Monday, 21 September 2015

Karen writes: Starting again

Triathlon season has arrived, well for many it arrived months ago, but according to my own peculiar calendar 12 weeks out from a half Ironman it is time to...ha ha...get serious again. Again. Kate has been off at Ironman camp, as far as I can see she is triathlon trained already having never dropped swimming in the off season and she has never stopped cycling or spinning. Running, well who cares about the run anyway, you can always walk that bit if you are fit for the other disciplines but I look at the Nike app and there I see Kate, off clocking up those running miles on her side of the country too.

I went to Whangarei for the weekend, Whangarei half marathon is an annual event and this year, falling a few weeks after Adelaide marathon, it was an ideal 'get back into things' effort.

The weather was predicted to be awful, but on the day it turned out to be very pleasant, overcast, not too hot, and I made a steady effort on that very pretty course along the harbour-side, through bush, then back along the heads road.  Senior daughter joined me for the final 2 km and over the finish line, that was lovely but I think she may have developed a new respect for her mother on that one. The drive home, now that was when the weather decided to let loose, rain, hail making for poor visibility on those narrow windy roads so I was tired and grumpy from all the concentration by the time we walked in the door. Fortunately, the girls are old enough now to be able to find themselves some food and get off to bed, just as well, I was past keeping my eyes open by half past seven.

I've grizzled about my running speed, how my pace continues to drop off, and this run I was 20 minutes slower over the relatively flat 21 km than my best time a couple of years ago, that is a big difference and if you use the usual formula of double your half time and add a bit, that gives my likely Auckland marathon as something in the range of 5 hours 15. And there were no excuses this time, I really felt like I was running steadily, no mucking around, felt comfortable throughout and there no unplanned glitches such as stopping to stretch or getting stung by anything, there wasn't even the chance to talk to anyone.  Of course, I am definitely heavier than I was back then, Friday I had run and cycled and then having plenty of time in the car plus lack of attention to nutrition could have contributed to such a poor showing, but it seems that I'm just going to have to accept that I'm continuing to slow down.  Funny thing was though, I still had 40% of the field behind me.  I think they might have mixed the walkers in looking at the times, but hey, I'll take what comfort I can get!

Fortunately there are plenty of cutesy quotes around about being a slow runner, like "running slow isn't a character flaw, quitting is", and I think, yeah, that's me. Plus I still run marginally faster than my sofa so I reassure myself that I'm still ok, but then I think oh I should be able to do better, maybe...just maybe next time I will.

Update: I've just checked results after receiving a message to say the 'results computer had screwed up', I now only have 16% of the field behind me, or 20% of my own group.  Hey, I usually aim to be in the top 90%, it's still a success!