"The goal is to become the unique, awesome, never to be repeated human being that we were called to be." -Patricia Deegan

Thursday, March 7, 2013

All Trained up and Nowhere to go

Melbourne's having a heat wave. The Coburg 6hr race is in two days.

28th Feb: Masters 10k State champ :-) 
According to a formula I believe was developed by Jack Daniels, that means I'll lose 5 to 9 seconds per kilometre (more as the heat climbs through the morning).

The race director even moved the start from 8 AM to 6 AM. But with a cloudy night forecast to insulate things, night time temps are staying at 23-24 degrees. Then climbing up to 32 degrees and sunny. That means I should expect to lose at least a couple kilometres off my potential 6hr distance. Agonising.

I know everyone else at the start line faces the same challenge. But my goal for this race was to attempt some 6hr records. I know I can run 70.406km in 6hrs. My personal challenge was to run more. There are already a zillion things that need to go right at an event - nutrition, hydration, shoe selection (fit, tightness of laces etc), injury prevention, toilet stop needs.... to add heat to the mix stacks the odds too highly against me.

I waited until the last possible minute last night to decide - whilst I could still change my flight booked for this morning. I stood outside under the stars and imagined this would be my start line temperature. It was a perfect temperature ... for sitting under the stars.

I sacrificed so much and trained so hard for this. The costs and time for massage and physio weekly, for the hours of training, for the bloody brutal strength training and the speed work and track races, for being careful about my diet so as to not put on weight before the event.... Filled with all the greed of "I want this race!" that clouds rational thinking and the inflexibility of "But this is the plan!", I had once again to revert to science to tell me what the emotional brain didn't want to hear.

10k State Masters - these people have taught me a lot
Yes, I'm lucky to have this simple little problem. I'm lucky it's not injury. I'm lucky it's not cancer or heart disease. I'm lucky I don't live in a war-torn country. I'm lucky my family and friends love me.

But for the evening, I just needed to let myself feel sad.

Now, I'll find somewhere to go.


  1. So sad for you Bernadette. We all had our fingers crossed. You made a sensible decision, even though it was a difficult one. (John Oldfield)

  2. :-( A late DNS (or DNF) are hard to deal with emotionally a lot of conflicts and wondering whether you got it right or wrong (I felt some very tough emotions after my DNF's at Melbourne 2008 and 6inch 2012), but either way its important to "get back on the horse" quickly and make such things a rarity IMO. Good that you did that a little by winning the Perth 32k. Hope you find a big new challenge to go after soon.