If you had told me a year ago that I would run the Christchurch Marathon 10 kilometre race (6.2 miles) yesterday, I would have laughed. I HATED running- the only times I tried it I ended up giving up after three minutes. However, as my readers will know, in January this year I joined a running club after my Dad brought me a long to a track session, and I also did the 5k Color Run in February. When I heard that my brother and Dad were doing the 10k and Half Marathon events for the Christchurch Marathon this year, I started to wonder how far I could push myself. My longest run had been 8 kilometres, and all of a sudden I started to think I could do more than that.
A little bit of back story is probably needed- I was born with a hip condition and it was thought that I would never walk. I used my hip as an excuse to get out of exercising, and finally I knew I needed to stop making excuses and start doing something about my weight. I lost 30 kilograms (done over 5 years and fluctuating a bit due to two pregnancies) and have maintained my weight for over a year now.
Running was the next step in keeping myself active- once I had lost the weight I needed a new challenge and something that I enjoyed. Running has filled that gap. I had been to gyms, done Zumba, and also buggy group fitness sessions, and I was ready to up my game a bit.
I entered the 10k event, but it didn't sink in until I went to pick up my race pack that the enormity of this event was larger than I had expected. The nerves started to kick in, and putting my race number on was almost surreal. I tried to take my mind off things by putting my Running Girl nails on and reading lots of books.
I was up at 5:45am to eat some breakfast and get ready to go.
So- there I was at the start yesterday, waiting with my Dad and brother.
If you can't tell, it was extremely cold! I had on so many layers, and even a beanie was required. There was a frost, and parts of the half marathon track were extremely icy. However, off we went and eventually I warmed up at about the 4 kilometre mark, where I saw some family members cheering me and my brother on. For part of the course I was running with my Dad and brother, the three of us in a row, and I remember thinking how awesome it was that the three of us were doing it together.
The course was nice and flat, and we even got to run alongside the runway of the airport on a maintenance track. I started to struggle as we turned onto this part, but I knew that the finish line was coming up and my family was waiting for me.
I was getting too hot by this stage, so off came my beanie but it wouldn't tuck into my pants so I had to carry it with me.
I kept up the pace with my brother right until the end, when he had enough energy left over for a sprint!
I was so pleased to see that finish line, and the rush I got afterwards was amazing. I saw my sons and husband after the race, and also stayed around to watch my Dad finish the half marathon.
It took all day to warm up after the race, so plenty of coffee and sunshine was required.
My dream goal was to do the 10 kilometre course in 55 minutes. During training, my times for a ten kilometre run had gone from 1:03 to 58 minutes and then to just over 56 minutes. When I saw this time I was so proud of myself. I am also extremely pleased with my placing in my age group.
I am not sure yet what my next running goal will be, as I am not sure if I want to go up to half marathons. I feel like I would be better off working on my pacing for ten kilometres, as I am concerned that anything over that might aggravate my hip or I may injure myself. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my Saturday runs.
Photos thanks to Bevan and my husband!