With my focus being completely on marathons and the Gold Coast in particular, I was in two minds about taking part. I'm not one to shy away from things but I had to put some serious thought into this. The GNU unfortunately starts right at the beginning of my marathon training programme. Sure, there's still lots of time, what with GC being nearly 3 months away but I'm not willing to take the risk of anything happening.
I'm not young, mind you. I'm 48 this year and it's a struggle keeping myself injury free. As easy as the continuous 5km loop of Nuang may seem, it's far from that. It's tough, real tough and the chances of someone like me picking up a long term nagging injury is very high. That would definitely put paid to my GCAM dreams. I'm not blessed with the abilities to do something like this every weekend. I know the limits and capabilities my body and legs can withstand.
Having run GNU2014 last year covering the minimum 50km, I was aiming to go further this year but after some serious thought, I realized I'd get more benefits out of a 12k tempo session than having to slog up and down a mountain. My recovery alone (and yes, I would need a few days or even a week to recover) would impact my marathon training plans quite a bit. That is if I come out of it injury free.
I really, really did want to give Nuang a shot. Bets were even being placed by some enterprising folks on whether I would do it or not. I'm sorry that most of you lost and one lucky fellow is going to be really well fed with food and drinks ... hahaha! To my running buddies from the GC Alumni, thanks for your faith and confidence in me, this decision didn't come easy and was only reached at the 11th hour.
Do I regret pulling out? No, not one bit. I know where my priorities are and it's not with ultra marathoning at the moment. My passion lies purely in running marathons. Here's something Jamie emailed me a few days back from an article on Runner's World that is totally spot on:-
'The marathon itself takes years and years of training to perform your best. You’re not racing off the last six months of preparation. You’re racing on the foundation that was built over many years of training. It’s the cumulative effect that allows one to continue to perform stronger for longer.'
I have a dream and goal I'd like to achieve for the marathon. I'm not capable of reaching that goal just yet but I know that with proper planning and direction, I WILL achieve that goal. I just have to be patient and keep my priorities grounded. It doesn't come overnight.
So, with that decision made, I wish those taking on Nuang today all the best and race safely. I'll be rooting for you guys in spirit. And to you Nuang, once I'm done chasing my marathon dreams, I'll come back and take you on, that's a promise!