Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Canberra Marathon Number 14

After a rather traumatic few days another Canberra Marathon has come and gone. Last Wednesday night our little 12 year old granddaughter was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This was a very scary experience for everybody but she was finally sent home last night after almost a week. Now the tough times will really begin with a steep learning curve of management.
However on Sunday it was time to focus on the marathon although this little princess was on my mind every step of the way.
It was difficult to struggle out of bed at 4am on Sunday to prepare for a 6.25am very chilly start but the conditions were perfect for my 14th Canberra marathon and my 4th one running as a Griffin. The atmosphere was wonderful with positive vibes and excited voices everywhere. Although I had my ipod shuffle attached I think I only had the music turned on for about 10km of the 42.195km run. There were runners to chat to and spectators, supporters and volunteers to keep me motivated. In fact I really enjoyed my morning.
This marathon course is challenging to say the least. It is much hillier than the previous course but incorporates lots of lovely Canberra icons and there were even hot air balloons floating overhead at one point. Griffin Thommo, who had already run in the Anzac Ultra during the week, was running with his first time marathoner brother and kept stopping to take photos on the way and kept me entertained.  I was well ahead of the 4:30 pacer for two thirds of the way and then somehow both the pacers crept past me and I realised my finishing goal time was slipping away. For the last 10km my left hamstring was very painful and it probably slowed me down somewhat but I was so happy to have Mr B and Richard out there on their bikes supporting me and appearing at different spots just when I needed encouragement. As I approached Yarralumla speedygeoff appeared and ran with me for several kilometres and Ewen was there running ahead and taking photos too. Just as I headed towards Weston Park there was Jen with all her children cheering me on! It was so exciting having friends popping up all over the place.
I have to say that the volunteers did an amazing job and everything went smoothly. Thank you to Margaret, Gwen and Ron who were helping at Black Mountain peninsular and Kathy at about the 27km mark.  The course may be undulating and challenging but it is also pretty and interesting. In the last few kilometres I was delighted to see Janene encouraging me in to the finish and giving me a little spurt of energy to get me over the line, sore, tired and very happy. It was a good day. The sun appeared through the clouds after the run had finished - such good timing.
Later I indulged in the best post marathon breakfast ever and a relaxing radox bubble bath - bliss!
The official results say that I came 5th in my W60-69 age group out of 17 in a time of 4:36:14 which is, I believe, my slowest Canberra Marathon time yet but all that really matters is that I finished and I'm still smiling! Thank you to all my wonderful friends for your support and most especially to my greatest supporter of all, the very patient Mr B.


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Back to Jogalong on Easter Sunday

With only a week to go until the Canberra Marathon I am now in taper mode. However, this morning, on Easter Sunday and with no more daylight saving, I had a text from friend Margaret suggesting we run the jogalong at Weston Park today. I haven't done this run for several years. It's a women's and girls' handicapped 6km run held on the first Sunday of each month and it was such fun to meet up with lots of running buddies, some of whom have been running this event for many, many years. Way back in the 90's I ran over 50 of these runs and even had a t-shirt to prove it but somehow other events got in the way, the course moved location several times and I just never returned. I had forgotten what a great well-organised run this is and will return to do it again, possibly next month.
I ran off from the same handicap as Margaret, Group 27 and interestingly finished in 27th place in a time of 35minutes 49seconds. In 2003 I ran the 6km in 31minutes on a different course and probably a more difficult one. I realise 12 years later I have slowed down considerably!
Since my last post I have also run the Weston Creek Half Marathon and managed to better my last year's time by 2 minutes. My time was still a slow 2hours 9 minutes but I felt comfortable and happy for the majority of the run although my left hamstring still twinged at times as it did again today. I just hope I can get through the marathon without mishap!
My last long run was the week after the half and track season has now finished too. This Easter weekend has been full of lovely family activities and tomorrow Mr B and I are taking two of our grandchildren to the folk festival held annually over Easter in Canberra. This is somewhere else we haven't been for many years. Nothing like a few different activities to keep life interesting!

Now for countdown - seven more sleeps! It never gets easier!

 Our 8 year old grandson running a PB at Parkrun with his dad