As part of the training for the Kerikeri Half-Marathon next month, S. and I ran the Adidas Quarter Marathon in Auckland this morning. I wasn’t nervous at all about it and now I realise maybe I should have been, at least a little bit. Underestimating runs is a really rookie mistake and I’ve been entering these events since January so you think I would have learnt.
Last night, I was still awake at 1am, with the alarm set to wake me up only 4h30 later. I had all my running clothes set aside and ready, something I had done earlier in the day when I was sort of stressing out about having to get up so early. “Don’t stress,” said C. at the time. “You and Stacey do this kind of distance all the time.” I didn’t stress. There was no carb loading, no early bed time, nothing. And there should have been.
At 6:20, S. started ringing me. Still very much asleep, I wasn’t really sure at first why she was ringing me and it took me a few seconds to actually realise that OMFG we’re supposed to be at the start line before 6:45am! I raced to her house and from there, we got on her scooter and raced down to Victoria Park, near where the start line was meant to be. I was still putting my time chip in my shoe and S. was just coming back from the bag drop off area when we heard the run starting. We could see the start line in the distance and there was a fence between us and the rest of the runners. The security guards pointed us in the right direction to get around the fence and we started running right then but were still pretty much the last people to cross the start line, behind all the walkers.
Luckily, dodging the walkers wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected (certainly much easier than it had been around the same spot for Round the Bays, last March). About 1km in, I remembered that, in the mad rush to make it down there in time, I’d forgotten the very first thing I’ve been doing for the past 27 years as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning: going to the bathroom! I didn’t want to make any toilet stops and get stuck behind walkers again so I just focused on trying not to think about how much I needed it. Except focusing on not thinking about it makes you think about it even more. Small glitch in the plan.
I also decided to take my hydration pack for its first run, thinking it would be good training to take it to the half-marathon next month. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t adjust the straps properly or what else it was, but I ended up with burn marks on my shoulders from the straps rubbing on the skin with each step I took. Not fun. Now I’m considering not taking a hydration pack on the half-marathon but I guess I’ll make a final decision after taking it n a couple more outings.
Luckily, the course was flat and we felt good for most of it (other than some soreness, probably due to not having had time to warm up, and my desperate need for a toilet). As we crossed the finish line, I pretty much begged the lady who was handing out bananas to point me to the nearest toilet. At least running and hiking are forcing me to get over my mental block against public toilets.
(What’s that? Enough with the toilet talk, you say? Fine.)
After finishing the run, we realised the scooter had been towed and we had to walk all the way to where the mean people had taken it. More sunday-morning-run-related suckiness, of course.
I guess, looking on the bright side, we had a good run, managed to make up for starting so far behind, finished on a decent time and didn’t get injured. This is how I’ll probably remember it in a couple of days time. Except I’m writing this blog post now and not in a couple of days time and, right now, it sucked arse.
Time to go back to bed.
P.s.: Confused by the different times in the screenshot above? The explanation is here. Basically, net time is how long it actually took me to go from the start to the finish line. The official time is the time that it took me to cross the finish line from the moment the run started (back when I was still putting the chip in my shoe).