Monday, April 16, 2007

Canberra Marathon - A Day of Mixed Emotions!

Time: 4hours 7mins 10secs! :(
Average pace per km: 5:50

5km: 27:02
10km: 54:01
15km: 1:21:50
20km: 1:51
25km: 2:19:20
30km: 2:48:11
35km: 3:20:09
40km: 3:52:08
42.2km: 4:07:10

Well, it's over for another year. I gave it my best shot but something just wasn't right on the day. The atmosphere was great, the support amazing and the CR cheer squad and friends helped tremendously with their enthusiasm and loud cheers of encouragement. It was a warmer than average day with little wind and blue skies. The balloon festival was in full swing and balloons of all shapes and sizes were colourfully floating in the sky. It was really quite a lovely Canberra day.

I kept the 4hour pacing balloon in my sights sometimes even running ahead of the pacer but at the 30km mark I started to lose my pace. Checking my splits after the marathon I see that I was well on target for a sub 4hour prior to 31km but at that stage I lost the pace and slowed considerably finishing slowly and painfully at 4hours 7mins and 10secs. Disappointed? Yes, I definitely am but on the positive side I have now completed 7 Canberra Marathons in a row and only have 3 more to become a Griffin and that after all is my ultimate goal! And I finished it, so next year will be better. My training was erratic - January was disastrous and I had not been 100% for some time so I guess it all adds up to a less-than-perfect run on the day. However, I am happy that I finished, that I met and became re-acquainted with so many wonderful people from the running community, both locally and interstate.

After I ran through the finishing chute I felt less than ordinary. My children and grandchildren were there to meet me as of course was Mr B who had been cycling out there and popping up in all sorts of places on the way. I also saw Ewen and Aki popping up all over the place. They were running in between spots and it was great seeing them and hearing them. Steve was there too with his arms waving and his enthusiastic and encouraging smile. Katy from Queensland was that wonderful colourful character dressed in amazing gear holding up intriguing signs and keeping us all amused. She was such fun and made us laugh which is so important at times like that.

As I struggled to maintain my equilibrium I was led to the steps to sit down and after that I don't remember a lot except I know there were a lot of people helping me. I know speedygeoff lent me his bag for my head and Roy, Emma, Alice and numerous others were helping me. I was carried away to the First Aid Tent on a stretcher and there I was gradually aided to recovery. I don't know quite what happened to me, I know on the way I drank at every drink station yet still felt dehydrated. I had difficulty breathing at the finish and had pins and needles in my feet and hands. When I tried to stand I cramped severely but finally I was able to walk out of the tent with my children and recovered quickly after that. I have so many people to thank for their concern and care - the first aid people, the medical student and doctor in the tent and most importantly all those people who assisted me then and sent me messages and rang me all through yesterday and today. I was overwhelmed by so much kindness and feel quite humbled that there are so many caring people out there.

Big congratulations to those who achieved their goals and PBs, to the first time marathoners and to all those runners who just went out there and did it. Well done! speedygeoff's geese - Maria, Charlie, Griffin, Roger, Emma, CJ and of course speedygeoff himself are legends! Tesso, Liza, iliketoast, Mr Lulu and so many more inspirational runners setting so many PBs - wow!

In the afternoon CJ and I went to the Rydges after party where we met up with lots of the CR community from interstate. It was great to get to know Katy and Mark. They are such lovely and interesting people. We also caught up with Tesso and Jen and of course Ewen and Aki were there too. It was fun. We left in time to quickly go home, collect Mr B and go to Belluci's for dinner with Aki, Ewen, Joseph (from Q'land) and CJ - another great meal with great company although the service was abysmal!

Today I took a recovery day off from work - heaven! In the morning I soaked in a herbal bath and at lunchtime I met up with CJ, Lulu and Mr Lulu (who ran 3hrs 3mins in the marathon) for a two hour lunch at Tossolini's. It has been a lovely marathon weekend.

Oh and one more thing. I left before the medal presentation yesterday and after I left my name was called out as winning the silver medal for my age group in the masters' athletics! Ewen collected it for me and brought it to dinner last night - unreal, considering my slow time!! I believe the gold medal winner in my age group ran the marathon in 3hrs 30mins - quite a time difference!

And way over there in Boston Tuggeranong Don is about to run the marathon of his dreams in freezing wintry conditions possibly in the snow. Don, we are thinking of you in your gloves and beanie and hope so much that you will fulfil your goal and live your dream!


  1. Almost a Griffin - wow. What an achievement Strewth. I didn't realise you were so close!

    I'm sorry to hear that the day didn't turn out as planned but I'm glad to hear you are ok. I'm sorry we didn't get long to chat afterwards but I'm sure I will come up with another excuse to visit Canberra very soon.

    Take care - look after yourself & enjoy your recovery!

  2. The Marathon's not all that easy, despite all the training, and being ready as you'll ever be for the race.

    The support from everyone is the truly amazing part of the event.

  3. Oh Strewth such a beautiful thing you said about me, thank you.

    I have just finished my run and posted a report but I have to say to you that a 4.07 is not a slow time, not in the least. It's an excellent time and one that many runners will never experience. It's a real credit to you that you got through the race in a time like that even though clearly you were not 100%. I was very concerned to hear about how you were feeling after the run. Seems that you are okay now and I very much hope that is the case.

    Congratulations for your silver medal. That is a very special achievement.

  4. Wow, I didn't realise you were in the medical tent after you finished. You must have given it your all. Sometime things are just not explainable. Thanks for the support on Saturday and it was great to have a proper catch up over lunch yesterday. Time for rest and recovery now!

  5. i didn't realise you were knocked flat afterwards either. i'm sorry it wasn't the time you wanted, but you obviously gave it all you had that day. and that's just it... "that day." you know what's in you. perhaps after a few weeks in the boot country, you'll be recharged for the next attempt. 7/10 of the way to griffinhood? that makes you definitely a chick. no egg. i see chick... with just some downy fluff left.

    good finally meeting strewth. you're even cooler in 3-D!

  6. Well done on the silver and it was lovely to see you a few times during my first marathon Ruth. Have a nice, well deserved rest and look after yourself.


  7. OK, hereafter, that 'finishing episode' will be called "doing a Strewth" :)

    4:07 is good! You're quick enough for 3:55 on the right day. Just need to dump your slow training partners and start chasing CJ and Steve.

    Thanks for dinner Sunday night. Nice ear-rings :) I won't tell everybody you were yawning ;)

  8. Wish I could achive sometime in my life what you are doing, but I don't think so, you are too big!

    What being a griffin will give you, well besides the joy of being among that have achived so many marathons in a row!

    Congratulations, you made it great!

  9. Awesome stuff - Griffin in the making. Got your message. Quite making fun of me. Good to hang out with you this weekend. :)

    And now we know Liza is anonymous! Aha, the plot got thicker...

  10. Strewth, so sorry to read how poorly you felt after the marathon! Like me, you've had some ups & downs during the year but your time, nevertheless, was fantastic! Good girl!

    I hope you rest up well & long. Take good care of yourself now.

  11. Congrats on a great run and on getting the bling!!!

    4:07 is a terrific time. I know loads of runners, men and women, who are younger than you who would kill for a time like that. And speaking of younger than you I still have trouble believing you are old enough to have grandchildren - you sure do not look it! Those kids have got the coolest fittest grandma in the ACT :-)

  12. it was such a pleasure to meet you .... you are well on the way to becoming griffin ... sometimes i believe it is not about the time and the effort you put in was courageous and something to proud of