Tuesday, September 21, 2010

11th Marathon...

Australian Record W80
..........well, that's #11 done and I'll be able to claim an Australian Record for W80 Marathon with a time faster than that of my Marathon W75 Australian Record!  Official time 5:26:24 net.  Other than my 2nd marathon in 2001, this was the only other time I've run under 5.5 hours, so getting older isn't necessarily a negative thing!  I was totally shocked and thrilled to have gone under 5.5 hours this time round!  That's a Boston qualifier I think!

My plan was to keep as near as possible to 7:27m/k and never to slow down further than 7:42m/k even though 7:49m/k would still meet the 5:30 cut-off.

Garmin time was 5:25:49 and distance 42.69km!

I think everyone should, just once, run at the back of the pack in a marathon!  It is so inevitably 'alone' on those long stretches of road with no one in sight in front and rear for quite some time.  It makes for a much different race than with lots of other runners around for company and motivation.  Alone at the back, there's only one's self to do it all;  things like trying to keep someone in sight;   fearing having taken a wrong turn, on the right course? Seeing barriers being dismantled; aid stations being cleared, and for this marathon especially, having to constantly think about strictly enforced cut-off points along the course...am I going to make each one?  Worry, hurry! Just being alone for most of these things and at the same time think about how to race: form, pace, hydration, self-talk, etc.etc.!  So many things bring on extra stress at the rear end that I don't think front and middle pack runners have to worry about.  Anyhow, they're just my thoughts and how I am affected as a slow runner during a marathon.

Apart from all that or perhaps because of all that, I had a great run; not an easy one....after all, it was a marathon!  There were stages where I thought the whole thing would never end; way up ahead at times I could see 'little dots' (runners!) and thought: God Almighty, do I really have to run that far still?  However, with a lot of self-talk and relaxing all parts of the body, I managed not to slow down too much except on the long inclines and finally made a very strong rush for the finish line without 'hitting the wall' at all!  I walked through all drink stations but that was the only walking I did; quite unlike other marathons where I've been forced to walk and drag myself to the finish.  I actually raced around the Circular Quay area to the applause/amusement of people eating at the outdoor cafes and to hear my name AND AGE called out by the commentator as I crossed the finish mat was the final flourish!

I am very happy about how I ran my 11th Marathon!  I followed a marathon training program of only 3 days running each week from the book "Runner's World, Run Less Run Faster" ....and they were right...I did run faster!

5km splits/Avg pace:  35:32/7:06;  37:22/7:28;  37:38/7:31;  37:25/7:29;  37:40/7:32;  39:43/7:56;  39:09/7:49;   41:10/8:14;  (20:06/7:27)
Forgot to bring HR monitor.  I have a quite painful right knee today and have had  it x-rayed just to make sure nothing sinister is going on in there!  I am far too young to retire from my athletic career!!

The Last Sprint to the Finish!

Saturday, September 18, 2010