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!

details

81 of 88 in my category, 941 of 992 entrants

 

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