A BIG deal…

I’ve run a handful of half marathons, done too many triathlons and a Half Ironman, so why would running 10km be such a big deal?

This time last year, I was blitzing training in the lead up to my Half Ironman, running 50 -60km per week, riding 8 hours a week and swimming about 10km. After hitting the injury wall in October, I haven’t come close to being able to train like that since.

As an athlete when you are limited to par-take in your passion, MOJO is stripped bare. Everything becomes harder and life is a whole lot less enjoyable, well thats the perspective anyway.

So after 2 months of taking it easy early in the year, I found a new coach and a new mojo. The rehab begun, 20min sessions of jog / walk, my clients would scream with joy to have this session, but me, I felt limited. So I persisted with patience to do this easy running and rehab work since January. At times I wanted to let instinct take over and just hit the ground running, I held back.

I questioned myself, my goals and my training program. After yesterdays result at Run Melbourne, I have no doubts, no questions. If I were sensible, my goal would have been just to finish the 10km in a respectable time, similar to what I would have done a year prior. I’m not sensible. My goal to do bigger and better than I ever had, because I had a point to make. Injury was not going to set me back anymore.

So about 3-4 weeks ago I felt it all coming together, consistent running and speeds I haven’t seen on my watch in a long time, maybe ever. I wasn’t sure what would happen yesterday as I have not run further than 8km since my last race in November 2011. I ran blind (no watch), which was a first, with strict instructions to JUST RUN MY GUTS OUT. (My abs are sore today, mission accomplished.)

I woke up, no nerves. Caught the tram to federation square, 1000’s of people, no nerves. Lined up at the start line, no nerves? 10 seconds to go… NERVES!

Thanks to my fellow endurance buddy at Fitline, Holly ‘s task was to pace me. We started off in the masses, trying to find space, once free, I let loose, I told myself – “no regrets means not holding back”. The first 2.5 km was incredible, I was light and fast, effortless, I knew it wouldn’t last (disadvantage of physiology background). I lost Holly at this point, I later found out, she stopped to help someone who had collapsed, 10km and a life saved, good day for Holly.

The hill came and so did a wall along with it, I zoned out here and just pushed. I reminded myself of all the frustrations of failed attempts in the past, it fuelled me to keep the pace. Once I reached half way, my mindset shifted and it I was in ALL OUT mode, huffing and puffing. Then I hit ANOTHER wall at 8km. At this point I was thinking how much easier half marathons are, speed hurts! The pace group for my goal time sped past me, woah, how did that happen? Fire in my belly I pushed to stay with them. At this point I was dizzy, loosing coordination and wasn’t sure how my legs were moving, didn’t feel like I had control. I just focused on technique and a straight line.

The final hill on Flinders st saw me drop back off the pace group, this didn’t sit well with me, come the flat ground I was determined to make up ground, with 200m to go I passed the pace group to go under goal time by 35 seconds.

I went 2 min faster than I have ever run 10km in a race, with less training. My coming season is looking good! The lessons I have taken from this journey are:

– patience

– less training km’s is not a bad thing

– quality over quantity any day

– 10km hurts more than 21km and I never want to race it again!