Race Overview: It was cold! I had hoped for cooler weather however this was a little too cold for my liking. To put this statement into perspective, I don't often celebrate winter or autumn - I am an Australian surf chick who has spent the last three years in Dubai existing comfortably while sunning my reptilian blood on the beach. The cold and the lack of sleep (youngest waking at 12.30am and 3.15am) had me wanting for coffee pre-race, but the long lines at the two female toilets convinced me otherwise.
The start point for the race was quite narrow at one car lane. My club members and I headed to the middle of the pack to keep warm and ensure that we didn't get in the way of the 6 minute milers. We crossed the line around one minute after the official start. After the initial position juggling the course cleared around the 1.5 mile mark. The first 2 miles couldn't come quick enough as I was parched and needed water desperately. Also needed to Gu as I was feeling flat and lacked energy, which is funny as the first two miles were completed in 18 mins! My legs felt numb as the muscles I swear were still frozen from being out in the cold. The pace between the 2 and 4 mile mark dropped to around 9.45 as I waited for the Gu to kick in. Hit the half way mark (5 miles) crossing the course clock at 47 mins. Started to flat line again at the 7 mile mark, however there was no water and had to wait until 8 miles for my Gu as I was not keen to Gu without it. I found that I was so thirsty throughout the race and I stopped at every aid station to drink some water.
I was meant to 'kick it' and pick up the pace at 9 miles. At 9.2 miles I had to stop and walk for a bit as I thought I was going to throw up – my legs felt fine but my head was hurting slightly and although I had just had some water at the 9 mile point I was completely parched. I came into the parking lot with less 400 metres to the finish and the crowd was out cheering everyone on and yelling for us to 'dig deep' and finish the race off strongly. I felt like hitting them. With 200 metres to go however I picked up my pace, went all out and sprinted to the end. Seriously, I have not moved that fast in 20 yrs!
Official time was 1:34:46 resulting in an average pace of 9.28. A personal best for the distance!
Thoughts: The time surpassed what I thought I was capable of which is awesome considering how tired and unwell I felt before and during the race. Going into my first real winter in years and with races and goals on the horizon, I really need to think how I can adapt and make this work. When I served in the military one of my favorite quotes was that of the infantry, whose role is "to close with the enemy, to kill or capture him … regardless of season, weather or terrain". I think I need to acclimatize to make this body an all wheel all terrain vehicle! Also, atypical race conditions, feeling unwell or not up to par isn't a reason to not compete as sometimes through adversity the most amazing things occur.
As we left the event in my triple 8 car a light came on indicating that the tyre pressure was not right and although we stopped to rectify it the light failed to dull. Post-race I think that this is a sign – my car is sending me a message that with a bit of tweaking and a minor service I'll be able to drive (run) off into the sunset stronger and faster than I have before. Here's hoping anyway!