Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running as a Griffin

My 11th Canberra Marathon is now done and dusted. Some of my run was not pretty, some was painful and all of it was slow but I finished still upright! Since Sunday I have been struggling with a cold and a very sore throat. The only running I have been doing, until tonight, has been running around at the oval with Teddy and my grandchildren who are on school holidays this week.

However tonight I returned to speedygeese training which is now held on Thursdays in non-track season, at Parliament House. It was wonderful. I think I must have been suffering withdrawal symptoms without realising it. I had been feeling sore and a bit down and the minute I started the warm up with the speedygeese I could feel the endorphins set in and although we got caught in the pouring rain during the hill repeats and the session was stopped early after only 5km I felt absolutely fantastic afterwards - dripping wet from the rain but on a real high! There were three new people tonight and they were all lovely. What a difference a run makes.  I'm ready to return to training for the half in May now.

Back to the marathon, this was the first year that Mr B had not been out there supporting me at the marathon. Instead he was competing in an Olympic distance triathlon in Sydney on the same day in preparation for the half ironman in Busselton, WA in May. He did really well too. However, my daughter and her new fiance, who live in Sydney, came to stay and it was great to see them out there cheering me on.

The support during the marathon was amazing. There was a field of 3,300 runners in the half and full marathon which started at the same time. The volunteers were fantastic too and so many people knew my name and cheered me on, keeping me going when I was struggling, which seemed to happen often this year. Then there were my buddies who helped me get through the training and the day, some running with me in training, some just encouraging me and cheering me on during the long run. Cathy M was out there and even ran 3km with me in the early stages which was lovely. It was also fantastic to see Ewen pop up in different places, camera in hand. I haven't seen those photos yet speedyewen! Nadine came running in from the side to give me jellybeans before one of those short sharp hills.

The weather was beautiful although the sun felt almost too hot as the hours went by. The marathon started at 7am which meant a 4.40am wake up for me except I was already awake when the alarm went off. In fact I managed a grand total of 3 hours sleep as I tossed and turned for the majority of the night with my brain working overtime and all sorts of weird thoughts buzzing round in my head.
I was therefore feeling a little bit drained before a refreshing wake up shower and some toast and honey for breakfast.

I found CJ in the toilet queue before the marathon. She was running the half and it was good to be able to start beside her as the starter gun went off. I listened to some very strange music which my daughter in law had downloaded for me with the help of Miss Nine. There seemed to be a few LPS or Littlest Pet Shop vocals coming through! In fact I did everything one is advised not to do on this run. I ran with music I had never heard before, new shorts and the Griffin singlet which I had received the day before with no time to run in it.

I was so proud to run in my Griffin singlet after waiting over twelve months to receive it. It's a very cute little light grey singlet and we also were given a lovely blue non-running t-shirt. Evidence at last that I have run ten Canberra marathons - eleven now!

The first 10km of the marathon felt ok and I ran it in just under 60mins but it was all downhill (metaphorically speaking) from there. I have no idea why although I do wonder now if I already had a cold bug lurking. My hamstring really hurt and I just felt sluggish. At the 28km mark I really wondered if I was going to make it. I have never felt this bad running a marathon before. I even walked through the drink stations and struggled to run.

That last km felt like it was going on forever. My quads were sending out shooting pains (that was new) and I kept saying to myself, "keep running, don't walk" - it was the hardest finish ever. BUT I finished, I ran it and I have never been so glad to run over a finish line. Eleven Canberra Marathons done!

My son and my daughter were there to meet me and I received a lovely greeting from Mrs speedygeoff. Speedygeoff finished his first 50km ultra in a great time and was stretching after his brilliant run.

After a wonderful hot shower I joined my family and a few close running buddies for lunch in Kingston and my favourite coffee - a great way to relax after a long long morning!

Distance: 42.195km (Garmin said 42.73km!)
Time taken: 4hrs 29:51 (my slowest yet)
Average pace per km: 6:24 (Garmin said 6:19)
Calories burned: 2325

Running in my Griffin singlet

During the marathon with the sun still low in the sky

The afternoon before with some interstate and local running friends


  1. Congrats for another marathon under your belt.
    But I knew because I stalked you by the web site.

    1. Thank you Stefano - very flattered to be stalked:)

  2. Great effort to get thru the run and finish. Plenty of determination there. Check your km rate before Ewen says something, me thinks a 6 should be there instead of a 4, although at 4 pace, that would be wonderful.

    1. Thanks for the pick up - you are so right. 4min km pace would be awesome indeed!

  3. Truly inspirational Ruth :-)! It sounds like it was really tough going and you stuck with it. I wish I had half of your tenacity! xoxo

    1. Thank you sweet Janene - yes, it was tough but I'm ready to face the next challenge now! xx

  4. The next challenge will be not to get lost on the run tomorrow ;) Or on the way to coffee!

    I think there was only one photo that turned out - I'll email it to you tomorrow.

  5. At last, your report! You certainly hide that you were struggling, Strewth. In some photos I've seen, you were dancing along the road! Very pleased you enjoyed starting training again...seems inevitable to feel a little down after such an effort. Well done....take it easy now!