July 03, 2007

GC reflections

My pacing was better than in Canberra in April. Until 29km, my fastest km split was 4:16.7 and the slowest was 4:33.7, though most were very close to my goal pace of 4:25. I felt OK. I'd been struggling with a sore throat in the week before the race but managed to avoid getting sick.

The 29th km, I ran 4:13.7, which was a bit fast. Then at 30km I had to stop to look for a bottle I had put on the special needs table and couldn't immediately find it. My left leg was getting very sore in a way that made me feel I could cramp or injure it if I wasn't careful. At 37km, I ran 5:07.3 for a km, the first one over 5 mins. All I could do was try not to walk and try to maintain a jog. My final 1.2 km was done in 6:19.2. Usually one finds an amazing amount of spare energy at the sight of a finish line and speeds up.

So perhaps I was wearing too light a shoe for the hard and pancake-flat course. Perhaps it was too soon after the previous marathon. Perhaps it was not feeling 100% health-wise in the week before the race.

It is all part of the experience and it makes you realise not to take any good races and/or PBs for granted. I needed a lot of willpower to keep running when it was so tempting to start walking. I still managed to finish in 3:15, which is a fabulous time, just not the one I had in mind.

May 26, 2007

Simply try

Memories of my first run that started my life as runner are still very fresh. I remember leaving my Brussels apartment and running to the nearby Centennial Park and turning around by the time I got to the gates as the five-minute run had been enough already.

I have made all the typical runner mistakes; doing too much too soon (ie not following a program), not getting regular treatments, not getting the right shoes, not hydrating or eating properly (though that only becomes an issue once you run past an hour) etc. But through all that I'd like to think I have learnt from those, often repeated, mistakes.

People sometimes tell me that I am so disciplined to follow my training program to the letter, often running by myself. I don't feel particularly `disciplined'. I love running, the time it gives you to think or just let your mind wander, the way it allows you to look around your neighbourhood in a different way or explore new parts of a city you think you know quite well. And when I do run with other people, usually on the longer runs, it is such a great way to chat and catch up.

I love the process of getting fitter and I love the aim of improving my times. Perhaps not even for the times themselves, though they are important, but to me they mean that I am reaping rewards for challenging myself. Yes, it hurts to push yourself in speed workouts and in races but you are in control of that and few things are so rewarding as knowing that you gave it your all. I often have to think of Alberto Salazar's comment "You will run your best races at a pace you can barely sustain''.

I love running as it has proven to me over the past 11 years that I am capable of more if I simply try.

April 15, 2007

New PB!

Margreet shattered her PB and also broke through the 3.10 mark at today's Canberra Marathon.

She ran yet another very consistently paced race, completing the first half in 1:33:04 and the second half in 1:35:44.

That gave her a finishing time of 3:08:48 .. smashing her previous PB of 3:13:01 set at the Gold Coast Marathon in July 2006.