In the final of her exclusive iRun columns, Lisa Weightman tells how Houston proved a masterstroke for her return to marathoning as a mum. With husband Lachlan helping her achieve her time aim, Rio is now just over six months away.
Lachlan and I sat in the pool after the Houston marathon chatting to the loveliest young girls. Their mum Che had completed the half marathon that morning. She didn’t run a PB, but it didn’t matter as they were so very proud of her!
We enjoyed listening to the girls talk about their favourite sports and about their mum’s achievements. We both remarked on how gorgeous it was that they were so proud of their mum. What a fantastic role model Che is for her girls, teaching them to follow their dreams, set goals and try their hardest to achieve them. Hopefully when our little Pete is old enough he too will be proud of his crazy parents!
@CheHeinroth “After watching me run 13.1 & meeting 2 world class marathoners. Sadie wants me to train her for a 5k. TY @LisaWeightman #warmsmyheart”
What an awesome month we have had. We spent a lovely few weeks in Creswick training around the lake, running through the forest and introducing little Pete to all of the farm animals nearby. A whirlwind trip to Houston produced a result that we can be proud of as a family. As without the family support the dream of a third Olympics would not have been possible.
Benita Willis sent me a message before we left telling me about how wonderful the race was and she was certainly right. It would’ve been nice if they had flattened a couple of the man-made hills prior though! We had a relaxing time training around RICE University where Lachlan went to school and Hermann Park! Our final session went smoothly and we were fortunate to meet Australian champs Al Lawrence and Bob Couzens, who reside in Houston at their office Memorial Park – TheTan of Houston!
As we moved into the race hotel in Downtown Houston, it all started to feel real! The event team looked after us so well and we have formed some friendships which will certainly continue well into the future.
After consuming way too many grains of rice, bagels and the obligatory slice of lemon tart we were ready to get on the road. We accomplished the mission, a solid Olympic qualifier, not too far away from my PB and a PB 2:28 for Lachlan who had suffered a torn hamstring and a tooth abscess during our build up.
The race began a little differently than we’d imagined. With the African contingent it was expected that there would be a lead pack and if it was going at the pace I needed we’d jump on and if it was too quick (rumors suggested they were shooting for 2:21) we’d stick to our plan.
We went out in a really slow first mile. The pack was looking a bit disheveled, almost tripping over each other. So Lac and I said ‘right we are out of here’! Our first goal was to get a solid time for the Olympics and really earn my spot. The second goal was to see if I could win it, but with 2:23 PBs and my extended time off racing they were going to be hard to beat.
As the race unfolded we lost our buddy Ryan with stomach trouble and we came across quite a few hills which broke our rhythm. But we tried our best to accomplish our mission and although I’m disappointed not to take home the cowboy hat, Houston will certainly be etched in our memory as one of the best experiences!
We’ve endured the 32 hour journey and spent a couple of days on home soil and we still cannot wipe the smiles off our faces. Tom and Pete have received so many cuddles and smooches and the work-baby-training juggle is about to resume.