The Canberra Marathon has become a very significant part of my life. The marathon weekend is a special time. Not only is it the culmination of a lot of hard work but the beginning of a new season of Australian distance running..... well for me it is because their always seems to be so many events to choose from after Canberra.
This was my third year in Canberra and and once again I came home uplifted and elated, not only from having completed a marathon but also from catching up with, and spending time with so many wonderful friends. This is something I would never have experienced without running.
My real journey to Canberra 2007 began back on 9th January when I began Susan Hobson's marathon training program. That was a fairly daunting commitment for me. I am glad to say that, except for the last couple of weeks when the Flu took hold of me, I stuck to it like glue. Thank you Susan. What a difference it made to running a marathon. Sure the sickness towards the end knocked my confidence around, as my blog testifies, but I have to say that on the day I felt much stronger and better prepared than I ever have before.
There was something else I did which I haven't done before. On the Friday before race day I logged onto CoolRunning and was looking at the Canberra Marathon - Sub 3:30 Hr Bus (first Time) topic. Brick had posted a posted a 5K split plan to achieve a 3:20 marathon time (post # 61). I thought it was just what I needed, not having used something like that before. I copied and pasted in Word, printed it off, calculated the average pace for each 5 K split and wrote them down against each of the split times. I stuck this to a piece of cardboard wrapped it in sticky tape to protect it then tied it to my Garmin with a zip tie. You wouldn't believe how much doing this little exercise helped my confidence for the race.
I was able to use this plan to great benefit in my race and unbeknown to me someone else's race as well. This I found out after the race from another elated runner. Here is the story in his own words from the Canberra Marathon 2007 topic on CoolRunning (post # 224) :
At the start line I had a problem with my HR Monitor not starting the stop watch properly, it only starts the stop watch if it can get a HR reading and I had not wet the contacts (silly mistake) so i had no choice than to just run on a steady pace.Got to the 5KM marker and asked a person next to me what the race time was and he said 24:10 so spot on my target.This prson had a CR cap on so talked to him for a bit it was speedygeoff as we talked another CR cap ran past I ask who is that he said that is Eddie he is targetting 3:20 so I siad see ya and started after Eddie I nevr caught him but could see him for most of the race.
Thanks Eddie, I know I mention this yesterday to you but it was great.
Eddie was sitting on the exact splits I had set I only found after the race he had used the splits I posted last week.
How good is that! Thank YOU Brick.
I hit the Half point right on plan and was very pleased. I continued to be amazed at how good I felt through the whole race. At the 35K mark I was ahead of the plan by at least 2 minutes and began not to pay too much heed to it as I felt good and thought I would make the most of the feeling. If I was going to hit the wall further on, then so be it. It didn't happen, there was no wall. When I finally turned the corner into the home straight and saw the clock I mad a dash for the line and cracked the 3:15 to record a 3:14:55 marathon.
All the rest of the day I had to keep massaging my face muscles because they were aching from grinning so much.
No matter what difference it may have made to my time, I am glad I took time out to give Clairie a hug. I also stopped and gave a hug to my friend Barb Williams, one of my running buddies from Brisbane who now lives in Canberra.
I owe a great deal to my running buddy, Tegwen Howell, who kept me honest in the long training runs. Tegwen recorded a PB in the Marathon at 3:28:54 (from 3:30:00, Toowoomba 2006) and went of to complete 50K in 4:14:33. Congratulations Tegwen. I am so proud of you.
Thank you again to everyone who gave me so much encouragement and support in my journey to a new marathon PB. An unforgettable experience.