The last two weeks before the race were rubbish. I hurt my quadriceps muscles (that’s the front of the thigh). I think I ran too fast downhill and my legs weren’t used to that kind of stress. Anywho there was one day I was in so much pain I couldn’t fall asleep and had to take some painkillers (paracetamol – the label said it’s good for muscle pain). After that incident I took training way easier.
I started to cycle (I’m terrible at that) and swim. OK, I went to a pool once. And I was terrible at swimming too. I turns out that there’s a bit of technique involved in swimming. You use your hands for 3 strokes and then breathe, repeat. Also there are several strokes to use e.g. butterfly, freestyle, back crawl. I’ll get better, I hope.
I sent a bunch of couchsurfing requests into the Sunshine Coast area and was lucky to find a host. I knew that I’d rather be a bit social than spend the day alone in a hotel/hostel thinking and worrying about my run the day before the race.
I made some chocolate chip cookies for my host, bought two GU energy gels for the race and drove to Noosa to pick up my racing pack. Later I met my CS host Brock and his family. I was positively surprised by the two Swedish girls who were also guests at Brock’s place. The more the merrier…
OK race day. I drove to Noosa and parked about 3 km away from the start line. This was good because I wanted to jog a bit for my warm-up. My leg was slightly hurting and I was pondering whether I should not run at all. Since the route was very flat I decided to give it a go.
I was happy there was no long piss-line. Soon after my bladder was emptied I was standing in the crowd of runners before the start line.
My goal was the same as in my previous Twilight half marathon – to run a sub 100 minute race. 30 seconds of silence for Boston and a bit later the race started. I went a bit slower this time.
The weather was perfect and running felt quite good. My first lap was quite easy – 47 minutes and I felt good because I was on pace to finish in less than 100 minutes. I planned to go all out in the last 5 km of the second lap but I just didn’t have the energy. Instead of speeding up I actually slowed down and people started to pass me. It took me about 49 minutes for the second lap.
I finished my first half marathon in 1:36:36 and I’m very happy with my result. After the race I thought that normally I do yoga after running so I should do it this time too. Sure it was a bit strange to do yoga in public but hey, it’s part of my running ritual. It was a bit funny but other runners around me started to stretch and do pigeon and similar poses as well.
From now on I will work on my endurance and speed. I might run another half marathon in 5 weeks and try finishing in less than 90 minutes. I think it’s a realistic goal.