A Year of Running: Highlights and Lowlights

On the 1st January 2013, I wrote this…

“Reflecting on 2012… On this day last year I woke up in whistler, Canada with a big hangover and finished packing the last (almost) 3 years into 4 bags that cost me $600 in excess baggage. 4 countries later, finally returned to Australia and caught up with friends and family, got a new job, got engaged, got a dog, and met Darlene Reis who introduced me to the fab running community that is the Night Striders. They helped me run 3 full marathons, 5 half marathons and 1 15k race this year, and I took nearly 30 minutes off my marathon PB and 10 minutes off my half marathon PB. NEW GOALS for 2013… Get my 5k time under 21 min, qualify for the Boston Marathon, and just simply make it to the finish line of the 2ultramarathons that I have registered for! And raise $1000 for charity.”

So, 2013 turned out to be a massive year. I kicked all those goals in the first few months, and then reassessed my goals. 10 marathons, 3 half marathons, a 15km race, a 14km race, a 12km race, countless parkruns, an Ironman 70.3, 8 PB’s and 3600kms later, 2013 is complete, and it’s going to be a tough one to beat.

Let’s start with the lowlights…

The Gold Coast Marathon

The Gold Coast Marathon was a lowlight for because at the start of the year, I picked this as the race to target and run a PB, but I had a terrible run. I had the flu the week before the race, and a few days before race day, I was not even sure if I was going to be able to run at all. In the end, I finished sbout 7 minutes behind the time I wanted. Lesson learned: Sometimes things don’t always go to plan. You can read more about the Gold Coast marathon here: https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/07/10/the-gold-coast-marathon/

The City to Surf

The City to Surf was a lowlight fo me because of how I felt during the race. At only 14 km, it should have been a walk in the park. The event was well organized. The weather on race day was perfect. But I had recently split with my boyfriend, and had barely slept or eaten properly for a couple of weeks. It turns out that adequate sleep, food, and race-day breakfast are important factors in feeling good on race day. I struggled to make it to the finish line that day. It was easily the worst I had felt in a race all year. Read more about it here: https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/08/19/the-city-to-surf/

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Ok…. Now to the highlights…

My First Ultramarathon: 6 Foot track

6 foot track was my first running event of 2013. It was probably my favourite race all year, and one I will defenitely be back for again. This 45km track runs from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, in the Blue Mountains, and is very challenging Read more about it here: https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/05/16/6-foot-track-marathon/

6Ft3

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Running the Boston marathon has been my ultimate goal since I started running. For my category, women under 35, the qualifying time is 3hr 35min. In the Sydney Marathon in 2012, I ran 3:35:27, missing out on qualifying for Boston by less than 1 second per kilometre. I knew I could onit in 2013, and chose Gold Coast Marathon in July as the race to target. But in April, at the Canberra Marathon, I was feeling good, and decided to have a go. I ran 3:28:02, comfortably inside my qualifying time by nearly 7 minutes.

Running 50km with Friends 

Wild Endurance was a 50km team challenge in the Blue Mountains in May. I did it with 5 friends, Cheryl, Helen, Kellie, Rachael and Holly. It was a fantastic experience, raising money for charity and sharing the journry with friends. The course was very challenging and technical, with lots of ladders, rocks, big hills and water crossings. We completed the course in just over 9 hours, and were the 2nd female team across the line. Yay, podium finish! Read more about it here: https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/05/17/wild-endurance-50km-team-challenge/

WE4

3 Marathons in 3 Weeks 

I ran the Gold Coast Marathon, the Hunter Valley Marathon, and the Jabulani Challenge, a 43km trail race, all between 7 July and 28 July. It was tough, and an interesting experiment/training exercise in running on tired legs.

A Marathon Negative Split

I negatively split 3 marathons this year: The Macleay River Marathon, the Hunter Valley Marathon, and the Melbourne Marathon.

Pacing a Friend to a PB

At the Sydney Marathon in September, I ran with Pip, in her 3rd marathon for 2013. She was aiming for a PB, meaning we had to get to the finish line in under 3hrs 53mins. For the first 30km, we were on track to finish in 3:45, but then, BANG! Hit the wall. We got to the line in 3:51, not as fast as we had hoped for, but a PB is a PB! It was so nice to run a marathon with a friend. read more about it here: https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/09/24/the-blackmores-sydney-marathon/

Co-ordinated outfits for the Sydney Marathon
Co-ordinated outfits for the Sydney Marathon

Finishing on a High Note: a PB in Melbourne

The Melbourne Marathon was my 10th marathon of the year. Leading into it, I was feeling physically and mentally fatigued… It had been a long year. I wanted to run well, and finish on a high note. I would have been satisfied with 3:36 or faster. I set out with Helen, planning to run with her until halfway if I could, and then reassess how I felt. At halfway, I felt great! Helen and I went on to run the second half of the Marathon faster than the first half, and I got there in a PB time of 3:26! What a way to end the year. Read more about it here: https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/10/14/melbournemarathon/

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Buying a Bike and completing a Half Ironman Triathlon

After Melbourne, I couldn’t really stand the thought that my next marathon was 4 months away, so I made a last minute decision to sign up for the Canberra Half Ironman in December. I got my bike 2 weeks before race day. Due to a severe lack of training and preparation, I had no time goal, my goal was simply to finish. and Finish I did, in 6 hours and 36 minutes. Looking forward to smashing that time in the future! I had so much fun doing the Triathlon, and it was a great way to end the year. Read more about it here:

https://marathonbarbie.com/2013/12/22/my-first-triathlon-ironman-70-3-canberra-how-to-blow-5000-very-quickly/

Start of the bike leg
Start of the bike leg

Coming up in 2014…

2013 is going to be a hard year to top! But I have big plans for 2014 and beyond.

Goals include running the Boston Marathon in April, hopefully getting a PB, more triathlons, a 100km race, a sub-20minute 5k (Any speedies want to pace me?) and maybe even more that 10 marathons this year. (A 100km race gives me 2 points in the marathon tally, correct?)

New Ultimate goal? Maybe Melbourne Ironman in 2015. Let’s see if we can make it through 2014 first!

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