I thought I dealt with a disappointing failure on the Gold Coast (no I didn’t meet Malcolm Turnbull- I just ran really badly in the marathon). I was relatively at peace with the missed opportunity and managed to put the lingering sense of disappointment behind me fairly quickly.
I should also show some self-awareness and remember not to over catastrophise too. I have referred to this race at various times as a set-back, a disappointment and even a disaster. I must acknowledge that compared to true misfortunes that befall everyone at different times in life, my experience on the Gold Coast was pretty trivial- especially in a year that has been unbelievably good to me. But that didn’t make me feel any better about the actual experience at the time.
And even though I thought I recovered pretty well emotionally, I had to admit my confidence was pretty shaken. ‘Maybe I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was,’ I worried to myself. I had never faded that badly in the back end of a marathon before so it seemed a legitimate conclusion too.
With less than three months until the Sydney Marathon, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to turn things around, but importantly the first thing I did was to stop thinking about that timeline. Like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III, I needed some help to rediscover my eye of the tiger (and not the Katy Perry sort either). Now I didn’t have Apollo Creed to help me, but I did have some wonderful friends in the Hobart running community and that turned out to be even better.
The Sunday after Gold Coast I ran for a few hours in the rain with Naomi and Gabby. We talked and joked as we ran, with barely a thought about speed and the run passed so quickly I was almost sorry to finish. The next weekend I ran for half a day as part of Chris Dalton’s 100km day. Once again, I ran without any thought of target speed and just revelled in the company and the experience of running for enjoyment’s sake. I followed this pattern for all of July, running 80 to 100km every week and enjoying it.
I only really brought some hard running back in August.
I love Strava, it gives me a chance to emulate the training of people who run a bit faster than me. I had a good look at a couple of people I follow (thanks Doug and Jake) and modified my training a bit to include a few longer tempo runs and to work harder on my interval sessions. By the end of August, I had rediscovered a good deal of my confidence and was looking forwards to race day with optimistic excitement once more.
I had also intended to lose a bit of weight before Sydney, as I felt I was running a little heavy. But I never really made a plan for this and just assumed that by eating a bit healthier (but not reducing my intake of food overall) it would happen naturally.
It didn’t and I’m the same weight I was before Gold Coast. But I’m okay with that. Three days out from the race, I’m just excited. I can’t be certain I’ll achieve everything I am hoping, but I know I’ll give it my best efforts. With many of my friends running in the race as well, I’m also really pumped to see all of their hard work rewarded with their results.
It is going to be a great weekend.