My marathon journey!

Here at RMA it isn’t new for people to be running marathons. There are many many many of you that take up the challenge every year, however when we look at the crux of the marathon we realise that it is no mean feat. A marathon is a LONG WAY and it requires a lot of dedication, will and stamina to not only finish, but to make it to the start line. I am constantly inspired hearing about other people’s marathon journeys. As the marathon is my favourite distance to race, I love to hear about the journey leading up to race day and the emotion of the event itself. To many people a marathon is something that they will only attempt once, or for some many times, but for most of our population not at all. So every marathoner and indeed every marathon is to be celebrated. The achievement that comes after running a marathon and the accomplishment it brings is worth all of the hours and hours of hard work. Here is Melissa’s story……

First time marathoner here!!!! I’ve run most of my teen and adult life but never competitively until my youngest was one year old. I was inspired to run after an all clear for a thyroid cancer scare when my youngest was four weeks old and kept slowly building my training until she was 14 mths old when I ran the City to Surf with my cousin.

After that I can honestly say I became addicted, went on to race in my first half marathon, then another, then  another, then another, and went on to realise I needed a greater challenge. Hence the MARATHON.

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Once I set it in, and paid the registration I started my plan for training, I didn’t follow a set schedule as night shift hubby, part time teacher mummy and two daughters with activities didn’t really allow for it but did 3-4 short runs and one long run a week slowly building up for the maximum time and distance.

I Did my long runs on my own on the weekend and had a lot of questions and doubts as many of you will remember but got to 37klm 5 weeks before my race,then a 32k run the next week then tapered for four weeks prior to the race. The week before, whilst on school holidays with the girls I was extremely anxious and scared and had many doubts especially with lots of niggles and pains in my body during the week. But I reasoned it was probably more psychological and the fact I’ve rested more than anything else.

Well race day came and woke before the alarm, sadly as I am not a morning person, and carbo loaded, dressed, double checked my gear and headed off to Penrith for my race, thinking I had everything covered. I was feeling good driving to the race only to discover 15min from the venue that I’ve forgotten my Garmin.

After crying for a few minutes, some might say rather hysterically, I calmed down talked myself back into racing, and reasoned I could download a running app and still race. Not the best start, but upon reaching the regatta centre I realised that I’ve done the hard yards, I need to trust my body and go and race, and I’m sooooo glad I did as I met some wonderful RMA racers, who with experience, inexperience, love and mutual devotion to running helped me not just start my first marathon, but also finish it.

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My marathon plan was to aim for 40min per lap, each lap being 7klm, first 4laps went well following the time plan but lap 5 dropped back to 46 min and lap 6 to 53 min, although the time was slower, I’m certainly not disappointed, I needed to rest to finish and was able to conserve energy and finish strong getting back to 6min klm for the last 2.5 k, even strong enough for one running man too as he said,’follow my slip stream’ for the last klm to help him finish his half marathon as well!

But the best part of the whole experience, the training, the race, the finishing was having my girls finish with me. My time may not of been the fastest, but I was able to pick up my youngest, grab my eldest daughters hand and run with them both over the finish line… a memory I will have forever and never forget!

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RMA, and all my new running friends I wish to thank you and hopefully inspire you with this story to push for more, strive for greater and never give up! And remember we are runners, we shouldn’t compare or judge, as the gentleman who was completing his 108th marathon said to me on the final stretch ‘I’m just out for a jog, enjoy your day’!

Couldn’t put it better myself! xx

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