Today it has been two weeks since I ran my first full marathon at the Melbourne Marathon 2014 event. So now I am ready to share my journey with you.
Can I just say, training for a full marathon is bloody time consuming. You can’t just duck out for a 3 hour run… It’s more like; “Honey, I am going for a run in the morning, so I am not going out tonight, and I won’t have a glass of wine and we need to have sweet potato for dinner and please don’t cough so I wake up cos I need as much sleep as possible, therefor I am going to bed at 9PM on a Friday. Where’s my SpiBelt? Where’s my watch? Have you seen my headphones? When I come home I need a protein shake, so don’t finish the milk please. I also will need to stretch for 20-30 minutes and then have a shower and then eat lots of food, and probably lie on the couch for an hour, maybe even have a nap and then I don’t know if I can be bothered going to the market, because that means I have to walk (hey, i just ran 30km!) and I am definitely not up for socialising today, maybe tomorrow?”. It’s nice to now only go for a lazy 10K run and say; See you in an hour, are we going out for breaky afterwards?!
That being said, I did do all my long runs, progressively longer up to 33K on the longest run, 2 weeks out from the big day. I didn’t always get my shorter runs in, but I did 2-3 yoga sessions every week in the lead up (I am pretty sure these were the life savers in recovery and no injuries along the way!) and always 2 weight training sessions every week too. You can’t just run, you have to supply with resistance training to help maintain your muscle and to have more powerful steps. I ran 2-3 runs every week, sprints, hills, LSD and short, fast runs, but if I missed any of them, I never missed the long run!
On the big day, I woke up well rested and energised after my salmon, sweet potato and lots of sour cream dinner the night before. I lined up, waited for the bang and started moving. As I started moving I realised my headphones weren’t working. Great. 42.2K, no music. Oh well. I’ll just listen to footsteps. There’s plenty of them. It was a beautiful, fresh Melbourne morning. The first 21.1K felt easy. I am pretty sure I did a PB for the Half (self five!). Then I got a pinch in my left shoulder. Really weird and also really annoying. Here I am running the run of my life and my shoulder starts annoying me?! What the? It kept annoying me until the 28K mark.
As a keen runner I am, I have a watch telling me how fast I am going, how far I have gone and those cool things. At 31K this watch decided to lose satellite reception!! No more stats to look at to keep me motivated and keep me moving. And at that point I was also starting to get pretty warm. It was a hot spring day in Melbourne and the sun was now officially up! I kept moving forward, but at every drink station I walked for a little bit to drink a whole cup of water and to pour a whole cup of water on my head. I was hot!
Still doing pretty good at 36K, and there is a drink station coming up. At this one they don’t have water? Wot? I decided I am thirsty and I want something to drink so I have some of the awful energy drink they serve. Not a happy camper. I feel really sick and nauseas afterwards. Have to stop along the Tan (very popular running track in Melbourne) to drink some of their water instead. For future reference, always have water at the drink stations… At 40K I was getting excited, only 2K to go! Wohoo. Can’t say i was speeding up at this point, but I was still moving forward at a not too bad pace. I never saw the 41K marker (was there one?) and I was getting devastated thinking I hadn’t even ran a k yet when someone behind me is saying to his wife ‘only 250m to go now, you can do this’! I turned around and asked if that was accurate and he said yes, tops 300m to go, around the corner and up the hill.
Wohoo. On the home stretch, sprinting up the hill (probably at about 10k per hour :)), hearing my team mates shouting and screaming as they see me and finally (finally!!) crossing the finish line!!! Marathoner!
Pretty happy after finishing my first full marathon in 4.5 hours. With no injuries. That was really to me the most important part of it all. I am pretty sure that has to do with all the yoga I was doing, but also all the good fats I was eating through the training leading up to the big day. I was of course stiff and sore through the knees and hips straight after, but I woke up the next morning almost fresh as a daisy. A little sore quads, and that was pretty much it. I was amazed at how good I felt afterwards and how quickly I recovered.
The proof! Can I just say, for next year Melbourne Marathon, don’t hand out your 42.2km medals right next to the 5km ones… You can easily be a little confused after running for that long and it would be a total disaster to come home with a 5km medal, don’t you think!? Just for future reference…
Well, there you go. My first full marathon. Done and dusted. What’s next?
Awesome Ashild, xoxo