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May 9, 2013

Apologies for the lack of an update over the last few weeks. Whilst this blog is all about my adventures in the running department, there have been other events that have taken precedence. Work has been as hectic as ever (and with many of the race packs being mailed out to me  I always have to keep an eye out for my parcels), and football has taken up a lot of spare time. That said training can be incorporated into the football side of things, particularly with the umpiring on Saturday mornings where I do cover about 6km in running distance.

Some of what I now have as reminders of the Gold Coast!

Some of what I now have as reminders of the Gold Coast!

That said it was a thrill last weekend to have taken part in the Gold Coast Bulletin Fun Run last Sunday morning. Thankfully the weather turned out to be perfect for running, just enough breeze to keep your cool but not enough to be overly cold. There were more than enough people there to ensure that it was a successful event rather than just a glorified club exercise, although from looking at the results there weren’t too many that travelled from outside the greater Gold Coast area to compete. The fact that the event was based around the Robina Stadium (I refuse to call stadia by commercial names) gave the event a classy touch.

The 10km event I entered was the second event to start, some 20 minutes behind the kids 1km event. I’m sure that more would have taken part if the start time was slightly later, although logistics would have a part to play with road closures the main reason why timing of runs are what they are. There were no starting groups for this run, given the relatively small participation rate compared to the other events that I undertake in the coming months. Apart from that this was just like most other runs in terms of organisation, the aspirations of the participants and for many the reason why they sacrifice a Sunday morning sleep-in. Trust me I’m used to waking up at 4AM on Sundays for work, so it’s not as difficult for me. But waking up in a motel room (I liked the night I spent in the Grand Chancellor at Surfers Paradise was worth it!) at that time was substantially different to normal.

It wasn’t entirely smooth sailing personally on the journey. For the first half of the run everything was going to plan. My pace was about where I had wanted to run, I was running with a pack that was travelling at similar speeds and I was confident that I would comprehensively beat the target time of one hour. Rounding the half distance turn (for the course was a triathlon style “out and back” course) I had started to feel the long term calf problem that I had aggravated at the previous week’s football engagement was starting to throb. I only ran after feeling the heat treatments during the week and a soaking bath on the Saturday afternoon at the motel had more than loosened the calf sufficiently. Then my shoulders felt as though they were going to cramp, although this may have been attributed to wearing my iPod on my left wrist like normal. With a pedometer mode installed, most of my runs and walks are tracked and recorded and this day was no exception.

Without trying to sound overly courageous, there was no option but to press on towards the finish. I had travelled too far on the weekend, and had ran too far on the day to even consider walking to the line let alone quitting. What I didn’t expect was that my pace didn’t diminish and that I not only was able to produce a finishing burst which naturally completed my quickest kilometre split of the entire run (thanks to the pedometer’s statistical analysis) but was almost able to break the 50 minute mark. At first I referred to the iPod which stated I had taken just over 51 minutes, but later on when checking the official results thanks to the timing chip in my race bib (number 44, which was no reflection on how I thought I would go but rather an indication of when I lodged my entry) the final time was officially recorded at 50:44, which was almost equivalent to the times I was doing in training earlier in the year. A massage for the calf and a short refuelling session later, I could reflect on this as a very positive experience which turned out to be more than the expected training event I was hoping to use the event for.

Now that the first run for the year is complete, it’s time to look forward to Perth for Run For A Reason. It’s a different challenge to this, with an increase in distance, more participants to negotiate in the early stages and extra distance to travel just to make the start line. Hopefully my physical ailments will at least get me a time close to an hour for the journey, for injured or not I will be at least on the start line. I look forward to catching up with all of you then!



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