“If your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!” – anonymous.
This quote was the motivation for planning my 2015 run calendar. This was the quote responsible for my motivation to become an Ultramarathon runner and more…I had completed two marathons last year and I had set, trained with and finished my sixteen-week Nike Running Coach marathon program this year, feeling strong. The PBs had been flying for me at Parkrun and at the local Sunshine Coast run series and I was prepared.
During the taper weeks, I had experienced some hamstring issues, that turned into calf issues. I have narrowed the cause down to sprints on top of tired legs. On my last long run, I chose to stop and walk back to my car. I felt uneasy, sore, embarrassed (I was running with some Parkrun friends) and a little sorry for myself.
Thank goodness for Scott, my amazing Chiropractor. I saw him three times in the week leading up to this event and he had released my hamstring through massage and manipulated the problem muscles before there was a major problem. He had assured me that there was no structural issues and I was OK to run. Whoo hoo!
Even the day before this event, my leg was tender and I had the nervous butterflies in my stomach. I had decided that I would start the race and reassess after one of the 25km laps, if I would continue. This was hard to explain to my Year 4 class as they are great supporters of mine. As I left work on the Friday before, one of the boys said, “I know you can do it Mrs Reynolds.” This definitely stuck in my head.
The Gold Coast 100 Supermarathon encompasses many 25km lap-based events from Burleigh Heads to North Kirra and return. There were 100 km, 50 mile, 50km, 25km and 10km options available. It is also a qualifying race for IAU 100km World Cup.
My awesome husband Noah (who was supposed to do the 10km but injured himself the day before), brother-in-law Rob (50km), fellow RMA sister Charmaine (25km) and I left the kids with the Grandparents, picked up our race bibs and turned up to the race start as ready as we could be.
Rob and I ended up running together from the start aiming for around a 6min/km pace. We went out a little faster than that and chatted with a runner from Israel who trains in the desert and a lovely girl named Emma from Adelaide. It’s amazing whom you chat with on a run like this! The four of us ran together while our pace matched and until Mr Israel took off and Emma fell back. We passed Charmaine and other RMA girls along the way. It was such a pick-me-up to hear RMA support! I had to high-5 every RMA girl in sight! I even heard a, “Go Kassy Lucille,” along the way! Thanks RMA! Rob and I hit half way in 2hrs 25mins together and felt strong.
My legs felt OK. It was at this point that everything had opened up and the little ‘niggles’ had disappeared. Maybe that’s because everything was starting to hurt! We got to the last turn down at Kirra and I was just starting to struggle. It was around this point that my lovely mother-in-law Helen turned up for a kiss as we ran by! And my friend, Nicole was down the track a little further to support us. I had eaten all of my ‘blocks’ nutrition and was drinking at every aid station. With 40km under our belts, Rob’s ankle started to swell so he decided to take off and run faster to the end because he wanted to be off it. Now that is mental and physical strength! I put my earphones in for the first time and played really soft relaxation music so I could still hear everything around me.
At 42.2km, I gazed at my watch and was happy to have taken 7mins off last year’s marathon time. With 3 kilometres to go, I changed my music to some Arnold Schwarzenegger motivational quotes with Rock music in the background. Somehow I went from plodding along to feeling strong! I rounded that last bend to see Charmaine beside me and my husband standing at the finish line. I ran into his arms, so proud of my achievements.
I finished my 50km in 5hrs 24min. Under the original 5.5hr goal! I even placed 6th female! I cannot fully describe the amazing feeling that I had after this event (minus the part when was physically sick 1 hour post marathon)! I cant say that I’ll ever do an ultramarathon again but this has been ticked off my list and I still have two marathons and a host of other smaller event to compete this year as part of my ‘scary’ goals.