Mother’s Day Classic 2010
Yesterday was my fourth running of the Mother’s Day Classic 8K in Sydney’s Domain. (Previously: 2006, 2008, 2009.) The weather was bright and sunny, but not as cool as in previous years. The Snook and I caught a bus into the city and headed over to pick up my timing chip. That’s when I walked into CHAOS. The course was changed this year to start on Hospital Road and extend out into the city streets. The problem is that just about all of us were trying to get into the Domain VIA Hospital Road, so you had thousands of people streaming in while others were actually lining up for the start. It was crazy. It took me ages to get over to pick up my chip through the crowd. Eventually I got it and headed back to Hyde Park to meet up with my friends. We left the Snook laden with our bags and headed to the starting line. On the way, we discussed our race plans. Issy had been training like a champion and figured she’d do 6:30 kilometers. Miss Fee had had a rough couple of months and hadn’t been able to train as much as she’d like, so she was planning to go slow. Me, I was somewhere in the middle. After all, my real goal event isn’t til next Sunday. I was torn between wanting to test my speed and not wanting to push too hard during my taper. Then Miss Fee mentioned that she’d never run 8km without walking before. That settled it. “How about I run with you, and I’ll make sure you do the whole thing without stopping?” She accepted. It was a staggered start, and pretty soon we were off. Issy ran with us for a bit then we waved goodbye as she pulled ahead. Fiona and I chugged along happily, enjoying the day and chatting the whole way. We got lapped by the winner and cheered him on. We talked about the house she’d just bought; we talked about my kitchen renovation; we talked about our fitness plans. I kept her going up and over the hills of the Domain. We passed my friend Venks at one point going the other direction. (The course was two laps of an out-and-back.) We slowed a bit on the second lap, but I picked up the pace in the last 2km. Fee was puffing, but we passed the 7km mark and she knew she was going to do it. “When we get to the final turn,” I said, “we’re going to sprint in to the finish. Whatever you got, all right?” To my utter surprise, when we rounded that corner she was OFF LIKE A BULLET. Seriously! I was so surprised I nearly forgot to sprint myself. There was no chance of catching her, and I crossed the line about five seconds behind. We had a big hug at the finish.We collected our goodie bags and medals and headed back to the park. There we met up with Venks, Issy, and Issy’s friend Mel. Issy had had a fantastic race, and she ended up breaking the 50 minute mark! Venks finished around 54 minutes, which is just about his goal pace for the Half-Marathon next weekend. Fiona and I crossed the line at about 58 minutes. (Our race data.) We took some more photos.
So, how do I feel going into my final week before the Half? A little scared, to tell you the truth. I’m not scared of the distance. I know I can do the distance. I’m worried about my speed. I’m worried about not making the halfway cutoff. I’m worried about not matching my previous attempts. I’m worried about being the slowest of all my friends and fellow runners. It’s so silly, right? Because the truth is that my run with Fiona was the most fun I’ve had on a run in my whole training. I wasn’t focused on myself; I was focused on enjoying the day, being with my friend, and feeling good. If the choice was between getting a PB on Sunday and having it be torture, or getting a slow time but feeling like I did yesterday… I’m not sure I wouldn’t choose the latter.
Anyway, thanks to all the GGR team runners (including the still-mysterious Other Kris!). I really did have a wonderful time, and I’m so glad I was able to help Fee meet her goal. Any one of you want to do the same for me on Sunday? 🙂