The Exclamation Mark

If running is like an exclamation mark, the training is the long line and the race is the full stop at the end.

For weeks and weeks we slowly build up our running; we slowly draw a long line down the page, not exciting, no one is watching, we lace up our shoes and get the training done. We clock km after km, short runs, slow runs, tempo runs, hill runs, intervals and speed work, cross training sessions and long long runs.  Then comes the taper to rest and recover before finally lining up at the start line and running the race.  The full stop.  We turn our training from marathon dreams to marathon reality – we can now take on the title of Marathoner.


It really does feel like a great big dramatic end to a big portion from life; time, emotional and physical energy.  All spent.  All done in one defining moment, the marathon.

With the training plan done and the race run we are now in a state of reverse taper. A shadowy place of little running.  Of time to reflect on the training and the race.  To look at photos of the event, to remove the training plan from the fridge and wonder quite what to do with all this spare time.  Time to rest and recover.

Luckily (?) for Pauly and I we have been flat out. The farm is facing its worse spring/summer season ever with predictions of the driest summer in 17 years descending on us.  The irrigators are working overtime and it isn’t even summer yet.  El Nino is making his presence felt.  And work for me has been full on over the last few days too.  With all this has been the added pressure of Pauly with a bad head cold, he fell in a heap on Sunday night after his return from Melbourne – it’s only today that he’s looking and sounding better.

I’m missing running. The house is very clean and tidy and the all the jobs that were left due to training are slowly being done – so that’s a good thing.  According to the reverse taper the first run was supposed to be tonight but I went last night, my feet were itching to run.  3kms up our drive way, a little ways down Brocks Road and then return.  It was wonderful.

The green defies the dry weather thanks to the hard work of the irrigators

The green defies the dry weather thanks to the hard work of the irrigators.  A run to the letter box was a celebration of how far this Unsporty Woman has come with running!

An essential part of training is rest. We are resting.  We are taking stock of what we achieved.  We are quietly celebrating, being thankful and planning what comes next.  Rest and reflection are so important with this running thing.  And I’m saying some thank yous to those who have supported and encouraged and cheered.  That’s so important too.

Tomorrow is long run day with Louise.  We have 5kms planned!  A perfect way to get back into our Friday running routine.  We’ll run slowly and chat and relive our training and our wonderful marathon on Sunday.  And next Friday we’ll do a few more kms and the next a few more until we’re back up to running our lovely long long runs again.  I can’t wait!!!!!!

Happy running 🙂

PS if anyone is keen to see the official photos and a little video click here.  The video is of the 20km and three different finishing ones – I burst into tears at the end – it makes me giggle to watch it!

14 thoughts on “The Exclamation Mark

  1. That’s a great analogy! Love it. Congratulations again and I look forward to reading about your next running adventure soon. 🙂

  2. Annie I am sending hopes for wetter weather. I am out in the Canadian prairies helping my Mom move off the farm she has lived in for 60 years. I can’t play the video due to internet issues. :(. Sendings hugs your way.

  3. Ahh, your video finish made me smile and have a little tear 💕
    Think we are for a dry summer by the looks of it, very dry down here already, hope your irrigators run smoothly.
    Well done on your first run back, it can.t be long until your daughter’s wedding!

  4. I watched as you crossed the finish line as I did with most of the amazing marathoners especially from good ole Tas. What a day, the cheering the clapping just the awesomeness of it all. I so loved your recap as I’ve said before I usually wait until Sunday night to read your blog on my break when I’m stuck at work but I’ve had a couple of days off. The stresses of farm life especially when we have to rely on our weather gods. Glad Paul is feeling a little better, being sick and having to run a farm I can only imagine. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your recovery and once again congrats👏👏💕💕

  5. Great way to describe what we have accomplished and I love the example of the !. It makes so much sense. It is definitely hard to do the reverse taper and really I can say I kinda suck at it especially since I have already registered for my next half in November. Congrats on the marathon because completing that is a huge accomplishment that no one can take from you. 🙂

  6. Pingback: The Clock is Ticking -or- If I Could Turn Back Time | iamnotafitnessfreak

  7. I have LOVED living your marathon dream with you and really felt so proud of you, almost like i was there… enjoy the down time and i am looking so forward to sharing our dreams, lives and running experiences over our blogs for a long itme yet… loves to you and Pauly xxx you guys are truly special xxx

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