14 April, 2008

Canberra Marathon 2008

It's hard to believe it is over. I flew down to Canberra on Saturday morning with Tesso, Iliketoast, Ihatetoast, Matt and Pretty Ellie. Tesso and I arrived in Canberra to find that Qantas had kindly left our bags in Brisbane. This caused some stress as you can imagine. Fortunately I have had the practice, that when flying to marathons, of carrying my running gear in my carry-on luggage. However, stuff like my Garmin, sunscreen, anti-chaffing cream etc., were in my bag. Tesseo had the same problem. During the day we gathered together what we could in case our bag didn't show up. When we came back from dinner the bags were in our rooms. What a relief!

Sunday morning, and the the weather was absolutely dismal. It was threatening rain and was quite cold. About 20 minutes into the race the rain started coming down very steadily and continued for about another hour or more.

I guess, though I hadn't really put in the work for a PB, I did harbour a desire to perhaps create an new one yesterday. My PB hopes were seriously set back when I was overtaken by the 3:15 pacer at abut the 2K mark. I was a bit thrown by that and never managed to catch him, though I saw him and his ever dwindling group as I approached the turn-arounds and as they departed. I certainly did not feel as good this year as I did last year in the various stages of the race. I think the cold and rain caused me to find it a bit hard going and I didn't feel relaxed. I passed the Half mark on 1:38 and was happy enough with that. I knew I was only halfway through and there was still a whole 21.1 Ks to go and anything could happen. I was inspired by Lucky Legs along the way and felt ashamed of any negative thoughts and decided to make the most of what I had left in me. At about 32K my legs were tiring quickly and feeling heavy but I knew from experience that it was possible to get through that stage and make some recovery. This did happen to a degree and I kept going fairly well until the 40K mark where it became a real mental battle to overcome the quickly fading capacity to keep going. Thanks to CR Tim, who was running with me at this stage, I was able to find the resolve to keep up a reasonable pace. I finished the second half in 1:37:28, a negative split. My official net time was 3:15:28 (gun time 3:15:38). This was 33 seconds outside my PB. I was very happy with the result.

My running buddy, Tegwen, came home in 3:28:28. She had planned to do the 50K but the cold and rainy conditions caused her some respiratory and feet problems and she wisely decided not to continue on.

Thanks to all of my regular Blog readers and commenters, for all your encouragement and support. It really does make a difference. It was good to catch up with Ewen, Robert Song, Superflake, Lucky Legs and Horrie and Belinda and Tim, Johnny Dark, and Eagle in Canberra. Iliketoast and Ihatetoast put in an awesome effort on the cheering front. Terrific work! As usual Tesso, Queen of Telopea, was in residence over the weekend and made the stay very pleasant.

06 April, 2008

One Week Out

Only one week until the Canberra marathon. I have been cutting back on the K's and and taking it easy. We only did about 16 this morning and at about 5:15 pace. I had a few niggles through the week. A sore right calf gave me a scare but I slapped on some Voltaren gel and it seems to have done the trick. I am feeling good and looking forward to being in Canberra. it wil be good to catch up with many running friends. I enjoy watching and cheering the 10K on Saturday afternoon.

I hope it won't be too cold at the start of the marathon. Since I am staying at the Telopea Inn I will try and stay in my room as long as possible. The trouble is though, I like to be out where the people are so I can soak up the incredible pre-race atmosphere. It is facinating to watch the different ways in which runners act in those 15 to 20 minutes before the start.