In the two years I’ve been running ‘seriously’ – as in training and running events, not just running for the love of it – I’ve had one hell of a fun time.
There have been amazing highs and heart breaking lows. I’ve had fantastic races and great times. I’ve had bad runs, horridly slow runs and runs that felt like I was wading through quick sand. There have been jumping for joy and feeling strong as an ox runs. There were injuries that broke my soul, and jerked me backwards. Many a finish with mile wide smiles and one that was an ambulance ride with my first DNF. My first year was full of learning – testing all the races, running whatever and whenever I could. Burnt myself out. My second year was frought with injury and near misses – Lessons on strength and how to look after my body. Time to look at my third year…take all those lessons, all those races and make it bigger and better. Make it the best I can achieve. Be the best version of me. All my races are #earnednotgiven. Through hard work and determination comes success and results. What they will be determined…faster, stronger, longer.
If you’d told me five or six years ago I would be on this road and wishing it never stop, I would have laughed you out of the room. Ridiculous. This was a dream I had long given up on achieving, so when I started again it was purely for fun and exercise. Now the dream is well and truly alive and kicking.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of those 18 amazing races.
5 Km x 3 – PB 28.38
10km x 6 – PB 59.14
21.1 km x 5 – PB 2.16.58
42.2 x 1 – PB 5.08.38
DNF – 1 25.4/42.2 kms
Most enjoyable race – Ross half 2017
Hardest race – Ross Marathon 2016
Easiest race – Crank-E 5km 2017
Most punishing race – Point to Pinnacle 2017
Best all-rounder – City to Casino
The race to crack – Cadbury Marathon
Toughest race ‘personally’ – GCAM 2017
Distance I’d like to better my PB in – Marathon
I have one more race to end the year – I started this year on New Years Day and I finish it on New Years Eve with the same race. Not sure if I’ll get a pb, but it will be fun as hubby is running it with me this time. edit: no pb (3mins off my earlier time and hubster beat me which I am so happy about!)
I’ve learnt from the last two years and am looking forward to the new year and what amazing experiences it brings with it.
Going forward this evening, my word for the new year is Stronger.
There’s 16-17 weeks til GCAM and I’m still barely able to finish 5-6kms. To say I’m not happy is an understatement.
My strength training is coming along nicely, I’m seeing results and certain movements are way more comfortable and easy to do. Like squats – helloo…Yes please! And lunches, lunges, side leg lifts, fire hydrants – I can see these are all working. My legs have a leaner look to them, and I feel stronger. I love how I feel right now doing these workouts.
My itb. Well there’s another thing. Some days it’s good, some days not so much. I’ve seen the kinesiology chiropractor and he’s helped with one thing but I’d like to see the physio and see what they have to say. Then decide if I want to visit the chiro again.
We have also decided that GCAM will be my only race for this year. No worrying about any other races, and concentrating on my training. Simply recoup, relax and rehabilitate so I can train properly for the big one. After that there is really only a couple of races I may be interested in doing – Ross half marathon and Point to Pinnacle, conquer the mountain! –
Pictures – foot notes and motivation wraps from the amazing Momentum Jewelry.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do 5k races. These days it’s like a warm up and while the idea of a sub 30 time is nice it’s just not on my radar. I prefer to just run it and save my energy for longer runs and be able to last the distance of a half or full marathon. Not sprint for 24-27 mins. For me to get those times that what it would feel like. Sprinting. I’m a distance pacer and always have been, even in high school.
Back to tomorrow’s race. I did this one last year and made good time, only just missed the 60min mark and loved every minute of it. A short but thoroughly enjoyable race. Around the coastline and over our iconic Tasman Bridge. One of the many Run the Bridge races across the world. And your choice of either 10k run or 5k run and walk.
When I first registered for this one last year I was preparing. Self to push hard and get an official sub 60 when we ran it again. My body had other ideas though, and this week I had to downgrade to the 5k run. I’m disappointed but would rather play it safe than risk further injury.
My runs during this last few weeks have been extended to 4 and 6kms which were easy enough with not too much pain involved at all. My strength training is paying off nicely.
That being said, I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m hopeful. And yes I’m looking forward to it. The nerves are part ‘ normal nerves’ and part ‘omg, I’m still in recovery mode nerves’.
I’m hoping that my post tomorrow afternoon will be a positive ‘yeah I did I, it rocked and I’m all good to go further, faster and stronger!’ post. I feel this way no matter what, just in the heat of the moment (or cool as the weather is planning otherwise) I’d like to think I can be mature with my result, regardless of what it is.
I wrote a little while a go about my strength workouts.
They are working a treat. If I miss more than one day (I try to get a short run in every second day) I actually miss it. For anyone who knows me, this is a big thing. I’ve never been that into gym workouts. Even just at home.
Over the last month I have worked through different styles and figured out what works and what I am gaining out of it.
From this I have a base workout and then I add in something for arms, core, legs and back. This is what I will be doing for a while to come. It’s part of my day now, stretching at least anyway.
I have a sort attention span for these things so my pan of making it a short workout has been working really well. I am sticking at it, (starting to see small results👍) and it feels good. So I want to continue. And that was the point.
I may not be spending an hour or more a day on this but I’m making the effort, and not just slobbing on the couch, so I’m winning already.
I’m about to start a new marathon training season! Yay!
I’ve really enjoyed this off-season and have 100% fallen back in love with running, especially without pressure or purpose. That being said, I’ve always loved running a lot of junk miles and it’s going to be hard to tone it down, focusing more on quality than quantity.
And so, here’s my little love letter to the sport, also known as 50 Reasons I Love Running:
It’s the best way to appreciate where you are both geographically and physically
You get to see your city in a whole new way
Fresh air does you so much good
You can run almost wherever you are
It’s a great way to meet people
Runners are an incredibly friendly bunch
It can take your mind off what you’re stressing about
This is where it started 12 months ago. Twelve months ago when I was barely running and definitely not in any kind of competitive manner. I saw the ads in the paper and said “next year I’m going to run that”. If only I’d known then what I know now. That by the time I ran the City to Casino I would already have a half marathon, two 10km and the Mother’s Day Classic under my belt. And learnt a hell of a lot about myself over that time. My strength with training and lasting the distances required. Sometimes with ease. Sometimes with aches and pains. And sometimes with disappointment. Due of course to my own expectations.
My only goal at that time was getting the medal. Which meant finishing under the 2 hour mark. I figured I could that with some ease. What I didn’t realise was that I would be able to blitz even my best time to date in the process. And boy what a feeling it was.
The weeks leading up to race have been pretty wet and yucky. Especially on Sunday race days. Ah well. The craziest of the crazy still come out to run. Because it’s just water after all. My training was constant and I made it work by doing lots of short but fairly intense treadmill runs
I was well organised as usual. I’m that kind of person. I need to know I have everything ready. The location, parking, other transport if required, bag drops…everything. I leave next to nothing to chance. And I’m always early. This does nothing for the nerves, but I deal with it. I get in a panic of I think I may be late.
So, at 7am I arrive at the finish line to park and wait for the bus. Light stretches and taking the obligatory toilet stop I then wander around the empty car park before heading off to the buses. I chat with a lady doing the shorter run as we head off and wish each good luck at her stop.
Arriving at the start line there is another loo stop (I’ve found I’m not the only one who has to have 3 or 4 of these prior to a race) before running into a lady I met at the last two races I did. Chatting with someone helps to ease the nerves, and ten minutes to start we are herded escorted by police across the highway through the road works to wait.
And then it starts to rain. Big fat drops to start with. Ugh. It was cold and my toes were starting to go to sleep.
Nine am the gun goes off and by the time I crossed the start line it was full on raining and I was drenched. No point complaining, it was actually quite nice, with the temperature being low enough to make running comfortable.
I turned my phone right down so I could barely hear my running app, just enough to keep an ear on the time. By the time I reached the 3.5 km mark I felt good and had properly settled into a rhythm. There were plenty of people always around and while I wasn’t listening to anything I wasn’t talking to anyone either. I am a solo runner for the most part.
We had passed the two main inclines, one short and sharp the other longer and on both I ran a steady if slower pace and kept moving. I have found that walking can make it harder to start again, so I make sure I keep moving and then it’s easier to pick up the pace on the flat or downhill.
My mistake I felt here, was doing what I do in my training runs and not push my downhills. That would have saved a good minute or two by going faster on the downhill. Lesson learnt.
As we entered the short underpass to cross the highway the portable dj was there and it brought a big grin to my face. The instant pick me up was just what I needed. Then another sharp incline and back onto the highway.
It was as we ran past the waterfront with more spectators that I felt it. That feeling of insane joy, of accomplishment, of the thrill of running through the streets. Past people in cars, waving and smiling at the pedestrians. It’s an odd feeling and I’m not sure I wrote exactly how it feels, but I want to do it again. Being completely honest here it’s not about the looks, I’m an awkward and not the most elegant runner, I just love it all. The atmosphere, the participation, the competition and the getting out there and doing. There is something about running the streets, I simply love it. Even if my photos don’t make it look so. That’s my competitive side coming out in me.
Then I am on the last stretch, the last 2-3 kilometres where we are running directly next to the cars. I’m concentrating on getting past the walkers and avoiding the witches hats leaving me to completely miss the water station. Dammit, I was ready for another splash of water. At the time I saw it, I was too close to the end and was certainly not going to turn round. I pass a few more groups and hear mutters about how the runners have made rubbish and thrown their cups on the road. I would have done the same 6 months ago. Not so any more.
About one kilometre out I chose to whip a little butt and move it up. The last small incline was easy, then a light downhill and rounding the corner to the finish line. As I came round the corner the people fell away as I sprinted down the chute and across the finish line. I caught a glimpse of the time and had that ‘Omg!’ moment. I had done it. Equalled my own 10k time for a full 11.4 km. Which meant I had done another sub 60 10K. I was so incredibly happy, tired, but happy. And a week later, I still am. There’s something about getting a pb or finishing a race still strong that makes all the work worthwhile. Even the knowing I could have made it closer to the 60 mins doesn’t phase me*
Crossing the finish line was one thing, navigating the crowds to get my water and fruit was another. Especially as the skies opened up at that moment and I drenched once again.
The grin on my lasted all afternoon and the energy I had was incredible. I was full of it. It was racing through me, giving me that runners high, only this time it lasted so long and I let it roll over me.
The race that started it all. The big one. That surreal feeling of having wanted something for so long and then finally having it in your hands. Bring it on next year. You never know, I may blitz my time and get a sub 60 for the full 11km.
* One last 10k goal. To get an official sub 60 min time. Bring on ‘The Glenorchy Ten’ in July. A flat double loop course.
The following links are too two posts I did 4 years ago after my first ever race. Something done on a whim and not repeated. Until now. I have found something I really enjoy and want to do more of, to challenge myself. RUN!
Looking at the results a second time all I can say is how much I have grown and improved in that time. I look at it and think ‘that’s not a lot’ and then go ‘..well, given I’ve only been seriously running for less than 12 months, it’s a huge amount’.
The difference? My pace average has dropped significantly from that point (6.96min/km) to what I can do now – 6.15min/km.