I really enjoyed myself today. This is the first time I've done a fun run in Melbourne and it was great to run around the MCG and its surrounds. My dad came along to support me, which was a real bonus.
When we arrived we were amazed by how many people were there. The 5 km event was in progress when we arrived. We heard that there were about 40000 people at the event, and that about 14-15 thousand of them were running or walking. 7-8 thousand were running in the 10 km event. I didn't have to drop my stuff off at the clothing area, as Dad was there to look after it, which took away one of my anxieties. We found the start and I headed for the over 60 minute section.
It was interesting to watch the crowd. There were lots of incredibly fit looking people who looked like they knew what they were doing. Most of those headed further up the line than me. There were plenty of walkers - you could recognise them from their clothes and the fact that many of them were carrying bags. I felt as though I looked like a runner even though I had my skimpy running top covered up with a dark blue polo shirt. I was wearing my Nike running pants and I wasn't carrying a bag. I was pretty chuffed when I saw someone look at me and then heard her tell her friend that there were runners in the area where the pair of them were waiting. I hope she was talking about me. It's kind of nice to be recognised as a runner.
Dad kept me company until about 10 minutes before the event, and then headed off to watch the start. The crowd got progressively more packed and you could tell that many of them didn't know how the start worked. In fact, some of them moved the barrier and just joined in with the faster runners. I saw the 60 min and 65 min pacing balloons, but I didn't try to join the 65 min group. In retrospect I'm sorry that I didn't, as I got around in 68 mins without really pushing myself, so I probably could have done it in 65.
The Lord Mayor started the race at about 10:08 and I crossed the line at 10:20. Even though I'd read people's blogs from Run for the Kids, I hadn't expected it to take that long. Lots of walkers started ahead of me, and I realised that I should have started further up the line. I'll know that next time. It seemed to take forever to get past the walkers, but I didn't get pushed or shoved. That's probably because I was the one going past people, rather than having faster runners pushing past me. Mind you, I got bumped around plenty waiting for the start, but I figured it was easier to just accept it than to get annoyed by it. It wasn't any worse than the bumping that happens on the plane every time I travel to Melbourne. Some people just have no manners. Getting upset about it isn't going to change them so I try to ignore it. Instead, I leave it to karma to get them for me.
Once I got to Flinders Street some space opened up and it was just running from that point on. It took me 7:20 to get to the 1 km mark, which was a good indication of how much time I lost getting past the walkers. After that, my km times were all over the place. I can't remember them all now. I know I got to the 2 km mark in 13:29, so that was a fast one. I was at the 3 km mark in 21:03, so I'd slowed down again. At the 7 km mark I was behind time, but I was ahead at the 8 km mark. I'm not sure if the km markers were wrong or if I'd read the time incorrectly at the 7 km mark.
I took a few walking breaks. I'd hoped to just run more slowly instead of stopping to walk, but my body just dropped to a walk without my brain being involved at one stage. I think I walked for about 6 or 7 mins in total, including the drink stations. I ran a lot faster during the last km, and had to drop to a walk for a breather in the straight leading to the finish line, which was disappointing. I took a few deep breaths and got myself back running fairly quickly.
I was delighted to cross the line before the 70 minute mark. I did the Canberra Marathon Eve 10 km in 1:09:28, so I improved my time today. Not by a lot, but it's still an improvement. I also felt better in myself during this run. Back in April, I didn't know whether or not I'd make it. Today, I knew I would. I passed heaps of people and I felt great when I finished. At the end you could see some people were really struggling. I didn't feel like that. Also, some people looked sore immediately after the race. I guess they tried harder than me. As for me, I have pulled up really well. I have tired legs of course, but I still feel great.
After the run I had to dash home, shower, and then come back into town to my sister-in-law's 40th birthday celebration. We had a "chocolate" afternoon tea at the Langham Hotel at Southbank. It was delicious.