Archive | August, 2016

Bridge to Brisbane 2016 – 5km

28 Aug

A few months ago, over a slice of cake, three work buddies flippantly discussed the idea of doing a fun run together… today we were able to do just that, and it lived up to its name in every sense. We had a blast!

Brisbane put on a spectacular day for the 20th anniversary of the Bridge to Brisbane. The morning was on the cool side (9 degrees Celsius) but the crystal clear blue sky, coupled with a little bit of movement, meant that the temperature wasn’t an issue.  The 10km start was only a short 1.5km walk from home, but we had agreed to do the 5km run, so I had to add a few kilometres onto the start of my journey and decided to walk to the start line (which, as it turns out, was 8km from home…not the most direct route though!).

I left home early, meandered my way into town and watched some super speedy 10km finishers cross the line at Southbank (all the sub 1hr people – I could hardly register their faces as they sprinted to the line!).  We had agreed to meet at 8am, and walk around to our start line.  This turned out to be PLENTY of time for our 9.15am start, so we sat and soaked up the sun and just got to spend some time together outside of work – what a blessing!

As 9.15 approached we made our way to the start line.  The atmosphere at these events is always wonderful and today was no different.  The buzz of excitement was a little contagious.  The event route had changed this year so it was new for everyone, the 5km run started beneath the Story Bridge, ran up the side of the Bridge, over the Bridge (and then back), across the top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs, down Vulture Street passed our work, and into Southbank. The route was wonderful – a little undulating at times, but the views were fantastic.

We were slightly delayed to start, but then with a 10 second countdown and confetti guns going off, we were on our way.  Eloise, Shanya and I set off – all uphill to start with.  As we crossed the Story Bridge we applauded the speedy front runners already coming back, and made our way to the first turn around. Here we were able to dance and sing along to the music (Hey hey baby (ooh ah), I wanna know if you’ll be my girl, Hey hey baby (ooh ah)) in company with the Police and SES who were at this point providing road blocks… and joining the entertainment. As we headed back we remembered where the photographer was sitting, and tried our best to look amazing as we passed on by…pick the feet and the knees up!!

As we crossed along top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Shanya and I realised that we were already halfway there…. so different to doing a half marathon, this was going to be over before we knew it!  We were cheered on here by inflatable people and bubble machines before turning to run past work and into Southbank.  As we passed work we again made sure we looked our finest (just in case anyone happened to be looking out of the windows at that time to see us). Throughout the 5km we did a mixture of running and fast walking – 5km straight running was not something all of us had achieved before, so it was a constant check in to see everyone was managing okay, and when we needed to switch to a fast walk (and Eloise, I think your fast walk is faster than many runners!). We made the most of all the downhills (Shanya may have been known to comment that she felt like she was rolling down the hill uncontrollably on one of the more significant slopes). With Shanya as our photographer we were able to get happy snaps at various points during the run… running ahead or behind her depending on what the situation called for (including me flying like a bird….) Anyway… from the crest of the Vulture Street hill it was pretty much all downhill for the last kilometre… We found some more event photographers so we made sure we looked like we were having fun (which wasn’t difficult because we actually were!).

As the finish line appeared Shanya and Eloise found a pace to rival Usain Bolt as together we all headed for the finish line, crossing with style – actually I believe Eloise had so much energy left at the end she jumped across the finish line! Sub 40 minutes for our 5km. After deciding the queue for oranges and water was way too long, we found a nice patch of grass that wasn’t too populated, did a few stretches, had a bit more of a chat and formed a plan – to find the best ice-cream shop – which we definitely did… although we then had to go for a little bit more of a walk because the ice-cream was a little filling…

All in all, I put today’s Bridge to Brisbane down as a massive success. We had a blast, laughed a lot, and generally enjoyed being well enough to get out in the beautiful Brisbane weather and enjoy a morning of activity with about 8,000 of our closest friends (19,000 did the 10km run)…

From here training kicks up a gear again in preparation for triathlon season – so event wraps from now on are likely to be triathlons rather than “just” running… I can’t wait to get out there and set down some new personal bests this year – so stay tuned!

the girls

 

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Adelaide Half Marathon Recap

15 Aug

In the context of sport, tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition… only for me I’d call it an abrupt cessation of activity three weeks before an important event… You see, I came into the Adelaide Half Marathon with what could be described as a lousy preparation, when a decent upper respiratory tract infection knocked me for six – for the last three weeks, swallowing has been painful, and I’ve been through the full range of sinus congestion through to a fairly solid cough… yet still the sore throat persisted.  On the Wednesday before the run, I was sitting in the Doctor’s office having every orifice in my head swabbed for what could be the cause of this infection and how it should best be treated… and so began a course of antibiotics and more rest…

race month

All those rest days are NOT meant to be there! Race month!

Anyway – let’s just skip ahead…because I still lined up on race day – sure, still on antibiotics, and having taken a couple of ibuprofen, but hey – I don’t like pulling out of events…and I still wanted to give it a go!

This event was a little different to most – my biggest cheer squad ever was out in force! Mum, Dad and my sister Helen all came out, and popped up all over the course (they did about 7km of walking themselves to ensure they cheered for us at different points!).  Helen’s signs were an encouragement to not only me, but many others, and some were known to comment on just how often they appeared around the course! There were not all that many spectators out, and it was one of the smallest events I’ve been in (1000 in the 21.1, 450 in the 42.2km), so it was appreciated by many that they were out there encouraging people!

We caught up with a couple of friends prior to the race commencement, and it was nice to see their smiling (or otherwise) faces throughout the course at different times as the course did quite a bit of doubling back on itself.

start

The starting crew Dave, Trudi, Michelle, me, Krystal (L-R)

Dave and I started the race together – he had just returned from overseas 48 hours prior and was feeling a little tired and sore (from sitting on aeroplane seats so much) and wasn’t sure how he was going to go – I assured him that I had no doubt he’d be fine – he always is.  He hung with me for the first 11km before deciding to go on and run his own race as my slow was just too slow this time.

500m in and we saw the first signs of our cheer squad, we were already bringing up the rear from the crew we knew, but I wanted to start near the back so as to not get in anyone else’s way.  Again at 2.5km they were there cheering for us as we had done a short out and back leg.  From there I knew it was a bit of a gentle uphill and I thought I was feeling ready for it, one foot after another I slowly plodded around to North Adelaide, through a few undulations through to wait – that’s our cheer squad again at 7km!! I was starting to feel it here and feeling somewhat surprised. While I knew that my race preparation wasn’t ideal, to be sub 10km and struggling a bit was a surprise.  As Dave made a comment about it being downhill for a bit now, I asked what he meant, only to be told that we were now likely at the highest point of the run – this was a relief to me, as I decided perhaps things weren’t as bad as I thought!

cheersquad

My AMAZING cheer squad!! Helen, Dad and Mum xoxo

Sheer exhaustion started to head my way at about 11km… oh dear… only half way through… I knew from here it was downhill to the river, and then really a scenic run (reasonably flat) along the river. Sometimes though my head wins out and I lose the mental battle. This was one of those times.  I wished Dave well, and he went on his way, and from there I took a short walk break, from here on in, I did walk/run intervals for the remaining 10km.  This was really disappointing for me.  I wanted so much to be stronger than this. At about 12km I found my moral support again (or rather they found me) – and were quick to remind me that those passing me were the marathoners, not fellow half marathoners (I wondered if this was because I was the last one, but I was relieved to find this was not the case…oh and the marathoners did start an hour before us).

Part of the run was alongside the Adelaide Zoo and we were either laughed at, or cheered on by some extremely loud monkeys/apes/primates of some kind! It made me chuckle as I kept putting one foot in front of the other…. The mental battle kicked up a notch or two at about 15km and it was here that I actually got my headphones out, plugged them in and started listening to some tunes. I was trying to distract myself from the massive amounts of negative talk that had started to bombard me from every angle – you know the one’s that say – why are you even bothering with this, you’re too fat, you’re too unfit, you should have just stayed at home… They were running rampant and I actually had to wipe away a tear or two before remembering that I had access to some alternative distraction!

At about 16km my amazing cheer squad found me again (they had divided and conquered now so in this instance it was Helen). What a joy it was to see her there.  I was in a pretty bad spot mentally, and it was so nice to have her encouragement (not just with signs) but with company as she walked along side me for a stretch… we then found Mum… before I left both of them to take the shortcut to the finish while I kept on going.

I have to say it was a nice finish – (well once you passed the final uphill) – a half lap of Adelaide Oval, to high fives along the sideline, and yep – my full cheer squad cheering me over the line!  Dave was waiting at the finish line, having been able to gain about 15 minutes on me during the back half of the run.  From the finish it was up the stairs (ouch!) to the refreshments and home.

With blisters on my feet and a slightly crushed soul, I can attest to finishing my 5th half marathon.  I got the same medal as the person that won, but I sure have a long way to go with regards to my fitness and mental toughness.  I come out of this event feeling slightly broken (no, I’m not talking about the 10cm blisters I’m currently enjoying bilaterally in my foot arches, nor the hole I put in one of my toes from my toenail…)… this was an event I really wanted to do well in (particularly with my awesome supporters on hand), and I came close to doing my worst ever time.  HOWEVER, I remind myself that although my training has been solid prior to being ill, I was not 100% fit – but that’s just an excuse.

So, from here I ramp up the training ready for the Noosa Triathlon on October 30th (with a smaller sprint distance Triathlon in September).  I will endeavour to put 110% into all my training to ensure I have a great day out, and I really look forward to doing the event. Therefore, it is here I will leave you, another race done, another recap completed. Until next time!

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81 of 88 in my category, 941 of 992 entrants