I got up at 5am to give myself two hours before the Macleay River Marathon started at 7am. I was determined not to drink anything after 6am and just had a slice of toast and jam as food. A problem for all marathoners is balancing the risk of a full bladder and bloated stomach against the hydration and energy needs of a marathon. I don’t think I did a good job before the Canberra Marathon in April, so decided to cut back significantly on both for this race. Of course, I only decided on Thursday to run this race and had run an arduous 30km on Wednesday, so I never had any illusions that I would run a fast time, but perhaps that is the best time to try new approaches to pre-race nutrition.
|Having my timing chip removed after the Macleay River|
After halfway, I stretched out for a kilometre or two, but began to lose form a bit so backed off and tried to settle into an efficient pace. This seemed to work and I continued to gradually pass runners right through until 30km. From that point, the course became more undulating and my legs started to feel very tired. I could see some more runners in the distance, but was unable to make ground on them. With 5km to go, I decided just to try to keep my form and not to worry about my place or time. Regardless of how fast anyone runs a marathon, I think they will always find the last kilometres hard, and I was no exception. I ran through the finish in 3:24:34, a time with which I was quite happy, though the thought of running 30 minutes faster to get a sub-3 seems very daunting. I won $75, equal to the entry fee, for finishing first in my age group.
Quite a few Terrigal Trotters journeyed north for the Macleay River Running Festival and there was strong mutual support and an enjoyable post-run celebration at the town pub. My right knee and Achilles tendon stiffened up significantly after the run, but I don’t think they are any worse than usual after a hard long run and I’m hopeful that the pain will diminish and the joints loosen up in the next few days.