Saturday, May 02, 2009
I did it! I finished the Rotorua marathon in 4.37. I put down 4.35 as my finishing time, so I wasn't far off. I followed a 4.30 pacer pretty much the whole way, but unfortunately she was running slow herself (something about not having run much since her last Ironman), and would have come in a couple of minutes ahead of me.
I can't say I made my way around the course with a big grin on my face, but I certainly didn't suffer unduly. I realise now that I zoned out just a touch and went into a little Pip world all of my own! Unfortunately my stomach decided it wasn't going to play nice. I walked the water stations and sipped on Leppin until I felt confident enough to try a gel, but that wasn't until around 18km in. That was about the only bad part of the race though. The hills weren't scary at all for a Wellingtonian whose home turf is Mt Vic and the Tinakori Hills. The worst bits for me were the long flat stretches.
The weather wasn't perfect but ok. It was overcast and cool without being too cold. The Southerly dropped the temperature a bit over the last ten kilometres, but the headwind was pretty unthreatening.
I'm really proud of myself for going out there today and getting it done, even though I knew I was undertrained. There was never a question of not finishing, and I could tell from the halfway mark that I was going to come in near enough to four and a a half hours to be satisfied with my performance. 32km to 36km were a bit difficult, but then I got the bit between my teeth and kicked it a bit over the last distance. I had the biggest grin on my face at the finishline and when Hamish jumped over the barrier to hug me I had just the tiniest little cry.
I'm pretty sore now, naturally. My glutes were BURNING as I was sitting down recovering afterwards and my lower back is a bit sore to touch. One of my right toes has blistered up quite nicely and there was blood on my sock where the ball of my right foot tends to rub. My bra chafed a little as well underneath my cleavage, but not enough to break skin thankfully. However given how bad my sacroilleac has been this week I'm in excellent shape.
As I was getting my transponder taken off the guy next to me was congratulating me on my first marathon. He asked whether it would be my last and my instant response was "NO!" I've got too much room to improve and too much more to find out about myself. The only question now is which? Hmmm, Auckland?