I’m training for a marathon. Last week I clocked up 64kms. I’m concentrating on distance so of course my puny mind thinks I can’t put in any form of speed effort and especially not on a hilly run. And make that double for the Gutbuster – Launceston Running Club’s renown hilly run that makes even the best of runners quake and tremble.
This was my fourth running of the event and it happens to be the very first run I ever did with the Club. I turned up at that first run and nervously went to the LRC Caravan to register. I was warmly welcomed as a long lost friend. Since that time I’ve made many friends and each Saturday is filled with lots of jokes and smiles and encouragement from one runner to another. It’s a wonderful Club. To think I was so scared that the Running Police would come looking for me for having the audacity to join a Running Club. They didn’t. They don’t exist.
Each year that I’ve run a little faster
But today was all about going out and having fun on the run. I asked Coach if he thought it was a good idea to run this event one week out from The Great Ocean Road Marathon, he said it would be ok as long as I dropped my planned 20km run for the weekend. Such are the inclines on this run, a 20km as well wasn’t necessary.
Bring on the run. No pressure, just out there for fun.
It starts with a lovely decline that lulls the poor old body into a happy zone… This is quite nice. This Gutbuster thing isn’t so bad. I’m doing ok….OH MY GOODNESS! And then comes that great big never-ending hill with inclines that zoom up while we slow down… Steep corners that show no mercy… Relentless chugging up and up and up and up… When is this hill going to end???
Does it sound a bit mean if I say I smoked a number of runners on that hill because (looking sheepish) I did! Even the lady who won! We went out on the same handicap but I motored up that hill and left her plodding up while I started to zoom down. But it wasn’t long before she too got to the top and then zoomed back down; she quickly became an ever fading dot in the distance.
I had a wonderful run and no one passed me until after the 10km mark and then only one runner. Soon I found myself in third place after passing more runners. I couldn’t believe my watch. If I keep trying I can beat my last year’s PB. I could feel the hot breath of the gazelles, antelopes, mountain goats and cheetahs fanning my heels, then the back of my neck and all of a sudden (with less than 1km to go) runners were passing me like I was standing still! Handicapped racing at its best!
I’m not sure where I came in the event (official results aren’t out yet). My handicap was 23:10 minutes and I’m pretty sure I was about 12th place. But guess what? A PB by my watch of just under two minutes.
I wanted to cry. I couldn’t believe I did a PB on that hilly run. I couldn’t believe I’d managed a PB with all the distances I’ve been doing.
Unofficial time: 1:08:21
Pauly had a great run too
- 2013 – 1:08:45
- 2014 – 59:35
- 2015 – 56:15
- 2016 – 57:54 (unofficially – a little slower but it’s only four weeks ago that he was racing horses)
My time for this year was faster than Pauly’s 2013 time! I can’t believe it!
Later that day Janette and I went for a swim and a coffee. She very kindly but sternly told me that I underestimate myself. I’ve been thinking about this. I do. I do underestimate myself. Despite years of running (six) and many events later, that little voice that tells me I won’t be able to do things is still present. Thank goodness for beautiful friends who constantly remind me that I can do this running thing. Friends build me up and keep me on track with running confidence.
Running. I’m continually amazed at what this 51 year old body can do. I’m continually amazed that I can not only run, but that I can run hills and I truly do love it! AND not to put too fine a point on things… I have the best legs I’ve had in my whole life!
NEVER underestimate yourself. ALWAYS believe you can. BE your biggest fan and ALWAYS celebrate EVERY achievement. Poo poo to the voices that say we can’t because WE CAN!
Today I am physically one run stronger. More importantly today, thanks to the words, love and care of a friend, I am soaring in confidence and self belief. If I can go this far with running you can too. Running 1km without feeling like death took me over six months. The struggle was huge and the desire to quit was enormous. Don’t quit. Keep going. If I can do this you can too!
I’m running a marathon next week. This time next week is marathon eve.
I KNOW I CAN DO IT! I can run The Great Ocean Road Marathon. I will. And I know you will be cheering me along. Thank you xxx
Happy running 🙂