Course: Some short uphills but mostly flat. Police control at traffic junction; coned areas on the road
Organisation and volunteers: Very good
CPs: Oranges/bananas, gatorade/water
Weather: Started in the 60s, warming up to the 90s
Start Time: 06:00
Start Location: In Jullian Park
Views: Riverside + vineyards + run thru the barrel room of the De Loach vinyard
Post Runner Recovery: Fruit + pancakes + beer
Pasta Dinner: Beautiful serene scenery at the De Loach vinyard. Great pasta + fantastic desserts
She started her first marathon with me. In my dopey stupor (morning brain), she guided me round the first couple of miles through the city of Santa Rosa. When we got back onto a track I was familiar with, I ungraciously left her, confident that she would easily catch up with me later on when I would begin to slow down. Pulling a tyre is always a drag, and my race plan was to be at least:
- 5 miles into the course when the lead runner would over take me
- Closer to mile 6 when the rest of the pack would catch up
- over half way done when the sun would be blasting down heat (10am)
(During the event, the second to seventh caught up with me before crossing a bridge. 2 "spectators" directed us along the wrong path for a 100m before all had to u-turn to get back on track)
I thought of where I wanted to be, whereas Christine would be in a constant mind battle fending off the negative thoughts that wanted to suck her into a dark hole of depression. Note: Christine has suffered from long bouts of depression and being active has helped lift her moods, unveiling a renewed confidence in life.
By mile 18, the heat was liquidizing gels that runners had dropped on the ground and Christine could have quit/wanted to quit (I was at mile 19/20). I remember my first marathon was in Singapore, 2006. At mile 18 with salt depletion, I had hit the wall and had a buddy who I held onto to ensure I didn't fall flat on the floor.
At mile 18, Christine had no other support but herself. She was "flagging" and a thought drifted into her mind to quit. As the heat poured down, the nagging thought became louder. She was now at war. It would be so easy to give up, to fling herself onto the pile of despair, hopelessness and helplessness. Within herself, Christine found her warrior soul and by mile 20 she slew the demon that threatened to take her out of the race. Any further thoughts were "swish swash" destroyed. Christine once again conquered herself and she won the race. More importantly she has moved another milestone her life.
Rock on Christine 'cos you are a marathon finisher and you have a PR!
If you want to get yourself off the couch and become active, these URLs might help
For all ages: see www.parkrun.com (worldwide) - free community based 5K runs every Saturday at 09:00. Need to register on the site.
For the 50+ see http://www.silverfit.org.uk/ (London based) - fitness activities with openly friendly faces
For anyone who would like to get into track and field see: http://www.sfactoracademy.co.uk/ (London based)