It was not fun...
And I did very little running!
With Mum, Australia Day 2007
Today? Today I gave it everything. I did run but to say it was fun would still be a stretch :)
With Mum, Australia Day 2012
The Australia Day Fun Run is the smallest run I have planned for this year. It's local, it's free, it's a bit of a shambles at the start line but I love it.
I love it because it was my first, destined to always be my measure of where I have come from.
I love it because it's my territory, my tracks, my people.
But most of all, I love it because it will always be the 5k run where I finally cracked the sub 30:00 finish...
Mum and I showed up early to register for the run. There was a 2km, 5km and 10km option. I would have loved to give the 10 a go but with T-Day so close it probably wasn't the best idea. Not long after we had signed up, my Mum's sister (let's call her V) showed up. The important thing to know here is that my Mum and V don't get along. If I am completely honest, I am not a big fan of her either. She is very fake and thinks she is just the bees-knees. I am all for self-confidence but she takes it to a whole new level.
This lit a big fire under Mum's butt and she was determined that we were going to beat V and that the way we were going to do this was to focus on breaking 30 minutes. I didn't know if I could do it...
It seemed even more unlikely when we were standing on the start line. All three distances were starting together which included lots of wee tackers that were doing the 2K. I love to see kids participating in fun runs... I do not like trampling them when the starters gun goes off...
And then we were told we would be running across a bridge over the nearby creek. The bridge is narrow! Like single file narrow. I knew that we would lose valuable seconds crossing that bridge. A 30 minute finish was looking further and further away.
Note to Self: Don't wear the Australia singlet again
Eventually, after a lot of confusing instructions, we finally got to start running. I went out too hard, eager to get the bridge crossing out of the way and I had to reign it in a bit. There was not sight of V for the first few minutes and then I saw her out of the corner of my eye. I think she was just as keen to pass us as we were to stay in front. It was ON!
We finally came to the bridge and the girl behind me was trying everything to get in front of me to cross first but I was having none of it. It was a a delicate balancing act between keeping her behind but not mowing my Mum down as she tried to cross. It really was a stupid way to run the course but I can hardly complain, it was a free event after all.
With the bridge behind me it was time to do something about dear old Aunt V. The to and fro game that we were playing was not my cup of tea and I wanted to get her behind us or at least make her fight to stay in front. And fight she did but I could tell she was fading when her feet started scuffing the ground every few steps. When she stopped for water at the 2K point, I knew we had her. We left her to re-hydrate... (Oooo, I am vicious aren't I?)
The course had only one major incline. At the bottom of the hill I had a 30 second lead on the Virtual Partner on Garmy that I had set to the pace required to make sub 30. At the top my lead had dropped to 4 seconds... And shortly after that I was 2 seconds behind. Damn, damn... I told my Mum in gasped out breaths that I had fallen behind the pace and she told me to pick it back up again. We were at 4K and it all became a mental game.
I found myself convinced that just crossing the line before V was going to be enough but a few seconds later I would feel like I needed to beat 30 minutes like I needed oxygen. Then I would tell myself that I have a triathlon in three days, is it fair to be doing this to myself? And then Garmy would tell me that my pace was ahead of the virtual partner and I wondered if I could really give up this chance when I was so close.
As we approached the finish line Mum called out to me that we were going to come close. I didn't dare look at Garmy. It was too late to change the outcome anyway...
I slammed down the 'Stop' button...
That's right people!
It was close, but under is under!
You could have told me I had just qualified for Boston, that's how happy I was!
And it really was a cherry on the top watching V cross the finish line a few minutes later ;)
Five years later, thirteen minute faster!
Sub 30! Thumbs to the sky folks :)