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!


  1. Amazing achievement! I can imagine the stress - I remember Melbourne a few years back. Still, you did it, and did it well. 5 hours 26 minutes, and a Boston Qualifier. Wow!

  2. Norma, congrats a wonderful achievement - I really hope this means Boston for you. PLu

  3. Another record ? You're just showing off now :)

    Great race report and a thoroughly deserved result. But I'm not at all surprised that you got in well inside 5.5 hours - you were looking so strong and comfortable during the race.

  4. LL you're MY hero.

    Just think, in twenty years time the running boom will be in the 80+ category and then EVERYONE will be running at the back of the pack!

  5. Congratulations on that fantastic record.

    Your thoughts about back of the pack of runners was very insightful. I experienced a few races (not marathons though) at the start of this year where I was at the back of the pack and I agree it is very different place.

  6. Wow. wow. wow. wow. wow.

    You are incredible LL; getting better & better with age.

    Boston baby! xx

  7. LL, what can I say! You are beautiful and I love you, and what you do, so much. I know well the sometimes loneliness of the back of the pack. But I also know the extra special cheers and that wonderful sense of victory.

    As a good friend of mine would say: "you are a bad arsed rock star girlfriend".

  8. Great run Norma. Champion effort. You needed to be under 5:30:59 to qualify for the big show. So you are in nest April. Congrats.