Monday, July 21, 2008

Two Weeks Later.........

.....on the trails for the first run since Gold Coast half marathon.

This morning's 12km felt quite good in spite of a filthy wind & fear of falling branches and trees. I've decided against running the C2S this year. Instead I'll spend more time preparing for some half marathons that lie ahead : Bankstown the Hidden Half (I think); Blackmores & Melbourne halves (definitely) & perhaps a few shorter runs...we'll see!

Thank you for all kind comments about my 'speedy' time at the Gold Coast & concern for my silly infected foot! The hilarious debacle with locking myself in the apartment prior to the start makes me believe that the little guy at the right is trying to tell me something!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gold Coast Half Marathon, 2008.

The first of the disasters began just after my arrival on Thursday when I attempted to open the lock on my luggage..... but what good is a coded lock if the code won't unlock? And so began my career as a safe cracker! With a serrated knife from the kitchen I sawed & I sawed & I huffed & I puffed till I broke the lock down! First problem solved!

Then followed two days of walking on the beach, meeting with other Cool Runners for coffee, dinners etc.. & watching excellent & rather violent DVDs at night with Ewen : "The Secret Window", "No Country for Old Men", "Rendition" & "American Gangster", while eating pizzas with good red wines!

Sunday, all ready dressed & about to leave for the race at 5:30a.m. (allowing 45 minutes to walk to the start) a second disaster! Hurricane "Norma" struck by way of a huge blast of wind through the bedroom & slammed & jammed the door shut...lock, stock & barrel! I was locked in the front section of the apartment with no phone & no tools, except for a biro!

After pushing & whacking the handle with no good results, I was fast coming to the conclusion that I wouldn't make it to the start, let alone the finish unless I screamed from the balcony or jumped five floors hoping to land feet first in the swimming pool, or tied sheets together & lowered myself, James Bond style, down the side...but two sheets just wasn't going to do it.

However, after one more mighty thump on the handle, the whole thing, - handle, springs, washers & all - flew off. But, horror of horrors, the lock was still sitting in place, pretty & smug! My only tool was the biro with which I started poking through the hole in the door where the handle had once been. The minutes were clicking away & so were my luckylegs - it was now 5:45a.m. - the biro was shattering into a thousand fragments & still no luck...the lock wouldn't budge.

By this stage I was beginning to think this might be my last resting place! What a ludicrous way to pass on! After a hasty prayer to Saint Bic, the patron saint of biros, I thrust & I parried with the last piece of biro & the lock miraculously slid back! Relief like I've never felt before! Out the door, into the elevator (which for some reason didn't get stuck), & ran pell-mell for thirty minutes to the start, climbing over a side railing so as to get "up front" & not be at the back of the thousands of other runners already lined up & waiting.

Somewhere within the first 5km I felt a blister forming on the ball of my left foot. I ignored it, pushed it aside - as I did some runners even slower than I towards the finish! - & ran as fast as my lucky legs would go, even passing others, almost 'running out of sight'! I was trying so hard during the last 5km & badly wanting to stop or slowdown, but I pushed all thought of that aside too, desperately wanting to go under 2.5 hours......and I did!

Back at the apartment I was dismayed to see a huge blood blister covering the entire forefoot. I wasn't all that concerned, though it certainly was painful, but not enough to prevent me turning up for the "after party" which was fantastic meeting so many new & "old" Cool Runners.

I arrived home in Mittagong two days later by which time the foot had become infected & I was feeling far from well. Wednesday night I was shipped off to hospital & treated for five days for septicaemia & a 'touch' of pneumonia.

All the above, apart from the blister bit, may explain why I ran my fastest half marathon in the past three years, going under 2.5 hours & finishing in 2:27:02.