Time for an update…

I’ve been a little bit quiet since Glasgow so thought it was time for an update. But I can’t say I’ve been laying low like many others in their post-Games recovery. This is the time of year that is buzzing with fun runs, and it’s tough to stay away!

I was easily convinced by locals to run in the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon. The start line is only a 10min jog from my doorstep, and covers the route of my weekly long run so I told myself I could “participate but not race”. The run starts with the Alex hill and we ran up it at a decent pace from the get go… I felt comfortable sitting right on Clare Geraghty and let her set the pace for the first half of the race. But then she slowed up after about 12K and I found myself in the lead, still running quite comfortably. By the time we hit 18K, I had at least a minute on Clare, so I picked it up and made sure ran home strong to take the win… guess I was having a crack after all! It wasn’t a PB, but I won by 2 minutes and defended my title from last year’s event.

Only three weeks later I was running the Blackmores Sydney Half as part of the QLD Heat Team in the Australian Half Marathon Championships. I spent the week in Sydney on a work conference and I must say it is a hilly city to have an “easy” running week. I’m the first to admit I didn’t know who my main competitors were, nor what the course looked like until the race brief, as I just hadn’t got around to looking. A familiar start, we went out hard and straight up a hill then over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is just awesome to run on and appreciate how huge it is! Again I was running with Clare but this time she broke away after only about 5k and it wasn’t until the half way point that I caught her again. I was able to run at a steady pace and put a gap between us. By the 17k mark I knew there were no more hills and I could push home strong, although it was quite slippery in the rain and I did nearly fall at one point! Approaching the Opera House was exciting, knowing I was about to take out the National Half Marathon Championship. And once I crossed the line I was amazed to see the time on my new TomTom watch (Runner Cardio GPS); I’d run a new PB of 76:41 on tough course in tough conditions!

Australian Half Marathon Championship Women's Winner Melanie Panayiotou

Feeling pretty happy with myself, and my first National title, I convinced my coach I was fit to enter the Melbourne Half Marathon, now less than two weeks away. This is one of my favourite events, and I’ll take any excuse to visit my hometown. So I have one last race to have a crack at before the hard work really starts! But I won’t lie, I love the hard work that is required for the marathon, and I look forward to making some plans with the Coach.

And with a new World Record set last weekend in Berlin, who isn’t inspired by Denis Kimetto’s sub 2:03 marathon? I know I am!

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