Yesterday I ran my second half marathon.
I ran it 11 minutes faster than the one earlier in the year. 1:40:44
Just like the last one I was right at the low end of my stretch target. For a few kilometres I thought that I might go under the 1 hour 40 minutes but my ITB tightened up in the right leg quite badly around 16kms. Thankfully I managed to shake it out but it coincided with the section through the Botanic Gardens which snaked this way and that and didn't really lend itself to shaking out a tight muscle so it slowed me down a fair bit.
Thankfully I knew what the problem was and what I needed to do to get it moving again and I plowed home strongly, clocking my last two kilometres in under nine minutes.
I ran it in the same time as Janet Elizabeth. She came up to me after and thanked me for keeping her going. I returned the thanks because she had kept me going too.
During those last couple of kilometres I knew that I was easily under my goal time of 1:45 and part of me wanted to slack off but I could see Janet just in front of me. We had been together for most of the race. I gave myself a mental kick up the arse and picked up the pace.
Not one word had passed between Janet and I in the 1 hour, 40 minutes and handful of seconds we had been running together. Sometimes I was in front, sometimes she was.
I'd seen her face in profile but not really had a good look at her until we got chatting after the race. She asked me how long we had taken, I told her it was only my second half and that I'd taken more than 10 minutes off my time. She told me that was great. I said I'm doing the Melbourne Marathon and she told me it's a good one, but the wind can be a killer. I've been afraid of that for a while.
She told me that she has done 10 marathons and she turns 66 next week.
That is inspiration right there, is it not? I got a bit teary and told her that she is an awesome inspiration. I will think of her often over the next nine weeks. Janet Elizabeth you are my new pin up girl.
What unexpected inspiration has presented itself to you lately?