Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trick or treat

The downpour when I was leaving work pretty much reflected how I was feeling about taking Kien trick or treating last Halloween night. I was trying to leave work at a reasonable hour, but when I got downstairs it was raining a ridiculous size of drops, and I did not have an umbrella or a coat. Time to call for help, and Jef said he would come and pick me up, but had to get Kien first. They didn't arrive until 40 minutes later because the traffic was atrocious. So I was beat, and didn't want to do anything at all. Luckily for Kien, Jef was enthusiastic to take him out and wander the streets. So off they went after dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I went for a run

I decided to run the Auckland half marathon 3 days prior to the actual event. I hadn't realised the marathon was happening so soon until I was going for my lunchtime run on Wednesday and saw all the road closure signs. I started looking on TradeMe for a cheap entry ticket for the event, and on Thursday afternoon I had lost all the auctions. I bumped into an old colleague whom I did a huge project with when I used to travel back and forth to India pre-Kien (he just happened to have a meeting in the city that day). He would often decide at the last minute to do marathons and would buy his tickets off TradeMe for next to nothing. I told him I was doing exactly that this year and was on the hunt for an entry. That night he messaged me on Facebook as he knew someone who was giving away a ticket. By Friday morning I had scored myself a free entry, and by lunchtime I had walked to the Viaduct Event Centre with my running buddy (who wasn't doing the event) and collected my race pack.

From that point on I was nervous. I didn't know how how I was going to be/feel on the run. But I just decided to treat the event as training. Queenstown was what I had registered and trained for over winter, so this run was just a lead up.

On Sunday morning my alarm went off at 5am, I got my race bib on, did some blister management/prevention and grabbed my gels and bananas for later. Then it was time to get my groove on and walk to the ferry. The queue was massive, but moved pretty quickly, and before long I was heading off across the harbour to Devonport.

The run wasn't too bad actually. I made sure I was pacing well over the first 13.5km to the bridge and held myself back so I didn't bolt and burn out, and before I knew it we were on the motorway heading toward Smales Farm and beyond.

Its a special thing to run over the bridge, and I savoured every moment of it. I would have stopped for a selfie, but it just seemed like too much of an effort :-). There was also one last climb up Curran St before a straight 5km to the finish line, and I wanted to get down to Westhaven and run a familiar route. So after I consumed my last gel at the 16.5km mark I picked up my pace homeward bound. As I was running down Westhaven Drive I got a text from Jef saying they were close to Swashbucklers waiting for me.

Kien and Jef were waving and I was waving and it was awesome. It felt so good to see them.

Then it was down the straight and around the tank farm where I spotted the 2hr pacer on the other side. I knew he was a couple of minutes in front and I wanted to catch him, but I was tired and didn't want to blow myself out. As I was heading down Halsey St I checked my Strava and I had already hit 2 hours, so at that point I just wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. Rounding the corner and running down the straight it felt pretty amazing. I could see the clock ticking, and I knew Jef and Kien were at the finish line waiting for me.

My personal best half marathon - 2 hours and 2 point something minutes. I hoped for sub 2 hours, but I knew realistically I was going to be between 2 and 2:05. So all things considered I was within my estimation, and I'm happy with that.


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