I ran the half marathon. My body hurts in 58 different places but I did it. I actually stood on the start line this morning with no confidence in my ability to run 21 kms – just wanting it all to be over. We finally got started and it hurt. After about 2 kms, I realised that I could do it. I mean there was only another 19 kms to go.
My mate Tim was waiting around the 5 km mark with Powerade and supplies. I had a drink and put a gel in my bra for later, then moved on. Another km down the road I saw the awesome cheersquad of Jo, Sara and Alison – then went around Albert Park to see Tim again.
I’d been worried cos there was a 80 minute cutoff at the 11 km mark, but made it easy. It was a real confidence booster to reach that 11 km point and realise I’d made it more than halfway (bummer that the drink station before it had run out of water though). Running along the beach got a bit stifling – I thought there would be a nice cool breeze but no. Since when is there no breeze at St Kilda beach?
Got to Fitzroy St and realised I was in far from the worst state I’d ever been along Fitzroy St (not that that’s saying much – I think most of the drunken debauchery of my life happened on that street!). Started feeling a bit fatigued as I reached the top of the street – I didn’t even realise there was a hill before today – but then it dawned on me that I had to pass the awesome cheersquad again, and I couldn’t do that NOT running.
I thought running back along St Kilda Rd would be the worst part of the run – I used to work on St Kilda Rd and, in my mind, it’s about 20 kms long (really it’s about 3-4 kms) because I spent so long stuck on trams for hours getting to and from work. But it wasn’t so bad, knowing I’d almost finished. I met up with Tim again and stopped to have some more Powerade and chat (yeah… I stopped to chat in the middle of the run…). Bad move – I shouldn’t have stopped running altogether because it hurt to start again. It hurt a lot.
When we got to bridge (can’t remember the name of it – the bridge near the MCG), there was a real bottleneck. The vols kept telling people to keep to the right but lots of people didn’t listen. I wanted to pass people but was very aware that some of the finishers for the marathon would be coming through.
Got to the G and saw Em on the side, cheering after her 10 km run. Man, it’s a long way around the G… it seemed like the longest part of the run. Finally got through the gate and onto the ground. Heaps of people walking to the finish, so I had to duck and weave around them. Arrrggghhh, people with prams walking 2-3 abreast. There was a big inflated yellow thing and I thought that was the finish line so used all my energy getting to that only to find the finish line a bit further on!
I didn’t even check my time when I finished. I went down and got my goodie bag and picked up my stuff. Ha, I’m a bad influence. I think I talked two of the volunteers at the bag pickup to actually run next year 😀
Afterwards, I’d like to have stayed around and watch people finishing the marathon but my friends wanted to go get coffee so we went off. Everywhere was packed and Simon and I could hardly walk. Finally got in to Arcadia in Gertrude St. I used to go there when it was cool and grungey. Now it’s renovated and crap.
When I finished my coffee, we went back out to Gertrude St and I saw the tram coming. Here’s a hint: when you’ve run 21 kms then sat down, DON’T try to sprint for your tram. I think my screams shattered eardrums three suburbs away.
Wowsers – my time’s up on the site already. I did it in just under 2 hours 26 minutes. I’m happy with that – I thought about 2 and a half hours. Simon wanted to go under 2 hours and he did 1.45. I just rang to tell him how impressed I am!