Sydney is done and dusted! Josh and I are sitting at the airport, bone-weary and ready to be home. How did the race go? I'll have to start at the very beginning ...
The beginning was about a year ago when I did this very same race. I was trying to break my PR but only managed in breaking me! I had the most miserable race that I've ever experienced. From 15k on I just wanted to die. So I was a little bit nervous about the race. I knew I could do the distance but I didn't want to feel BAD again. I also wanted it to be a great experience for Josh - something positive and good for his self-confidence.
We flew out early on Sat. and were able to book into our hotel straight away. Then we headed out to the expo to pick up our race numbers. Having done that we decided to have a wander so Josh could look at the harbor. We went back to the hotel and had a nap and hung out till it was time for dinner. Coach Chris had organized a booking for all the squad members who wanted to attend. There ended up being six of us eating and laughing and tying up the table longer than we should have. Then it was back to the hotel for an attempt at a good night's sleep.
My sleep was restless but 4:30am finally came around and we could get ready. We were out the door by 5:00 for the quick walk to the train station where we met Lucy (a squad member) Sydney lets all runners use public transport free on race-day which makes life so easy. Josh and I were wearing some really old jumpers which we left at the start and were collected for charity. It was a really well-organized starting area and Josh and I spent our time amusing ourselves by photo-bombing unsuspecting groups.
Soon enough it was start time. The gun went off and we waited ... And waited... And six minutes after the gun we were finally across the start. Josh's plan was to run with me to stop himself going too hard. I didn't really have a plan apart from finishing. We were running pretty freely right from the start - up the hill and onto Sydney Harbour Bridge. My watch went off after one k and we were sub 5 mins. Oops! I had intended to be cautious and moderate. But that was hard with Josh bouncing along at my side. He was finding the pace too comfortable!
The k's ticked over and we were hovering around the 5min per k mark - mostly under rather than over. I was feeling okay but the scared voice in the back of my head kept reminding me about last year and I started to freak out a little. I encouraged Josh to gp ahead - he was running so well - and finally at 11k he listened and took off. It was quite freeing to just be able to do my own thing. I was still feeling pretty good so my pace didn't slow very much. The k's ticked over and I found myself at the 15k mark - my horror spot from last year. This year, though, no problem! I cruised through and was heading back towards the harbor bridge and the Opera House. The last couple of k were hard but not unbearable and I stopped my watch at 1:47:39.
I caught up with Josh in the recovery area. He had no idea about his time but we found out later that he came in at 1:43:20. Pretty awesome for a first attempt especially when he's only trained once or twice a week and his longest run was only 17k. I was sooo proud of him!
The rest of the day was spent wandering around Taronga Zoo - probably not the best way to recover but lots of fun!
Yesterday was one of those special mother/son days which we'll both remember forever. I'm so lucky that I got the chance to have such qulity time with my #2