Last Sunday, Ange and I took part in a big runfest called Round the Bays. We trained for it and everything. We've gone from not being able to run very much to being able to run quite far. There were 11,998 other people entered in Round the Bays, and it was full on. I felt fairly confident that I would not come last, and 20 minutes after I finished the run, people were still pouring across the finish line like river in flood.
It was a sunny, windless day, so from about 1km in it was baking hot. My favourite part was about halfway along Oriental Parade - I could see hundreds of bobbing heads in silhouette about to round Point Jerningham, the fountain in the bay was looking glorious, and the streets were empty apart from us runners and sleepy looking people waving from their apartments. There were a few people who had brought their hoses round to the front of their houses and were squirting people, which I have to admit was heavenly. I even did that thing where runners grab a cup from the drink station and throw it over themselves. It felt amazing.
At about 5km, I felt my tummy go a bit funny and wished I had done more core work in training. I could feel myself start bending inwardly, it felt impossible to hold myself up straight. It was so hot I had to make a huge effort not to look at the sparklingly cool water of Evans Bay, not to see the family of cute people going swimming. I had to focus on keeping my feet going.
With about 200m to go, Ange appeared out of the blur of spandex shorts. I actually put some effort in and caught up with her. My legs weren't happy about it, but amazingly, I realised I did have something left after all, and I managed a wobbly sprint to the finish line. I was stoked to come in at 44mins and 25 seconds.
I learnt a few things about running that day.
First, run your own race. Ignore what everyone else is doing. Especially children.
Second, music choice is everything. This track got me to the finish line.
Third, the faster you go, the sooner the pain will be over. Fourth, work on your core in training. When you get tired, it's the thing that will hold you upright. Fifth, don't try to meet your family at the end when there are 12,000 competitors. It was like looking for Wally trying to find Dad and Sweeney in the crowds.