Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Melbourne Marathon 10km recap

The race now seems so long ago as since then I have spent 32 or so hours travelling half way across the world.

Sunday was nearly perfect for me for running. Nice and cool with virtually no wind and a little overcast. I arrived nice and early to avoid the panic of not being able to find the bag drop off area, toilets, start line and the other 10km runners from my run group.

The plan worked and everything went off without a hitch. I watched the marathoners set off - including an 83 year old dude (way to go!) and then got started on my warm up with my group.

This was not great.

My calves were sore. The small amount of slow jogging I did was really uncomfortable so I dropped back to a fast walk. I told myself it was just because I was running on uneven ground and once I got onto the road it would be better.

Before I knew it, it was race time. As always, I made way up the back of the pack and then stood around for 10 minutes while the faster runners got their start and the sea of people in front of me got across the start line.

Thankfully, my thoughts on the uneven surface appeared to be right. The first couple of kms, my calves were a little sore but after they warmed up it was all good. I started out slow (about 7.10 pace) and then settled into around 6.45 for the the next eight kms. Well, except for km 4 which was really slow at 7.30 and I can't for the life of me remember why.

I'd set my hopes on finishing in about 70 minutes, based on how my training runs had gone. Secretly, I really wanted to beat my 2010 time (OK, so it wasn't really a secret) but didn't think my injury prone lead up was going to allow that. By the eight km mark though, I was feeling good and was on track for about a 68:45 finish.

So I pushed myself a little bit more.

This part of the course was the worst. At just before 8km we went over this foot bridge = hill = unhappy legs. I just kept repeating to myself, "if there's an up then there's going to be a down". That worked pretty well. The end of the bridge takes you within 200m of the finish line but obviously, there's still another 1.8km or so left. This bit of the course is an out and back hair pin next to the MCG. It is boring and I find it demotivating.

However, all complaining aside, those last two kms were my fastest for the day and I crossed the finish line in 68:19. Totally faster than 2010. Not much faster but still...

I can quite happily say this was close to my best possible effort for the day, as after crossing the finish line I proceeded to throw up from the effort of pushing myself those last two kms. It was kind of embarrassing.

Overall, I'm very happy with my run and look forward to the next one in New York. Yay New York!

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