Friday, June 11, 2010

Christchurch Half Marathon

Here I am! I really need to be better at updating here ... but what can I say, running, 5 children (well, 4 at home anyway), two part-time jobs ... sometimes life just gets too busy!

So this past weekend, I had my responsibility, husband and child free weekend - it was bliss :) and when choosing where to stay I figured out the Christchurch Half Marathon was the same weekend, so it was off to Christchurch I went. When I booked, I forgot that it would be winter, and that Christchurch is darn cold in winter! The weather was awful the week before, but as the week went on it was looking more and more like they'd put on a good day for Sunday's marathon event.

Um, so going back a bit - I flew to Christchurch on Friday, got there early afternoon, booked into my hotel and then spent the afternoon wandering around getting my bearings and finding the craft shop to buy the embroidery cottons I needed (one of my other passions is embroidery, and a weekend away for me = time to sit and do it :)). Picked up my race pack and picked up some dinner and went back to my hotel room for a lovely evening of sitting in bed watching TV doing my cross stitch - yeah, I'm just the ultimate party girl! LOL

Saturday I slept in (bliss!), hit the shops, bought a few things ... looked at running jackets but just didn't have the money to spend quite that much and was still thinking it was going to be nice the next day. Got back to the hotel for another quite evening.

It was about Saturday afternoon I did the silliest thing ever before a race, I fiddled with my dead toenail (from Rotorua), it had come half off and I tried to help it, ended up clipping it the best I could and by Saturday night it started hurting ... eh oh.

Sunday morning I woke up to rain, oh yay. Also woke up to a really sore, obviously becoming infected toe. Darn. Oh well, just hoped like anything that once I started running I wouldn't feel it. At my toast with peanut butter and a banana, drank my sports drink and off to the start I went.

It was quite lonely on my own, I think all the races I've done I've had my sisters, or family, or other people I know around to chat to. I was all alone in Christchurch and it was quite strange! Once I'd lined up with the other 5000+ people I chatted to a couple of people near me :) I was VERY good and lined up at the 2:00 sign ... because that is what I expected to run it in. Finally, off we went! It took me just over 2 minutes to pass the start line ... and instant frustration ... why oh why do walkers insist on lining up in the wrong place? How many times and places were they told to place themselves towards the back? Ugh! Here is an absoute typical, what I felt like I was doing for a lot of the race -
I love that they got the squeezing through photo, and then the after photo! LOL The guy in blue doesn't look happy with me at all, but hey - line up right folks!!

The race itself went well - I never got the soreness in my Popliteus muscle (have I told you that that is where the physio has decided my injury is? Reading about it, I totally agree - good to know what we're working with!). I think there was no soreness because of the standing around, then walking a couple of minutes to the start, and a slow start ... I could probably learn something from that ;) and then, well I got into the groove - I've decided that I really get into my own head when I'm running, people ask me about the scenery or this and that and I never have a good answer, I must be pretty focussed on what I'm doing. Toe didn't hurt, yay. It was wet and cold, but I didn't really notice it while I was running, it was probably better than a stinking hot day.

I didn't really have any big goals for this race, I haven't trained that well while mucking around with an injury, my real aim was just to run the 21k as more of a training run before Wellington in a couple of weeks, Wellington is where I want to run a GOOD race. But competitive person that I am, once I started, I really did want to break that 2hrs, as you do ;) I just never quite caught up on the slow start though, I did inch closer and closer to the magic 5:42/km and at 17km ran a 5:30km, but couldn't sustain it much longer than a k and settled back to 5:40ish pace. Once I saw the finish line I realised that I was close and tried to finish off fast, but couldn't quite do it - I ended up with a 2:00:35 official time, I did finish with a 5:42 pace as well, but managed to run an extra .15km ... probably the weaving around people. I'm more than happy with the time, its exactly where I should have been with realistic expectations. And folks, I'd like to point out again, I lined up at 2:00, I ran it in 2:00 ... so why did I spend the whole race trying to get past masses of people running slower???

What I've learned? I need to run a few races before I hit London next year (yes, my entry has been sent and should have been received!) ... if I'm frustrated at a crowd of 5000 people, imagine how frustrating a crowd of 40,000 is going to be - I have to work on this more than anything! (have I mentioned I hate crowds at the best of times! LOL).

As for the injury - it felt great, I had a twinge at 7km, but it went away and felt good through the whole race. The toe was fine until I stopped and boy was it sore on Sunday night, not being able to sleep sore - finally Monday the infection obviously "came out" and I was able to clean it out (I won't go into that gorey description ;)).

My leg felt great on Monday, and Tuesday I was full of confidence until I started running! LOL It took a while for it to work properly, but once it did it was okay.

Went back to physio yesterday and he is amazed at how it has healed, it is definitely better than it was ... not what he expected at all. So I have some more strengthening exercises, instructions to ice after running and I'll see after Wellington, he is pretty confident it is healing and healing well and should come right and with the exercises should be able to keep it from recurring, yay :)

A few congratulations from Christchurch - Andrew ran an awesome marathon and PB'd by heaps!! - I admire his bravery, I need to get brave like that and have the courage to push myself just a bit more without worrying about how I'm going to feel at the end.

Bernie Portenski - wow! what a woman ... Bernie used to live here in Paraparaumu, she belonged to the same running club as my Dad and I remember at least one marathon where I biked along beside my father and he was running the same pace as her and another local runner ... she always had everyone laughing with her rather full personality :) She broke the world record 60-65 age group record for the half marathon.

Suzi Richards - she was 2nd woman in the marathon (2:56 - wow!) another local! I know Suzi from the local Sports Office when I was the Cricket Assn's secretary and I was in and out of there all the time - I'm not she'd know me, but she was always happy to smile at the kids and give them a drink or treat while I was busy using the copier :)

Its nice to go so far away from home and see local faces up on the stage receiving prizes :)


  1. I'm glad you had a good event. Conditions were really great weren't they! And thanks for the shoutout!