Friday, August 6, 2010

Saturday the rain

I have been so slack this week with my training due to a number of reasons...not least of which is the fact that my boss has been over from Australia and this of course means that we have been trying to cram a lot of work into three days which means a disrupted pattern.

So I woke this morning to a grey and wet Auckland day. Really starting to forget what summer felt like and wasn't immediately keen to break my week of slackness. Finally got some motivation (after 2 cups of coffee...hardly the worlds greatest pre run nutrition but in my defence I also had a banana). Got changed and headed out into the rain.

My initial plan was to do a lazy 10km and just to wander round with no time in mind. Got Half way round and I decided that my heart wasn't in the long slow run so instead I thought I should change it up a bit. So intervals began

I picked distances of approximately 100mtrs and sprinted along the footpath till I got to my target, then walked for about 100mtrs then repeated. I did this for about 4kms and during some of the longer sprints ( I added some 200mtr distances for "fun") I nearly felt like throwing up...

Of course this just inspired me to run harder on the next sprint.
I even had a bit of cheering from a car full of people...incidentally all eating out of big MacDoalds bags. they probably thought I was a bit crazy

Finally got in the door with quads aching, lungs burning, drenched from the rain and a HUGE smile on my face. I haven't done intervals in months and I forgot what an awesome, heart rate raising, endorphin releasing beast they can be. I will be working one of those sessions into my training each week from now on.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mizuno Taupo half Marathon race report

Briar, Claire and I before the race

The overcast conditions meant that the race was going to be run in the cool which the announcers thought should lead to a reasonably quick time. It was dry underfoot which was a nice surprise and the scheduled rain and gale force winds seemed to be holding off as we waited in the starting corral. Briar was doing the walk so was just Claire and I waiting as the runners were sent off first with the walkers starting 10 minutes later

The countdown completed and after a quick race briefing and a few words form the Mayor of Taupo, the hooter sounded and the first wave was away. We were in the third wave so a few minutes later we were over the timing mat and away for my 5th Half this year. Set my mp3 player to on and the opening tune of the fitcast started up (great podcast) as we headed down the hill to the marina. Claire and I ran together for the first little while. We weren't talking apart from the occasional quick check to see if each other was ok. The pace was reasonable and comfortable as the pack eased into its positions.

We wound around the lake front and at the 4 km mark popped up onto the main road south. This is the ironman marathon course so was nice to see the ironman markings on the road and I couldn't help thinking aout how brutal it must be to finish the swim and bike and THEN have to run a marathon. All going well I will put myself through that pain one of these days.

At the 5km mark, just before the first water station, Claire dropped back so I headed off to do my own run. Up the hill out of town and past a guy with bagpipes who got the thumbs up as I ran past. There were lots of families on the side of the road with signs cheering everyone on..was great support form the Taupo locals.

Over the rise and past what I thought was the 10km mark. I looked at my watch and saw 42 minutes so thought I was doing good pace ( the marking was wrong...grrrr) and down to 5 mile bay turn off which I thought was the half way point. Turned in towards the lake only to find there was a nasty little 2 km loop around streets before we headed back out to the lake. The timing mat was on the return loop fr the halfway point so I realised I needed to push on if I was gong to go sub 2hrs.

Got to the turn at the bottom of the street and started the climb back to the lake. Passed Claire coming the other way and she did not look like she was enjoying herself at that stage but she managed a smile and a high 5 and we carried on.

Over the timing mat and out onto some farmland (firm grass) for a couple of kms then back onto cobbled path along the lakefront. Legs were starting to tire at this point and I could feel my sock really rubbing against the underside of my left arch. The fact that I had only trained for 2 weeks was starting to take effect...and just when I felt really tired, a cold strong headwind came in off the lake...grrrrrrrr. Running into that for the last 10kms was not going to be fun. Luckily we spent some time sheltered from it.

Along the lake to the 16km mark and back out on to the main road. With only 5kms to go I felt a little better although my legs were really starting to protest now. The kms went pretty slowly from that point and I was so relieved to finally see the big fish statue of taupo come into view and the sign saying one more km (Yusssssssssssssss!!!)

Up the hill and across the line in 1hr 57 14.

Not a flash result and I wasn't happy with how fatigued I felt in the second half but glad I got through it with minimal training and will ensure I prepare better for the next one.

the good news is that my sister Claire broke her PB for the half and got home in 2:08...what a legend.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Taupo weekend...leading up to race

After 2 weeks of being back into training it was off to scenic Taupo this weekend for the 17th running of the Mizuno Taupo Half Marathon. My Parents live in Taumarunui which is about an hour or so away over the other side of the lake and as I had a couple of meetings I needed to deal with I headed there on Saturday so i could drive over to Taupo on the morning of the race. Driving down the weather forecast on the radio was for gale force winds and a storm warning...awesome.

Got to Taumarunui and the weather wasn't too bad. Sat in the sun drinking coffee and thought that if it stays like this it will be a really pleasant run the following day. Saw an old fashioned steam train as I drove into town so had to take a pic of that coming into the station as well

Decided to abandon the 31 day challenge temporarily so I could carbo load and had an awesome bowl of penne pasta with tomato, onion, ham and nom nom nom. Afterwards I strapped my ankle up real good to ensure I would have no problems come the morning.

Woke at 5am race morning to get ready and head off by 6am. Had clothes laid out the night before sop was able to dress quickly, have a nice strong cup of black coffee and some scrambled eggs on dry toast with 2 bananas to eat on the drive and out the door.

The drive only took me an hour and a bit as there was no traffic on the road and it was not icy, which meant of course that I was in Taupo by 7:20am for a 9am start. Went into the Great events Centre to collect race pack and transponder and texted my sister to see how far away she was ( as she was travelling down from Hamilton). Turns out she would be there about 8am so I went for a wander round looking at the set up of the finish line and went for a stroll along the lakefront ( which was very grey on such a cold overcast winter day)

My Sister turned up at 8am and we had a few photos and then started to warm up. It was really cold so we kept our jackets on as long as possible. The start was set for 9am so at 8:40 we headed for the starting corral. This was on the road by the marina and hosted by the MoreFM crew and the Mayor of Taupo. The clock ticked down and at 9am, the gun went off and we were away in waves. Race report to come soon