Next time, please remind me not to drink the night before a race.
OK. Water is fine. Just tell me go easy on the wine.
I reluctantly arrive at the Start line having consumed two Panadols for breakfast.
Thinking that I’ve undone months of hard training my mindset is now to just enjoy the race as best I can.
Forget the PB. Forget beating last year’s time. Forget breaking 45 minutes.
After scorching hot temperatures the day before we’re very fortunate and grateful that a cool change overnight has provided us with ideal running conditions: the skies are clear, the sun is shining, and it’s a pleasant 16 degrees Celsius.
Awaiting the starters gun taxes our patience as we’re all eager to get underway.
And we’re off!
As per usual my pace is much too fast but I slow it down and establish a comfortable rhythm from the outset.
The theory is to run even or negative splits: the time for the first half of a race is meant to be the same or marginally slower than the second half.
I figure I’ll aim for 4m35s km splits and see how I’m feeling at the halfway mark.
Yet I’m surprised that my 4m30s pace feels remarkably good.
So I maintain the speed, slowing a little up a gentle hill but making the time back on the way down.
The course can be somewhat confusing at times. Signage has 10k runners going off in one direction and half-marathoners – who started a couple of hours earlier – heading down a different route. At one point I wonder if I’m now on their section of the course.
Yet I carry on, realizing that, despite my late night transgressions, a PB is a distinct possibility. I even pick up the pace around the 7km mark.
I’m passing other runners, some in the same 10k race. Others doggedly finishing the half-marathon.
I even pass my friend Jamie who shouts out my name. But no time to chat as this is the last km and I have to put in an all-out-effort if I’m going to bag this sub-45 time.
The last couple of hundred meters is on a running track which is great. I sprint to the Finish line knowing that I’ve done it.
The consistent training has paid off. I astonish myself: beating last year’s time; establishing a new PB; and cracking the 45 minute barrier.
Now it’s time to celebrate!
Kim | marathon runner