Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweaty hugs from strangers (and Run4Fun)

One of the things I love about racing is the camaraderie that occurs between runners in the seconds after crossing the finish line. In my experience I've found the general rule is the more exhausted you are, the more inclined you are to throw your arms around the nearest person (and vice-versa).

If you think about this is a non-race situation, it's gross. I certainly wouldn't go near a panting, sweaty, often-sticky-with-gel-and-sports-drink stranger if they approached me in the street, mumbling incoherently about "thatlastkilometrekilledmeyoudidsowellIjustcouldn'thangon."But put me in a race situation and I'll welcome those hugs as if they were coming from Grandma herself.

What sparked these (oh so insightful) reflections you ask? I ran the Rebel Run4Fun on Sunday 4 November and the friendly atmosphere at the finish was magic. I was hugging strangers as if they were old friends and having conversations with people as if I'd known them for years. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed with my time but I felt so incredibly happy to be out amongst other like-minded runners. There is something so wonderful about feeling part of a community.

Run4Fun - Homebush - 10k
So, to the race. I was aiming to break 37 minutes. I thought I had a shot, but I've had so little experience racing 10k that I wasn't sure how things would pan out. My first half was quicker than my second half (I have to learn to pace myself) and I ended up finishing in 37.09, fifth woman. Happy enough because it's a PB (my third PB in as many races) but a bit miffed because I hadn't broken the 37 mark.

Interestingly enough, there has been a fair bit of discussion about the course being 200m long. The course was certified, but talk is that a turn point was put in the wrong spot. If true, this would mean I would have hit my target time, which is a bit disappointing. Having said that, the race has been run (and won by Lara Tamsett and Ben St Lawrence for those of you playing at home) and all I can do is look forward to the next 10k to try and achieve my goal.

I wore the Mizuno Ronin for the race and I can now say, without a doubt, they are definitely my favourite shoes to race in. They are light, responsive and really comfortable. I'm pretty confident they'll stand up to the marathon distance too.

Life has been incredibly hectic lately - work is taking precedence over everything and I am working incredibly long hours to get everything done. Working from home is a joy but it also means that if you need to stay up until 2am to get something done, you do it.

Naturally, this is making it hard to fit in quality training sessions, but I am trying hard to get it all done. I surprised myself on Tuesday - I had done an easy 7k in the morning because I thought that may have been my only chance to get a run in but the interval session was hanging over my head like a big, black cloud. At about 5.30pm I pushed myself out the door and headed to the oval. I felt flat and sluggish and I couldn't focus (I kept thinking about work), but I got through my session. What a change! A few months ago I would have looked for any excuse to avoid interval work.

I had a pretty solid weekend too, which has probably taken a bit of a toll on my legs. I did a three-hour ride on the M7 on Saturday, followed by a very short run (I am still considering doing Canberra half Ironman, but things are looking very doubtful right now). On Saturday I did a 30k run (I had 35k scheduled, but that was without taking the Saturday ride into consideration). This was on top of a lot of work, which is doing my head in and stressing me out.

This is always the busiest time of year for me and I am really looking forward to Christmas so I can take some time out. Still, I have a few more deadlines and a few more races before then.

Keep on running.

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