Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bridge to Brisbane

Yesterday was a day I have waited forever for.

Yeserday was Bridge to Brisbane
You see - my entire married life I have told my husband I am going to run that run"next year".

Well yesterday "next year"came, and it was awesome.

The day started early. Stupid o'clock early.

Yep - the car clock confirms it - 3:53 am - and that is after time to dres and have breakfast. Stupid early.
I must say Saturday had me worried about the weather - I though for sure the wind would throw me off the bridge!
But apart from being kind of freezing at the start - Sunday was calm, and kind of awesome for running.
The start of Bridge to Brisbane is a killer. Uphill. 5.5% incline up the gateway. It seems to go forever.

I had been dreading it.

But you know what? It felt good. I've been hunting down long hills at home - maybe it helped.

Who knows - but the sea of people sure helped! I didn't have time to worry about feeling tired or hurting. I just absorbed the atmosphere and kept pushing uphill. About 2/3 of the way up I was shocked to realise I was maintaining under 6min 30/km pace. So I used my trusty garmin to make sure I kept pushing it uphill! I felt on top of the world!

The uphill felt good - but the downhill felt better. I just went with the flow and ran. Several times I checked my garmin and I was well UNDER 6min/km pace! That is unheard of for me! I just do not run that fast. It doesn't happen.

I was really tempted to slow myself down - how many times do we hear not to go out hard in the early stages of a fun run? But - my heart rate was managable. I felt fine. I had no pain. My legs were good. I think about then is when I decided to take a crack at this and see how close to 1 hr I could get.

Km 1, 2 and 3 were great. They were over before I knew! At 3km mark it was hilarious to the stream of people heading off to the loos! I mean - we only just started!

I was stll running faster and smoother than I thought possible. Lap 1 (uphill) was a 6"30 km. Lap 2 was 5"44! And lap 3 was 5"48. I think I need to push myself harder in training.

By lap 4 I started wondering if I stood any chance of breaking 30min for 5km for the frst time ever. I thought this goal was a year away at least! I pushed hard ... and got under that 30 min mark! Another sub 6min km lap!

I couldn't believe we were up to 5k and I still felt so strong.

This is where I started struggling to maintain a sub 6min pace.

I really began focussing on my stride, and checking my garmin to bring it down under that 6min/km pace as often as I could.

Km 7 I started tiring - but just a little. I knew we had another big hill at the 8km mark, coming out of the inner city bypass. I had it in my head that I just had to survive that hill, and the rest of the run would be sheer adrenaline to get me to the finish line.

Running through the tunnel of the bypass was not as much fun as I imagined it would be. I think it was that everyone broke into a mad sprint and I really didn't want to stack it at that stage! Or maybe it was the reality of seeing that hill at the 8k mark appear. It may be only 300m long (apparently) but it sure felt long.

That hill was a struggle. I was still trying to push my pace, and I think I should have eased off a bit more. It really took a lot out of me.

The top of the hill was like heaven! Two km to go! I couldn't wait!

These last two km were hard. My legs were tiring but I was so determined. I was still running smoothly though - the improvements in my fitness amazed me.

The entry into the RNA grounds was hilarious. You run through a narrow tunnel and everyone started sprinting for the finish. It reminded me of a friend's story of when he took part in the Running with the bulls!

Crossing that finish line was sheer jubilation!! I knew I was close to that hour - and I knew I had a pb. But most of all - I had pushed myself way beyond my limits and my expectations. This course is crowded (40,000+) and hilly. You aren't MEANT to get a good time and I SMASHED IT!

Finding hubby afterwards was awesome. He ran better than he imagined too. About 41min. But the best thing was we did something I always dreamt of - and we did it together.

And I got to meet some of my fave 12wbt peeps afterwards too!

When a run is good - you feel like a rockstar! I sure felt like one this time!!

It's been almost a year since I began this journey. A journey that began with me taking in excess of 8min to cover 1km, and stopping many times.

Bridge to Brisbane brought tears to me eyes. Who knew just how far you could come in a year if you tried?

Oh - and official time is in. 1:01:03. Not quite under the hour ... but oh so close!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhony

1 comment:

  1. Well done Kath! I did a fun run in May where we ran through a freeway tunnel, and it wasn't anywhere near as good as I thought it would be. I felt the air was really hard to breathe, and it was HOT.