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.


  1. Big congrats to you both! Sounds like quite a trip.

    You were a doll to stick with your friend as long as you did - I think we have all been there and now how much it helps to have someone by your side when struggling.

  2. That's crazy the group was yelling at you every which way and you lost your friend. Sounds like you had a great time anyway...except for that annoying hip!! ugh. Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip! :)

  3. Congrats...and I know what you mean about the calmness that comes from not having a specific goal. That "just going out to have fun" feeling is so nice! What a great trip for you two. Excited to hear more.

  4. Congratulations to both of you - well done!

  5. Congrats to both the runners. Well done. I am sure that the new half-marathoner very soon will become a marathoner (with a mom like you and your advices it will be easy).
    Don't worry for your friend, it can happen in a crowded race.

  6. I always love reading your posts because besides being a great runner, you use terms that I don't know ... what's a "hooter"? Also, I love that you get to run races in Melbourne! All my races are in small cow-towns like Wichita and Kansas City! Congrats on the race ... I love the detailed report.

  7. Well done to Sam - what a great time! Hope you enjoyed the race and the trip.

  8. Great run by both of you, congratulations! Sorry to hear the hip is still a problem. Sounds like a fantastic weekend with lots of quality time.

  9. Sub two, you helped out a friend and Sam did great! The trifecta - congratulations!

  10. Congratulations! Yeah for your son. Happy memories for you both.

  11. Congrats to you and Sam! Glad the hip cooperated enough for a strong finish.

  12. Irene is the Hurricane that destroyed Vermont.

  13. Beautiful and well detailed report!
    Congrats to both runners on the half marathon!
    The photo shows that he was really happy: 1 hour and 46 minutes is a great time considering his first 21 km race. You can really be a proud MOM :)


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