Tag Archives: Half Marathon

Ain’t no thang…

So, I did a half marathon this morning. Ain’t no thang.

I signed my sister (hero) and I up for the Bankstown Hidden Half (organised by Westies Joggers). We had talked about doing it to cap off our half-marathon training which actually ended in July, though there were no half marathons around that time. Our half marathon training actually ended in a snot-propelled 8ish-Km run around the self-same park we ran today while we were both stricken with never-endeding colds.

Some weeks later, the day of the Hidden Half arrived, and neither of us were completely ready. We hadn’t been training long distances (or any distance really). I did a 7ish Km run before work on Friday (or maybe it was Thursday, who can tell?) but that was my longest run in about 2 months of colds, snot and drop-foot. I’m not sure my sis had fared any better on the training front.

Here I am to relate the whole story to you as I nurse a glass of straight Bombay Sapphire (in direct contravention of my pledge to give up drinking)…

Except that I was then interrupted by the need to read bed time stories… so I am back again 24 hours later to continue. I want to get this out before the memory warps too much!

We rock up in the early morning. We see lots of seriously-short-clad runners warming up and jogging in packs. This is what scared me off sport in primary school. Short shorts and pony tails! We find our way to registration and pick up race packs. I notice we are a minority wearing long pants and warm tops. I know I will regret this later, but its just too cold to strip down to the nothing that some people have on.

My long pants….

Yes, we are scared and intimidated by the short shorts, the racing club singlets and the all-around air of this being a tiny event for some serious runners! Neither of us have run any distance for weeks. Oh well. get it done.

We get the call and line up. After a few minutes everyone starts running and we sort of start running too. Wow!

Spot the short redhead

The first km or so felt awful. I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy this run, just grit my teeth through it. Then suddenly, I got a bump, and whoosh! I bounded off into the distance. I passed a number of people. One old bloke, Tony, called out “you’re doing well did you start late?” and I called back “nah just started slow – you’ll catch me later”. And don’t worry, he totally did.

I passed an older lady with a steady pace. She eyeballed me as I swooshed by… remembering my face for later. Yep, she overtook me at the end too.

Around the 3rd or 4th KM, the leaders whizzed back past me. They had been all the way up the hills to the turnaround and back and had about 4kms on me at this point. No matter, I was feeling great!

At some point, I picked up a buddy who was using me as a pacer. He caught up to me a few times and we chatted – he said I had kept him going. That’s so awesome. I saw him cross the finish line with a sprint, but wasn’t able to find him again afterwards.

I had some magical moments in the first half of the race. I was flying down the hills, and the flats gave my legs time to rest and the spring just stayed in them. It was amazing! I went through a number of thoughts an emotions during my run. At first, very intellectual – I was the journalist thinking about the best way to blog the story. What puns could I sneak in? After a time, my mind drifted and I became absorbed in the actual running part of things. My stride, my pace. I could make my legs hurl me along if I wanted. No, faster! Faster!

I was on a hill at Km 10 or 12 when a bike bell dinged behind me and someone called out “the winners are coming through!” I saw only a couple of sleekly-sweaty, lean and well-muscled men bound past me. They were both covered with lather, they were working so hard.

This guy is amazing. He's all like "I've just run 21km to be here and there's no-one else around... time for fruit"

Winning dude: This guy is amazing. He’s all like “I’ve just run 21km… where is everyone?”

Occasionally my buddy would come up level with me and declare “I haven’t gone past you yet!”

This is me, serious runner

This is me, serious runner

That’s Mark behind me. He was getting cramps, so was walking and running. He still finished ahead of me. But he came and patted me on the back after the race. That picture must have been early since i still had my black shirt on. Taking that shirt off mid-stride and managing the iPod cables is a story for a night out at the pub!

At some point my head got bogged down in a numbing kind of defeatism. “Just put one foot in front of the other, that’s all”. But my legs and feet were so sore, it was hard to do that. My 200ml water bottle weighed on me. My freaking watch started to feel heavy. Everything started to ache, and every time I thought about how long I had to go, it made everything worse. At one point I was actually hoping to trip over and break an ankle on the uneven path so I wouldn’t have to finish.

There were lots and lots of volunteers to help us find our way during the course. They all called out encouraging things as we passed. At first I believed them, then I started to feel like a charity case. My poor brain wasn’t able to take on sympathy between 14 and 17km. And don’t get me started on the marshall who told me I had only a kilometre to go. That was 2nd hardest  kilometre of my life… so tantalisingly close to being done, but really so so far away from home. If I felt like giving up at any point, it was that last km.

Ahhhh, done

I was motivated to sprint to the end by the goal of coming in under 2:15

This was such a great local event. There was fruit at the finish line. Nuff said!

The t-shirt. I'm going to treasure this one.

The t-shirt. I’m going to treasure this one.

It is now 10pm on Monday night and I am still sore. At least FitBit thought I had an awesome day. AND I ATE ICE CREAM TOO.

 

Half marathon registration: $40. Impressing FitBit: priceless.

Half marathon registration: $40. Impressing FitBit: priceless.

 

 

 

 

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Oh My Quads!

Yesterday was a BIIIIIIG day.

My sister and I started off with a trip to our favourite hairdresser. Then off to a cafe early lunch at 11am before joining a bootcamp run by visiting fitness goddess Krissy Mae Cagney of Rise Above Fitness in LA.

We rock up exactly on time and see warm up has just started. There are roughly 40 people, most of them hefty, tattooed blokes. You know the kind – alternative dudes, piercings and tattoos all over. There were about 5 women that I could see. Sis and I were all done up – nice hair, makeup, expensive Lorna Jane clothes and an animal print handbag. Feeling a little out of place, I skipped up to the organisers and asked “Hi, can we join in?” Jared responded “Sure but if you start you gotta go the distance”.

Reflecting on this a little later, we decided that perhaps we came off a little Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. “Hi! We invented Post-Its. Can we join your bootcamp??” Someone actually asked us if we meant to come or just happened to be walking by. So funny!

We were split up into 8 teams of 5 and were given a task to do on each of 10-ish stations – Burpees, chin ups, 1km run, tire flips, rope lifting, box jumps, v-ups, pushups, kettle bell swings, goblet squats, and sitting around feeling awesome.  Each team had to complete 250 reps on each station. This was cool because it meant we had 50 reps each, but could help with one anothers’ weaknesses.

For instance, I found the box jump station to be a bit high for me, so Very Tall Tim was able to put in another 20 to help me out the team. Very Muscled Mike “doesn’t do cardio” so found the burpees and kettle bell swings challenging – so we helped him get the last few done. But he was a champ on the goblet squats and chin ups.

I had so much fun. This was a great way to do something a bit different and meet some new people. Very Tall Tim is also doing the City2Surf and optimistically said “see you there!” – we told him to look out for us crawling over the finish line while he is sipping his 3rd beer.

Our Team

Our Team with Krissy Mae

Afterwards, sis and I went shopping at Target and then finished the day with a half marathon at the Bay Run. But that is another story.

OH…MY…QUADS

Don’t mean to brag, but we are freaking awesome.