Launceston 10 is known as Australia’s Premier 10km road race event and the fastest. It attracts international elite runners as well as swags of local runners like me – ordinary people having a go.
What struck me about the elite runners was the amount of effort they were putting in to propel themselves forward in running steps. Every gram of their being both body and mind was fully engaged in running those 10kms in the fastest possible time.
It was a freezing cold day but those elites were sweating profusely. Some were panting and almost grunting with the sheer effort of what they were doing.
I didn’t set out to get a PB but I did. I met up with a fellow parkrunner at about the 3km mark and decided to stick to her like glue. We said hello and while we knew each other to smile and say hello to we didn’t know each other by name, so as we were running we introduced ourselves. She is always ahead of me. I was surprised to see her near me and immediately decided that she was having a not so good run. Checking my watch however I discovered that I was in fact having a very good run and that’s why I was up with her!
My mantra in my head became Stick with Maddie. Stick with Maddie. Each time I saw her orange running top getting a little bit in front I’d chant in my head again Stick with Maddie. Stick with Maddie. I ran with determination, willpower and guts.
By 8kms I was flagging just a little but not as much as usual. Stick with Maddie. Stick with Maddie. I saw Michelle and Jane from The Running Group who were supporting and cheering. I saw my dear friends Karen and Robert who were walking the 5km event, they cheered me on.
At the 9km mark I was feeling MIGHTY! I was conquering that voice in my head that says: Running too fast will hurt. Running too fast will mean that you conk out and get all wobbly and you won’t be able to finish. You, Unsporty Woman will EMBARRASS yourself!
Wrong! small voice, I said. I CAN do this! I am DOING this. I ran as fast as I could and by the last 600m I was zooming! (well I felt like I was anyway).
Pauly and Louise were long since finished. Louise got a PB too! 48:27. Her lovely daughter Karlee, fresh from an awesome School Cross Country where she came second, decided to run the 5km instead of walking with her Dad AND got the super time of 27:43. Fantastic Karlee!
Pauly and Louise were looking and looking for me but didn’t see me finish. I was just too far in front of where they thought I would be and they missed me doing a big finish. And I thought my signature pink hat made me stick out to those who know me.
A Lesson Learnt
What I learnt on Sunday was that I can indeed push myself to go faster than I think I can; that running hard doesn’t hurt that much. Watching those elite runners and the effort they put in inspired me greatly. They don’t just get up one day and run 10kms just like that – their race, like us ordinary people is won in the months and months of training runs leading up to the event. Training runs that are often lacklustre, hard, tedious and frequently a bit dull. But these are the very runs that enable us to push towards the finish line and run a race feeling proud of ourselves. PBs are great but really if we can run a race and feel like we did the best job on the day under the prevailing circumstances, then that is totally awesome!
Celebrate every finish line no matter what the race was like.
Finishing is AWESOME!
Louise is now determined to get me around the Run Melbourne half marathon in the time of (YIKES) 2:00:00! That would mean taking 11 minutes of my current PB…doable? We shall give it a shot!
Happy running 🙂
PS We had the worse night sleep the night before Launceston 10. We’d flown in from Cairns late on Saturday afternoon so decided to stay in a hotel in Launceston for the night. I’m sure we were the floor below the Elephant, Rhino and Hippopotamus level and just across from our room was the lift that went wrrr-wrrr-bing all night! Pauly got up that morning feeling so exhausted. As you can see from the photo his enthusiasm to run was positively brimming over (hehe).