Thursday, May 27, 2010

That is interesting

I'm sure that last time I tried to write a post from work I couldn't because the signing in part was blocked ... oh well, we'll go with it!

After struggling with my funny leg pain for a few weeks I finally went to the physio today ... best news is that he said I could carry on running, it's not getting worse, and while I'm running it actually feels okay, once I've got over the limping 2-300m start. He said not to do anything too hard like speed work or hill training, but doing as I've been doing, keeping it easy should be fine ... yay! He said it was up to me and how I felt as to whether I should run the Christchurch Half Marathon next week - that yes, it would make the overall recovery take a bit longer, and that I'd definitely expect to aggravate the pain and to be sore for a couple of days, but it won't do any permanent harm, although if I expect to do Wellington WELL a few weeks after that, to think about how I wanted to approach it, so at this stage I'll go with my original plan of treating it like a long training run for Wellington, unless I get to the end of next week and its not feeling any better, I'll reassess then.

So what's causing the pain? After much pushing, pulling, prodding all my muscles - especially my hamstring which was his original expectation was causing the problem - he decided that all my muscles seem fine and that it is looking like it is my knee, of course I looked at him a bit dumbfounded with a "huh? but my knee doesn't hurt?" ... but when he explained how its all attached, and how all the symptoms seem to be happening when the knee is engaging (walking down stairs, bending my leg up to do quad stretches), hmmm maybe he is right. He did say that its definitely not a typical presentation and gave me some exercises and stretches to do to build up around the knee and to support the knee, then next week he wants me to run right before I see him so he can double check the pain while it should be freshly there (see, he said I could run!).

So, certainly doesn't seem anything major, and hopefully with a bit of massage, bit of knee strengthening, we'll fix it. He thinks its caused by a few things all amassing together, the high mileage from training for a marathon (he mentioned how surprising it is that I haven't had anything hurt up until now), trying out speed work so running differently and the fact I have double jointed knees (do your knees bend backwards?) which makes them looser and probably more susceptible to them moving around more than they should.

I ran a nice 10k yesterday, I should have run 6k on Tuesday, and 8km yesterday - but skipped Tuesday and did a spin class instead ... so yesterday decided to go a bit longer, and it was nice :) Rest and physio today, then plan on 8km tomorrow and Saturday and then I'm still undecided about Sunday, I think I will see how I feel. Probably 14km - originally I wanted to do 18k before next week's half, but I think I'm probably better taking it easy and doing the 14km. I ran a marathon only a month ago, so I'm sure my body still has the fitness to manage a half marathon without an 18-20k run in the few weeks before!

Life is going to be crazy the next few days, we seem to have lots on, Dad is away so I've got the whole delivery job to do ... I'm looking forward to next Friday when I get to escape all responsibilities for a few days, yay!!

Ha Ha

Out of a crowd of 30,000 or so at the all important All Whites game in Wellington (where they made the World Cup) ... guess who's ugly faces are in an ad?

That is my oldest son on the left (covered by his mate's hand), and his two friends. They had no idea until they spied it on the homepage! LOL

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lifetime ... and a few other bits and bobs

Yuppers ... I am officially a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers :) I've joined, rejoined and rejoined again, Weight Watchers over many many years and never once did I really join with Lifetime being my ultimate goal - it was always to lose enough weight to look "normal", Goal or Lifetime always seemed too far away. But here I am, a Lifetime member - and really, I have to thank running more than anything for that achievement!

The best thing about Lifetime? I don't pay anymore (unless I go over goal weight+2kg) ... wooohoooo!! Plus, I don't have to worry about missing a week as I only need to go once a month to keep the Lifetime and freebie going. I do, however, plan on going at least two weekly for a while yet, I still need that accountability each week and I still have a few kg's to lose.

This week I lost 800g ... which sounds good, but I hadn't mentioned how last week I managed to put on 1kg ... now hopefully this week, I can start to lose some "real" weight ... not weight I've already lost and get on track to becoming a lean, mean, running machine!


I've been trying to take it easy, which has been hard ... I know to lose weight I also need to run (or that's what I think), so this week when I really really wanted to lose weight and at the same time my body (darn leg) is screaming at me not to, well it's been hard. Monday and Tuesday I didn't run at all - Tuesday I did however do a spin class, I always forget how much I love the spin classes! Wednesday I ventured out for a run - I ran just over 7km and it was okay, my leg still hurt when I started off, but felt pretty good by the time I'd finished. I took yesterday off and then ran 8km this morning. My leg felt much better when I started this morning (yay!), but unlike Wednesday when by halfway it felt great, I could feel it the whole run ... not hurting, just not "right". It was supposed to be a tempo run today, and I did attempt it, but between being a bit scared of pushing the leg too much and a mean horrible head wind, the tempo didn't really happen.

So, two weeks and I'm supposed to be running a half marathon. I'll keep running as planned this weekend, but taking it easy - I'll do 6km tomorrow and 14 or 16km on Sunday (I haven't decided yet) and then reassess on Monday - if it still doesn't feel better I'll go and see the physio, I'm actually thinking a good massage, movement of the muscles will fix it - my gut instinct is that it isn't anything serious - just a nagging inflammation of the muscle. Because I just about never take any drugs for anything, I don't have any painkillers/antiinflammantries in the house and keep forgetting to buy them ... a good dose of those before my runs for a couple of days might very well go along way as well!


Apparently I'm very inspirational ... I still believe that anybody could do what I'm doing, I'm not that amazing ... but reality is, people seem to believe I'm that inspirational lady. So much so, I have two emails sitting in my in-box that I need to answer - one from David's boss who along with some mates is planning to run the Rotorua marathon next year and wants me to direct him to some training programmes and give him some tips on how to do it and one from a sales rep that David knows (he sent an email out before the marathon as a push for the fundraising site with my story) who is overweight and has downloaded the C25K programme after reading about me, but also would like some tips and advice.

David reckons I should start charging, I'm still blown away that people think I might be able to help them!

I just hope they're not like my friend who was inspired and started running, within in a couple of weeks she tripped on a stick on the footpath and broke her ankle ... hmmm very inspirational! LOL

Monday, May 17, 2010

Calorie Counting

After doing Weight Watchers for the last 18 months, and off and on for too many years to admit to, I've decided to stop counting points, and count calories ... and take more notice of the balance of food I'm eating (protein, carbs, fat, salt). I started the year saying this was the year I wanted to make habits of eating healthily, I think that will be the key to keeping the lost weight off.

So why move from points? (especially as I don't plan on giving up my WW meetings) Through marathon training I haven't followed points properly at all, I do use them as a base to what I'm eating, but as wonderful as I believe the WW programme is, I don't believe it caters for athletes (wow, did I call myself an athlete? LOL). I found it really really hard to figure out how many extra points I could eat with the amount of exercising I was doing, so after much thought and googling I am using and trying to record all my food and my exercise. Plus although out of all the diet companies out there, they probably promote "normal" eating the best, I don't believe they promote healthy, natural eating as well as they could (as an example, one of their frozen meals that I regularly take to work for my evening shift dinner, has 1100mg of salt - that is half my salt intake in one small meal).

But, of course, I have a few questions ... do you think the Garmin is accurate when it counts calories? I'm pretty sure it is for running calories, but what about biking? I've been wearing it while I do my delivering, on a regular day I'm usually out for 2-3hrs and bike 20-30km over that time - according to the Garmin, for example, today I've burned 600 calories. Last Wednesday I ran, biked and helped my 11yo deliver her pamphletts - all up (according to the Garmin) I burned about 1500 calories. Now 1500 calories, plus the 1200 (worked out from height, weight and wanting to lose 2lb/week) is 2700 calories to eat for the day - thats a lot of eating - and I did eat, a lot, that day.

Next question, do you think you should eat all those extra earned calories? Personally, I'm leaning towards NOT. I'm thinking that at some point the body goes - nah, I'm not taking any notice of any more burned calories, I'll only notice/use so many of them. No scientific thought in that all - just a gut instinct, and also knowing that I definitely don't lose weight if I eat over a certain amount.

Anybody use calorie counting to lose weight? Any ideas, thoughts? I'm thinking I will have to work to find what balance works for me, as I'm thinking everyone is different.

Long term I'm hoping to ditch another 18lb, short term definitely another 6lb - 6lb for health, the extra 12lb, I think will make me run better and faster. Very long term, I want to find where my body sits as to how many calories it needs to maintain, how many extra calories I can eat following calories burned to maintain.

I never want to be disgustingly over weight again and I know, oh so KNOW, that I could put all that weight back on in a blink of an eye - I have to work out how to manage my eating, exercise and weight so this can be a life time thing.

As for running - I've run a few small runs and yesterday ran a lovely 14km, I'd really missed those long runs over the last couple of weeks! Bad news is that I have quite a sore "back of my" leg - I *think* it is the bottom of my hamstring, but in the evenings my knee is aching a bit, and my calf seems to be sore while doing day to day things. The hamstring actually hurts as I start to run though, so I think that is where the real soreness (I'm too scared to call it an injury) is. It is fine after 1-200metres and isn't actually hurting the rest of the run, but I have decided to be good and not run today (which I didn't plan to anyway, Monday is a x-training day), and to also have tomorrow off. Hopefully by Wednesday it will be starting to feel better, I'll do a small, slow and easy run Wednesday and see how it feels, Thursday was a planned rest day, then a smallish run Friday - hopefully that will be enough resting to fix it.

Have a good week everyone :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pencarrow Lighthouse Fun Run

So, no breakfast in bed for Mother's Day, I was up before 6.00am, waking Cam, Rhiannon and Charlotte and getting them going at about 6.15am, and we left at 6.45am ... I'm always so scared of arriving too late, and I was very conscious that we were all going to be late entries (as in I hadn't entered us - I wasn't sure how I'd feel about running 10km after running a marathon the week before!).

We arrived in Eastbourne just before 8am - the nice entry people only charged us one late entry fee (*phew* that was a saving of $30!!), entered myself into the 10km and Cam and the girls into the 5km.

We toilet stopped, sat in the car for a while, put our numbers on and then went and stood in the light rain waiting for the start. The 10km left at 9.00am, the 5km at 9.10am - by my calculations, the girls would take about 35-40min so I expected them to finish about 10min before me. Cameron is a speed demon, so he'd be there to wait for the girls at the finish. I instructed them to make sure Cam started in the front and the girls towards the back, and I went to line up for my start.

I tried to put myself in the "frontish" part but STILL ended up weaving through walkers and slower people, so frustrating, why don't they put themselves in the right place? There were only 108 runners/walkers so it shouldn't have been a problem ;) Anyway, off I went, and first thing I noticed is my legs felt great! No stiffness, soreness or anything ... yay! I tried to keep to about 5:30/km, I wasn't sure how much tiredness I'd feel later and didn't want to overdo it.

At about 3km I started catching this tall guy, now I'd just read the day before about how much men hate being passed by women, and boy was this a classic example, I started passing him and he suddenly SPRINTED away from me, I just let him go and figured I'd catch him later - I'm more than happy to run my own race, I could see it had hurt him though, his head was up gasping for air ... silly man LOL - about 4km I was slowly gaining on him again, and guess what? Got to passing him and he stuck beside me, until I realised I'd pushed my pace to about 5:10/km and I didn't really want to do that so I let him go ahead ... and what do you know? It only took about another half km before I caught him again and passed him again.

I had a quick gulp of water at the 5km turnaround and carried on, I picked up my pace pretty naturally through the last 5km. For some really dumb reason I thought my 10k PB was 56:20, and I also thought that if I kept 5:30/km that would be 55min, so as I got to 5:25/km I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I never look at the total time when I'm running, I usually know by my pace if I'm on track or not!

About 3-400m to the finish guess who I came across walking? My two girls ... eh-oh. The deal was that Rhiannon (11yo) would run with Charlotte to the halfway turnaround point, then Charlotte would let her go - Rhiannon wanted to run the whole thing, Charlotte was doing the younger sister "I'm scared, i want Rhiannon to run with me" act ... so that was the deal we made. As I passed them and cheered them on Rhiannon was doing a major dramatic eyeroll at me, so I knew Charlotte had had a hissy fit of some sort and persuaded Rhiannon to stay with her ... Rhiannon is such a good older sister. I was the good mother I am, and carried on running ;) I passed Cameron coming to look for them just after that so I knew they were fine.

I glanced at my watch then and saw 53:something and thought - cripes, that is fast! It wasn't until I stopped that I remembered 5:45/km is 57:30, 5:30/km is 55min ... and my previous PB was 54:20 - duh! LOL I finished in 54:13 - so a good PB. I was pretty tired by the end, I think that was a marathon just a week previously showing!

I got to cheer the girls in, Rhiannon came in before Charlotte, Cam had obviously stayed with Charlotte and Rhiannon was released from her big sister duties. Charlotte came in a little while later with Cameron.

I was right about the rolling eyes, Charlotte got the stitch and cried and wouldn't let Rhiannon leave her. I think the next one we do, we will quietly leave Charlotte at home so Rhiannon gets a chance to do it at her own speed in her own time - 8yo (and being particularly nervy at the best of times about new situations) is perhaps too young to expect to run on her own.

So, the official results?

Official time: 54:13
30/77 Total Finishers
14/44 Females

A whopping nearly 12 minutes off my time (1:05:58) from last year!!!

Official time: 23:07 (and that was with a quick puke halfway)
2/37 Total Finishers
2/6 Male Finishers
(they didn't have age groups - but definitely first in his age group at 30ish? yo man beat him).

Rhiannon and Charlotte:
44:22 and 44:59
33rd and 34th.

We went to the local shopping mall afterwards, wandered around the shops for a while, had some lunch and then went to the prizegiving - where even with FOUR of us there we managed to win no spotprize at all :(

It was a nice day though - and a nice way to spend Mothers Day, running with the kids enthusiastic abut running too!

I went and saw my Mum in the afternoon and then came home and assisted the kids cooking of dinner (Rhiannon made a devine - way too many calories - cheesecake ... yummy).

Oh, and Cam's wee puke stop? He just about always does it at the end of a race - I'm not sure if it is because he is putting absolutely everything into the run, right to that puke threshold point - or whether it is his whole breathing/nose equipment. We are waiting on a specialist appointment for him to have a look at his tonsils, he has, and always has had, terrible breathing problems - at 8yo he got his nose scraped out and adenoids out, but he still struggles to breathe properly - he uses an allergy spray for his nose which definitely helps, but he is also a terrible snorer (so terrible that when he goes away for soccer/cricket tournaments he always gets a room to himself), and I think he needs the tonsils pulled out (the Dr agrees they are VERY big) ... so I don't know if it is "puke threshold" or another aspect of the whole breathing equipment thing - it will be interesting to see what the specialist thinks.

Oh, and another thing with Cam - he ran his school cross country last week and came a disappointingly (for Mr Competitive) 14th - he got tripped towards the end and reckons he would have come 12th if that hadn't happened. But interestingly - it was *only* 3.5km ... I reckon if he'd had another 1.5km to run he would have passed a lot of the kids in front, us "Watsons" are just not genetically made for speed - my whole family is better at endurance, and Cameron definitely has those genes :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

So, what's next?

Actually I was going to do a Rotorua Holiday post ... but my batteries in my camera just died. So, instead, the other thing that has been on my mind - what's next?

Ahhhh well, lots of plans. You can all roll around laughing (my friends who know me do, and then they say typical Lisa), but I sat down about a week before the Rotorua marathon and mapped out my training plan right up until 31st October - including recovering week, 4 weeks post marathon and finishing on 31st October with the AUCKLAND marathon!

I have that niggle that my first marathon was SO good, that maybe I shouldn't spoil it ... the next one might not be as easy ;) But I have to get over that and stay confident. I *think* I will aim for about a 5:50-6:00/km pace which works out to be 4:06-4:13 marathon, we'll see how the training goes before I set that in concrete and make it a true plan, but I will definitely start off with that time in mind.

Before that marathon though I will be running a couple of half marathons, the first being Christchurch :) Why Christchurch (which is only a few weeks away)? For years when I was shooting Queens Birthday Weekend was the big North Is v South Is shoot and I'd go away that weekend every year - with lots of small children (although not as many then, but small then) I loved that weekend away. Then when I stopped shooting I missed it for a couple of years, then when I started with Stampin' Up I went away over to Australia about this time of year for their Convention and had a bit of a holiday at the same time. Call me weird ... but I really like being alone, and that one weekend a year has always been a life saviour for me to recharge my batteries. So, I said to my husband the other day that for Mother's Day I'd really just like the okay to go away on Queens Birthday weekend by myself, for the first time ever he didn't seem that thrilled - but, um, hello darling, you work 6-7 days a week, you leave before we are awake and come home about 6-7pm, um, darling? What do you think I'm doing while you're at work - because it sure isn't sitting on my butt eating bon-bons! Anyway - of course, having this wee addiction to running now, I then looked up what races were around that weekend so I could decide where to go ... and Christchurch popped up. I love Christchurch and the pull of doing a "big" half marathon made it perfect. I booked my air tickets last night - just need to enter and book a motel and I'm away :)

I'm not planning on racing Christchurch too hard, its still only about a month after Rotorua and my next big, want to do well, race will be Wellington Harbour Half Marathon a few weeks after that.

So, that is my next big goal - the Wellington Half Marathon, this is the event that I won my big spot prize at last year :) I'd like to pick up speed for this one, I'm setting my sights high and want to aim for about 1:55 and for the next 7 weeks I'm going to work on a bit of speed and building up for that.

Very conveniently, after Wellington it is exactly 18weeks until Auckland ... so I can start marathon training straight after.

Also, over the next few months until the marathon training gets into the longer k's I'm going to go to the gym and work on building my core muscles and strengthening my body - have you seen the pictures of how I run? So stooped, I'm going to work on strengthening which I'm hoping will naturally fix that.

AND lastly, my original goal weight was 65kg ... to run really well, I should go to 60kg - I'm going to work on that as well :) (I'm only 5'3" so 60kg (132lb) isn't *that* light, just in case you think I've really gone off the deep end).

So that's it ... the next lot of long term goals :)

In the immediate future I have a 10km "race" on Sunday. At Pencarrow, I ran this last year and really liked the course. Cameron and the girls all want to run the 5km so we'll all go and do it, once again I'll be going by feel, not aiming to race - the last thing I want to do is over do it and end up injured when I have all these big dreams!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Rotorua Marathon!

I did it!! I'm a marathon runner :)

From Fat (December 2008)

To Marathon Runner

So, this could get long.

First off - at least three reasons running Rotorua was BETTER than running London would have been -

1. The Haka ... wow, now that is an emotional start - it was going to be emotional anyway, to just be there, finally doing it ... but the Haka, well lets just say the first few hundred metres I had to get myself under control to run properly!

2. My awesome sisters! Three of them secretly arranged a road trip up to Rotorua to surprise me and cheer me on through the race. I knew nothing about it until a photographer seemed really intent on snapping a photo of me at about 6km ... the thought process went something like this ... why does that photographer seem to only want a photo of me, gosh she looks like Georgie, oh Sh*t! It IS Georgie, I turned and looked across the road and there is the car full of my other two sisters and my niece :)

3. I can't imagine what the crowds would have been like in London - to go from events of a few hundred people, to running with 2000 was bad enough, I found it frustrating the first few k when we were still sort of packed together. I'm not sure how I would have handled that for 42.2km - at least this way, I had a chance of running a marathon at MY speed, not the speed of the crowd I was with, which with hindsight is probably a good thing.

So, lets see if I can do one of those really good reports that I enjoy reading, with a bit about the splits, I'm not very good at remembering - I think I just get into my head and run!

1-5km: 6:15, 5:56, 5:59, 6:02, 6:14
First km was slower, obviously because we were all bunched up and it took a while to thin out. Also the first few km's were through roads which have had roadworks happening, so there wasn't a lot of room to spread out. It was probably a good thing as it helped me have to stay slow. The last km (6:14) was the first drink stop, it was a mess, everyone stopped at the first table rather than carrying on to the later ones, I for one didn't realise there were a few more tables to run to. Pace was generally good though, I was feeling good, I was on my way!

6-10km: 6:09, 5:57, 6:00, 6:08, 6:07
Its at about 6km that the annoying photographer who turned out to be my sister turned up! and when I looked across the road realised THREE of my sisters were all there to cheer me on, that was such a surprise and such a boost having them there.

What's that photographer doing???

It's my sisters, the sneaky so and so's!! (they'd even texted me in the morning asking me about the weather and wishing me good luck! LOL)

It was still pretty flat up until 10km, I think the 5:57 was probably trying to make sure I kept my overall pace at about 6:08, after the first slower k and then the water stop, I probably pushed it to bring that pace to where I wanted it - then fell back to exactly where I should be the last couple.

11-15km: 6:01, 6:06, 6:13, 6:17, 5:53
and then came the hills :) I stopped and walked through all the drink stops and had a gel at about 13km - there was also the first hill at about then too, so that will be the 6:13/6:17 - the 5:53 was down hill after the first up. My plan was to be strong up the hills but not to worry about the time too much, and to use gravity and make up time and "gather myself" down the hills. I used this method through the race, and it worked :)

16-20km: 6:12, 6:04, 6:08, 6:22, 6:19
From 18km to 21km it was a 100m elevation climb, which you can see from the times! One of biggest proudest moments of the marathon was my strength up the hills, I passed lots of people going up them and felt strong going up - definitely had no desire to stop and walk, hurray for the Maungatooks! The only thing I was slightly worried about was that maybe all those people I was passing were actually very wise and "saving" themselves, and I would be paying for it later. It was here my family found me to cheer me on - at about 16km, it was good to see them!

Running strong up those hills!

21-25km: 6:29, 5:52, 5:55, 6:40, 6:02
Spot where the downhill after the uphills were! LOL the 24km is where I had my second gel stop, not sure why it took so long! It's about here it was lovely and scenic, the road was closed for about 5km, and it was just really nice - just the runners, no cars or crowds and the lake :) Halfway time was 2:09:something, spot on - I was aiming for 2:10 halfway. I was really pleased to get to half way, about 18/19km was probably the only time I had "negative" thoughts, I was thinking how we'd run so far and weren't even halfway yet, I knew once I got halfway it was just a matter of counting down kms.

26-30km: 6:12, 6:19, 5:50, 6:10, 6:05
Still feeling good! Another big hill from 25.5-27.5, another strong run up it and then catching up time going down. Still right on target with my pace, still feeling good. I knew (or thought) that after 30km it was all flattish and downhill.

31-35km: 6:07, 6:06, 6:19, 6:08, 6:49
Third and last gel break at about 35km. From about 33km to 36km it was a steady, slight uphill (that didn't look uphill when we drove around, but sure felt it after running that long!). Once again though, lots of people walking, and I was still running fairly strong. My family and sisters were all at about the 35km mark - it was good to see them! I'd said to David I wasn't sure about him stopping at the 35km spectator mark, I was scared I'd be really tired and the kids wouldn't have good memories of me ;) But turns out I was pleased to see them, and I was still looking and feeling strong :)

7km to Go!!

36-40km: 6:18, 6:19, 6:15, 6:22, 6:26
Its these kms where I finally started feeling tired, you can see I got slower, I thought it was going to be more "down" hill, but infact it was a very slight continous downhill that felt flat. I think 39-40km was a drink stop, I seem to remember my Garmin beeping the 39km before the drink stop, but the sign being after it. The later drink stops I'm pretty sure I stopped longer and slower!

Three of the supporters ... isn't my niece cute??? She is wearing the red hat in support, I just finished knitting it for her - plus a matching red jacket, but she wore the hat to support her Aunty Lisa ;)

I do have photos of my family, I haven't uploaded them anywhere though! I'll do that later and maybe do a Rotorua holiday post :)

41-42km: 6:16, 6:16 0.45km: 2:35 (5:49 avg) The last couple of km's I just dug it in and ran, numbers girl I am, I was checking my time from about 38km and working out how slow I could run and still break 4:30, by these last 2kms I knew I could run at about 8-9min/km if I had too, but I just dug it and ran the best I could, turned out I didn't do too badly!

As I hit the finish line my sisters were just before the finish and my family lined up by the finishing shute, it was good to see them AND the finish!

Chicked at the finish line! LOL

VERY happy to be finished!!

Feelings and Thoughts
I feel like I ran a perfect first marathon, I never hit a wall, when I finished I felt great - legs were sore, but "health" wise I was amazed at how good I felt - no dehydration headache, dizzyiness or anything, I just felt normal. Stopping and drinking was definitely good planning. My first half was 2:09, second half 2:13 - I would have liked to have negative split, but reality is, it was probably hillier in the second half. Plus, 4min difference is close enough to knowing I paced myself really well.

... and okay, what is with the pacers??? the 4:30 pacer was in front of me for the first 10km, I was at the time, before the hills started, running a 4:15-4:20 pace. I *think* knowing the course that maybe they planned to run those first 10km faster and then slow down during the hills - but surely, from everything I've read, running too fast in those first 10km wouldn't have been a good plan? I passed and left them at about 15km (when the hills started which is why I think they were maybe planning for the hills) and never saw them again - but I dunno, makes me think I'd never run with a pace group. I never saw the 4:15 group, so they must have gone off faster as well ... and of course finished a good 7min before me, but in the beginning my pace would have matched what I would have thought they'd be running.

and lastly, I've decided marathon running is very much like childbirth. I've had five natural/drug free births (more from luck and speed than being any sort of super woman!!). I'm the third sister of six, when I was pregnant with my first one I heard ALL the horror stories from my lovely older sisters ... after giving birth the first time, my first reaction was "wow, that wasn't *that* bad" ... well, I feel the same about this marathon too - it really wasn't so bad, in fact I can honestly say I enjoyed the whole race! I just hope I don't get to marathon no. 5 and finish it by saying "that's it! I'm not putting myself through that pain EVER again" LOL.

Official Results Net time: 4:22:40
843/1541 Total Finishers
212/528 Female Finishers
41/89 Age Group

... and Cameron (14yo) ran the 5km - his results:

Net time: 24:26
15/180 Total Finishers
10/69 Male Finishers