Sunday, March 31, 2013

Running Doldrums

Lately I've been in the running doldrums - life has been a bit hectic and it can be hard to find the energy to lace up.

I didn't run for four whole days one week.  Plus I've skipped or downgraded a few runs in the last 2-3 weeks.  Feeling tired, tense and agitated, I would pace the house thinking how I really should go for run, but also thinking how many other things were more important to do.  When I did run, I felt weak, lethargic, and that my arms and legs were out of sync.  My body was not in the mood.

Anyway, this week I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Dominion Road underpass, on my Mt Eden running route
I'm back to working part time, and the night classes I teach are almost complete for this term.  It is amazing how some extra time makes life feel more in control!  I'm sleeping better, and I've had a couple of great runs where I felt faster and stronger. Plus, I'm really looking forward to my long run on Sunday.

(Fast Forward - it is Sunday night and I have had an awesome long run that I can't wait to tell you about - tomorrow!)

Does LIFE get in the way of your running sometimes?


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Round The Bays 2013



It was a perfect morning for Round The Bays today - clear and sunny, and thank goodness the humidity had dropped a bit because it felt claustrophobic enough amongst all these people!


Look at that crowd stretching way into the distance!  I managed to get into position about 500m before the starting line before it became too crowded to move, after the starting cannon it was a mere shuffle to the start line, and I took this photo a few hundred metres further on at 9:44am - just as we broke into a slow jog! 

A lot of businesses enter their staff/families/friends into these events, so there are always a lot of T-shirts to read to keep you entertained while you wait:



My goal was to basically enjoy myself and run at 6:00 pace and speed it up toward the end if I felt good, and this was exactly what I did.  I think.  Whenever I looked at my Sportwatch it read 5:55-6:10 pace, and 5:30-5:45 around the last bay, but when I look at my uploaded splits they read about 6:15-6:20, and 6:00 for the last km.  I have noticed this difference before and wonder if my watch is calibrated correctly or something! 

At the finish line
It is hard to know what my real time was - according to the announcer I crossed the line just on 60mins, but considering it was about 10 mins shuffle to the start line and there was no chip timing I think that's a bit unfair!  My watch reads 59:47 but I actually forgot to stop it until after I had taken all these photos about 10 mins later at 10:40am - so I guess I ran it in around 50 mins.

Also Nike+ tells me I ran my fastest 5k (31:04) without even trying.  I must run a proper 5k race at some stage.

Some runners rinsing off after the race!
I tried not to get annoyed at the people walking three abreast in the runners lane, the people who stop suddenly in front of you, and the people who swerve across in front of you to get to a drink station - this is a fun run after all!   I think it is great that these people are participating in the event, and don't blame them for being unfamiliar with usual race etiquette.  But... if I run next year I will try to arrive earlier and get closer to the start line in an attempt to avoid all of that!

Runners coming around the bend into St Heliers Bay
(that coastline in the far distance is the North Shore, where I ran my last race!)

Runners approach the finish line 
Would I run it again?  I'm sure I will - it is such an iconic Auckland event, and it's big, cheap ($15) scenic, flat and fun.  Plus, now I have a time to beat, and who can resist that?!

Does your city or town have a big local fun run that you always enter?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm Running Round The Bays!

This week I stopped procrastinating and finally entered Auckland's Round The Bays!  This iconic run was on my list of goals for the year but I sort of went off the idea after remembering the crowded start and being confined to walking the first few hundred metres until the field spread out!  Once I got over the fact that my race time will be a joke I signed up and went downtown to pick up my race number this morning - yay!


It is great to see the Auckland Jogger's Club still runs the event too - this club was founded by Arthur Lydiard and friends in 1962 with the aim of encouraging everyday people to jog for health, and helped start the jogging revolution - especially once Bill Bowerman took the idea back to USA!  The club welcomes  people of all abilities from walkers to marathoners, sounds friendly, and I'd consider joining if I lived near Cornwall Park!  They started Round the Bays in 1972 with over 1000 runners and that number escalated over the years to become one of the largest running events in the country.  I admire the story and motive behind the event, and it is one of the major deciding factors for me to enter - anything that encourages people to start running is great!


So it's official - come 9:30 tomorrow morning I will be one of the 70,000 participants running the 8.4km from Downtown to St Heliers - it should be lots of fun as the course is incredibly scenic and the weather this weekend is magic!
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