And what a glorious day Melbourne put on for the occasion...
So there I was, huddled in my car watching the clock....warm up was at 8.40 am and I left the car at 8.35 am :)
I joined the other two and a half thousand people shivering in front of the main arena and in the start chute. Here I found a handy tip. Tip no 1: If you are little like me and freezing to death, squish yourself into the middle of the crowd. Yes it is difficult to move but it is toasty warm with body heat.
The start siren blew and we were off, I hit a steady pace of about 5.30 a kilometre. The course was flat and on a sunny day would be lovely but in the misty rain which quickly stopped, it was just plain cold. Even the swans watched frozenly....too cold to even delight in their usual pastime of trying to nip people.
The trail was muddy. the trail was flooded. It was crowded with people all trying to dance around the massive puddles. I was doing well until some numbnut stomped in a puddle and got me good. I took great delight in running past him later and leaving him for dead.
I had my tunes, I had my pace, I had the course to run and I kept on going, through wet shoes and socks, numb hands and cold body. I was in the fresh air and while I HATE being cold and wet, just the rhythm and the feel of the wind against me as I ran put me in my happy place.
The course cleared a great deal after the first lap, when the 5km runners veered to the left to their finish line. I was able to stride out and was loving it. I played games on the ipod music, keeping my feet to the tempo of the music, leaping like a gazelle over the puddles ( in my mind anyway) and turned for the home stretch where I hit the obstacle I hate in every single funrun I race.
Pedestrians. Walkers. People who walk 4 across, blocking the entire path and going s....l....o....w.... When you have hit a comfortable pace to run and are in the flow, coming up against this time after time after time is incredibly frustrating and just plain rude. If you walk, fine, but MOVE TO THE LEFT! Just common courtesy which I find is lacking everywhere nowadays. So tip no 2: If you walk or slow to a stop be aware of who is around you and go to the left of the path, leaving a way clear for those runners coming behind you. And earn our eternal love.
Finally, the finish line was there and coincidentally, the Wonder Woman theme song was playing as I crossed the line. I felt great and checked my unofficial time ( my watch, started just before the start hooter)
But my official time was 54 mins 46 seconds.
I am proud of my time particularly finishing and still feeling good, being able to maintain a pace all through the race. But I'd be lying if I wasn't a teensy bit disappointed as well. I was so so close to breaking my 10k personal best time....but I missed it by 15 seconds. 15 tiny little ticks of the clock. Gives me something to aim for next time.
I left the finish line and went back to huddling in my little car, heaters on full, peeling off wet shoes and socks and plonking on my very unsexy leopard print slippers for the drive home. It's all about preparation ;) Tip no 3: pack comfy shoes for the drive home.
So as yet I've still not run in the rain although it was a close thing Sunday. I admire those who can just go out in the rain and run, I think it's time for me to harden up and give it a bash......after all, it's not as if I'd melt....I think.