Tag Archives: race

Park2Park done and dusted – Happy but not happy with Garmin!

1 Aug

Sunday morning came and I was all set to run the Park2Park in Ipswich. I went through my usual motions (see last post) and was incredibly nervous! I think I had to go to the toilet three times before we left home.

By the time we arrived at the Lion park I was feeling really jittery but ready to go and we went and watched the half marathon runners come in just to see the winner cross the finish line. I went to the toilet a few more times and put my Garmin on and iPod (i’d decided I needed music for this race.) I then met up with my friends who were also running the 5k and felt even more nervous!

So we lined up and the race started. I had a bit of a nightmare with my Garmin in this race – the first time ever. As I crossed the start I hit start on my watch and nothing happened! I ran half a kilometre up the first steep hill trying to fathom out what was going on with my watch and not happy as I needed it to judge my pace and my distance!! I managed at almost a kilometre to get it to work and settled into the race but was fuming over it not starting at the start.

The race itself was well organised. Really well signposted and water stops with loud cheering supporters. I found most of the people over taking me were kids! They were so fast I felt like a plodder!

I pushed as hard as I could to make up the time I had lost at the beginning messing around with my watch and started to make some ground. The hills were a killer but I was determined to get round. I have to say though that I like hills much more than I used to :-) These hills were not nice and I take my hat off to the half marathoners that had to run the course route 4 times.

The weather was perfect for the race, a crisp sunny day so I really enjoyed the race. I found towards the end though that I was hurting, My chest felt tight and I just wanted to finish.

The last 500m approached and I was running against a 7 year old! He started to slow so I screeched at him to keep going, but he looked so tired the poor little thing.

I saw my friend as I had about 200 metres to go so pushed it to the finish thanks to her shouting me on. I was so happy to finish – and I think my official time was 25 mins 35, quite slow for me for a 5k but on hills I was pretty pleased. According to the results I was 110th over the line out of just under 1000 people, the 28th woman and 4th in my age range so pretty happy with that.

I think I’d like to do it again next year :-) it’s always easy to say that after the race is over :-)

Yesterday I ran the Mothers Day 8k…

9 May

So yesterday was the day of the Mothers Day 8k.

In my previous post I explained that I had had a stomach bug in the lead up to the race so I was a little bit anxious about how it was going to go.

I got up at 5 and met the girls at 6 with my wonderful husband by my side. We did the usual ritual of queue up to the toilets, put our numbers on and have our photo taken, and then it was time for one of the girls doing the 4.8k to line up, so we watched her go and then got ready to go ourselves in the 8k.

I think I ran through the first kilometre a bit too quickly at 4.42 considering I was meant to be taking it easy not feeling 100% so I looked down at my Garmin and slowed down a bit. I was doing pretty well until I got to the 6k mark and took on a little bit of water and suddenly got stitch! So I ended up having to have jog/run the 6-7 kilometre so I was a bit annoyed with myself as I lost a couple of minutes.

By the time I got to the 7k mark I picked it back up again, managed to run through the stitch and raced through to the finish. I was marginally slower than last year – last year I did 41.12 and this year 42.40 but not having been well I was just pleased I managed to run and compete in the race.

So today I am having a rest and thinking about what next. I’m not sure yet but I can guarentee whatever it is, it will include running of some description :-)

I have a race tomorrow and I am so not ready….

7 May

I seem to be developing a pattern this year when it comes to races – I get sick right before! I have the Mothers Day 8k tomorrow and I am feeling rough.

The last race I did which was the International Women’s Day race I was sick the day before and shouldn’t have really run the race but did and made myself worse , and tomorrow I have the Mothers Day 8k and I am feeling rough. This time instead of the day before it was the week before.

My husband and I caught some sort of stomach bug and were holed up in bed for a couple of days last week and what made it worse was I also had to do my driving test whilst feeling that way. One good thing that came out of it was I passed – Hoorah! It’s only taken  me 15 years!

So anyway I haven’t run in 7 days and i feel quite lethargic and generally like a couch potato so I have decided that I will run for fun tomorrow, push if I can but not take it too seriously because otherwise I will be disappointed with the time I do if it is not faster than last years race.

It’s a hard thing to say though as most runners that enter races do them for a reason be it to run a distance for the first time or beat a time they have already achieved. When lining up at the start line often my adrenaline is pumping so hard all I want to do is race off but having done that too many times now and paid the penalty I always pull back and stick to what I know. If I get to 5k and feel ok then I might push on but I’m not too concerned. My number one fan – my husband will be at the finish line cheering me on and that’s all that will matter :-)

So tonight I am about to go through my usual race ritual which is:

Get race kit ready – remembering safety pins for race number, charge Garmin, sort out tunes for iPod – I reckon I will need them tomorrow! also it’s cold in the mornings these days so a bin liner might come in handy too so I can throw it away when the race starts

Get food ready – it’s an early start

Have some carbs and plenty of water – ideally clear pee is a good indicator of being hydrated or a guy at work whose daughter runs said you should be going to the loo every couple of hours if you are hydrated properly although don’t want to be doing that through the night!

Relax – watch some TV and have an early night

And that’s pretty much it. I am sure I have missed things that I do but these will be the main things. I think I have written other posts on race preparation. Here’s one. 

Anyway I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow…

My races

3 Oct

I was going through some stuff at home the other day and I came upon a box of medals that I have had from the races I have run.

It’s funny because it seems to be now that entering a fun run or general race means you get a medal  even if you don’t win. Don’t get me wrong I think it is a great incentive for running a race as I have been known to struggle round because I want that medal at the end. But I wonder how those elite athletes now feel knowing that even if they win they aren’t the only one that is going to get a medal…I guess that’s why prizes such as financial ones became more of a draw! (although I guess no one would turn down a financial incentive!).

Anyway I have my marathon medals framed as they are the ones that are the most significant to me. You’d have to bribe me now to do another full marathon I think, but I look at those medals and I remember the pain and the tears that flowed training for those races and the tears of joy when I crossed the finish lines each time. I can’t believe I did those races but I am very glad that I did because they made me mentally stronger – you have to be to get through the last 6.25 miles (10k).

So I’ve made a page on my site to show the races and times I have done. There are no super duper times but they are all times that I am proud of and mean something to me, and give me a reason to keep running and great memories.

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a runner, I would have choked on my doughnut! So I guess without sounding corny, running has been my life saver in a number of ways and it has introduced me to an awesome number of people with life experiences and advice that I will always cherish.

What should you pack for race day?

25 Aug

It’s the Bridge to Brisbane 10k on Sunday, my last race for a little while.

I think I am ready although I haven’t trained this week. Going to do a speed session tomorrow morning and that should do me to be honest as I still have the half marathon training on my legs.

So I just need to get my stuff ready for race day now. I have certain things that I take with me on race day :

Race number and timing chip – These are the first things that go into my bag!!! So far I have never forgotten my race number but I know people that have!

Clothes ready – I never run in new clothes that I haven’t run a good distance in before – always ones that I know are comfortable and suitable for the race.

Shoes – I never wear brand new shoes, although I broke that rule a couple of races ago as my old shoes were giving me real hassle and I had no alternative but to wear new shoes – as it was I was very lucky and didn’t have any problems.

Safety pins – if you don’t get them provided with the race kit safety pins are a staple on the race list for the race number

Water – For before and after the race

Watch and Heart Rate Monitor – I can’t race without my Garmin 405 cx – it’s my lifeline for knowing my pace during the race and keeping an eye on my heart rate

iPod – I know some people disagree with running races with music but I need mine to pump me up when I feel tired during the race. In one of my earlier blogs I have listed the kind of music I listen to – it works for me.

Gels – For longer races like half and full marathons I take my energy gels, but for the 10k on Sunday I won’t bother too much.

Energy bar or banana – I find after races I am exhausted and hungry! so I always take something with me for after the race to munch on in case I can’t eat straight the way.

Have I missed anything? What do you take with you on race day?

So today I ran the Townsville Half Marathon….

8 Aug

Today was the day.. my second half marathon this winter in Townsville.

I was pretty prepared but not prepared for the fact that Townsville was warmer than Brisbane, much warmer in fact…I was always told by my running partner back in the UK who got me through the London marathon that if it is hot then all bets are off speed wise for the race. So I decided time wise that I would take it easy in the race and not push things after previously having done that and ending up in an ambulance in London….I was also concerned that the race wasn’t starting until 7.10am which was quite late.

I was staying with friends and they were awesome in helping me prepare for the race and luckily they also had some Endura hydration and isotonic powder that i was able to use a couple of days before the race to help me prepare. Normally I don’t take new products right before a race but decided as the heat might be an issue that I would try and it seemed to be ok.

So I met one of my running buddies also doing the race and went to pick up my number yesterday and then took it easy for the rest of the day.

This morning, I was up at 5.30, had my oats and banana and some water and set off for the race. As usual I had a bit of a dodgy stomach. I always get nervous before races and this was no exception. I don’t know why I get nervous as it isn’t like I was intending to win…I think this race was a case of trying not to be last as I said in my last post! I basically emptied my stomach and felt a bit queasy so was a bit apprehensive about the race.

The race kicked off at 7ish and I did my best not to get carried along with those whose adrenalin pushes them along and kept looking at my Garmin and keeping a steady pace determined not to be put off by all the people passing me. My average pace was 5.20kms which wasn’t bad so I maintained that. I got about 10k into the race and didn’t feel well. I slowed down and ended up having to dash across the road to the toilet in some bushes and then took an energy gel to put me back on the road and pushed on. It was quite a mundane race course as you literally ran up one side of the coast and then back. Back was better than up as it felt every step I took I was nearing the end.

I picked up a bit of speed and was determined to get back on track. I remember listening to P!nk – Just like a Pill and then (can you believe) Britney Spears – Stronger and the lyrics are actually pretty good – about running as fast as you can (P!nk) and being stronger than yesterday (Britney) – sad I know but when you are fighting the urge to give up everything helps!

So I got to 3k left and I passed a guy walking and pushed him on to start running, and he started running with me which was great as I needed the company and kept pushing him and pushing him, and the more I pushed him the more I was able to push myself. He probably has told his friends that some bossy English nutter was screeching at him to finish…oh well it worked – he kept running and so did I, in fact I sprinted the last km and I think I did a 4.09km! I was determined to just finish and make up the time I’d lost from having to stop.

So I finished in 2 hours flat which considering I wasn’t feeling well and had to stop I was really pleased with. I think I may even do it next year too – we’ll see. I am a little bit stiff this evening but feeling good and back in Brisbane, going to have a rest and then start training for the next race which is the Bridge to Brisbane at the end of the month.

The Half Marathon…

4 Jul

Today has been a long day, this morning at 6am I ran the Gold Coast Half Marathon :-)

My husband and I drove up to the Gold Coast yesterday, caught up with friends for lunch, who also kindly looked after Polly (our dog) whilst we stayed in a hotel ready for the race today. I always get a bit nervous before races and yesterday was no different, I was quite jumpy all day and very conscious of what I was eating, how much I was drinking and how much I was on my feet.

Our hotel was an experience I would not wish to repeat! It was right in the heart of Surfers Paradise and resulted in my not getting hardly any sleep – I think 3 hours at the most which was awful! It sounded like a disco in our room thanks to the guy next door – security had to intervene at 12.15am this morning as I was very very tired and needed at least a couple of hours sleep! (one rule of racing broken – no sleep!)

So not the best start, and then I broke another rule – I had to wear pretty much brand new trainers as the last time I ran my feet hurt because my older trainers basically had died slightly too soon and there was no way I would have got round in them. They told me at Athletes Foot that if you can bend your trainers front to back then they need to be replaced…mine were well down that route.

So anyway I met the girls at 4.30am this morning and staggered to the shuttle bus.

So on the start line this morning having had hardly any sleep and wearing new trainers, I hardly felt prepared…..

I then have my toilet ritual…For some reason my brain psychologically tells me that I need to go to the toilet twice before training or racing…if I don’t go I end up feeling like I need to go half way round – generally I don’t but it’s a ‘all in the head thing’ I think. So I went for my usual two trots to the toilet and the gun went off. On went the iPod and I stuck to my guns with my Garmin 405 cx guiding me  around the race keeping me aware of my pace, enabling me to pull back or push on as necessary and I felt strong.

I got depressed as I saw the 2 hour balloons go by but was told later that they stick to the gun time not the time your chip passed over the start and I was a couple of mins behind the gun. So when i looked at my faithful Garmin I realised I was still on track and should ignore the black balloon sailing off into the distance.

I sometimes find when I am bored in a race or needing to push on that I latch onto a runner in front whose pace is similar to mine and I chase them making sure I keep up with them. I did this a few times this morning to keep going and it really helped, although I was chasing a guy and he stepped up his speed in the end so I had to let him go…

So i had about 3k left and started to feel tired but pushed on and got over the finish line at approx 2hr and 6 seconds according to my watch which I was really pleased with, as the last week or so I hadn’t trained at all so I was worried I wouldn’t do under 2 and pretty much hit the target. I staggered over the line and felt a bit disorientated as I sprinted to the finish and used up my last bit of energy.

Finishing the race though more importantly meant that I raised $410 for World Vision which I am so pleased about.

The girls I trained with all finished and all did really well. I think apart from me there is only one of them that had ever done that distance in a race so I am really proud of them all for the effort they have put in and the times they achieved.

So all in all it has been a good day. I have 4 weeks until my next half marathon so I will keep you posted how training goes….


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