I am not a marathon runner. I like the long slow trails of a 100 miler. So when it came to figuring out what pace to run at the Canberra marathon on Sunday i had no idea. I looked at my PB set on the flatter course of the Gold Coast 3 years ago and looked at some of my race times back then and made a guess. i am about 4kg heavier now and Canberra is a hillier course so I was a bit worried it was all going to end in disaster.
Well I told myself I would just work it out on the day but in my head I really wanted a 3:15.
The day came and I went for it. I ran out way too fast had no idea where the 3:15 pacer was and did not have a watch on so I was just running out of control. Then the 3:15 guys caught me and I just hung on. 7km I felt out of my league but was just too stubborn to let go. 14km I started to feel good and was happy with the pace. 26km the pacer moved away but I still felt in control and would not be overly upset with a 3:16. 28km started to tire but knew there was something left in the tank. I just looked for someone running at the pace I wanted and hung on. It was good to just use their shoes as a focal point and try to keep my form. In my head I was hoping to get through the 35km mark ok and if possible dig deep at the 38km mark and push hard for home. 35km passed and then at the 38km mark I saw the 3:15 guys about 400m away. It was time to find everything left in me and drive for the finish line. I told myself "you have suffered for this long and if you push yourself for just a little longer you will get a PB. If you go soft now you will be cranky with yourself for many months to come. So suck it up princess and get running!" It was tough and it was a long 4km but as I hit that final stretch and could see 3:15 still on the clock it all felt so good. Net time 3:15:29.
I felt tired, very sore and a bit emotional so I disappeared into the hall for a bit and just sat there giving my body and mind a moment to let all the pain and suffering go. Then it was time to get out there to enjoy and watch the other runners cross the line.
I really liked running the marathon. It is so different from slow beauty of a long trail ultra but I can see the appeal. The Gold Coast Marathon is 12 weeks away I wonder if I can run any faster?