Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I just added another half marathon to the list I keep in my phone. Of half marathons I've run in.

It's probably a strange list to have in a phone but if I had it on a piece of paper and put the paper somewhere safe I'd probably forget where I put it. Because, yep memory is an issue at my age.  And the whole reason that I want a list of races that I've run is because of my memory. I don't want to forget any of them. Not a single one.

I've done 23 now. Not a huge number in the scheme of things but not a small number either. And, considering number 2 was going to be my last ever, quite a big number really.

 Number 2 was going to be my last because it was awful. Horrible. Painful. Miserable. And disappointing. And it wasn't like I hadn't trained hard for it. I'd done nearly all of the training sessions I'd been set. I'd battled through a case of ITBS and come through. And I'd run a pretty okay-for-a-newbie-runner half a few months before. That one I'd finished in 2:01 and I knew I could run under 2 hours. In fact I was so determined that I put too much pressure on myself and totally fell apart on the morning of the race. Spent a lot of time in the bathroom throwing up and barely made the start line. In fact the thing that got me to the start line was the fact that I'd paid for the race and money was tight back then so I didn't want to waste it. I ran 10k of the race then had to walk most of the rest of the way. Pride and getting the t shirt and medal I'd paid for were the only things that kept me going.

That race is still my PW time - 2:20. And I swore I would never do another. Not under any circumstances. Ever!

Then I joined a running group and it was one of those 'lie with dogs - rise with fleas' kinda things. Spend enough time around people who think that doing a half marathon is a good idea and you end up warming to the idea. So I did another. And another. And another. And now there's 23 entries to my list. 23 times that I've trained for weeks to get to a starting line. 23 times I've had to quash doubts and fears and believe that I can do it. 23 times that I've had to ignore the voices in my head that have told me to stop because it's hard and it hurts. 23 times that I've seen that 21k marker and known that I've done it. I've beaten the Beast-this time anyway. And 23 times that I've felt the elation of finishing and the incredible sense of achievement - which is why I keep on signing up for races.

I have my next half in just a couple of weeks. And then I'm really not certain about the rest of my racing year. I've signed up for Sydney marathon in September but I'm tossing up with dropping back to the half for a couple of reasons. I've got a minor toe issue. A tendinopathy of the
extensor-something-or-other-scientificky-sounding of my big toe. I don't think running's making it worse but it's not making it better and I'm not quite sure how it'll hold up to the stupid long runs ahead.

And then there's the whole sub 1:40 thing that didn't happen at the Gold Coast. I don't think I'll get it in the Brisbane half because it's a hillier course than Gold Coast and I truly suck at hills. Sydney is supposed to be flatter this year and I've run some good times there on the old, slightly hilly course in the past. And then, if I don't hit the time in Sydney there's always Melbourne a month later. And Melbourne is a pretty flat course. I'm not the fastest recoverer from marathons in the world so there's no way I could attempt a pb if I ran the Sydney full.

So I have a quandary. And I'm vacillating on the best option. And I really should decide sooner rather than later. What would you do?


  1. I bet you get it at Brisbane and these questions are moot. You're in really good shape - your last race (still fast) was not as fast as you can go.

    1. This! And the later it gets in the year, the hotter it'll be...

  2. Congratulations on all your half marathons! That is so inspirational.

  3. So you have a good base now maybe you could train for a good half, but think about rather training so you can enough the half. maybe train for it as if it was a marathon (think long runs). Then when you line up you can think: This is so easy I could do it twice! Then set out and ran fast...

  4. I'd listen to Coach Dion. I think he knows what he's talkin bout. P.S. You're my actual hero.

  5. I say follow your heart. I've been chasing a sub-2 half for almost 10 years and have since put it on the back burner this year while my hubby is gone. Maybe next year!

  6. I say wait & see what happens at Brisbane, but if it doesn't go your way, it sounds like you have some good reasons for switching to the half in September.

  7. You are way more than 23 time a legend Char!!!!!! I like Coach Dion's idea & am going to steal it once I get this ITB under control!!!!

  8. You are unreal, so many races. I just got all weak-kneed thinking about Sydney then.

  9. 'And 23 times that I've felt the elation of finishing and the incredible sense of achievement' I get the same feeling at the end of the day taking off a pair of incredibly painful but GORGEOUS shoes so I totes get it.

    I totes don't. You are amazing. I will never understand the lure of the marathon...

  10. Oh... yay you! Just one more you say.... You are a sucker for punishment - or up for a challenge rather!

    Can you decide later on your plan re the timing? Seems too hard to plan so far in advance.

  11. Char, you are amazing! The Goldy was my third half. One day I hope to have a list like yours. Just remember to get in the bathroom line nice and early and pick up your feet and you'll get your 100 min!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you.