Dan and Adam post-race
You might remember that just over a week ago, my very good friend Adam was about to participate in the Perth City To Surf Marathon. Well, I am 23 kinds of chuffed to report that he completed his first ever marathon, after only four months of training, in the fabulous time of 5:41:54!
Hindsight is a valuable tool so, in a follow-up to my pre-marathon interview with him, I thought I would throw a couple of post-run questions his way, just to get a feel on how he felt it all went, and whether he would do anything differently.
Now that you’ve completed the marathon, do you feel your training was adequate? Would you make any changes?
My training was great. I would do a few more big runs (25km, 30km, 35km) just to build the expectation of what I would be going through. I only had four months to train though, so I couldn’t do anything epic.
Your running buddy, Dan, was a late ring-in. Did it help to have someone to run with? What were the advantages of having a running buddy?
It helped a lot. Being able to bounce off someone else was great. You’re in a lot of pain and I think it makes it a lot better because you know someone else is in just as much pain as you are; I don’t know why, it just did. Everyone’s true personality comes out when they’re under extreme pressure, so pick your running partner carefully. Dan pushes himself a lot and he’s a great guy, which really showed when the going got tough. He was making sure I was ok, and another girl who tagged along with us; even though he himself was in a lot of pain, he still took care of everyone around him.
Describe the marathon to me – what was the day like? Take me there!
It was very cold in the morning and I was in short shorts! It was also very dark when we arrived – a 6am start. Everyone was crowded around each other and people were dealing with their nervousness in different ways. Some people were excited and were jumping on the spot and shaking their legs. Others were very quiet and just looked around. Dan and I chuckled because I made the comment that I could get at least 100,000 points if I was playing Carmageddon. Some guy was giving a motivation speech somewhere, but I couldn’t really hear him. The organisers blew a horn and we were all off and running! It was weird running with 1000 other people who were about to take on the same challenges I was – I felt a kinship with everyone around me. I didn’t let it show, but it was really quite humbling.
The pack then started to spread out and we got some space. We met one character straight away and his name was Silvio. He was a bit odd to begin with, as he was shouting “olleh!” all the time, but he inspired Dan and I a number of times throughout the run. He would catch up with us and shout, “hey boys keep running, we’ve only just started!”… He shouted that out at the 35km mark! I couldn’t stop laughing – he was a great guy.
The run itself was pain free until the 20km mark when we got to Kings Park, and that was brutal. We came out of Kings Park hobbling; Dan’s knee had taken a turn for the worse and he was thinking of stopping to avoid an injury, and my hips and all down the front and back of my legs were in a serious amount of pain by that time. But, it was what I expected, so Dan and I just kept pushing along. The pain for us both got progressively worse, and I could have quit a number of times during the race from just the pain alone. It really was unbearable at times. But, there’s a positive side as well! I finished the marathon a different person, and I left a lot of stuff behind and in return, gained some confidence. I got to see who I was under extreme pressure, and I feel like I passed the test; the “who am I really?” test that we all ask ourselves sometimes (or at least I do!). A few of Dan’s friends ran past us and shouted some encouragement, and one lady asked if Dan was sick and when he said no, she shouted “keep running then!”. We laughed and started running again. I saw a lot of good human spirit out there – ti’s changed my perspective completely.
From the 36-37km mark we started to walk from one street light, then run the next, as a strategy to help chew down the kilometers, which worked really well. The last 12km was great as we got to see everyone walking along on the other side of the fence and some of them cheered us on. Others just looked at Dan and I in a weird way – I think they were probably thinking what crazy knuckle heads would run a marathon??!!
As soon as we saw the finish line, Dan turned to me and said, “we gotta run this last 100 meters”. I said ok, and then Dan started sprinting!! I thought holy crap – I gotta catch him!!! So I started flat out sprinting to catch up, and just before the finish line I grabbed his hand and shook it. Epic. (**fizz note: this bit has brought tears to my eyes every time I’ve ready it!)
It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I loved it.
What were the absolute highlights of the run for you?Do you now wish you had taken me up on my offer of hot pink running shorts?
Haha! Nah… I looked really bad anyway, don’t worry!
I covered this a bit earlier, as there were a lot of highlights along the way. One that stands out right now though, is the sense of achievement I felt walking back to the car with the medal around my neck. I felt thrashed, but great!
What was the hardest part of getting to the finish line?
Pushing through the pain. Everything else was a breeze. I can’t describe it – you have to feel it for yourself. I just kept my eye on the goal.
What’s your next challenge?
The Avon Descent. I reckon it will be a lot of fun. The Avon has been on my bucket list for a while, and now I have the courage to attempt it.
Hiking also looks like a lot of fun, so I will do a bit of trail running. I’m also going to do the marathon again next year.