Gillian Garrett's Melbourne Marathon Race Report
Pre-race was something of a comedy of errors! Having arrived at the G at 5.30 for a 7 start so as to not be late I then missed the start by quite a few minutes hahah!. After dropping off my bag, stretching, going to loo, doing a short warm up run and some more stretches I checked watch. At which point I saw the HR was not picking up. Mild panic at this but told myself everything would be ok if I applied more water to strap which I did. Still no HR. Little bit more panic now but told myself all would be ok if I just took off strap and ran it under water. So I joined the loo line. At this point it was somewhere between 5 &10 mins to start time. Luckily other runners saw my situation and allowed me to queue jump. I striped off, ran water onto strap and dressed again, hopped out and checked watch again. Still no HR. And then I became strangely calm and decided not to worry about it, just run and have some fun.
I missed the start by some distance partly because of my technical issues and partly because I got held up by other people ambling toward their start time. By the time I did actually cross the line I’d had quite a warm up haha! I was looking at people disappearing in front of me which initially was a bit concerning and I went too fast until I realised it’d make no difference, I simply had to run my race and I would catch up and even run past those in front. I remembered you telling me this first time around. The advantage to actually missing the start completely was that I missed a bunch start.
0 - 10 K
Too quick for first 2 k’s while trying to catch up then once decided just to run I tried to go 6:30 pace as per my plan but ended up around 6:20. Felt very comfortable and positive taking time to look around me. I think it was about the 5 K mark maybe bit more that Bridget came up alongside me and we just ran along happily together. I wasn’t sure my watch was picking up anything accurately so she kept me up to date with pace
11 - 20 K
Had thought I’d go about 6:20 for this stretch. Difficulty doing that. Ranged between 6:20 and 6:03. Still felt comfortable, still enjoying watching Melbourne pass by and still running with B. We seemed to go quicker here and there probably because we were chatting on and off (what a surprise!) but we also seemed to be aiming for about the same pace
21 - 30 K
Was re-calculating by now wanting to get a negative split. Aimed for 6:10. Somewhere in this phase Bridget perhaps half mockingly said if I could pull her through her tricky period of blow out then she could pull me through the last 5 k which she was planning to blitz. This sounded like a fine plan to me despite that I doubted I could keep up with her I would surely go faster just trying to follow her. So that was our new plan and we spurred each other on.
31 - 40 K
Very, very nearly stacked it at just about the 31 point. Don’t know how I stayed upright!. I had turned back to look for and shout encouragement to Bridget who by now was behind me and tripped when turning back again. I stumbled, lurched forward, lurched again and then somehow managed to lean backwards and get righted again. Everyone ‘ooohed’ ‘arghed’ and shouted well done. Marvellous! It took a couple of minutes to get my rhythm back at which point I decided to just keep going for it and see B at the end.
At the 36 mark I started battling my head. It was a mixture of ‘shit I’ve still got 6 to go’ and ‘i’ve only got 6 and a bit to go’. This was much tougher mentally for me than at Brighton where I was still cruising along. Maybe it was because at Brighton there were lots of cheering crowds and that really helped to lift me and encourage me to keep pushing, to show how well I could go. Maybe it was me wanting badly by now to get a PB. Maybe it was the first hill. That was such a struggle. The next one wasn’t as hard I guess because I knew I was so close to the end and just bloody had go for it. On both hills I think it helped that I saw people walking, there was no way I was going to walk
41- 42.2 K
During this phase I went from thinking the PB was really possible to realising it wasn’t going to be no matter what I did. That was a bit demoralising and I lost some time over this I think. Also pre race I’d thought we’d enter the G and that would be the end but no! we had to get in and do a lap of honour!. More like a lap too far. Jeez that was hard physically and mentally but running on to the G, looking around the stadium from the field instead of the stands, finishing there, that was magic, all I had hoped it would be and something I’ll never forget. I got such a kick out of it, it was why I wanted to run Melbourne in the first place and I did it.
I think I could have gone quicker. Not necessarily in pace although if I’d actually made a plan other than start at 6:30 and increase from there I might have done. My water/drink stops could certainly have been quicker. My ploy is to enter at the end of the line so I’m slowing for the least amount of time and exiting quicker but I was running with B for some of the time who goes in early for the drink. I think maybe she’s worried about not getting a drink where as I think 'oh well there’ll be another one soon enough’.
I was much more achey/sore after this one than Brighton. Thank god for skins I say. And the 1/2 hour the next day was possibly the hardest run of my life but god I felt better afterwards!
Overall lessons learnt
Shed some kilos - I’ll go faster
Try not to do the same race as your stable mate, or if you do have an agreement beforehand that you’ll treat each other as just another runner and carry on regardless
Bridget is very good at sticking to a pace consistentlyas Bugs Bunny would say ‘that’s all folks'