Let’s start from the beginning: I’ve been running less than a year. It’s going to be a year on 26 August, 2017 to be precise. All I can say is that it has been an amazing year and the best decision to put running shoes on and just walk out of the door on one cold August morning in 2016.
Since then it’s been like a rollercoaster. I’ve learnt so much and met so many amazing people. When I joined my local running club though, I could hardly understand what they were talking about: negative splits? PBs? Sub 2? Sub 4? I had to google all these expressions. Also, English is not my native language, so yeah, it was hard to keep up a conversation at the beginning. Not that I actually could have a conversation while running with these guys. I was stunned at how they could run so fast and easily chit chat. ‘I will be there one day’. That’s what I thought. And so I did.
I just ran and ran and ran. Almost every day. Then I did my first marathon on the Gold Coast in July, 2017 and went ‘sub 4’ as they say. Pretty awesome for a beginner runner, hey? After the race I continued to improve my pace and have been able to do longer runs.
I also discovered trail running and completely fell in love with it. Trails make me feel free and wild, strong and… I don’t know how it works, but they do make me run fast. Not that I’m an experienced trail runner (I’ve done only 3 trail runs) but somehow I thought I would be able to do a full trail marathon. The Glenbrook trail marathon. Less than 2 months after my first ever marathon. Oh yes, have I mentioned that I am crazy? I prefer to be called passionate.
There I was on an early cold morning in Glenbrook, lining up next to my running friends, barely understanding how I was going to run up and down all those hills for a long 42k. And then we all took off. I didn’t really realise that runners would walk up the hills, so I thought ‘what a great idea to recover.’ Did I mention that I don’t have a Garmin or any other trackers? So I basically didn’t understand how far I ran and at what pace. The plan for me was to stick to my running buddies, but at some point I just left them behind. Also, I didn’t realise how long it would take me to complete the race. I thought 5 hours would be a great result for the full marathon.
God, how I enjoyed running in the bush, up and down hills, having a quick conversation with anyone who was next to me. I had no idea how far I had gone when the volunteers said it was only 5k to go. 5 what? Where was all that pain and agony I went through at the Gold Coast marathon? I actually sped up and overtook lots of men on my way (some of them Ironmen as I was told later). I encouraged them not to give up and keep running. Who walks last kilometres anyway? Then I looked at my watch and it wasn’t even 4 hours I had been running. I was in awe. Could I do sub 4 at my first trail marathon? I thought I could try and then I ran faster. I was asking everyone on my way where is this bloody finish line. Everyone just laughed but I couldn’t wait get this race over and done with. All I was thinking about is that I would treat myself with a large almond milk cappuccino with a huge muffin. That’s my treat after every long run. Also I thought “ok I’m going to buy nice new sneakers if I finish under 4.” The last kilometre felt a bit longer, probably like 3 but I was still feeling strong.
No I didn’t go sub 4. I finished in 4:07 something and I was the 4th female to cross the finish line. I’ve been running less than a year. How happy was I? Over the moon. I couldn’t believe I could do it. Actually a week before the marathon I was so stressed out that I didn’t even tell anyone that I was doing that race. Yes, some of my running buddies knew, but not too many.
What a great way to polish off my first year of running! Oh and that large almond milk cappuccino at one of Glenbrook’s cafés was so worth it! I am so looking forward to new running adventures!
Want to run this race? For this or any other Running Wild events head to www.runningwildnsw.com