Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PBs vs. FBs (Run Melbourne)

Gentlemen & Little Ladies start your engines!!

I've typed plenty here already about family, and how running is the best thing we do as a team, but this weekend topped anything we've done together so far.

It has been 19 weeks since the birth of Z-Girl, it feels like a lifetime at times and I can't quite remember life before she came in to our world. Yet at times it also feels like yesterday. A lot has changed, in fact everything in our lives has changed, in both a positive and frustrating way that I only understand since becoming a parent.

Super Wife struggled to get back into post baby fitness and running at first. It was never going to be easy - recovering from an emergency cesarean, adjusting to becoming a mum, lacking both time and motivation not to mention the Melbourne winter chill. I had entered the Run Melbourne 10km early enough to pay the early bird price and told her that I had a goal of taking Z-Girl along with me for my first pram-run event. Four weeks out Super Wife suffered a severe case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and asked me to enter her into the run.

The day prior to to Run Melbourne was a tough one, we had a rough week with Z-Girl; attempts to get her to sleep in the evenings weren't working and it was starting to show on us more than her. We had a grizzly Saturday run (Lady in White) followed by a testing day trying to get her to sleep for more than 30 minutes. Frustration boiled over and tired emotions got the better of both us.

You always hear about the tired moments and the 'special' moments from the myriad of well meaning people offering advice. But they forget to tell you about the angry and frustrated moments that come out when the lack of sleep, long nights, busy days and working week combine in silly arguments between a couple about silly things like breakfast plans, TV Show selection and cooking dinner. It comes out and sometimes you don't even mean it, you just need to vent so you blame the closest person that will understand. Unfortunately it's your partner or wife, only to return 5-10mins later and apologise.

It was an apology filled afternoon pre-race day; so I made the choice that we needed to do this as a family, not me trying to break PB's and waiting for Super Wife at the finishing line. It was going to be a together-run from start to finish, spurring each other on and maybe try and get close to the hour mark if we can.

Race Day was a new day, the threatening rain clouds had gone away and with everything packed and organised the night before we were out the door with ease. The train into the city was a buzz of runners and support crews heading to the start line. Getting to Flinders St Station there was a large throng of people waiting to find their spot in the race, spectators walking all over the place and we had a baby that needed a quick nappy change and two parents who needed a nervous wee. We found Melbourne's best kept pre-race warm-up area, the lobby of the Arts Centre. We got out of the morning chill, utilised the facilities and had a good stretch. We were all set!

Bumping into a fellow parkrunner Wendy was a nice surprise and also reaffirms the friendship shared by runners. Making our way to our Wave D starting point  (thanks to Super Wife's late entry) it was concerning that Z-Girl was getting her grizzle on. I had flashbacks of my 5km grumble the day before but with a slightly delayed start she settled down and provided a great talking point with the other runners. They were amazed Super Wife was back after four and a half months and that Z-Girl was so well behaved (she always likes to show off to a crowd!)

Jogging past the speaker system concerned me as we got started as the load noises can startle her, but we got going okay and she was alright in the cool air. We were feeling pumped and wanted to accelerate but found it hard to pick our way through the crowd with so many runners and we sometimes had to settle on the narrow paths in the hope to overtake on the winder roads.

What a great event! Run Melbourne was a great 10km loop of the city taking in St Kilda Road, The Shrine, running along the river a fairly flat route and plenty of festivities and music along the course. The tram lines were the only concern, with my ankles and pram wheels.

With bands playing in tents and plenty of people just getting out and enjoying themselves we passed the half way point with ease, and sticking to a steady pace Super Wife looked like she was having no trouble at all! My new birthday gift of a selfie stick (yep, you read correct) got a good showing as I captured some shots of the 'Comeback Girl'. Inside the last 2km Super Wife felt a little pinch and we slowed a little, then with about 700m to go, Z-Girl felt that enough was enough and started to grizzle. It was just about her second breakfast time after all! We got plenty of empathetic smiles and this, along with the crying, encouraged us to sprint to the finish line.

Soaking up our very first Family Run, so proud of her, she is back
and this might have been the catalyst for bigger goals
With both sets of hands on the pram we crossed the line together! A time of 1:05 was a smidgen over the hour mark we had hoped for, however considering the single lane running tracks I reckon we did pretty well. But time wasn't the aim and nothing can take away the 'runners high' that hits your veins like a secret drug when you cross the line and pick up your finishers medal. And this was even more special knowing it was Team effort, better than that it was a Family effort.

Training for this Ironman has had me out on my own more often than I ever thought, chasing Km's on the bike, or rattling runs in the early hours or under moonlight. To share my training, to see the person who inspired me to run make her comeback is worth more than any of my PB's. In fact it was an FB (Family Best!) on Sunday and one we will return to better next year!

#forher #runmelbourne #dadathlon

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