I woke up Sunday morning, after less than 5hrs sleep with the intention of going back to bed after milking the cows. All through milking I kept telling myself, ‘I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to go.’ When I came home, Ryan already had the bikes loaded on the car and my bag packed ready to go. Guess I’m gonna do this run then.
Rego done and caught up with Carly and Sarah while we headed to the start. Race briefing mentioned something about hills and steps, so my goal of sub 50 mins quickly changed to sub 60 mins and I was glad I opted for my trail shoes. Either way I want to put in a decent effort to see where I’m at. We stood around at the start casually chatting then all of a sudden it was GO time!
Running through Pukekura park, with the trees and the trails was amazing. I was near the front from the start and settled into a good 5:50m/km pace for the first few km. I had to walk a little to get my breath back and calm the heart rate down at the top of some of the hills, but otherwise I felt fairly strong. My structured bike training must be paying off, because I don’t feel like I’ve done all that much running lately. I made it round the first lap, with a little break for water, feeling fairly comfortable, but I really wanted to stop. Do I have to go and do all those hills again?
On to the second lap and the challenge of passing the 5k walkers. I cheered a few on at first, but thought I sounded a bit condescending, as I raced past so shut up and focused on my run. I tried to up the pace a little bit, but ended up walking maybe one more hill than I should have done. Another woman passed me, but I managed to keep her in my sights as marshals were telling me I was second female. I was coming second! Well, you could have told me when I was coming first and I might not have walked that last hill!
The chase was on. But the steady stream of walkers made it difficult as I kept having to yell out or break my rhythm to dodge small people and dogs. I could still see first place, in her bright pink top up a head, but the lack of sleep was catching up on me. I started singing Ring of Fire because it ‘burns burns burns’ to keep going, trying to take my mind of my burning lungs and legs. I didn’t manage to catch first but came in a very solid second female after 53:56 minutes. I’m super happy to have put in a good effort as my first race of the season and my first race since Xterra Rotorua, back in April! Now to work on those steps and hill reps and build some strength.
Big thank you to Carly and Sarah for race day banter and support. As well as New Plymouth Joggers and Walkers for the excellent race organisation. FrontRunner New Plymouth for your continued encouragement and making me feel part of the running community. Not forgetting MX Endurance for all your coaching and support, it was a privilege to wear the X, people definitely noticed it on course. And Goodr for the sunnies that make me run goodr!