Half Marathon Race Recap – I DID IT!!

I’m still in slight disbelief that I’ve now completed a half marathon – it’s an odd feeling but lets start from Friday!

THE TRIP UP:
Friday midday the group of us who were travelling together met at the Pumped Studio. We got given our new singlet’s! We headed off in groups with around 3 hours to make it to Kaikoura. On our way we had a scavenger hunt and had to tick as many missions off as we could…

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This was an entertaining afternoon – one of the funniest moments was our group rocking up to a big team of construction workers (who were having a meeting at the time) and asking for a photo with their hats and hi-vis.

Overall most people were willing to help us out, unfortunately the people at the dairy we asked about the free ice-cream ended up being a bit rude and walking out the back of the shop. This was soon forgotten about when we found some lovely people at a café who gave us a free coffee which I was the recipient of 😀

By the time we got to Kaikoura I was feeling some travel sickness – thankfully it started to go away closer to Blenheim. Quick trip to pick up our race packs and it was back to the lodge for the first meal as a group with MASSES of yummy dishes that everyone had brought along.

 

RACE DAY
We had to be up, fed and ready to go for the 7:30am trip to St Clair Vineyard. My breakfast of choice was a bagel with cream cheese. This seemed to work on my last long run so I thought I’d stick with it!

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With Summer behind us the morning was cool but the sun helped keep us from shivering too much before the start. It was a long line and it took Liam and I a couple of minutes to get to the start line once the countdown had happened but then we were off!

My goal? Finish under 2 ½ hours. 

I lost Liam around about the 2km mark – we had quite a bit of running down through vineyards so it was harder to pass people so he got a little in front and the gap kept getting bigger. I knew at that point I was the one who had to keep myself going if I hit the wall. My music was pumping and because I decided to run with my hydration pack I didn’t need to stop at any water stations so I knew I had it sorted! Overall the ground was a little more uneven than I had trained on but nothing I couldn’t handle.

At one point I heard someone calling my name, which I wasn’t expecting. Virginia & Michael were our support crew and they managed to make it to a couple of spots during the race to get some photos and cheer us on. It was a good feeling seeing someone out there every so often who knew you, there were a lot of people out watching around the course who would clap and say motivational things as you went past but it’s so much more effective when it comes from someone you recognise!

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Look at that scenery!!!

 

I had some GU on me for fueling which I took over a long period of time rather than having a whole one every 35-45mins. This was the main reason I wanted to carry my hydration pack because it meant that I needed to sip water more often than there was a water station.

My legs started to feel tired around about the 18km mark. I knew I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other because if I stopped for a moment it would be so much harder to start again. I spied Brogan in front of me and we ended up running together for a couple of kilometers – it helped us both equally to keep going at this point.

I heard my app click over 20km and I knew I was close to my time goal but I wanted to pick up my pace a bit. The last few vineyards that we ran through were softer than the others and they also had big tractor tire tracks – this made it harder to run on. The last km seemed to take forever to get through; I’d get to a corner or the end of some vineyards and think ok it must be this corner! No… Ok keep running. By the time I actually came around the last corner it took a few seconds to register that it was indeed the last corner. It wasn’t until I heard Kate yelling “SPRINT DEBBIE” that I picked up my legs and booted it to the finish line.

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Bonus?? Finishers medal was this nice bottle of wine 😀

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TIME GOAL
My goal was 2:30 or less. I came in at 2:24:26! 5mins under what I set myself so I was pretty happy with that.

I’m really proud I crossed the finish line in good time but for some reason it never quite hit me that yes I just ran 21.1 freaking kilometers. I think it was such a long time coming and previously I had to pull out of few half marathons due to injury. Maybe I didn’t want to build the excitement up incase I ended up getting injured again. I also think completing a half became the ‘norm’ in my mind so it wasn’t until later that night when Kate said you might have been surrounded by almost 3,000 people today who all completed a half marathon but if you think of how many people in Christchurch have actually done one it’s probably only 1% or less of the population. This helped put it into perspective for me.

Our night finished with lots of laughs and some very bright clothing – it was a fantastic weekend all around.

Now remember when I said I lost Liam at around 2km? He kept going and ended up completing it in 2:01:18 SO PROUD!!

 

Did you race in the weekend?

It’s Almost Road Trip Time!

This half marathon I’ve been dreaming about for years is one sleep away… ONE SLEEP Eeeek!

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My legs are feeling MUCH better after a massage – I swear Rachel (massage therapist) must have magical powers or something! Between Kate & Rachel my worries about St Clair melted away and I’m looking forward to seeing what I achieve tomorrow! Holy hell it’s tomorrow??

I have spent a lot of time getting everything ready yesterday & today. I made some of these suckers this morning to take away

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We also are having a Pot-luck dinner and will be using the leftovers for the following night – everyone has to make a dish to contribute. Liam + me = 2 dishes I had to make last night.

I feel like I have so much stuff I need to take away with me… It’s only two nights how much stuff do I actually need? 

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All in all I’m not exactly sure what to expect on the drive up but it’s going to be fun! Liam is driving up after work so he’ll be meeting us there later in the evening.

RACE EXPECTATIONS:
My main goal is to simply finish it, however if I can do so in under 2:30 I’ll be pretty happy!

Bring on the finishers medal I say (it’s a bottle of wine!!)

 

Are you racing this weekend?

Almost a week in a day…

Playing catch up tonight… it’s been a busy few days all in all :/

Thursday evenings run was a struggle. It was fairly warm but the wind was the killer We had winds of around 40km with gusts of 60-70km about the time I headed out. Thursday runs for me are a 5km time trial run and this is the first one of the year now that I’m back up to running 5km again. I was hoping to beat my time from Sunday but with the wind I did a slower run than normal.

Even though it wasn’t quite a PB it’s still a big difference that was from my first ever 5km. Just over two years ago I had managed to get myself up to running around 10mins without stopping but could not seem to get any further (the frustration!). I decided to join a program called Get up to Five http://getuptofive.co.nz/ run by the inspirational Bevan James Eyles. The beginners schedule started with 30 sec intervals of running and slowly over the 8 weeks increased to running 5km without stopping. I ran that 5km in around 42mins, I was ecstatic at the time thinking oh yeah that’s just under 8 ½mins per km!

That legs & butt homework circuit… I attempted it after my run on Thursday for the first time and man it burns! Probably doesn’t help that I’m still sore from other workouts but I had to get it done!

Friday was rest day, I normally still do a walk or a little circuit but I had woken up with a really sore lower back and it was still niggly in the afternoon BUT we had tickets to one of the Buskers Shows anyway so I didn’t have a lot of free time after work. The boy with tape on his face (aka Sam Wells) is originally from Christchurch and has become quite popular overseas. Luckily for us he tires to come back to play a part in the yearly buskers festival. I’ve seen him on comedy shows before but never live so was really looking forward to it – the night was full of laughter and it was well worth going to see!

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Saturday I would normally aim for a hill workout but I knew I was going to do a stairs session the next morning so I decided to catch up with a friend over a brisk walk – we walked around both parts of Hagley which came to 8km and took a little over an hour. I was also quite distracted during the morning with Facebook updates: You see my amazing PT Kate and a few others were competing in Challenge Wanaka (she did the Half Ironman) and a couple of the girls from Pumped had gone down to watch and were kindly updating us all on how all our competitors were going. I wonder if I’d ever be able to compete in something like that – so inspirational! I would have to get far better at swimming haha.

Sunday morning I had a stairs session that Emily had organised for us. I got woken up at 2.45am and couldn’t get back to sleep until around 6am, which meant I only got a couple of hours sleep by the time my alarm went off. I was seriously thinking of not getting up and trying to catch up on lost sleep but in the end I got up and headed for the Stairs. It was very much an emotional and mental struggle at the time and I got there about 10mins early thinking ‘I could leave now and no one would even know I had turned up’. I stuck around, 9am arrived and Emily turned up so there was no backing out. We waited a couple more minutes for the others to turn up and began the walk up to the start of the stairs.

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I forget how steep the short walk is to get there, in fact once you get to the stairs and look up you already seem too tired! We walked up the first set and Emily had arranged a few reps for us to do in between each set of stairs. In total we did 5 laps of the stairs (around 1000 steps all up) a mix of running, walking and going up 2 steps at a time. I got attacked by mosquitoes plus by the time we finished the temp was around 26°C and it was only 10am – this equalled a very warm and muggy workout.

Throughout the day it got hotter and Liam and I ended up waiting until around 8.30pm to do our run – even then it was still 28°C outside argh! We did 6km which was what was on my half marathon training plan at a slightly slower pace than I’ve been doing (It ended up being an average of 6:45 min per km).

Yesterday was a bit quiet workout wise; I was flat out at work all day and had arranged to meet up with a friend to check out a place to have some casual drinks for my birthday next weekend. I did go home and do a small circuit session before starting dinner though!

And we are back up to today finally! This morning started the best way it can: PT with Kate! We did a few weight exercises that I don’t normally do. My last set was a heavy bench press and I made the mistake of saying a swear word (can’t) straight after which means I had to get down and do 10 press ups. I got the giggles even getting down on to the floor… after the bench press my arms were not wanting to cooperate with me AT ALL!

It’s been horrible and rainy today but it cleared later in the day in time for a dry run. We went out later than usual so missed the 5km series race that some of the other Pumped athletes were doing. It was a hard run but I pushed through and finished the 6km a little longer than it took on Sunday.

My most AWESOME moment of the week so far: Liam text me yesterday and asked me to enter him into the same half marathon that I’ve signed up for. Of course I did this right away so he couldn’t back out of it 😉 I was already looking forward to that weekend but now even more so 😀

Now that we’ve got that week out of the way I’ll get back to blogging every 1-2 days…

Eeeek I’ve signed up for my first Half!!

Today I did it… I officially signed up for my first Half Marathon. 21.1 freaking km. This has brought up a mixture of feelings: excited, nervous, determined, scared… Entering when you are currently only running a few km at a time is a bit scary but I’ve run 10km before, that’s pretty much half right?! I’ll be fine!…

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Half way through my 20 week challenge last year I ran my first 10km at the Christchurch Airport Marathon (a few days before I injured myself the first time argh!). That day was an interesting experience all in all. I didn’t struggle as much as I imagined I would but watching the top athletes run was almost mesmerizing. The 10km race was an out and back course so as the likes of my two awesome running buddies and myself were slowly getting closer to the turnaround point we started to see some athletes coming back. Their determination, power and muscle was incredible! They all still seemed calm and collected like they were just out for a leisurely stroll, just a very fast one haha.

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This morning’s session with Kate was great. We started with some boxing to warm up and then focused on Bench Press (Smith machine), Leg Press & Lat Pull with a mixture of reps (think step taps/box jumps/dips/press ups/ski jumps over a bench and other ‘fun’ things) in the middle of each set. I managed to better or equal all my weights before Christmas for each one so pretty happy about that! As it’s the beginning of a new month Kate made me write down two goals to achieve sometime before the end of Jan and put them in her Goal Jar. I picked a couple that I’ve been able to do before but have gone backwards on and am planning to knock them off my list by the end of next week:
Plank a minimum of 2mins (currently up to 1.33mins)
Run 5km (Ran 3km today)

Liam joined me on my run this evening, we ran slightly slower than I did yesterday (my fault, not his) weaving in and out of the streets around our house. I must admit I enjoy running in the shade of the trees at the park better than on the streets, there wasn’t any shade on the run tonight! What made my day though was that Liam thanked me for dragging him out and then said that he’d join me on all my runs, to which I answered well you may as well run the half with me – he’s actually thinking about it – would be his first one too! 🙂