Melbourne was different, it was so emotional for 2 reasons - and its taken me a while to process the feeling and renewed motivation for running.
Without revisiting old ground, I have spent the year forcing myself to run marathons. Looking for my old motivation. I didnt race at any other distance, didnt run a half or a hard 10k. I went from 7 to 11 marathons without being race fit. I just logged enough miles not to die. Always hoping that on one run it would "click" and all of a sudden I would have my mojo back. It never came when I wanted it to.
Looking back over my Garmin data I didnt log too many miles through September, and having the 3 weeks between marathons really didnt give me a chance to recover or get any fitter.
Marathon week arrived and I was looking forward to just a mini holiday, after the stress of the Capricorn Coast Running Festival it was a relief to have the weekend to havea few beers and unwind.
Then I recieved a call. BOOM. Ben calls from NZ saying he is coming over to run. At first I was hesitant because it was a lot of cash to be spending, but he says he wants to come. SO in an instant our Marathon party grew! I was so excited, it had been over 12 months since Ben returned to Wellington and I missed really missed his friendship, running with him, and hanging out. Maybe part of my running mojo was with Ben, as soon as he announced they were heading back to NZ it sort of just vanished. We had spent all of 2012 running together, training for my first ultras, under Ben's coaching I PB'ed across all distances. It was my biggest running year.
When we touched down in Melbourne it was clear Ben was either pregnant or really serious about hitting the gym, he looked huge like a white kiwi Hulk. I had talked him into running the marathon and not just spectating. He said he hadn't run for months, and it was obvious he was telling the truth.
On the way down in the plane - I said to Brenden he has to have a crack at a 3.30 marathon. He had never been fitter, the weather was perfect and he had to just enjoy this moment as he might not get another chance like it. He was not quite sure as he was training heavily for Noosa triathlon, and wasnt certain he would recover. We hatched a plan, that if he felt a tweek to any pain in his glute (where he had problems) that he would just back the pace off and finish the marathon as a training run.
My original plan was to shave the 9 minutes off my time from Sydney and finish the year with a 4.00 marathon. Ben said he was going to run 5.40s for as long as possible then I could leave him behind. Yeah right. Like I would be leaving him behind! My plan was just to enjoy the day out with my brother.
So we met Greg (who was injured) and met his mate Matt who was running his first marathon, Matt joined Ben and I and we set off to try and run a even split 4.00 marathon. Everything was on track, we held back really early - then eased into 5.25-5.30 pace. We caught the 4.00 pace balloons around 12 or 13km and then got seperated with Matt. We spotted Brenden a couple of times, as he was on the other side of the road. He looked really comfortable, running his own pace.
We ran on, and by 25km I started to get tight. My legs just felt like lead, and my stride length just got shorter and shorter. It was sort of a relief to get to that point having run solidly knowing could take it easy with some walk breaks and still finish under 4.30, and this is exactly what we did. For the next 17km Ben and I just enjoyed being out, talking, running. Ben even called his wife Mel in the middle of the race! Definately not your typical marathon!
As we neared the end, the moment and emotion started to bubble up within me. I missed Ben. I missed being fit. I wanted more out of myself. I realised finally that I can achieve more with running, I am not done yet, I wanted to get back to feeling like I had in 2012. As we rounded the last corner, there were runners everywhere - 5km, half marathoners, marathoners. The finish line was super crowded, but Ben and I savoured the moment. Crossing together, arms raised.
We run for those who cant.
Within moments we found Brenden and he had run 3.30. I was so pumped for him. A marathon PB in the middle of his triathlon training. Officially he finished with a 3.30.01 - 2 seconds and he would of been sub 3.30! He had run a perfect negative split marathon.
As we had a few beers and watched Bathurst it really started to kick in, the feeling that it was time to dig in and really have a crack at a 3.30 marathon. If Brenden can do it, there is no reason why I couldnt. I had run all year with him, and know that if I got my endurance back there is no reason I can't smash it.
As I had a few ciders with Brenden in the airport I felt different, I had been here before, I knew the feeling, MOJO. All of a sudden I wanted to run. I was ready to reapply myself and rip in.
2015 goals start today.
Before I even think about races, I needed 2 things, to get to my racing weight and to build a decent base.
So starting stats 14th October 77.3kg ave weekly kms 50km/week.
On Sunday I weighed in at 72kg and have averaged 70km/week for the last 6 weeks. Feels good to ramp things up, drop the puppy fat and start to feel comfortable running again.
The goal is to get to racing weight, not sure but somewhere around 69-68kg by the end of February then ramp things up for a big crack at Gold Coast and Melbourne Marathons.
I'll start posting weekly updates of training etc just to keep myself accountable.