This was the scene into the second kilometre of the half marathon I ran on Sunday morning – The 5 Bridges Half Marathon, organised by Capital Multisports. It was a beautiful winter’s morning, with a fairly gentle northerly to contend with for the first 10 kilometres (I was just grateful it didn’t start gusting any stronger and didn’t change direction for the return leg!).
I won’t lie, it wasn’t at all easy to persuade my arse to get out of bed and lace up my runners. I’d spent the night lying next to my 5 year old, on her futon, listening to her coughing and spluttering the night through. She’s been miserably unwell for a good week or so.
I felt the onset of a cold myself – but then I’ve been feeling like that for weeks. Until I started regularly exercising I used to be plagued with colds so much more. This winter I’ve managed to fight off succumbing to the colds with a good run, sweating out the worse of it, and mentally telling my body that I wasn’t going to surrender.
Anyway, I spent a good twenty minutes debating with myself whether or not to go and run this half-marathon. The sound of a gentle northerly and no rain was encouraging. The sun was streaming around the edges of the curtains and the forecast looked good.
After I’d had breakfast and made a coffee I decided to get out and escape the house of coughs and sniffles. I got my kit on, kissed and hugged the children (and hubby) goodbye, revved the convertible car out of the garage (thanks hubby), and blasted my way to Petone enjoying the fresh air.
The atmosphere at the Petone Working Men’s Club (the start and finish location) was friendly and welcoming (hubby had picked up my race bib the day before, seeing as he had a game of football out that way – he was really impressed with the set-up at the club and quite fancies a night there with his mates and a few games of pool!). I stood in line for the mandatory pre-run wee (sharing passing conversation with the other ladies waiting in line and commenting on what a treat it was to have a real toilet and not a port-a-loo pre-race!).
The run started at 8.30am, a very civilised start time.
We headed off along some residential streets, crossing the zebra crossings with the help of some helpful race-marshals, before reaching a park and heading alongside the Hutt River. It was a really pleasant course, along mostly sealed pavements, with some gravel paths and grass.
I felt strong the first half, despite running it with a head wind. There were some strong runners around me, helping me to keep pace (I’d left my Garmin watch at home by accident – and it was actually quite nice to run without it beeping at me every mile! I also appreciated not having the constant temptation to look at how far I had to go. I roughly knew how many kilometres the water stops were placed along the route, but I was quite relieved to see the runners ahead of me start to turn around at the halfway point.).
The return leg of the half marathon was pretty good going, with the wind mostly at my back, though my legs definitely started to tire about three quarters of the race in (unfortunately, with poorly children for the past fortnight, I hadn’t done as much training as I’d initially planned). I kept going, trying to keep pace with the runners I’d been following for the first 10 kilometres, but they’d obviously done more training and started to pick up the pace in the last quarter of the race. I decided to stick with keeping my legs moving, one foot in front of the other. I stopped to walk, once, for a smidgen, but a full marathon runner passed me by shouting out positive motivation, ‘You’ve got this! You’re nearly there!’ and with a panting, ‘Thanks!’ and the best smile I could muster, given the circumstances, I picked up the pace and continued to run all the way to the finish line.
I was so happy with my run time, especially given my limited training time.
In the week preceding the run I’d only had the chance to run twice, on the Thursday and the Saturday…
I returned home to a happy house (still coughing and spluttering, but proud of Mummy). Of course mothers never have time to rest (which, as my friend reminded me, is why they make great endurance athletes!) and it wasn’t long before the requests started coming. I spent the afternoon baking, whilst hubby took the dog for a walk, but did manage a quick lie down with my youngest, along with some stories, in the late avo. Sunday evening I was glad of a few wines to *rehydrate*; well earned I reckon!
That’s my third official half-marathon done and dusted. Just over a year ago I ran my first half marathon, in the Santa Ynez Valley, the wine growing region of Santa Barbara, California. Since returning to Wellington to live, I’ve ran one so far – the ‘Cigna Round the Bays in Wellington’, in February, just after all three of my daughters were finally settled into school. I’m looking forward to challenging myself more over the summer months, but this winter half-marathon, was just what I needed to keep me motivated with my running and fitness.
Bring on the spring New Zealand and the start of daylight saving! Five weeks to go and lighter evenings will be with us – YAH!!