The usual pre race nerves set in a few days before hand. The weather, my bib, clothes, food and hydration, getting there on time.
My training had gone well and I was feeling good, ready to start and finish the race – enjoying it all the way.
We arrived at the start with plenty of time and I did some stretches and chatted with hubby before he had to leave – making sure he got to the finish line in time.
I headed to my usual mid pack starting position and loosely jiggled on my toes.
The 4 minutes between the elites and us starting were painfully long.
The start of this race is always tough because the route turns the first km into a bottleneck where you have to jump and weave to not be tripped or trip anyone else.
I decided right on the start that I would not check my watch at each km notification, I would listen to my body and go with the flow. The km markers were pretty spot on as my watch buzzed almost exactly at each one.
I slowed for a drink at the first station then paced myself up the first hill. It’s a sharp incline that is worse than the main event (the height of the bridge), and I didn’t want to walk too much. A short couple of walks and I was at the top and getting into cruise mode again.
Coming up towards the bridge and there was a huge crowd – 5k walkers and runners and cheer squads – the place was pumping. People cheered us as we passed them making our way up to the crest. Just past the top and the next race started. They surged past us, sprinting down the bridge. It was most off-putting, after settling into a rhythm and then having it all go out of whack – I lost the runner I was following and felt a bit lost and slow in all the speedsters around me.
It was at the 7km mark that I saw the 60 min pacer and knew I was reasonably on target – I will admit, I had checked my watch one around the 5k mark. Losing them while I grabbed another drink was no great drama and I continued on my way. I was happy knowing I may or may not make the sub 60.
The next two kms were tough, the end is so close yet so far away. The last km is though a mass of support and cheers, and really keeps you going. Five hundred meters away from the crown to mini incline and turnaround and then it’s the race to the finish. Most of the time anyway. As I headed back down to the corner and finishing, I gave myself a talking to. “Slow down, don’t rush it, smile, relax, finish strong, finish smiling”. I loosened my shoulders and off I went. Smiling the whole way down the chute, no weird sprint and angst face, just smiling and feeling good.
There is 1 good picture – the other 2 I have my eyes shut. Go figure, I don’t even know where the photographer is and I still have my eyes shut.
Crossing the line I save my tomtom, only to discover is says 9.98kms – but the time, 57.57 is all I’m worried about. Woohoo, pb time, for both the distance and race.
The official time was 57.54. I’m very happy and rest a few days before getting back into training for the next race. I think it shows what the plan can do, I was consistent and adding in the strength and interval workouts really helped.
Back to it. Happy training and finish strong.