Friday, June 6, 2008

Sydney Marathon 2008 - off to a slightly ordinary start

This year I have set myself the goal of running my first marathon. Yes (sigh) I know the rest of the universe has already done one and it's no quite like climbing Everest any more (yes [sigh] I know the rest of the universe has already climbed Everest and... <continue ad nauseum>). But since I only began my running career last August, and my longest run so far has been a half-marathon, the goal of being able to run 42km (26 miles) seems like a biggie.

The event in question is the Sydney Marathon 2008 on September 21st. This is a charity fund-raising event and I'm going to try to raise some money for The Black Dog Institute. To help galvanize myself into action I entered (and paid - ouch) a few days ago. I will be running in Bib Number 05976.

Sufficiently galvanized, committed, determined etc. I have launched myself into a program of intensive training. Unfortunately things haven't quite gotten off to a dream start on either the training or the fund-raising front.

I selected one of the training programs available on the Sydney Marathon web site and, being realistic about my abilities, decided to start a few weeks early and double up on the first part of the program. Now, my running style is characterized by a stately pace - a pace appropriate to someone whose interests lie in the higher, mental and spiritual aspects of running rather than base athleticism and competitiveness. To put it another way, I'm slow. Really slow. So when I saw that the training program included speed work from the very first week I was a little apprehensive. That was mistake. It would have been far better to be very apprehensive and thus a little more cautious...

My first and, to date, only speed session consisted of six one minute intervals. One minute at full pelt is about 200m for me. I threw myself into it and was rewarded with breathless nausea followed the next day by an uncomfortable twinge in my right achilles tendon. Bah ! I thought: athletic competitive runners such as me aren't troubled by pifling little aches and pains. So, I went for a medium length slightly painful run, followed a couple of days later by a shorter, more painful, limping jog. It then began to dawn on me that the achilles pain wasn't succumbing to my steely indifference as it was supposed to. In fact, by yesterday it had developed into a quite convincing running injury, complete with swelling and more pain, and leaving me limping around the house ridiculously. Ah well... better to get the injuries out of the way early rather than just before the event !

On the fund-raising front things haven't got very far. All event entrants who nominate to raise funds for charity are given a fund-raising web page which they can customize with their own text and images. Well, that's what the email from the organizers promises but, despite several attempts, I haven't managed to customize, or even slightly dent, my page. The pages are hosted at and they provide a simple on-line template editor which, for me, generates screens full of xml error complaints when I try to do anything. Teething troubles I thought, and logged a help request with the gofundraise folk via their help page. Their system assured me that:
"our technical staff will response to you shortly"

It's been about 24 hours but they haven't responsed to me yet.

1 comment:

Runbare said...

Cool blog Slowmo!! I'm so excited for you running the marathon. In sandals I hope?? I'll be there to cheer you on , or run with you, barefoot :)