My office took part in the Brisbane Marathon yesterday to raise money for a charity. The plan had been for all of us to compete in the 21.1km half marathon however, in the final days before the race, all but three switched over to the 10km event.
I, was stupid enough to continue in the 21.1 km event, despite my usual exercise being the 5km walk I attempt each day during my lunch break. Well, I am glad to say that I did complete the full “half” marathon and even got a medal at the end. I walked for large portions of it but switched it up to a jog whenever I was growing too bored or in amongst a group. Overall, my time was 3 hours 30 which I was happy with and am sure I could have reduced if I hadn’t decided to stop at times to take some pictures, like those above. It isn’t every day that I get to see my city in the early morning light – hell, I don’t recognise that there is in fact two different 4 o’clocks in a day so it was a rude shock to the body when my alarm went off at 4 am and woke me with a fright.
I am not an athletic person and it was rather crazy to take part in this event given it was 20 days before my wedding, however, being for charity – how could I say no?
Things I learnt:
- When trying to avoid running into the edge of the door when leaving bedroom in total darkness, also avoid the opposite wall and the fan switch (I have a nice round bruise on my arm).
- Blister pads (usually decided for when you already have a blister) are brilliant at preventing them as well. I was wearing some old Kmart sneakers so put some of those bad boys on my ankles. Victory – not a blister in sight.
- Some people will run fast, some will run slow, some will look more like a zombie shuffling on and some will be walking. Encourage all the people who you pass. It is gruelling and you don’t know what the other person is going through. Congratulate them for taking part.
- Toilet break before the race is essential. I didn’t pass ANY decent loos on the way and my bladder was hating me BIG TIME by the end of the race.
- Try to have fun. Yes you may look like a complete fool and your running style could do with some fine tuning but pfft… at least you are trying.
- Eat something before you begin.
- Stretch. I was planning on doing more running and only the tiniest bit of jogging. Didn’t turn out that way. Being a fool, I didn’t stretch before hand and now, the day after am paying for that mistake big time. My waddle makes me look like I’ve been in the saddle all day.
- You can do anything you set your mind to.
- Headphones are essential if you aren’t a “serious” competitor. I didn’t have headphones on me and get a bit bored with the voices in my head by the end of it. I did manage to keep myself partially amused by: Swearing that hills were part of the course (on the map it looks pretty flat), swearing that stairs were part of the course (turns out they weren’t, some were just bailing on the course), cursing the team member who came up with the idea of the marathon and asking for a lighter medal at the end since the standard one of too heavy for my tired body – and no, I didn’t get a lighter one.