Happy Mother’s Day!
Today was my third running of the Sydney Mother’s Day Classic 8K. (Previously: 2006, 2008.) There were a few new challenges this year: I’m heavier than I was the two previous times I ran it; I’ve been doing more strength training and a lot less running miles lately; and I was running this one on my own, without anyone else to pace me. It was also the culmination of a week of pretty intense busy-ness, and I hadn’t had much time to worry about race preparations. Despite my protestations, Snookums insisted on coming along to support me. (He’s the best.) My goals were simple: to run the whole thing without stopping, and to finish in under an hour. At 7:30am the gun fired and we were off.
It was already sprinkling when the race started, and it continued to drizzle down the whole time. It was nice though. I settled into my pace quickly. They’d changed the course from last year and it meant a lot more turns and switchbacks. There were still plenty of hills, but they were much shorter and didn’t kill you so much. I realised I felt pretty good. I was happy to pass my nemeses, the Peaky Striders, pretty early on. Because I was on my own, I listened to Steve Runner’s podcast from the Boston Marathon as I went. I got lapped by the winner as I neared the halfway point, but I didn’t mind because the rain had stopped and a beautiful rainbow appeared at the turnaround. It was glorious. I feel like I ran this entire race with a smile on my face. I kept an eye on my pace just to make sure I was going to meet my goal, but I didn’t feel any particular need to push hard. I kept getting passed by people who were going flat out, and then five minutes later I’d chug past those same people who were now walking to catch their breath. My mantra was “slow and steady.” I actually laughed as I climbed the biggest hill for the second time, wondering why I thought it was so difficult before. Finally were was only one kilometer left to go, so I did my best to pick up the pace. I saw Snookums about 200m from the finish line. “I did it!” I croaked to him. “I haven’t stopped!” And suddenly I welled up like I was going to cry. I put my head down and sprinted as best I could to the finish line. I crossed in 57:37 (according to Runkeeper), but that included that time it took me to get to the start. So call it 57 minutes. Not a blazing time by any standard, but given how much fun I had and now easy the run ended up being, I’ll take it. I’m feeling much better about my chances for posting a fast time at the Bay Run in a couple months.
Thanks to everybody who sent me supportive messages before and after the Race. And extra special thanks, of course, to the Snook, who never complains about getting up at 6am and standing in freezing cold drizzle for 2 hours just so I’ve got a friendly face cheering me on at the end. That’s worth more than a race medal to me.
Edited to add: Official race times have been posted. I finished in 57:01, which was firmly in the back of the pack. Still, a fun event!