Sunday, 3 November 2013

57 seconds...

That was the difference between my North Shore Half time and this morning's Auckland Half time.  My goal was to beat the North Shore time.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's rewind...

On Saturday I headed on down to the Viaduct Events Centre to pick up my registration pack (name on car again, woohoo - bottom of the middle list):

While there I met up with a lovely bunch of ladies.  We did the round of introductions, then went to lunch at Jack Tar.

Starting from the left and going around the table, we have Rachel (Curious Runner Girl), Michelle (Run Kiwi Run!), Vera (Super Generic Girl - hilariously funny blog btw, we appear to have a lot of similar quirks), Sheryl (Run to the Mountains), and of course my awkward-looking self.  My hair was misbehaving that day.  This was the fourth photo taken, and I didn't have the heart to make Rachel's husband take another one and have everyone pause their food consumption any longer, so I snagged this picture from Sheryl.  Thanks Sheryl!  I was pretty good and only requested a photo retake once... ahem...

Then I strolled home and had a nosey through my goodie bag.  A gazillion flyers for other events and companies trying to get you to buy their stuff as usual, and the important items: event shirt, bib number, timing chip, ferry ticket, and freebies:

Luckily the event organisers and adidas saw sense and the event t-shirts are actually fairly decent looking this year.  Still not going to wear it though...  That evening I collected all the essential items together and dumped them in a pile in the lounge, then went to bed at 9.30pm.  I read for about half an hour to take my mind off my gurgly nervous stomach, then it was lights out.  It was about that time that the fireworks started.  I had half a mind to go outside and rant at them, but the other half of my mind saw sense and knew it would have no effect.  Also, they were being let off at various locations around the neighbourhood and there was no way I could find all of them.  I did manage to get to sleep fairly soon after (must be those 5.30am wake ups) and I got a relatively good amount of rest.  The alarm woke me up at 4.15 and I stumbled down the stairs to make some PB&J oatmeal and a cup of tea.  I ate all the oatmeal even though I didn't want to, but could only drink half the tea.  I filled out the emergency info on the back of my bib, dug out some safety pins because I'd managed to lose the ones I was given, got dressed, sun screened up, then walked out the door with my gear bag in hand.

Smart, forward-thinking people had parked nearby Victoria Park and were walking to the ferry terminal so I had some company along the way.  I arrived at the terminal around 5.25am, waltzed onto the ferry, found a seat, and tried to enjoy the trip over (meanwhile telling myself that the rocking of the ferry was totally okay and I was not going to throw up).  Upon arrival at Devonport I meandered at a leisurely pace through the terminal, deciding quickly to skip that ridiculously long line for the toilets, and snapped a quick sunrise pic:

There were many more beautiful shots that I missed out on while standing in a different (slightly shorter) queue for a different set of toilets for half an hour (yes that's right, a half-hour-long toilet queue).  After wandering over to the park area I had jumped in the line, and proceeded to chat happily to the other runners around me while we waited.  That did wonders for settling my nerves, let me tell you!  The timing was perfect for me (hurrah!) and once out the other side I took off my outer layer, applied anti-chafe and some more lip balm, dropped my gear bag and wandered to the start line placing myself between the 1:50 and 1:40 pace signs.  By that time it was 20 minutes to race start and I stood listening to all the chatter around me, wondering how it was possible that I needed to pee again already, and feeling a little sorry for the people that lived in the houses nearby having to deal with all the loudspeaker announcements and music at such an ungodly hour of the morning (bearing in mind that the marathon had started from the same start line an hour earlier).

At 7 am we were off.  Slowest start ever!  I guess that's to be expected with 10,000 participants.  My first kilometre was well below my goal pace, so I made up for it over the following 20.  Oh my, the sideline entertainment was quite something!  A mini pipe band, people with home entertainment systems, barbecues and sausage sizzles, cheerleaders, the drummers from last year (they are really awesome), some rather hilarious signs, and lots of people cheering.  Also, a large number of people just standing on the side of the road and watching.  Weirdos ;)  I managed to keep a pretty good pace for the whole of the race and enjoyed some great views, especially from the harbour bridge.  I ran the whole incline without stopping (my second slowest kilometre) and was glad to have 'conquered the bridge' without too much issue.  I think I even managed to pick up the pace for the last few hundred metres of the race, which is something I don't ordinarily do.  I grabbed a banana, dropped off my timing chip, and snagged a bottle of Powerade on the way through.  Then I picked up my gear bag and made my way over for my pre-booked ten minute treatment from the Unitec osteo students.  Knowing that all the other people I knew would've finished their race, I wandered home for a hot shower.

We took the kids over to their school fair for an hour or so (Deane stayed to man the barbecue for the remainder of the fair) and when I got home the results were up so I could see my official time.  57 seconds...

...slower than the North Shore Half.  Gutted.  I could have run just a little bit faster.  I could have made more effort to get through those slow starters at the beginning.  I could have taken more advantage of the downhill on the bridge instead of letting heaps of runners pass me while being careful not to jar my knees too much.

Needless to say I was a little disappointed, knowing I could have done better.  Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt good.  Things went really smoothly on the day, and 1:50:52 is still a pretty freakin' awesome time.

Now?  Time for a few days rest before heading out for a short run.  I finished my assignment on Friday so I have two weeks of study break to enjoy before my next paper.  I'm signing up to do the 13km Tussock Traverse in January with a friend of mine which, sadly, means I have to miss out on the colour run that is on the day before, but you can't do everything, right?  And I think a year is a good amount of time to prepare for a full marathon.  Maybe.  One more event on the calendar for this year - the Cancer Society half marathon night walk on the 30th November.  I'm really looking forward to it, it's going to be so much fun!  Even more so because I'll be walking it with my bff.  Still haven't donated and want to do so?  By all means, go ahead!  Here's the link to my fundraising page :)

Right y'all, it's 8.45pm.  This nana is going to call it a night.  Have a good week!


  1. So so nice to meet you! Can't believe I didn't know your blog til now! Instant bookmark. :)

    Congrats on the run! Hope to see you again soon!

    1. Ditto on the blog thing. Yours is hysterical, I can't believe I hadn't read it until last weekend!

  2. Congrats on the successful run -- sorry about those blasted 57 seconds.

  3. Blasted 57 seconds! But congrats are still in order for a great run! Made a donation to your Cancer Walk as a stop gap measure since I can't seem to get myself to the post office to mail the box o' goodies. Nothing will equal "Ladies, A Plate" you sent me! It's awesome! The banana cake is especially popular at home and work.

    1. Thank you!! I'm so glad you're enjoying the book. It's pretty fantastic, huh? Good ol' kiwi tucker ;)

  4. That's a freakin awesome time indeed lady! Well done! Sooo cool to meet you too, hopefully we will catch again another time :) Enjoy a rest this week and good luck with the assignments x

  5. Oh! Just 57! You should definitely do Coatesville then :) well done on an awesome time! Lovely to meet you on Saturday. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't win the raffle from the school fair!

    1. I was seriously considering entering. You're running it, right? Think I might just have to ;) I love that the entry number is restricted - 10,000 participants for this half was a little crazy to deal with...

  6. Congratulations on another speedy half marathon Jody!
    I'm amazed we didn't bump into each other first thing - we probably ended up on the same ferry (I was upstairs) and waited ages in a loo queue watching the sun rise. I was looking around but there were so many people!
    I don't think I even looked at the view from the bridge, too busy following the lady's footsteps in front of me! It is a beautiful course overall - a must do next year!