Does it take your breath away?
Then don’t do it.
Go make yourself a goal so big that you can’t imagine achieving it. Like running onto the MCG…
Then go about making it happen.
In it’s most simplistic form, yes, it really is that easy. You just have to have a goal, then you make a plan. That really is the easy part. Then you put the plan into practice. Then you stick to it the best you can. Let’s face it, nothing about that is easy.
But what is it that is worth having that is easy? Child birth wasn’t easy, yet I have the most amazing gift from that. I can’t remember a single easy thing to accomplish that has bought me to where I am today.
Oh, that’s right, marathon… You are probably wondering how I went.
I loved every minute of my first marathon. Yep, even the minutes (let’s say hours) that really fucking hurt. Yep. I loved them. When it was really really hard, I thought about all of my family and friends that would be watching my live feed on runkeeper, and there was no way that I was ever going to stop. I thought about the trash talk from my work buddies, about how it was going to feel to hug my daughter at the end, my good friend spending the weekend in the hospital and what it was going to be like to call myself a marathon runner.
Yea, it has been written on my bathroom mirror for ages… Marathon Runner. That’s me.
Well, it was going to be me. When I finished the bloody race. So I ran. The start of the race was really great. I was super impressed with myself, I felt reasonably calm and under control. I hugged my daughter alot and then ‘seeded’ myself where I thought that I needed to be.
I must admit, there was a nice wide chute and I had left myself plenty of time to be where I wanted to be. Perfect start. I smashed my gel and before I could put my phone in my belt we were surging forward… I think I remember Steve Monaghetti talking….
We were off. Wohahwoweeeeeeee! I ran up Batman Ave smiling my friggen arse off! It was so, so, so cool!!! Runners often talk about finding their stride in the first km or so… I just grinned like an idiot and thought about all the awesome people that have come into my life in this amazing year… I thought about Ruth Primmer and our crazy conversation on Mothers Day, how running a marathon was ‘taking things a bit too far’. I thought about Cathy Sheargold and how she gave up her fab carpark on the day that I ran my first 10km at Noosa, in April, this year to go climb a mountain (three times!)…. I thought about the old me that was worried that she couldn’t run the full 5km of the IWD and completely stressed about the 10 at Noosa. And I grinned and I grinned and I grinned.
Well, grinning only gets you so far in a marathon and we headed off down St Kilda Rd. I saw two fellows that I thought that I would like to run with, they were doing a reasonable pace, they looked like they were having a nice time, I wanted to be a part of that so I pulled in alongside them and introduced myself. Father and Son team (Micheal and James) we had a few chats, changed sides a bit and generally ran and ran and ran, then we ran some more. My legs started hurting long before I thought that they would around 25km they were really starting to bug me! Hell, I thought, still a frukken long way to go! So I kept going.
You stop when you are finished. You don’t stop when you are tired. You don’t walk (except through drink stations). You keep running, even when the pacers pass you, you keep going. Run your own race. This was my mantra from about 28km to 38km. Just keep swimming (Dory) Run your own race (I dunno who said that, but it’s a good one) I lost the boys, and they found me again after a toilet stop (they stopped, I didn’t) and they passed me again. I kept going. Shit it was hard. I had to think of the most ridiculous things to keep me going…. but I did… and I kept going… Sometimes I sang along to my iPod, not caring in the slightest what anyone thought about me. My brother had a good joke about this later on musing how all of the other runners would have been giving me a wide berth.
Somewhere in the 20’s I also met a Spartan Legend! (You are in the Spartan Club once you have ran 10 MM’s) I ran up beside him and commented on his shirt, which said that he had done 15 Melbourne Marathons, turns out it was an old shirt and today was actually his 19th MM. Wow. What an amazing effort, I thought! Yes, until he told me that he missed last years marathon as he was in hospital having a kidney removed… Yep, a kidney. How awesome was this man! I’m still awestruck!
So as the course goes, I headed back into town, which was the 30’s, heading back on St Kilda Rd there were quite a few runners passed out on the side of the road being attended to by paramedics. It’s pretty hard to see that sort of thing while you are running and I was happy that I had stuck to my hydration plan and felt pretty good (I suppose coming from QLD didn’t hurt either) At this point we joined the half, I didn’t realise at the time and another runner commented on how they were ‘dropping like flies’, I said you don’t say? and we fell in together for a bit. I asked if he was ok, he asked if I was ok, we kept running. I said something about how the half distance was looking really appealing right now, and he laughed, and I noticed from the colour of his bib that he WAS running the half! I then ran alone through the tunnel and realised that this was the last part of the race where you come so close to the MCG and then have to turn away again. It’s also uphill. Sigh. I ran out of the tunnel and ran smack bang into the back of James, walking up the hill by his lonesome. I pull in alongside “Dude! What Happened?” He complained about his knee, but he started to run when I got there. I think I told him I was in pain as well.
So we stuck together. We ran that last painful 4km together. We ran into the ‘G’ together. We crossed the line together.
That’s when it all fell apart for me. I realised that I couldn’t actually walk. I couldn’t see my daughter. I couldn’t catch up to see James’ dad. I couldn’t bloody walk!
Tk yelled at me and appeared at the side of the grandstand. I got to try to hug her. I really wanted to know how she went, she kept telling me to worry about what I was doing, but I had been thinking about how she had been doing for the last 3 hours!! I went into recovery and lent against the wall, rang my brother to come and find me, which turned out easier said than done. I attempted to walk up the carpark ramp by myself when a lovely couple came and helped me, she under my arm and he pushed me up the hill from behind, I felt like an idiot. They kept asking if I was going to be ok and I kept insisting that my brother would come and get me and it was alright, he is a farrier, a FARRIER he will be able to lift me, everything will be ok. Eventually we caught up. Took me just over 4 hours to run 42km then an hour and a half to walk the 2km back to my hotel.
So, I ran a marathon. Just like that. Months of planning and preparation, long runs, carb loading hell, plane flights, hotel rooms and one massive line to collect the race pack…
and it’s all over in the blink of an eye!
Now I am a marathon runner….. Yipeee! Bring on the Gold Coast next July, I can’t hardly wait!
You know the biggest thing about taking a risk? It’s not taking the risk.