Some 24 hours on and the dust has settled on another fantastic journey that was the 2014 Gold Coast Marathon, my third crack at this gold label race and my 7th marathon in just 24 months.
The adventure was not as easy this time around having spent the past 6 months battling planter fasciitis in both feet. On top of this, I rolled my ankle in a game on Friday which left me rather sore. Still, you just suck these things up and get on with it don’t you? So that’s what I did.
Sunday morning came around. With my ankle tightly strapped and nurofen pills in the belly to alleviate the pain I set off with thousands of other runners in search of the finish line, some 42.2 kilometres down the way. Knowing I wouldn’t be setting a PB this time took some of the early pressure off and allowed me to relax more as we pounded the pavement that lay adjacent to the golden beaches to our left. The first 10 kilometres came and went in 59 minutes. The second 10 was slightly longer but I still felt pretty good.
Then, just past the 25 kilometre sign post my ankle began to give way underneath. This is the moment in a race where you have two choices. Give up or soldier on. And yes, some of you may think continuing on with a dodgy ankle isn’t the best approach but when you run these distances you learn to just suck it up and deal with the pain later.
My time started falling away as the 30 km mark approached though I knew the easy stretch was around the corner. Sadly, I had to walk a little to keep the pressure of the ankle in those last 12.2 km’s but with the finish line only 5 clicks away, I managed to get a second wind to finish strong in a disappointing but respectable 4 hours 24 minutes and 16 seconds. This mark was some 41 minutes off my PB. It could have been worse as the prospect of struggling home near the 5 hour mark had crossed my mind earlier on when my ankle caved in.
Running a marathon is a wonderful way to test your inner strength. You learn to push your limits whilst growing a more determined person in other aspects of life. Yesterday was always going to be hard and the soft option would have been to pull out and make an excuse about my ankle, poor preparation or planter fasciitis.
Am I sore now? Absolutely! Would I do it all again in a heart beat? Absolutely!
Besides, I still have another 43 of these things to run before I reach my long term goal of 50 marathons.