‘What’s your next race then Alice?’ That infamous question has been cropping up again recently, but I do not think many people expect the answer I give. ‘Sydney Marathon’ I reply, as if it were a straightforward, logical response. Reactions range from shock, disbelief to pure excitement. Sydney Marathon is about three weeks away and I fly to Australia tomorrow – yet the news is still a surprise to many. I have not kept my trip to Australia purposely quiet, but it has just felt rather indulgent. Travelling to Australia was something I never thought I would do in my life, let alone run a race ‘down under’. As a child, a trip to the other side of the world was something I imagined only certain people were able to achieve, and now I am getting to do it. It is surreal.
The biggest motivation for my Australia trip is not just the marathon though, and maybe that’s why I have not shouted about the 26.2 mile race I have entered as much either. My trip is focused around visiting my best friend, who moved to Sydney nearly 3 years ago (you can enjoy some of our random mixture of memories on the leaving card I gave her - see image!) Even though it has been a few years since my friend left the UK, I still miss her a lot, and to finally be able to spend quality time with her and experience her Australian life will be really special – the marathon is the cliché cherry on top.
Sydney Marathon will hopefully be my 8th marathon – a fact I personally find quite hard to believe even though I have ran them all! I have trained hard so far, but without any pressure - there is a difference. I like to push myself, work hard and be disciplined – that’s just me. However, for Sydney Marathon I have no goals for the race other than to finish and relish the entire experience. So, whilst I have tested myself in training, especially during this hot summer, I do not want to start Sydney Marathon with any weight of expectation on my shoulders. When I land ‘down under’ I will also have around two and half weeks in Australia before race day on Sunday 16th September. I want to enjoy these days and not worry about being in strict marathon prep mode the entire time. My friend and I have some exciting adventures planned already and making memories matters more to me than what time I can run 26.2 miles in.
I am writing this blog ahead of starting my epic journey to Australia and as a bit of an early pre-marathon sign off. Whether I will have chance to keep my weekly blog up to date when I am in Australia and during my final few weeks of training I am unsure. Trust me, I will be running though! I will undoubtedly be sharing a few (read - probably a lot!) photos on social media though, so if you do not already, please feel free to follow me on Twitter @_AliceCarter_ and/or Instagram @_aliceocarter_ I apologise in advance for the inevitable Australia spam!
I hope to be able to write again, but if I do find my mind gets frazzled with time zones and I am generally having too much of a ‘bonzer’ time to switch on a laptop, I wanted to say a massive 'thank you' to all those who have supported me throughout another block of marathon training. During hard times in both running and life I have had some lovely messages, tweets and words of wisdom from individuals which have helped profoundly. At times training for this marathon has also felt a little lonely; running solo long training runs has been a new challenge, and training in a period of the year when not many people I know are in marathon training mode to share experiences with has been different. Therefore this blog more than ever has been a real outlet for me - thank you.
Now, the Australian adventures awaits – I just need to survive the 23 hour flight ahead of me first!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...