Monday, 6 October 2008

Mt Tamborine man

After one final lot of adjustments on my back on Friday, i was given a couple of core strength exercises specifically for my weak neck and also the advice from my chiropractor that he doubted i'd be up for this weeks race but would be right for the Melbourne Marathon. Easy day Saturday but to be honest i had only one thing on my mind i wasn't going to dnf a race i'd won 8 times, so even if i had to take it real easy and break my record of 12 podium finishes there the only way i wouldn't be finishing would be death !!!.
Alarm went off at 4:15, the joys of being close to a race, time for my 8 vita brits etc and a good read and then hit the highway to Nerang. Typically hadn't read the race details too well and discovered there were a number of runners cars at the velodrome, just down from the usual start at the Guides Hall, so for the 4th time in the history of the race we had a slightly different course (first few years from Macintosh Island definitely my preferred option being all road and 68.8K's but incredibly dangerous with busy roads, then from Owens Park, then the Guides Hall and now here).
11 Starters, not huge but considering that it was looking a hot day and many events around fair enough, but certainly a class field with Sydneysider Jo Blake and local Susannah Harvey-Jamieson both in the world 100K's in Italy next month as well as a number of other good local ultra runners. Even at first glance i think i had 5th place in mind as both long runs this week i'd essentially run 2 hours and then the back had gone and 2 hours wouldn't even get me far along Guanaba Creek Road.
Settled midfield, happily walking some of the steep uphills hoping that would help me, and was bemused to see Keith Mckay (one of the runners) marshalling the field down the "Siberia" section (what had happened is there was a table which would be manned later but there was no indication that runners had to turn there for the 3K run to "Siberia" and then back). Ultimately this meant that Keith lost around 20 minutes and also one faster runner missed the turn completely, i was to see him later heading back.
Was surprised to see that only two relay runners and Jo were in front of me when they headed back towards me and that perked me up a bit but knew i didn't want to do anything stupid. Finally out of the bush and was glad to get rid of my compulsory handheld bottle, and thinking i could now make up some time on the undulating roads before hitting Mystery Rd (i swear it must have a silent "T").
Got to Mt Nathan road and the female relay runner was looking for directions so pointed her the right direction and gave myself something to chase, just beating her in at the tennis court changeover and major aid station. Frustratingly found the old Woolworths band aids just aren't as good as they used to be (i swear they must have changed suppliers for their plain label brand as once upon a time they stuck around like the guest who just won't leave), so not wishing to rip my nipple to bits thought topless was the way to go (nowadays i'd say racing is about the time i wear a top when running the climate here is too good :-)).
From then on powered on nicely and was finally getting a good rhythm, although was surprised to see a relay runner fall (and just as quickly bounce back up) on a flat bit of road only a hundred or so yards ahead. Finally starting to feel good about my running when i hit Mystery Rd, surely one of the steepest roads about, so it was walking time, saw one relay runner flying down before i hit the top but thankfully no others before i hit Henry Roberts Dve. Jo appeared very soon so any thoughts i had i tackling him on the downhill were gone but i knew i could still do something half decent. Glad to hit the top and have a couple of Succeed capsules as well as some coke and endura (one aid station in between also meant a couple of Succeed caps washed down with water), now for my favourite section. Was rapt to find there were no runners within a couple of miles of me as i knew i had my "pet" downhill section ahead of me and also knew i'd need all the lead i could get once i hit the forest trails. Down, down, down, so good but worryingly instead of feeling the neck i was trashing the quads more than usual and this seemed to be making my lower back very unstable. Another couple of succeed caps at the Whitting Road aid station and then the undulations all the way back to the tennis courts, my running went through a roller coaster of emotions in that time, sometimes my usual confident, cocky self running aggresively in the Frees and sometimes a shattered shadow struggling up hills feeling pains in the hips and quads as well as feeling i was a little dehydrated. Finally back to the Tennis courts and had a Gu (i had a stash of stuff there but couldn't be bothered battling a Clif Bar) now to finish it off. Mt Nathan Rd had been busy but obviously Brown Snakes aren't that damn as half way along a one around a metre long crossed, making me run sideways into the middle of the road (fastest i'd moved on an uphill all day), happy to see it get across and for me to get on my side of the road again. Finally back to the pre forest aid station where i picked up the handheld, a couple of lollies and two more S Caps washed down with water.
From then on it was a struggle, i'd be honest and say that i was probably dehydrated, looking at the the temperature it only hit 28.2 degrees at Nerang but clear skies (and no top or cap) probably made it feel hotter and went through the 650ml bottle (and last two S Caps) before hitting the "Siberia" turn checkpoint, cramped up a number of times and was crablike as i went uphill. Was so happy to see Peter McKenzie at his aid station, and coke and bananas and oranges (heaven !), quick chat and i was on my way, obviously i was a fair way behind by now as i made the turnaround and had still seen no one, coming back gave me a good idea where Adrian Pearce and Susannah (my biggest worries) were and it looked as though i might even beat a relay team. More coke and oranges at Pete's stand and i was ready for the last hard stretch, by then my hips and lower back were a feeble joke and cramps were an everpresent worry so it was a case of simply digging deep and knocking the bastard off.
Had a drink at the last aid station but only half filled the bottle knowing it was less than 4K's, definitely not my brightest idea as had finished that within two and after being passed by the relay runner (i was slowing rapidly) saw him coming off one track and heading on another, yelled at him that i thought where he came from was correct but couldn't stop him so went the way i thought was right (new start meant the familiar course was no more), typical me i was wrong, hit the back of some houses and ultimately consulted a map at an entrance, ultimately costing me a couple of K's (same course as Jo and a couple of the relay teams so i guess it's not only me). Jo had finished hours ago (5:15:17) and i'd just squeezed in under 7hours (6:54:09), still at least second. One of the later runners mentioned the course was 64.5K by his Garmin so i'd be guessing we ran closer to 66 on the day.
Usually i'm pretty stuffed after any race as i don't believe in leaving anything for the end but yesterday seemed to be worse than ever, very fragile with pain every time i moved my lower back and cramps always a threat. Basically an hour till i was capable of eating (although a can of soft drink did go down well immediately after), and another hour till i was capable of heading carward after seeing the last runners in. Terrible drive home having to stop a couple of times to stretch the leg when it cramped (as for getting out the car i'm sure there's people in their 100's could have done it faster), by the time i did get home it was a shower downstairs and then an Everest like ascent to my bed where i woke up (still in pain) 5 hours later !!.
Chiro today and have been told not to run until i see him again on Wednesday not as though i am physically capable at present. At least it's "only" a marathon next Sunday, the question being can i hobble to sub 3 ???

1 comment:

Tesso said...

Great work Kel!!!

Fingers crossed for that sub 3. I'll probably be about 1k from the finish and will give you a big gee-up if its going to be a close call. Heck, I'll give you a big gee-up no matter what.

See ya there then.