Hot on the heels of my harbour bridge climb last Friday, yesterday, Sunday 6th July, I did the Gold Coast Half Marathon.
Talk about a busy month – between the BF cashing in his skydive, to me climbing the bridge (and having a fancy dinner), then the half marathon, and in less than a week, leaving for Osaka, Japan, I hardly have time for chores 😮
My training program heading towards the half marathon was sporadic. I had periods of very regular short runs, and I moved from a non runner to 5kms in a period of 12 weeks. After that, things sort of feel apart, and my running routine was more ‘resistance to running’. I managed two or three ‘runs home’ which varied from 6-7kms to 13kms, but that’s probably as far as I ran prior to the half. So I always knew it would be TOUGH!
Usually, I run first thing in the morning, or after work. Neither times, is it just after a meal. Despite this, I decided I’d have porridge before the half marathon. Perhaps a rookie error! I’m pretty sure all that liquid was the cause of some serious cramping, or stitches I felt in my side. I just walked them out, but it got to the stage that returning to running was a sure way to shake another stitch into forming!!
I also run with a heart rate monitor. This started when I started the Michelle Bridges 12 Week running program, as a way to ensure I wasn’t overexerting myself, and in the early days, I realised I was running at too high a heart rate. I was shocked to repeatedly see my heart rate at 180 during the half marathon. I usually want it to be under 172, and in training runs, once it gets to 177-178 I usually walk til I can bring it down. In the race, I ended up employing the same strategy.
I hoped to run to my usual pace, which is about 9km/hr (5.6mph). This would have been ambitious, but part of goal setting it to aim high! This would have had me with a finish time of 2hrs 20mins. Thankfully, the very well organised Gold Coast Half Marathon has pace runners, the ‘slowest’ of whom ran at a target completion time of 2:20. Sadly, I let them get ahead of me, and never caught up with them somewhere in the middle single digits of the run.
I was lucky enough to run the race with my father, who I ran with for the first few kilometers. My father has run a number of ‘halves’ before, including this particular race when I was young. It came as no surprise that he beat me, quite substantially! He is slow and steady, but he NEVER walks!! So my father finished with a time around 2hr10! I however… came in at about 2hrs33 (by my timing – official timing below).
To be honest, I’m pleased I made it across the line unaided! Was it a run? Mostly not! I walked a WHOLE heap, and I wish the pain I felt from the stitches, and later my heart, could have made it possible to run more of the race, but no. That being said, I don’t for a minute diminish the achievement that is finishing a 21.1km course!
A day on, I’m sore in my hips, the right arm (from the ‘strain’ of holding my phone… I prefer that to an arm strap). Even my shoulders are achy. And I spent the whole day after the run sore and tired! Tired beyond belief!
The only photo I wish I had to share with you is of my T Shirt – duly handed out once you FINISH the 21.1kms!! I did take this freebie (but not the medal) cause I am gosh darn proud, and feel I need proof I made it! I will wear it on (much shorter) runs in the future, to shock & awe!