I have been putting off writing about the marathon as I am very disappointed in my run. It had not occurred to me that there wouldn't be an abundance of people new to running at the starting line with me. As it happens, anyone who felt they would need longer than usual to run the marathon, all 42 kilometers, left an hour earlier, and all those doing the half marathon, left at the same time, but from the halfway point. So, it was me and an awful lot of fit young men and women and seasoned runners.
When I dragged myself to the top of the hill to hand the 'baton' (wristband) to my team mate, the other two said that there was someone behind me, walking. I didn't lay eyes on such a person, so they may have been making him up. The thing I feel bad about, though, is not really that I came last in my leg, if I had run my best, I wouldn't have minded that so much. What really upset me was that it was the hardest run I have ever done. Whether it was the nerves, what I did or didn't eat and drink or trying to keep up with people early on, I felt awful for most of the 10.5 kilometers. I never got into a rhythm where I am just running without thinking, every step was a struggle. At the end of my leg was a long, steady incline with a steep, dirt track hill at the top. I really thought that I might not be able to walk up that hill. Crying, fainting, throwing up, all were possibilities!
My kids and the Mills kids were all cheering me on and I made it, which is the main thing, I suppose. The relief was extraordinary and the rest of the day was fun. We all piled into Narelle's car and drove to each changeover point and then, at the end, the three of us who had finished, ran a kilometer back down the track and waited for Narelle, then we all ran the last kilometer together. We were the only all women relay team. We finished in just under four and a half hours.
As Narelle drove me home, I said that I was going to quit running all together, but I was only joking! In the end, I think it was motivation to try to do better. Last night, after Bible study, I headed out and ran five kilometers. Up hills and down, despite a slight headache and it being after 10pm, I ran my best time and felt great. After worrying that I had broken something, it's going to be OK. Which is lucky, because I am going in the Lake to Lagoon in three weeks! It's an annual 10k race, that serious people enter and race properly, but that is also a 'fun run' - lots of walkers, people in costumes etc. Hopefully, I can do a bit better then....