Monday, September 22, 2014
It's a strange beast, the marathon.
I understand now why people compare it to childbirth. Not just because it can take a long time (my first marathon this weekend just gone took 4:26, longer than two of my births) or because it really really hurts, but because afterwards even while you are nursing your wounds, you kind of think yeah I would do that again.
Which is just as well, given I'm meant to be doing exactly that in three weeks time. I'm still not sure if that's inspired or insanity, to be honest.
Anyway the marathon. I wanted to write some things down before I forgot about them.
The Sydney marathon is really quite hilly, which pretty much sucked after around 20kms. I don't know Sydney at all well, but we ran through some really pretty spots and some not pretty spots and over the bridge and all that good stuff.
I'm sure a number of people had cottoned on to the fact that I was preparing to run the full marathon with Zoey, although I've been SUPER careful in all my updates not to LIE about not doing the half but not to let on about the full either. A 36km training run for a half is kind of excessive though.
We ran our first half together at the same event last year, and when I went to register for the half this year I just had a moment of madness I guess, and hit the full marathon rego button instead.
We've written a bit before our friendship and competitiveness and that kind of thing, but there was not one moment of this race where there was any question of either of us running our first marathon any other way. Each step we took, we took together.
I was not prepared for the level of pain in the last few kilometres, especially when we realised we could come in under 4:30 and really smashed out the last couple (as much as anyone can smash anything out after running 40kms). And the thing that struck me most was the mind game of it all. I spent most of the time running 3kms to the next water station and not thinking in numbers any bigger than that because to be honest, it is kind of scary.
Afterwards, when it was done, I took a moment to acknowledge that 42.2kms is a really really long way. I used to share a staffroom with a maths teacher who would ride to school each day and it was probably that kind of distance. I thought he was crazy.
I am sure any number of people think I am crazy too now. That's okay, I think I like it.
It just feels like a really big deal to me. I started running two years ago. I quit smoking one year ago. I am not the same, and I am nothing special. I'm not particularly gifted, I'm not a natural athlete at all. I just decided to start. I'm a Mum and I'm a small business owner and I'm a coach and I'm a motivator and I'm a student and I am an ATHLETE.
I am kind of proud of myself. I like myself. I never used to. It feels good.
And if I can run a marathon, just imagine what else I can do?
Labels: fitness stuff