A Lesson from Launceston 10

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.

The winning time was 29:25 (http://www.examiner.com.au/story/2352047/commonwealth-runners-win-launceston-ten/?cs=12)
The winning time was 29:25 (http://www.examiner.com.au/story/2352047/commonwealth-runners-win-launceston-ten/?cs=12)

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!

The start
The start

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!

Almost at that finish line
Almost at that finish line – always enough energy to wave to a camera!

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).



14 thoughts on “A Lesson from Launceston 10

  1. Congrats to you Annie. That’s a great mantra you came up with. Who knows what is possible for you. I definitely think you have a 2hr half within your grasp.
    I hope there was some serious caffeine in Pauly’s cup! Those neighbor hippos are the worst. 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 Trevallyn is a lovely spot. I hope it didn’t make you home sick xxx I’m still a bit iffy about going too hard. I would rather go a bit slower than risk injury. But it felt great on Sunday – I guess the stars lined up for me 🙂

  2. Interesting reading, even before my stress fracture, I only ever run at one pace, the slow one (still makes me huff and puff a bit but one steady pace that I keep for the whole run). My first running group training session this week was intervals, 300 then 200 then 100 at effort and repeat for 30 mins, it felt awful, I was definitely grunting, sweat everywhere and really felt I was going to throw up in front of everyone, the coach thought I was actually going to pass out so stopped me at 15 minutes!
    Hopefully it will get easier, having never done “speed” work before I can’t say I enjoyed it at all BUT it didn’t kill me, I didn’t pass out or vomit so you are right we do have more to give than we think we are capable of. One of my splits was 3:52, I normally run at nearer 6 mins/km so no wonder I felt so bad, the rest were not so impressive though 😉

    1. Gosh that sounds like a mega session. How is your foot holding up? We do a fair amount of intervals and hill sprints. I’m no expert but I think as well as speed they help with emdurance. 3:52 is flying Sam! No wonder you felt like being sick! Look after yourself. I’m really looking forward to running with you one day. Maybe a Hobart parkrun very soon 🙂

  3. You are so right about all that head wrecking stuff our minds put us through when we run. Or, in my case, when I shuffle along the track.Heartiest congrats on your 10km PB!

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