No it wasn't the birth of our new King.
No we didn't get a new Prime Minister. Again.
No. I didn't win the 35 million jackpot in Lotto. (dammit)
No...it was something that for me, the heavens opened and sang, yet noone else would have heard it....
So what was it?
I ran a new personal best.....in a half marathon no less.
Sunday was the day of The Age Run Melbourne half marathon. I had trained for this 21.1 km run, had a plan in place and felt prepared. My goal was to run the half marathon in 2 hours.
The plan was to find the two hour pace group, and stick with them, then I would know I was getting the right time in.
And the wheels all fell off at the start.
I lost my friends, not once but twice. I think I did an extra 2 km running up and down the street looking for them. In the end the start gun sounded for the first wave and I found myself in the very back of the start chute...with what looked like 1000 people between myself and the pace group I was after.
It was cold, I was alone and immediately 'Phyllis' started her whinging...." It's too cold", "you won't make it anyway" " You'll barely be able to cross the line let alone beat your last time" I turned up my ipod.
The first wave left at 7 am. My pace group left at 7.10 am. I finally reached the start line at 7.25am.
I set a pace that left me a little breathless and just kept plodding. The sun came out, there was no rain or wind, just a seeping coldness that slinked in through my clothes even though running usually makes me warm. We ran all over the place, past the Arts Centre, through the Botanical Gardens, along the banks of the Yarra river, along roads I had never seen before.
And along hills I had never seen before.
I was so glad there were a lot of us, I would have been lost otherwise.
I had my ipod in and played my mind games to keep going...running to the beat of the music, planning the grocery list for the next couple of weeks, picking a shirt in front of me and seeing if I could pass them. After a while I passed the 2:10 pace runner and felt a little more optimistic....if I could keep in front of him, then I'll be confident of a better time than my first half marathon time of 2:19.
Further on I found two of my friends, the amazing Theresa who, with cerebral palsy, ran the half marathon, and Renee who never seems to stop smiling. I found out they had started further up the chute than I did, so a quick chat and I continued on.
Demoralising moment no 2: at the half way mark I was overtaken by the lead runner who had only 2 km to go and the wheelchair racer who was FLYING. They had reached the end and here I was still schlumping along at halfway. It was at this point I began to sing....quietly but singing Walk like an Egyptian with your ipod does lift the spirits.
Time travelled on, I passed tents with various entertainers in them singing and playing for us, bringing a smile to my face. LOVED the drummers just over the bridge....
The wind picked up on the final lap and I found myself with legs that started feeling like blocks of wood, then like lumps of concrete. I concentrated on just making my feet keep going one after the other, almost like a running march. I had given up all hope of reaching my goal of 2 hours but I hadn't seen the 2:10 pace runner again so I was hopeful. The slightest breeze felt like I was pushing against an invisible wall and all around me people's faces were in various descriptions of pain or defeat. Much like this...
And then like magic....the flags telling us only 750m to go......then 250 metres to go.....I could hear the angels singing...
to find some bastard put the finish line on top of a hill.
With the finish line in sight, I became focused...extremely focused.
...in an official time of 1:59 and 14 seconds...
I did it. I am not ashamed to say I had a little cry afterwards, I was so unbelievably happy that I...DID....IT.
Next target.....the Melbourne Marathon........