Sunday 16/10/16 Race Report – Melbourne Marathon 2016
#marathon21 done and dusted.
5 marathons in 3 months, 4 of which were in 2 months and the last one before today was 2 weeks ago. The point is, this was a major challenge for me and quite frankly I’m surprised I pulled it off. And to add to the surprise is the fact that the last 3, including today, were all sub 4 and all run without stopping which in itself is a feat.
Running “back” to “back” marathons with a couple of weeks between them, doesn’t give you anytime to train and taper – it’s just marathon, rest, marathon.
Needless to say that today’s marathon was in the “not done this before” category. Even though it was my 21st, I didn’t know how the body would handle the cumulative stress of the other marathons. One thing I have learnt is that my body needs carbs to function well, so out with the fat adaptation and in with the good carbs. And that one simple change has reaped immediate results.
The race started at a sensible time of 7am giving me time to get it together. The challenge of the day, other than the 42km’s was the wind. It was persistent and strong but fortunately I profited from the tailwinds and challenged by the head winds. My plan was to sit on a 5:30 to 5:40 min/km pace to give me that sub 4 hour time. So I set out on my journey and found that by and large, the pace I’d set was working for me. Unlike the Western Sydney marathon where I ran like a “bat out of hell” in the first half, and bombed in the 2nd, I was restrained, ran sensibly to plan and capitalised on my decision.
So I kept running at pace but by the 27km mark I got a few jabs in my right knee where my knee almost gave way. I happened a few more times but fortunately it stopped. At the 32km mark I was only 10km from finishing and was feeling the strain of the last 30km’s and now finding that I had to focus on my state of mind and not allow myself to full into the type of despair I’ve felt in passed. I kept pushing and sticking to my plan. The 4 hour pacer was ahead of me but he was maintaining a gun time and ahead of time so I was still in a good place. I kept pushing to 38, then 39 and looked at my Garmin once more. I decided to view the actual run time and see if I could crack a PB as my Garmin was about 500 metres ahead of the official race laps. I managed to survive to 40 and then tried to up the ante but without much success. I could see the MCG and again increased the pace. By the time I entered the MCG I felt I still had a shot for a PB – my sub 4 hour time was now assured. I planted the boot and ran as fast as I could at the time but missed my PB by 17 seconds crossing the finish line in 3:56:21. Even though I was in the mighty MCG, I barely took in the surroundings. And before I knew I had been shuttled down under the grand stand to pick up my meddle.
All in all, a good course (easier and flatter than Sydney) and sort of enjoyable (as enjoyable as one can get in running a marathon).
So now for marathon number 22.