Sunday, August 7, 2011

Some runs are just tough - Brisbane Running Festival

Yesterday was another milestone. My second 10km fun run.

Yesterday we ran at the Brisbane running festival.

And I'm not going to lie to you ... it was tough.

See that medal there .... I feel in two ways about it.

One is that I earned that thing. It was tough. I feel like I earned it in a battle of the minds to get the job done.

But the other side, is I feel like I didn't do what I was meant to. You see my pace was up and down and round the place like a yoyo. And I walked some. Not a lot, but maybe 30-40 m in each of the last three km's.

And I know that in itself that isn't bad ... but I struggle with the "have to do it perfectly" mentality. And the "you don't deserve it " mentality. And that is WRONG.

SO that is the purpose of today's blog. To tell myself off. To set a few truths straight. And then to celebrate what I HAVE done and achieved. Cause I deserve to. And to just get it out there. Because we will ALL have a bad run from time to time, and sometimes that bad run is during a race. And it's ok. We need to give ourselves permission to not always be top of our game. But to still find the achievements inside. Yesterday was a bad run - yes. But I still achieved something amazing!

The Brisbane running festival is a yearly event run by intraining. Part of the battle they have, is the lack of council support for funruns. Where other major councils will happily shut down major roads to stage a crowd bringing, city wide event, the Brisbane city council in it's wisdom are INCREDIBLY unwilling to do so. Even early, on a Sunday morning, before the shoppers come hit the streets :(

Which led to the first of many issues yesterday. The course. In order not to use any major roads, the beginning of the course was a lap around the gardens. For much of this first km, we had a 3m wide strip to run, with hundreds wanting to run there. Don't even get me started on the marathon, where the elite runners were almost tripping over the amateurs as they had TWO laps of this narrow path to run!

Besides the inconvenience, this led to a real issue for me. For the first km, maybe two, it was nearly impossible to run your own pace. I was either jogging at pretty much walking speed, or being swept along at 4min/km pace to avoid being trampled! I just couldn't get into my own pace, which meant, I couldn't switch off and get inside my head. Losing this at the start of the race, made it so much harder as the km's went on. I didn't have my pace, my head wasn't in it's happy pace, and I was just plain frustrated.

My next struggle was with the heat. Where I live we are still in winter. We still have frosty mornings. But it was hot . Really hot. And there was no escape from the sun. My run didn't even begin until 9:30. And the sun beat hard on me the entire run. I really struggled. Honestly, on the way back when the icecream vans at southbank opened I could have quite easily pulled over and pulled out. I hate the heat at the best of times! It was tough.

The later start time, and staying at my inlaws also led to poor nutrition preparation for the race. I am a creature of habit. If I am running I like to get up early have a breakfast of oats, and give it time to digest WELL before the run begins! Problem is, I had to eat an unfamiliar cereal to me, and I ate WAY too early for a 0930 start. About 6k in I knew I didn't have enough fuel in the tank. I was really struggling.

So that is the bad. But also there lies the learning. I need to be more prepared for running in the heat, especially as summer comes closer. I need to find a way to improve my pacing, and I need to watch my prerace nutrition. Maybe even practice my long runs with just a few mouthfuls of endura or the like, to see how my body respond to it in case I need it during a race. I have things I can improve, things I can work on. Plus - considering only two weeks ago the whole family was sick, I can't expect perfection on this race day.

But when the bad happens , it helps you also recognise the awesome parts of the day.

Awesome thing #1!

I walked yes, but only to get by, and only for a few steps.
And I don't care who you are, a little walking still makes me a runner.
I could have so easily pulled out.

I could have so easily turned it into a walk.

Heck, I could have gone for coffee or icecream.

But instead I walked a little, got my breath back, and kept going. I had a plan, a commitment and I did it.

Awesome thing #2

I managed a tougher course!

Let's face it, Gold Coast was cruisey! It was flat, fast, cool and easy.

This was hot, with some long hills (not big hills but they kept going and going)

And I did it.

In fact, all the harder bits I ran.

I did it.

Awesome thing #3

I completed another 10k run!

Hard or not I did it! I have the finisher medal. You can't take that away from me!

Awesome thing # 4 (and the most awesome of all)

With two k's to go, and on struggle street, I finally caught up with another 12 weeker. She amazes me. She is in her 50s and living a life that I envy! Wait till you hear about her plans for Xmas! Well, together we could NOT give up. We are 12 weekers! And step by step, we dragged each other home. We even found the strength for the final blast at the end!

This is us, at the end. With Miss 6, who ran the 2k.

Official time 1:11:18

7:08 min/km pace. 716th out of 871 competitors.

Hard or not. Hot or not.
We did it.
Instead of sitting at home, sleeping in on a Sunday morning, or out there eating a greasy breakfast at a cafe... we were there running.
Hot, hard, tired, struggling ...
We did it.
We crossed off another goal
We are finishers.

And no matter what you say, you can't take that away from us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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