|Australian Record W80|
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!|