Monday, October 10, 2011
Melbourne - The Race Part.
It's all done! Melbourne is over for another year. Sad face!!
It's hard to be home after such a fun weekend. I had such a good time and such a great travel companion. We're both so tired but it was worth every second.
We left on Saturday early. But the weather wasn't cooperating - a big storm cell over the airport shut down all flights for a few hours (could have slept in). Finally it cleared and we were on our way. The flight was totally uneventful and we touched down in Melbourne unscathed. (One day I'll tell the story of what a bad flyer I've been in the past. It involves high drama - vomiting, calls to the airport medic, wheelchair rides and an upgrade to business class)
The plan was to drop our stuff off at the motel and head off to the Queen Victoria Markets but it was so late by the time we got to the motel that there was no point in heading there. We went into the city instead, ate some lunch then walked to the race precinct to check it out and to work out where the GaleForce cheer squad would be. Then it was back to the motel to change and get ready for the night's entertainment - the soccer/football match Sam and I had been looking forward to. It was a good match but it was funny being at a match that you're not emotionally invested in and don't care how it turns out. And as it turned out it was a nil all draw.
We got a fairly good night sleep. I did my usual wake up three or four times after unsettling dreams but I managed to drop off again every time I woke. And then it was finally time to get ready. We were ready and out the door in time, walked up the street and ran into half the squad. We walked to the course and cheered on our marathoners then headed off to drop our bags with the cheer squad. And miracle of miracles we found a bank of portaloos on the way that were totally empty and CLEAN.
I was heading into the race with zero expectations and no goals except to finish. What a load that takes off my shoulders. I had no nerves. I was relaxed and happy on the start line and totally in my element surrounded by squad friends. One of the girls had been sick during the week and she asked how fast I'd be running. When I told her around 5:30s till my hip seized up she decided to run with me.
The hooter went off and so did we. My hip was not playing nice. I don't think the flight down followed by lots of walking then more sitting were the best lead up. It took 3k to settle to a dull ache. The first k was slow (around 5:40) but we settled into the 5:30 and a bit less after we found some space. I was having serious doubts about my ability to finish early on and it really took me until 8k to feel confident. I took a couple of my honey shotz around the 8k mark and they made me feel good.
My friend was travelling pretty well, or so I thought - by 10k she was lagging behind me. slowed a little for her to catch up and it was here that she asked me to encourage her cause she was feeling pretty awful. Stupid flu! I had no time goal so I hung with her. And for the next 7k we mostly stuck close. I'd get a bit ahead then wait for her to catch me. She was looking pale and I could tell she was hurting. But she was pushing on regardless.
Then at 17k the marathoners started to come through our group. We were being yelled out to stick to the right, then to the left then back to the right. And in all this confusion I lost my friend. I slowed down and looked back as best I could but I can't look back and run in a straight line. I couldn't see her anywhere. So I decided I just had to finish alone. A couple of the k's had blown out to nearly 6 mins but I was soon back on track with my pace. My hip was sore but bearable but my hip flexors had really tightened because I'd been running at a pace I wasn't comfortable with. The last 4k weren't fun but somewhere in there I managed a 5:04. I finally hit the stretch that Sam and I had walked the day before and then there was the cheer squad making a hell of a noise. Loved the support! And then it was up a bit of a slope, around a corner then the finish straight. I stopped my watch at 1:57:50, still feeling a bit guilty about losing my friend and wondering how she was doing.
I met up with Sam where we'd organised to meet and he's done a fantastic run. His watch had died at the beginning of the race (turns out plugging it into the computer doesn't recharge it. You have to plug it into the power supply for that to happen) On the big clock he'd crossed at 1:48-ish so we guessed that he'd run about 1:46. His official time was 1:46:06. Not bad for a boy who's never run that far in his life. I was one proud Mum! And you can see from the pic that he was pretty pleased with himself. Or maybe he was smiling so big because our breakfast had just arrived.
That wasn't all for Melbourne - but I'll leave the holiday part for the next post.