Thursday, 19 April 2012

Marathon Debut - "Run Trisha Run" Interview

This weeks blog is an interview of Trisha who ran her Marathon Debut at the Canberra Marathon last Sunday. Trisha is an absolute soldier when it comes to running, I never hear her complain about it being too hot, or too hard. Nothing ever seems to phase her, she always has a smile on her face - "living the dream".

Trisha is married to Cameron (Cam) has a son in year 1 Liam and is the owner of Mac Choice in Musgrave Street. She has an insanely BUSY life - and just ran her first Marathon! You will love her story!

How did you start running?

Bit of a long story!  I started running because Cam started running and going away to events without me, and I kind of felt "left out".  Cam's first event was the Bridge to Brisbane in 2009.  Cam went to the event with Craig McCormack, and I stayed in Rocky with Liam.  I heard all about it when they got home, and it sounded like they had so much fun!  Sounds awful, but I felt a bit jealous.    They began to talk about going again the following year, and I started to think that I would like to go as well … but I am not someone who can go to such things and sit on the sidelines and watch!  It took me until the beginning of the following year, but on New Years Day 2010 I made a New Years Resolution that I was going to start running and get fit enough to do the Bridge to Brisbane!  New Years Day I put on my walking shoes and headed down to the Frenchville Road path.  I was hoping there would not be too many people out walking because I was sure I would look like an idiot trying to run.  I started my run … got about 200 metres down the track and was puffing so much that I could hardly breathe!!  hmmmmm …. not as easy as I had imagined it might be!  BUT … anyone who knows me know that I am a very determined person and when I set my mind to something not much stands in the way :)  so every morning before work I got out of bed and headed for the path.  I would run about 200 metres and walk until I caught my breath, and then run until I couldn't breath again.  It really wasn't very long before I could run from home (behind Frenchville School) to the end of Frenchville Road.  AND in this time I didn't see a single person laugh at me!!  One day Penny Rawson, a good friend of ours, told me I should come along to Rocky Road Runners.  I told her that I couldn't possibly do that because I wasn't good enough.  Penny explained how RRR was for all levels of runners, and even walkers, and I decided that I would come along one evening and check it out.  I ran with the RRR group one Thursday evening and that was the beginning of something wonderful.  Soon after starting with Rocky Road Runners I entered my first 10KM race, and have been addicted ever since.  I think that I have entered every race that I could possible make it to since that day.  Sadly, Cameron was diagnosed with Chronic Heart Failure in 2010 and can no longer do anything more than go for a walk, but he has been on the sidelines, and at the finish line of every race that I have entered since my 2010 New Year Resolution.  That's got to be tough, and in my mind he is a far bigger champion than me.

 When did you start doing events?

I started doing events in 2010 after joining Rocky Road Runners.  Entering a running event would have been something I would never have even considered had it not been for the encouragement I received from the RRR group. A wonderful group of people who even though most of them were far better runners than me, always had time to give encouragement, advice, or even just have a chat.  

What race was it, and how did you go? (obviously a PB J )

My first race was Race 3 of the Harvey Norman Race Series 2010.  It was the 10K event at CQUniversity.  My time was 00:55:32.
I think I was more nervous at this little local race than I was at the start of the marathon :)

What is an average training week?

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - approx 10Km in the morning before work.  Thursday - Rocky Road Runners evening run.  Saturday - 30-35Km morning run with Rocky Road Runners.  Sunday is normally a rest day, but if I am feeling good sometimes I run Mt Archer, and sometimes Liam & I go down to Frenchville Road path and I run alongside him while he rides his scooter :)

How do you fit it all in with a very busy life? What are some tips for other busy people?

I do most of my training early in the morning before Cam & Liam are out of bed.  For me it's the best time to run … it's cooler, I don't feel guilty because Cam & Liam are still asleep, and I don't run at night because I don't feel safe then.  In winter it's dark when I head out in the morning, so when I am running alone I stick to roads that are busy … lots of traffic, or people out walking - I feel safer that way.  I do have a really busy and often stressful life.  People often ask me how I fit training in with everything else.  I ask the question … how do you not?  If I miss a run in the morning the day is just not "right".  Running for me is not just about training for the next race … it's a selfish thing.  Running is "my time".  It's the time that I don't have a child, husband, customer, friend, anyone wanting anything of me.  It's the time when I am free to think … to dream … to just have time for me.

 When did you decide you were going to run a marathon?

In 2010 I ran the 10K at the Gold Coast.  2011 I entered the half marathon, and then went to the Gold Coast Marathon after-party with all of the other Rocky Road Runners.  Most of the RRR had done the full marathon, and I was listening to them all talk about their amazing marathon experience, and I knew that I wanted that too.  Before we came back to Rocky I had decided that I wanted to do Gold Coast Marathon 2012.

Why Canberra Marathon?

Gold Coast 2012 is the marathon that I REALLY want to do.  I decided to go to Canberra because I didn't want to get to Gold Coast and not succeed.  Canberra was a test run I suppose.  I wanted to know that I could go the distance, and know that I had done enough training.  

How has your training changed since you committed to running Canberra?

I just increased my distance from 5KM to 10KM in my morning run, and on Saturdays Kathryn Austin and I run from home to Degani's (rather than drive) and then run home after the Saturday group run to give us around 35KM as opposed to 20ish that we were doing pre-marathon training.

Did you have a time goal for the race, if you did, were you happy with your time?

I didn't really have a time goal for this race.  My PB for a half marathon is 1:52, and I figured I would be a bit slower in the marathon so I had decided I would be happy to finish under 4:30.  I was ecstatic to finish in 4:11:42!

Note: Trisha has smashed 5 of my 6 marathon times!

Can you remember any key moments in the race?

The first few KM I don't think I was concentrating on the race at all.  I was too busy taking in the beautiful scenery that is Canberra at this time of year.  The course was lined with trees that are all changing to Autumn colours.  The sky was cloudless and blue, and there were hot air balloons everywhere!  It was absolutely AMAZING, and a great distraction ;)

I feel a bit silly telling this, but you gotta be able to laugh at yourself.  I have NO sense of direction.  The race was half-marathon & marathon together.  I knew that at around the 15Km point the half-marathon competitors took a different course to the marathon.  I had studied the course map several times, but for the entire first 15Km I was worried that this point would not be marked clearly enough and I would take the wrong course!!  I kept checking the bibs of the people who were running beside me to make sure that they had marathon bibs on!  Of course when we got to the point where the course changed it was VERY clearly marked and there was a marshall there yelling and pointing "half-marathon turn here.  Marathon continue to the right".   Told myself I was a doofus, and made a mental note that in future I do not need to be concerned about marathon courses not being obvious :)

There was a tunnel that we had to run through 4 times during the 2nd & 3rd lap of the marathon.  I entered the tunnel on the return of the 3rd lap.  There was probably about 30 or so other runners in the tunnel.  One of the male runners ahead suddenly yelled at the top of his voice "AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE!"  and everyone in the tunnel responded "OI! OI! OI!"  It was LOUD, and it echoed through the tunnel.  I'm sure everyone in the tunnel at that point had a stupid grin on their face.  It gave me goosebumps :)

How did you feel running across the last bridge heading for the finish?


What did it feel like to cross the finish line?

I don't know if that can be put into words!!  It's the best feeling EVER!  I felt super-excited, proud of myself, couldn't wipe the smile off my face :)
Cam & Liam were waiting at the finish line and I was really happy that they were there to see me finish.
I walked through to the recovery area and was thinking I can do ANYTHING if I work hard enough!

What was the hardest part of the marathon?

Definitely the 5K stretch from 35K to 40K!  The first 30K was a really easy run … I got into a pace that felt comfortable (around 5.5 minutes per KM) and I was cruising!  from 30 to 35 got a bit harder and I had to make myself focus.  35 to 40 was really tough!  I still felt good, but my legs were getting tired.  My pace slowed to 7+ minutes per KM.  I was trying to make myself run faster, but something wasn't making the connection between my brain and my legs because it just wasn't happening!  I knew at that point that I wasn't going to come in under 4 hours and started to feel a bit disappointed because I had been going so well, and then the voices of the Rocky Road Runners were there to help me through … "run your own race & enjoy yourself!".  I smiled to myself and continued on at 7-ish minute KM pace.  At 37KM one of the volunteers shouted out "come on marathoner!  You have a lazy 5 to go!".  At 40KM I started to feel all sorts of emotion & excitement … I knew that I had it in the bag! 

Now that you are one of the cool group, what are your goals for the rest of the year?

I have the Noosa Half Marathon on 6th May, Rocky River Run Half Marathon on 3rd June, and then the Gold Coast Marathon on 1st July.  Next year I want to do the Great Ocean Road Marathon.  What is my goal?  To keep running & get fitter & stronger.  What I would really like to do is run one marathon every year in a new place … what a great way to see Australia!

What do Cam and Liam think of the marathon experience?

Not sure if I am the one who should answer that. (go to "stuff")

Did you pick up any injuries during training, if you did, how did you deal with them?

Nothing bad.  When I increased my distance and started hill training I overdid it a bit and had some pain in my right leg for a few weeks.  I didn't want to stop running, so I just made sure i did lots of stretching before I ran - and I went for a massage once a week.  It was a bit painful, but never got any worse so I knew it was nothing serious.

I often see you running alone with an iPod, what do you listen to?

I find it really difficult to run in silence.  My music has changed a lot since I have started running longer.  I used to have an iPod full of anything that was 150BPM plus and played it really LOUD!  That worked well, and kept me motivated when I was just starting out and only running 5KM or so … but was a bit over-bearing for a long run.  On a long run I now listen to all kinds of music.  Sometimes I just fill the iPod from a random play list and have no idea what I am going to listen to.

What was the best piece of advice people gave you before the race?

Run your own race.  Don't worry about expectations that others have of you and the time they think you will be able to do it in.  Try not to get carried away in the excitement of the start and go out to hard in the beginning.  Make the most of the occasion and enjoy yourself … you only get to do your first marathon once :)

What would you say to others thinking about running a marathon?

Pick one … do the training & just do it!  It'll change your life :)

Winners are grinner's.

So Jason and I are in the "winners circle" this past weekend. Jason in his first time trial cycling event finished 5th overall and 2nd in the "B" Grade Time Trial on Saturday afternoon. Conditions were tough, so it was really impressive. Oh and his pancreas doesn't work.

My win came as I wrapped up the Frenchville Frogs Short Course Duathlon series on Sunday morning. Again it was windy, I hadnt been on the bike since the last race and was pushed to the end by Mike the old fox - lucky my running continues to improve and I banked plenty of time! I won a massive trophy, which my boys love! Its like winning Gold at the Olympics to them!

My sister Monica also smashed her 10km PB this week - she will definitely break 2hrs for the half marathon this year!

So what does this all mean for Trisha, Jason, Monica and I? We have a little phrase which has caught on, "hard work pays off". Ultimately there is not much luck when it comes to endurance sports, its no speed skating at the Winter Olympics waiting for people to fall the work, get the rewards.



  1. What an inspiration! I'm hoping to be able to run a full marathon within the next 2-3 years but I'm a complete beginner. Well done on your achievement!!

  2. Thanks Camilla!!! Trisha's effort is awesome! If you dream it, you can do it! I never thought I could run further than a marathon and I will be running 100km in 4 weeks!