I never thought that I would be able to run 3km let alone 21km a year ago. How things have changed. How I have changed. I have achieved so much already this year, and I hope to achieve so much more.
I don’t remember when I put a half marathon on my list of goals to achieve. I know it was this year. It’s possible I put it on there after I did ‘Run for the Kids’ in April. But I’m glad I put it on there. Yes I will admit that I was scared that I bit off more than I could chew, but it paid off. Because not only did I finish a half marathon (goal 1), I also ran the entire thing (goal 2). It would have been totally awesome to cross off my 3rd half marathon goal, and that was to finish in under 2 hours. But the fact that I did it should speak volumes, and now I know what to expect for next time, and yes there will be a next time.
So how did it all go, well I shall have to start from the beginning. I woke up at 4.30am, 30 minutes before I had set the alarm, I stayed in bed until the alarm went off and got changed into my gear. I put a blister block bandaid on my left foot where I’m prone to get a blister (over long runs) and tapped it up as well, just to be on the safe side. I ended up not needing it but I rather have it than not at all.
So I had breakfast, which was slow cooked porridge with half a banana (as it was huge), with a bit of honey. I actually was not in the mood to eat, but I needed to eat something otherwise I would have most likely not have made it through the race. And next time I will bring my little split belt and store some lollies in there, as believe it or not about the 12km mark I was starting to get hungry!
I was all ready to go by the time my 2nd alarm went off. I set 3 alarms. 5am – get up, 5.20am – drag your sorry ass out of bed now & 5.45am you better be on the road now alarm. Well I was on the westgate bridge when the last alarm went off. I did not want to be late, and I’m glad I got there early. I wasn’t the only one who got there at 6.15. I couldn’t park the car at federation square (as they had blocked it off), but I parked in the car park opposite it, so it’s all good.
The 1st thing I did when I got there was go to the bathroom. The I had a bit of a wonder around, I was trying to find the clothing drop off to drop off my bag. Then went back and did the warm up. No one wanted to get up close to the stage. Everyone was in their groups. I was on my own, well I figured I don’t see the point of being so far away, no one knows me, and it only takes 1 person to encourage everyone else. And so I walked forward into the empty space, and yep soon everyone else followed… well of course they would when the warm up started.
After the warm up I zipped over to join the que of the loo’s, then headed over to the start line. Found my pace team (purple) with a finish time of 2h10mins. That’s what I was aiming for. Well actually 2h15m, anything less than that was a bonus.
The race started in waves of 2 minutes. So the faster times went first, and then slowly all the others. It was 7.10am by the time I crossed the start line. I didn’t want to go out too hard and then lose my puff, so I kept with the pace team, but after 2km I was like “they are 2 slow, I will go a little faster”. And so I did, I went at a pace that I was comfortable with and that I was able to maintain it throughout the entire 21kmsl. That pace was on average 5.55mins p/km. Some sections a little fast, some a little slower, but either way I was happy with this pace.
Next time I might aim for the faster pace team. So 2 hours. I ended up being in the tail end of the 2 hour team (they were lime green).
I thoroughly enjoyed the race. When I had moments of “I’m getting tired”, I would then tell myself “no, you are just getting your 2nd wind”, and kept going, see the power of positive thinking. Destination fixation, I wanted to finish, and I did. A DNF (did not finish) was not on the cards, well not on my cards. It wasn’t until the very end of the race and I was stretching I overheard a girl talking to her parents. She was saying ‘gosh I didn’t expect it to be so hilly’. My instant thought was ‘that was not hilly!’ And it wasn’t, well not compared to all the hills here in town. All that hill training and speedwork obviously paid off, and I’m glad it did. Will have to continue to do so.
Will I do it next year? The answer will be yes. Might actually do some fundraising for it too, didn’t this year, I was just focusing on the run, now I know what to expect, I can push to do more.
So think you can’t? Well I don’t believe in the word can’t. Fear is the only thing stopping you, just do it, surprise yourself, I know I did.
For my run details go – http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199280786
My Split Times