Monday, 18 November 2013

Kerikeri Half Marathon Race Recap...

On Saturday I ran the Kerikeri Half marathon. I wasn't sure if I would survive to see the finish how I would go only 2 weeks after doing a full marathon and since my body had been on strike for two weeks, but I actually really enjoyed the race and am happy with how I went.

Because of the last two weeks, I decided that I wouldn't have a time goal and that all I wanted to do was to finish it and enjoy it and not die. Check! I was also happy to be doing it with these wonderful ladies who were all running their first halves:
At the start line. Super proud of these babes!
It was a crazy hot day and the first 7kms were pretty much one long gradual up hill... Yay! I didn't want to crash and burn on the hills so decided to start out nice and slow and then if I felt ok after the hills, pick up the pace a little.

I started out behind the two hour pacer and was following behind her until about 12kms where I caught up to her. At around 14kms I overtook her and felt like I was happy to pick up the pace some more. With about 500m to go I decided I was just going to nail it to the finish line. Ok, so by nail it I mean sprint and by sprint I mean run as fast as I could after 20kms of running already (which was probably pretty slow compared to some!). I also decided I would count (in my head of course, out loud would just be plain rude!) the amount of people I passed... The total was 14 people... BOOM! Haha.

Sprinting towards the finish, not aware of the camera or I would have donned my best running pose instead of looking a tad special.
I got to use my Garmin which was the best part of the whole race. It helped me with my pacing and then the best part was hooking it up to Garmin Connect after the event to see all of my stats and details of the race. My average pace was 5:36mins/km. My final finishing time was 1:58:29. Rather happy with that indeed.

This is a really great event to do. It's a reasonably fast course as the last 14kms are pretty much flat or downhill with the odd small up hill in there. It is also a great day out. We stayed afterwards and had a picnic in the domain while waiting for the prizegiving where, true to form I did not win a thing, but it was a really lovely day out with the family and friends.

Loved running the race, and loved being able to celebrate with these superstars at the finish. A great day all round!
This was us at the finish - bare feet never felt so good!

Friday, 15 November 2013

My body has been on strike and I'm racing tomorrow...

As you know, I ran a marathon just under two weeks ago. In the lead up to the marathon I was uber zealous and in 'that happy running place' so thought I would sign up to the Kerikeri half marathon two weeks after it (the marathon). So this race is tomorrow.

Since the marathon my body seems to have gone on strike. I got a pretty bad ankle injury - which I am guessing is an overuse injury - and I got laryngitis and was a bit sick for a week. I did not get sick or injured my whole 4 months of training and then the week or two after the marathon my body seems to have just had enough. Needless to say, the only exercise I have done over the last two weeks is a few walks and two swims. Eek!

marathon recovery
I guess that's what you could call all the couch sitting I have been doing lately.
Anyway. I have still decided to stagger run the half tomorrow. I have no idea how it will go and I have no expectations of myself but I am looking forward to it. My only goal for tomorrow is to enjoy it!

So here I go, off to run what will very likely be my last race of 2013, tomorrow. Can't wait!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Does your body ever go on strike after an event (or just anytime)?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Dear Anonymous, You Rock My World!

Yesterday I received one of the best gifts a runner could ever receive...

A GARMIN FORERUNNER 10!!! From someone named Anonymous...

Here is the story:

About a month ago I received a comment on a blog post asking what colour Forerunner 10 I liked best. Naturally, I replied. The thought did cross my mind about whether someone may be wanting to buy me one (since I dropped enough hints for it), although I mostly suspected this probably wasn't the case and that most likely it was my husband someone playing a joke on me.

Then yesterday, I was casually sitting on my couch at home after a day at work and the postie rocks up with a box that was labelled - FYI this is one of the BEST websites to buy running, cycling and swimming gear for GREAT prices!

My heart started to jump as I knew straight away what it was. And surely enough, when I opened it up a beautiful shiny new green Garmin FR10 was smiling out at me... I know you love my poetry!

Anonymous, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know you were probably hoping it would arrive in time for my marathon last weekend since I noticed the postage date was 17th Oct. However, there will be many an opportunity for me to get some VERY good use out of this, so don't be disheartened. You have made my week year!

The sad news... I am currently injured at the moment and can barely walk, let alone run, so will have to wait another week or so until I can actually get out and use this bad boy. It is killing me! I am actually just wearing it around the house because I so badly want to be using it. It is the best toy ever.

And the moral of this blog post people: Always drop hints about what things you want! So here is my list for all you other readers out there (and now I am dreaming a lot bigger):
  • A trip to Hawaii
  • An Audi
  • An iPad
  • And i'll throw in a new boat for the hubby too - got to keep everyone happy.
But seriously, thank you again Anonymous reader, whoever you are. I totally owe you one - you are legendary! 

Have you ever received an anonymous gift? What was it? 

Best part of your week this week?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Auckland Marathon Race recap

I did it! Marathon number 3 done and dusted. Here are some highlights from my weekend and the recap of the marathon.

Saturday we headed down to Auckland to peruse the race expo - I always love me a good expo all about running!

Free smoothies - Yusss!

A future runner? This dude LOVED the expo!
And to have a lunch with these lovely ladies - fellow runners and bloggers:

So awesome to hang with a great group of girls as crazy about running (and blogging) as I am :)
From left: 
Michelle from Run Kiwi Run
Sheryll from Run to the Mountains
Check these awesome runners and bloggers out. I had a blast with them at lunch!

The rest of Saturday involved some serious prep (making sure everything was ready as I knew my brain would be off until at least 10kms into the run) and some serious relaxing.

Race Day:

It was a 6.10am start - this is way too early if you ask me but then it's nice not to be running in the real heat of the day. I slept terribly the night before because my alarm was set for the middle of the night 3.45am (what the heck!?!) and I didn't want to miss it. I haven't been up at that time of the night since I had a new born!

We wanted to be all ready to get to the start in case there were traffic delays, and for the all important last minute toilet stops. At the house, before leaving, because of all my nerves, I had a few issues with (ahem) my tummy. I didn't think anything of it at the time, just that it was nerves. Turns out that because of that I didn't really have much in the tank to run on... But I will get to that.

It was a glorious morning, such a beautiful sunrise and the start is at the most gorgeous spot on the waterfront in Devonport.

I was wanting to start with the 4.15 pace group as this was my goal. Well my goal was really just to beat my PB of 4:19, but with how well my training went I thought I would be on track to run a 4:15 no worries. Something must have happened last minute and I never saw a 4:15 pacer so just went off my Garmin for my pace. Right from the very beginning my stomach did just not feel that great. I think it was too empty and, despite all the hydrating I did the WHOLE week before, I continually felt thirsty and dehydrated. Eek!

Heading over the bridge was amazing, the weather was perfect (hot, but still great) and the view was awesome. I was on track for my 4:15.

I hit the half way mark at 2:09, 3 minutes slower than I should be for 4:15, but that's ok, there are no hills in the second half so I should be able to hold this pace. The turn around point was at just over 31kms. This is the hardest part I think. It feels like it just takes forever to get to that turn around and the whole time you're watching runners going back the other way wishing like heck it was you!

But I got there and then I was on the home straight. I got to the turn around in 3hrs 15. I was a bit gutted because I knew I was out of reach for a 4:15 and probably even a PB but I was still confident I could get in around 4:20 which I would have been happy with. Then at around 34kms I hit a small wall. Not the wall, but perhaps just a little fence. I needed fuel, and bad. I just had no desire whatsoever to take my gels. Just the thought of thick sugary goo just made me feel queasy so I stuck it out to the drink station where I had powerade or coke (who would have thought coke was so awesome in a marathon, I hate it any other time!) and water - plenty of water!

I kept on at a very sluggish pace, but I was running all the same. Then I really hit the wall at around 37kms. This is also where I lost the 4:30 pacer - gutted again! I knew there was only 5.2 kms to go but boy was I struggling. I wanted to cry, like seriously. What am I, a girl!?

I run/walked until around 39kms where I told myself I just needed to man up and get to the finish so I could stop! I saw Tim at 40kms and he ran with me to the finish. I was so sore by this point and my mind had given up, if he wasn't with me I don't know if I would have run that whole way so I was very thankful to see him and have his encouragement.

The finish is in sight!

My best supporter!
I finished in 4:37:08. And still beat the 4:30 pacer... Say whaaat!? I am so happy I finished it and I am happy with that time (now). I actually felt really terrible at the end and ended up having to lie on the nearest patch of grass for a while before I felt ok to get up. Haha. Once I got over feeling so ill and the fact that I felt like my time didn't reflect how well I trained, I actually was really happy to have done it and in that time. And hey, it's a course PB!

I am really proud of myself for my accomplishment only 8 months after having a baby. It's not a PB but it sure is a damn fine achievement. Heck, a marathon is a marathon and not all races will be best ones but I am sure there will be plenty more where that came from :)

And the best part about the finish? Having this guy there to celebrate with:
He just wanted to get his hands (and gums) on that medal - he is totally going to be a runner!
Thanks to all you lovely people who supported me and encouraged me through this whole journey. The last 4 months have been awesome!
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