn’t figure out what was going on. But once I had my usual pre-race breakfast of toast and jam I was fine. A pal picked us up at 6.15 and we were at the race by 6.30. Finally you say, we’re onto the bleeding race!!! The atmosphere was great at the start. Melbourne is the biggest marathon in the southern hemisphere and there were over 8,000 people registered.
So how was I feeling? Good! All my taper madness seemed to dissipate on Wednesday and by Sunday I was ready to race. I knew I had done the work so wasn’t worried about the race. I just wanted to make sure I did my training and coach justice.
I started the race with a work pal, Shaun. Shaun is an ex Australian rowing Olympian and is about 6’4″ and built to dominate. So an awesome athlete and it was great to have the company. We aimed for a 4.35 pace for the first 10km and the plan was to see how we felt after that. If good try and drop it a little, if not hold on! I was aiming for anything under 3.20 which would have been about a 4.44 pace so was setting myself up for that nicely.
The first 10km flew by and we hit 4.35 feeling great so decided to keep it at that and / or a little under for the next 10. I can’t remember anything about the next 10km, not a single thing until we hit the halfway point. On a good day I tend to get in a zone where I just run without really noticing I am working, just enjoying the run and this was one of those days. I was also extremely focused on my average pace, ensuring it stayed under 4.35 and didn’t really focus on the kms.
There was a large out and back section on the course and the turn around point to bring us back into the city was at 26km…once I hit that and I was still feeling good we decided to start dropping the pace bit by bit. Trying to bring the average pace down as much as possible.
21 – 30km
Again, this went by in a bit of blur. I didn’t pay any attention to my current pace or the kms, I just kept trying to get my average pace down. I hit about 4.33 when we got to 32km and felt great. I knew going into the race that one of my strengths was I don’t fade as bad as other people do. I get into a groove and just run and feel like I could go forever. The next thing I knew it was 40km done and I was hearing the roar of people in the MCG. I looked at my watch for the actual time for the first time in the whole race and it dawned on me that I wouldn’t go under 3.10. It wasn’t a firm goal but looking back if I had paid more attention to where I was with time earlier on I think I would have tried to push it under 3.10. Whether I would have got it is another thing! Lesson learned!! But hindsight is a great thing and there is always another race. J
31 – 42.2 exactly!
I don’t know what happened at 41km but it obviously was a little tougher than the others! Running into the MCG at the end was great – there were thousands of people in the stadium and it gave you a massive boost to push to the end.
Franman had finished his race and was waiting for me at the end which was lovely. (Apparently he saw my yellow races the minute I entered the stadium!) And the rain held off until about 10 minutes after I finished which was even lovelier! It was really wet and cold from then on so I was lucky to have avoided that.
So my third marathon and a finish time of 3.11.35 and a 26 minute PB. 28th woman in my age group and 39th woman overall. Despite thinking I could have been more strategic with how I ran the race I am beyond pleased with my result. And my even pacing and all the work I put into it. I absolutely love running and am blessed to be able to do it regularly, with people I love and to be able to travel to cool places like Melbourne to race. I’m a lucky gal!
We met some clubmates for drinks for the afternoon and Franman and I went to a steak restaurant that night. My burger was off the charts!
The starter platter for 4 which we, I, dominated.
I am giving myself and the weekend 10 out of 10. J