All That Glitters

I ran another marathon.

I know, I know.

Last year’s marathon was supposed to be the once-only, tick-it-off-the-bucket-list means of avoiding a significant birthday party.

And right up until I ran it, I was definitely only doing one. But then I crossed the finish line in a not-embarrassing time and then I got handed a big shiny medal. Ooh. Hard to resist a repeat of that experience.


There’s more to it, though. Unbeknownst to me, I’d signed up to run the 40th Edition of the Melbourne Marathon. You realise what that means? The medal I was handed at that finish line was a medal only those who completed that particular marathon will ever possess because it has “40 Years” on it.

All together now: Ooooh.

So when Facebook, in its infinite wisdom, decided to float into my news stream the news that the Gold Coast Marathon was celebrating 40 Years in 2018, what was a now-marathon-runner supposed to do?


I signed up.

My family sighed.

I sold it to them on the basis that we’d get a family holiday out of it at a warm Northern place in the cold Southern winter.


And I spent the following training months vowing I’d never do another one. I mean, who really has time for all that training?

That training was less than optimal. I pretty much dropped the ball between February and April. I kept finding excuses not to go to the gym to do my strength training or to cut short a difficult interval training run or to swap a run for a gym session because it was cold and dark outside and I didn’t wanna. I “didn’t wanna” quite a bit too much.

Because of this or maybe not because of this, maybe because I’m older or maybe just because life can be like that, I was also battling a bit of knee and hip annoyance in the weeks leading up the marathon. Well, that’s not good.

So, I shrugged and figured “all I have to do is cross the finish line”. After all, it’s the same medal whether you come 100th or 1000th. Even if I had to walk the last 10kms I’d make it. Damn, I’d crawl if I had to.

The upshot of this approach is that I rather enjoyed the marathon. I didn’t push hard, I took the time to have a proper drink at every station (although, over hydrating at the start meant a 3 minute layover at the 5km mark when I decided a use of facilities might be a good idea before my bladder burst) and I just tried to enjoy the experience and the scenery.


Nice scenery

Okay, I didn’t enjoy all of it. I mean, it’s a marathon. Nobody enjoys all of it. There was a 6km section from about the 31km mark when we’d just passed the entrance into the park where the finish line is and we had to keep going before we could loop back for the final leg that seemed interminable. I’ve never known 6km to be so loooooong.


Yeah, not enjoying this bit

It was also a bit warm for my liking. I’ve mentioned before that I prefer to run in the cold. It wasn’t Commonwealth-Games-collapse-on-the-side-of-the-road level heat but it was too warm for this woman from the Victorian wintry lands.

In the end, I ran a similar time to last year, just a few minutes over my previous time. To have enjoyed the race and finished well (and no trouble with the cramping I had last time) was worth a few extra minutes.

GCM18 Results 1

The organisers of the Gold Coast Marathon claim 60% of participants achieve a personal best time in this event. That makes the sneaky voices whisper “if only”s in your ear when you don’t achieve one. But here’s the thing about that statistic. I’ve just filled out a survey about the event and one of the questions was “Did you make a personal best time?” for which you can answer “Yes” or “No”. Here’s what I also know: according to the announcer at the finish line, 30% of participants were running their first marathon. If it’s your first marathon, it’s a given that you’re going to answer “Yes” to that question. Right? Plus, if you ran a shocker and didn’t beat a previous time, perhaps you’d be disinclined to fill out a survey and answer such a question. So it puts that 60% figure in a dodgy light, I reckon.

Damn statistics.

In the end, all that mattered was crossing that finish line and collecting another big shiny medal. It’s always about the bling for me.



All that glitters is on the Gold Coast.


Postscript: A friend texted today to ask how the marathon went. I told her it went well and I enjoyed it. Then I said:

“Unfortunately, that probably means I’ll do another one. LOL”


40 thoughts on “All That Glitters

  1. “I sold it to them on the basis that we’d get a family holiday out of it at a warm Northern place in the cold Southern winter.”

    We live in alternate universes. We go south in the winter, you go north. This made me chuckle.

    On another note….blingdy, bling, bling…look at Heather go! Go, Heather, go! I am so joyful of your accomplishments since you first decided to run a marathon. It takes strong will and determination and a love of shiny medals to complete feats of strength and endurance. I imagine your eye-rolling, sighing family is nothing but proud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you’d get a giggle out of that. 🙂

      It’s a little bit funny that my previous post was written from one of those ‘I’m really over this’ moments and then a couple of weeks later, I’m jogging along for 4.5 hours and enjoying it. I honestly would run several marathons a year if I could cope with the training. It does feel good to finish one. But there are other things I need to do and so I’ll cut back for a while. Maybe just do the easy half marathons. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeepers, Heather, I don’t think I could run around the block at this point…between foot, back and knees, I have to stick with walking (maybe a 5K) and biking (I could bike a marathon). So, enjoy your running while you’re able. I know everything else gets in the way and there’s a million other things you want to do, but have fun in the moment with your running. There’s more bling waiting for you…

        Liked by 2 people

        • You make a good point. And if I stop running, I’ll have to stop eating chocolate and that’s a fate worse than broken knees. Reckon I’ve still got a few runs in me yet.
          PS Did you know most running injuries really come down to two fixable things? Shoes and technique. I’ve experienced proof of both.
          PPS I doubt I could ride a kilometre without my quads screaming so I admire your ability to go for marathon-worthy rides.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I’ve learned a lot about shoes and feet since the plantar fasciitis incident that started last summer. I’ve spent quite a bit of money getting the right kind of shoes, but they’ve made a difference. So, it doesn’t surprise me that they also make a difference with your running.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I was having trouble with pain in my left knee and then the marathon facebook page put up a link to a video by a physio that described this exact pain. The solution was to increase your cadence (number of steps per minute). So on my next run, I shortened my stride and bingo! No pain. It works. Not for everything but for a lot.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. In my books, just the mere fact that you entered another marathon would make me tick the damn box that it was a personal best! Collect that bling my friend, for as long as it makes your heart sing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done that woman! I can not imagine a time in my life when I would have been in the least bit tempted to run, and now there are days when I can barely walk, but I believe when you find something in life that makes it worth living then go for it. Still reckon you should be looking at a marathon on each continent – aim high!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Omggg. Yet another run, Heather. Very strong and inspirational to do it all over again thought it seemed a bit harder this time round. It’s a great way to push yourself and quite sure you will get more blind very soon. And maybe the limited edition merch too 😁


  5. Woohoo Heather! Of course you were going to run another marathon … and I think you still have more in you. There is just something about crossing the finish line and the brain is already saying ‘… and in the next one, I’ll …. ” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So, you need to refine your goals and do the marathons which come with a big number attached – I wonder what the collective noun is for marathons. You could say you have an “exhaustion of marathons” or an ” exhilaration of marathons” under your belt, depending on your feeling at the time. Well done. I am full of admiration for your efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got lots to catch up on myself. Summer holidays start this weekend so I’ll be trawling around in the coming weeks.
      Speaking of feet, one of my sons had the unenviable task of taking off my shoes and socks so I could go wade in the sea because every time I bent down to do it my leg would cramp. After running on those feet for 4.5 hours in 95% humidity, you can imagine how pleasant a task that was….

      Liked by 1 person

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