With only 7 weeks to go and an amazing and hard working but not particularly runny month in Rio now behind me, I have decided to withdraw from this years Melbounre Marathon.
Not an easy decision but with less than 7 weeks to go, I am not confident that I can run the course in the time that would do it and myself justice.
WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW
On Saturday, a day and a half after I landed back in Oz, I took part in my local River Run and got around the course in 24:42 – a good minute off my PB for this run but considering I have been off my regular routine for a month and I am dealing with the repercussions of 28 hours or so of flying, I think I did quite well.
THE RIVER RUNNERS RUN
It was the last race of our Winter season, which meant mass start. I am currently second on the leaderboard and my run on Saturday had points winning chances which could move me up or down the leaderboard – so I had to turn up.
10 of us ran off at 07:30 and my long legs, general raciness and my lust for competition when running found me at the front of the pack and pulling away within a few meters. For about 3.5K I found myself out on my own at the front with Jon and Jozica slowly chipping away at the gap I had created.
I was feeling the jet lag and was a little surprised to find myself running 4:40/4:50min/K at the beginning. It felt way too fast for what my body was prepared to do but I pushed on. My pace eventually levelled out at around the 5min/K mark and this felt comfortable – fast enough to make my fellow runners work for the lead, fast enough to set a decent time (I currently have a 6ish minute handicap which usually means that any river run longer than 25mins puts me at the bottom of the list that week), not quite fast enough to give me first but a good effort to end the season.
We get our final season results soon but I am hoping I have maintained my second place on the board.
SUNDAY – THE PLAN
So, Sandi and I are taking Matt to a new Sunday tennis competition that he is part of, it is down the road in Wonga Park, so I have plotted out a run to get me from the tennis courts and back to the house – to get it up to 10miles I have had to take the scenic route but it should be nice, with a mixture of hills, trails and road running. Something i have missed in the relative flat running of Rio.
SUNDAY – THE REALITY
I did not get quite as far as I wanted. A number of factors made this happen. One factor was the discovery that the bladder on my hydration pack has sprung a leak and over the course of the first 7K slowly leaked out onto the small of my back and eventually onto the back of my shorts – extremely unpleasant. Other factors included a reduction in my overall mileage of late, unexpectedly warm weather, etc etc – but the major factor seems to be that although my mind was willing to put in the necessary miles, my jet-lagged body was not.
Still, 11K is the furthest I have run in one run for a while. With a more regular running schedule planned for the coming weeks and with the pressure off to hit distance targets pre-marathon I am feeling happier that I can spend a few months just getting my legs and my body back into some halfway decent runnig form so that I can, once again, tackle BIG distance. Something that I have not done for a while.
It feels good to be back in Oz, to be able to run along the trails and in the Victoria bush. What I have learnt is that I love running big distance, but I have come to hate (with a passion) the mechanism of marathon training.