GC Half marathon – Race day

It was an early start, with the alarm #1 going off at 3:02, so alarm #2 didn’t need to come into play.  Why I picked 3:02 and not 3:00 would require a separate blog post, and one that may drive away my 2 readers with the author’s wackiness…  I did sleep well knowing everything was packed / ready, and I just need to get up, and go pretty much.

GC (1 of 2) everything ready to go (in case of sleep in)

I grabbed a light breakfast and caught up with the news overnight, seems the watching of the Wallabies Lions decider may not be as urgent given the result.  I heard a sleepy ‘good luck’ from someone upstairs that sounded like Sue in a dreamlike state.

It was a good run down the coast, sipping on my water and chanting don’t go out too fast.  Parking was easier than expected and I found myself in the race precinct around 5:00, an hour before the start.  I dropped off my bag, and made the regulation nervous toilet stop, after the regulation nervous toilet line wait. I then lined up at the barriers, to be let into the starting area, and made sure the playlist was loaded and working.

The gates were opened and a little jog to the starting zone, and an underdone warmup was complete.  I couldn’t see the 2:00 pace starting area, so I hung back behind the 1:50, and let the massess press past me. (I didn’t want to be that guy slowing up the pace). I caught fellow parkrunner and daily runner, John C at the start, and I said don’t wait for me, run your own race.  There must have been 1 or 2 thousand people ahead of us, and as the start got closer, lots of nervous banter about their garmin’s dropping the satellites again.  I must have played with my watch every 15 seconds to ensure it was good to go, as it would be crucial to my run pace.

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In my pre-race test of my playlist, I lined up the play list, stuck a headphone in the ear to test all good.  Seems it was the only headphone that would work…  Jiggling the jack for the first k had intermittent success, so I resigned to the fact that my right ear only having music, no use stressing about it now…

Near the start, Matt gave a shout out and a high 5, which was great that he spotted us.  He then ran the marathon, starting in just over in hour in a blistering time of 3:05!   I am guessing his wife Rowena, must have been around me somewhere in the field, but she tore away and finished in 1:51.  I am so glad I didn’t bump into her and try and keep pace…

Running along, with an eye firming on my pace, it was great to see lots of support for runners by their family and friends, but it extended to all who ran past.  I am pretty sure the multiple kids that I high fived as I passed, gave me extra energy!  There were people dressed up in all sort of gear on the side of the road, and I loved an old couple standing their, banging pots with spoons (saw them at 2km and 19km), crazy elderly folk!  There were a lot of positive comments along the route, and coming home in the last 1.5 km it really helped!

During the race when mr brain was trying to let me know what a stupid idea this was, I started thinking about various things, and I spotted landmarks in Sue and I’s earlier life.  I passed by our first unit we moved out together in (1990), where the grand hotel used to be, the bottle shop at Runaway Bay I worked at part time, after we bought our first place and  we needed some extra coin, and on it went…

As I started back in the field, though I didn’t know how far after the start I actually started, I was worried I wouldn’t see the black balloons. The pace runners have different coloured helium ballons attached to them, and the 2:00 target was black.  I passed the 2:10, and was hopeful of spotting the black.  I spotted them in the distance around the 9k mark, and I think I caught them around the 12k mark.  The pace runner was dressed as a bee, and looked to be doing it easy, letting people know when the next water station was and getting photos taken.

I pushed on at my 5:30 pace, and managed to finish (my garmin says) 1 second ahead of the target pace.  I felt Elated!  My knees did not.

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Really happy with my time of 1:56:37

My garmin map and pace for the event is here

I caught up with John post race, and we also bumped into Neil who ran a 1:23 which is scary fast!  John said he had “backstage passes” to a special area, so he was going to grab some food, while I grabbed my bag.  And that was the last I saw of him… So many people and he didn’t have a phone, oh well, next time.

GC (2 of 2)

Finishers shirt and bling

IF, and a big IF, I decide to do it again, it would be great to have the family down and stay the night before and after, as it had a fantastic atmosphere, and would be great to experience the event more than that of a race blow in.

Those beers I mentioned in a previous post will certainly get a nudge this afternoon.

Thanks to support from the local runners that gave great advice, and especially Paul H and Werner.  Cheers!

The song of the day, is off the playlist from today Queens of the Stone Age – Go with the Flow, and it was playing as planned as I approached the finish.  I did however pause the music to soak in the last 500m.

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In the long run…

I hate running.

At least that is what I have said for the majority of my life.

I have posted before that I have enjoyed my local parkrun event, and that still remains the case.  When I put  down the goals at the start of the year, I wanted to run 5km’s under 24 mins by June 30 and under 23 mins by the end of the year.  Thankfully I got to tick the first of these off the list, and will chase down the 2nd goal after a certain running event is out of the way, but more of that below.

Through parkrun, I saw a local running group called daily runner, run by husband and wife team Werner and Ash.  I had a chat with Werner and felt I wouldn’t be too ostracised by my homage to Cliff Young running style.  Just like the parkrun crew, and dare I say, even more so, the group is such a supportive group of people, where we are all at different levels of fitness, style and goals but everyone feels great by the encouragement.

As a side note, Werner and Ash were awesome sports when I got a challenge from my photo mentor course (which I am soon to finish after 6 months), to put a call out and produce quality shot(s) and hand them over to someone.  I spoke with them and they were keen and were great during the session.  I went out to QE2 and captured some background plates, and then super-imposed the studio shots of them in front of the backgrounds.  The main shot is seen below. (mental note: Still owe A&W some more processed shots)

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Werner showing his presence in front of QE2

A couple of people at the running group were running the Gold Coast marathon or the half, and my mind was ticking over, wow, this is something I would really like to tick off the uber list, but it is a far cry from where I am currently with my ability.  After chatting with a few of the crew, I made my mind up, and immediately went for moral support with Gilly on whether he would join me.  “Do you know how far a half marathon is?” then a no chance or words to that effect…  Hmmm  I can’t run on my own and need motivation….  Thankfully Daily Runner and  mixed tapes / playlists got me through…

I also have an ex-brother-in-law who has done a half a dozen marathon and was very helpful in my weekly increase of distance advice, and the pace that I should be trying to run.  I did start out hoping to just finish, which is still the #1 goal, and a pace of 7min/k. I have brought this down to 6min / k and I have a cheeky eye on beating 2 hours for the just over 21 km event.

I have done the preparation runs and feel confident I have put in the work for this one.  Then along comes a head cold, that has been with me for 3 weeks now, but I am hopeful it peaked last Friday with it dropping to my chest. (I have had respiratory type stuff all my life, so this is usually a sign I am on the mend, fingers crossed.) All that is left now is making of the all important playlist, and as soon as I can prise a holidaying Tegan away from our mac that has all our music, I will get to it.

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Mickey conjuring some magic for my race, and reminding me of fun times at Disneyland

Hopefully I will have good news that I finished, and just maybe, cracked the 2 hour mark.  Wish me luck!  My family doesn’t seem that keen on joining me, with a 3:00 get up and head off at 4:00 this Sunday.

I still don’t enjoy running, but I love the feeling I get when I stop!  Thanks Eloise from the DR crew for that quote!

Song of the day is one the will definitely be on the the playlist: Jelly legs by Children collide, besides being a rockin’ good song, it is apt given how the legs will probably be feeling…