Jills MarathonJul 04, 2020
Jill had a goal, and I’m always excited to help anyone get there. Still, jill had already had decided that she wanted to beyond any self doubts that she had, she seriously was unstoppable and great to see someone so motivated during these tough times, as someone who works in the fitness industry she has seriously set a great standard and is very inspirational for others who may be struggling, well-done jill I’m looking forward to helping you improve this time next eight weeks.
I started running early last year to run a full marathon in May 2020. Last October, I ran 42.2kms in 6 hours 24minutes. I did lots of walking in between a slow jog.
Due to COVID 19, the Adelaide Marathon was canceled. So I set a new date Sunday 28th June, measured 42.2km route around my home town of Keith, got really focused and mentally prepared.
May last year I ran 21kms in 3hours, and a few weeks ago, during my training leading up to this marathon, I ran 20kms in 2hours 27mins. So in 12months, I had knocked off 30minutes in a half marathon.
My goal was first to complete it, and then it changed to “I would really like to run the whole way with no specific time” (just wanted to run the entire time until I was done). Then with a couple of weeks to go, my goal changed again to “if I can run 21kms 30mins quicker than 12months ago, surely I can shave one hour off last October’s time. So my goal was finally set to run it in under 5 hours, 24mins.
The evening before, I made little ‘fuel/hydration’ packs of protein balls, gels, and bottled water with salt added. I drove out and place them under trees at 13km, 21km, and 26km ‘checkpoints’. I had a pre-race chat with Aaron. I knew I had to start slow for the first 4kms, then keep my pace in zone 2 for the other 38kms. I kept very well, hydrated.
I got up at 3:30 am, drank water, had a green smoothie for breakfast, stretched, and left 4:35 am. I KNEW I would be back by 10 am.
The first 4kms were comfortable, enjoyed the serenity, and the stars in the clear sky. My time was 2 minutes quicker than what I had wanted my ‘warm-up’ to be….. oh well. At 13kms, I grabbed my pack. The water was nearly too cold to drink, I wasn’t hungry but did have a gel and washed it down with some water. I left the bottle under another tree and kept running.
Just after 6 am at 14kms, I picked up my pace a little. I heard a vehicle come up behind me, and it was my husband Paul, and daughter Natalia, and Ace (our kelpie). Paul drove slowly next to me for about 3-4kms. Ace got out and had a little run with me. He had been my training buddy, and also Lyn, a close friend.
Paul left, and I was on my own again. I started playing some music and kept my pace up. Had a little sip of icy water at 21km ‘checkpoint’, no gel or balls, ran comfortably for the next 4kms. Happy to be over halfway.
25-30kms was the hardest, physically but more so mentally. It was 7:30 am, my fingers were frozen, my pace was inconsistent, the terrain was undulating. After a couple of attempts to ring Paul with frozen fingers and a ‘frozen’ phone, I asked him to please come back out and bring warmer gloves. He said he’d be out when they have finished their pancakes. By the time he got there, I was starting to thaw out but was very grateful for a jumper and gloves. I had a gel, water, and balls. They stayed with me a bit, and I had one more gel and a sip of water, then on my own again.
I increased my pace at 35km, and my heart rate hit its maximum for about 2kms. I stopped for a couple of hip flexor stretches to give my heart 30seconds to decrease a little. At 5kms to go, I picked up my pace a little more. At 4kms to go, my son, Ethan, met me on his bike. I kept my pace up. I had one last sip of water about 3kms to go, and I picked up my pace at 2kms to go. Now I was running quite fast (fast for just running 40kms). Ethan stayed next to me on his bike. I was pushing hard, and he was great at encouraging me. At 42kms, I was in a full gallop, pushing hard as I had plenty of time to rest afterward……
I did it!!!! In 4 hours 55minutes, I ran 42.2kms. I actually couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. Ethan hugged me, and I cried in his arms. I slowly jogged for 1 km, met up with Paul and Natalia, who walked out to meet me. (Unfortunately, they weren’t there for the finish as I finished earlier than expected). It was great, though, as we walked the 2kms back home together. I dipped my legs in the pool as an ice bath stretched, and enjoyed a fruit platter that Natalia made for us.