Apparently, the secret to getting things done, if you’re me, is to reach your monthly broadband allowance and have your internet slow down to a crawl for a few days. You’ll get so frustrated trying to load websites at dial-up speeds that you’ll actually unplug and do stuff. Offline stuff. It’s amazing. I got a decent amount of stuff done in those 48 hours. Like, a half marathon.
I’m not sure everyone is aware of this but, as it turns out, not training for half marathons (and not running much at all in the lead up to those), means you won’t have a very good time, in both senses of the expression. My time sucked a bit (not my fastest, not my slowest) and I didn’t exactly feel thrilled about running while I was out on that course. In fact, I kind of hated running a little bit during it. Not training certainly contributed to that, but the fact that 4 out of those 21km were on sand didn’t do much for my enjoyment either. Running on sand sucks and this is as politely as I can put it.
It’s no one’s fault but mine, though. The Orewa Beach Half is a really nice little local event, starting and finishing near the surf club on Orewa Beach. The course gives you a little taste of everything, with a loop that starts on the beach and takes you through bush, urban areas, and a park, before finishing on the beach again. There are no bib numbers and no time chips, just a clock near the start and finish line. You time yourself if you want to or you run for the fun of it. The volunteers are all locals and did a wonderful job of keeping everyone smiling along the course. Orewa residents come out for additional support and the whole race has a neat small town kind of amateur feel to it.
I hadn’t been running much in the weeks before Orewa, because I’ve been worried my IT Band issues might come back (this may or may not be the last time I complain about that). My longest run since Coatesville had been 10k and my weekly mileage hadn’t been anything to write home about so I wasn’t expecting miracles in Orewa. I could have enjoyed it more with some training but I think I was also having one of those off days when you’d just rather not run. I only really managed to get into it about 16k in and, soon after, the final stretch on the sand started. Running on sand always takes away my will to live. The best part, if you exclude the cute little girl handing out dinosaur-shaped lollies along the course, came after the finish line, when one of the organisers came up to me with a worried look on her face and asked if I really was over 16 years old. I laughed and told her she’d just made my day. Sweating bucket loads will make you look young, Like, really freaking young apparently.
I’m pretty happy to have gotten this one under my belt – I remember entering their 10k event a couple of years ago and jealously looking at the half marathoners, wishing I would one day, maybe, who knows, perhaps, hopefully become one of them.
So let’s look on the bright side: I managed to run another half (which brings this year’s total to 3 half marathons, plus the marathon, so far), my IT Band didn’t complain much, I got another start and finish line by the sea (my favourite), and I learned that if you don’t like running on sand, maybe entering events with “beach” in the name isn’t the thing for you. Or maybe you just need to harden up.
Speaking of hardening up, in sort of related news, I bought weightlifting gloves the other day. Watch out, world, one of these days I’ll start being able to open jars on my own. In all seriousness, I’ve realised the importance of working the entire body if you’re a runner and, one of these days, I’ll graduate from the baby-weights and join the grunting crowd. Maybe. That stuff looks like hard work.