Another 36k-er ticked off the list. Yes, I'm tired and sore but I'm really happy it's done. It was beautiful weather this morning - warm enough to run with just a singlet but without the humidity of last weekend. I would almost go so far as to say that it was perfect running weather.
We set off along the river and I found myself right at the front of the pack - strange because I wasn't wanting to run fast at all but obviously no one else wanted to either.
I ended up running next to Fiona, one of the amazing runners from our group who will be running the Melbourne Marathon. She was doing 36k's as well which was great for me because I was going to have company for this run!!
It's amazing how quickly the k's tick over when you've got pleasant company and good conversation. Before I knew it we were at New Farm Park and we'd done 10k. We hit the toilets here then we continued on. Every couple of weeks there's a big farmer's markets at the park and we had to wend our way through lots of shoppers, fruit stalls and coffee vans.
Just a little way on I started to get an urge - a bad I-need-to-go-to-the-toilet urge. Fiona reassured me that there were toilets at the next park but, as the minutes ticked over, I realised that the next park wasn't close enough. Luckily there was a service station handy and, even luckier, the attendant was happy to trust me with the key. Score!
We ran out till my watch beeped for 18k then turned around. I checked my Garmin a couple of times when it beeped and found I was running way faster than last week. Most of my k's were in the 5:teens and 5:20s. It felt good but made me a bit worried that the last stretch would really hurt. We got to 30 and all of a sudden I felt like I was running in mud. My legs had tightened up and didn't really want to move. I told Fiona to keep going but she (kind soul) stuck with me and pulled me through till there was only 2k left. I finished the run in 3:17:05 - over 10 mins faster than last week.
I can tell my fitness has improved and I'm excited by it. I was so scared at the beginning of this journey that I would end up in a pathetic pile of over-trained mush but Coach Chris and I have been smart and communicated well and my body has held up remarkably. A big thank you to all you bloggy marathoners who have shared advice and wisdom. I've taken it all on board.
So next weekend I'll be running the Sydney Half. 21 k is going to seem so easy after the last few weeks. And after Sydney it's just a couple of weeks till my Melbourne debut. It's coming up fast!