Holy crap

I’m going to try to say this without having a panic attack…

I’m going to run a marathon this week.

Holy crap.

When I started this little journey with a post called Nicknames back in April, a marathon in mid-October seemed a really long time away.  Now it’s this week.

Holy crap.

My apologies for the rubbish writing today, having been to listen to one of my favourite all time writers speak last night you think I’d be more inspired, but there you have it… the words that best sum up the emotion of realising that I’ll be running a marathon this week just happen to be holy crap.  So there they are.

So in an effort to build up the strength to look forward towards the end of the week (holy crap!), I’ll ease into it by looking back over the past fortnight and get on to looking forward tomorrow… baby steps.

It’s been an interesting fortnight since last I wrote to you. 

I’ve put myself out on a limb in a way I never have before and am currently enjoying the benefits of that (no, I’m not going to tell you a single thing about what that limb is lest you think me naff-er although it could well form the inspiration for my next blog thanks to some of the amusements it has offered so you may, one day in the future, find out).

I have had flu, bronchitis and sinusitis since the Sydney half marathon so the training has suffered in a big way.  This illness has at times left me feeling so bad that I wonder if it wasn’t in fact the dreaded man flu.  My lungs are almost back on track although I needed an inhaler after a ten minute dog walk yesterday so if anyone has a spare set I can borrow on Sunday that would be appreciated.

Which brings me to the Sydney Running Festival a fortnight ago.  If the Melbourne Marathon feels anything like that it will be a good day (I’m blatantly trying to over run the holy craps with positive spin here so just go with me ok??).  Sydney had everything this 5’4″ blonde Forrest Gump wannabe could hope for in a race.

For starters, the 5:23am train from Bondi Junction… there’s nothing un-funny about a train carrying only two sorts of passengers; those on the tail end of a very big night and those on their way to run a half marathon.  There were a few to choose from, but my favourite overheard comment:

“I could outrun any one of you lycra wearing f*kers”

And, judging by the size of his pupils, I reckon his was right.

Then, when the train doors opened at Milsons Point, there was the most amazing peach sunrise.  Really very magical… and if there hadn’t been 35,000 odd people shoving me along the train platform I absolutely would have taken a picture for you.

The whole “red sky in the morning” saying did not ring true that day though.  The average daily temperature for September in Sydney is 21° Celsius (70 for the Yanks).  It hit 31° C (90° F) on race day!  And believe me, if I thought it was hot starting the half marathon at 6:20am, those poor souls running the full marathon that started an hour later would have been frying!

View from the Loo Queue

View from the Loo Queue

Before the race there was just enough time to queue for 30 minutes to use a port a loo the smell and sight of which I’ve only ever come across once before – on an overnight train in India (my two DB’s know what I’m talking about – holy crap).  The view from the line however, was breathtaking for an entirely different reason and provided a nice backdrop for me to eavesdrop on everyone else’s conversations while I waited.

Almost immediately after the start, you find yourself running over Sydney Harbour Bridge which has been entirely closed to traffic just for  you to run over it (which is pretty freakin’ cool).  I’ve been over that bridge at least a gzillion times, but two stand out in my memory.  The first was driving over it in the back of a taxi on 13 February 2008 while listening on the radio to the Prime Minister finally apologising to Australia’s indigenous population.  I remember looking up out of the back window of the taxi to see both the Commonwealth and Indigenous Australian flags flying and tears rolled as I felt a sense of pride and hope for the future of our country.  The next time was this time, 18 September 2011, running over the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the fifth of six runs for the beautiful Miss Maddie (ok, there may have been just one or two tears welling up this time too… I’m my parents’ daughter).

Then it was all fairly uneventful (you know, except for me smashing my first half PB and crossing half way at 44:23 and for a minute thinking I might finally cross that magic 90minute half… *spoiler alert* I didn’t…).  But then, to cure the dullness… the best walk of shame ever!!

A great big tip of the cap to the gorgeous young woman who emerged from a hotel at around 7am in hot pink party dress and sky high stilettos not to discover the queue of lined up cabs one would normally expect to find at the front of a hotel, but roads closed for miles and about 10,ooo people running past her (and yes, we were all laughing).  But she rolled her shoulders, held her head high and walked that walk of shame… I think she should have got one of the medals at the finish line too.

Recovering at Bronte Beach

Recovering at Bronte Beach

Then it was all really just running, stops for powerade, ventalin and vaseline (tip of the cap to the volunteers and St John’s Ambo crew – you guys are awesome!!) until the finish line… where I did a great big whoop (which you can watch here: Marathon-Photos.com Blackmores Sydney Running Festival – and if you do, you will have to believe me that lots of people in front of me had thrown their arms up…. it wasn’t just me!!) then ugly cried all over the place for about 30 seconds as seems to be my habit now that the Marathons for Maddie are coming to an end (alright, fine, I was doing it at the start of them as well… It’s emotional).

Then I got to spend the whole weekend with the super wonderful Yax, Kezza and Junior Delta Force who took me to the beach for my recovery… not bad!

Ok – so with six sleeps to go, I’m now going to drop the holy crap for focus and picturing the finish line…

Sorry – one more – it’s actually this week… HOLY CRAP!!

One Response to “Holy crap”
  1. Elle says:

    Hehe love this blog. Believe it or not it has inspred me to do a half marathon next year, training begins this summer! xx

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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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