TRAINING WEEK 1: Day 6
Run Type: Race - Portsea Twilight Run - 8kms
Track Type: Off-road/Road
Track Type: Off-road/Road
Shoes: Hoka One One Bondi 4
Device: Garmin Fenix 3
Details of the run are given below.
I signed up for this race last minute and was shit scared due to my current fitness levels. Nevertheless, I took the plunge and have come out of it alive! For starters, I was taken by surprise to find out on the day of the race that the Portsea track would be a trail run, not a road run as I'm used to. That got the anxiety levels spiking but oh well, had to go through with it no matter what. The weather was extremely warm all day but thankfully the heat was subsiding by the time I reached the start line at around 6:40PM with the temperature at around 33C (92F). The run was scheduled to begin at 7:00PM.
There's something about being at the start line of a race. Obviously, with my current fitness (and future as well) I'll only be competing against myself rather than other participants. On August 13th, 2016, I participated in my first ever official race - City2Surf Sydney. That's a 14km track which I was able to finish in a semi-decent 1hr 23m. Needless to say I was stoked and still am really proud of that achievement considering just under a year earlier I was bedridden and going for an ACL reconstruction surgery. Anyway, the adrenaline rush that one gets and feeds off of other participants at the start line is a really unique experience. Every runner is seemingly nervous with smiles going around aplenty depicting encouragement and uncertainty. It's a great moment experience.
The race commenced with the siren going off. First 1.4km were quite standard with the limbs loosening up, breathing becoming steadier and the nerves settling down. From there onward it was a constant uphill and downhill with the former doing a lot more damage naturally. We reached the halfway mark at 3.5km and started back to roughly where we'd started. The return was a lot harder as the uphill really became steep and my pace reduced significantly from a lousy 6:30m/km to a lousier 7:10m/km. The rest of the 2.5km, before we detoured towards the finish line via trail, was one of the toughest distances I've ever run. 90% of running this stretch was mental work and just coercing and begging the muscles to go on - one step at a time - while beggingly applying the age old adage, 'you conquer the mountain, the mountain doesn't conquer you' which at the time seemed a lot of bullshit than anything else. Thankfully there were water stations along the way so I kept myself well hydrated which was a good idea due to the heat. I generally avoid drinking water on runs less than 15km surviving on gels primarily for anything over 12km. At the 6km mark, we detoured and went onto a trail which was again a new experience for me. It was an absolutely lovely run from thereon. I never expected myself to enjoy the trail so much hence the reason why I'm planning to run the Melbourne Trail Series for this year. However, that depends entirely on how well I train this year.
The best part about the run was Ahmed running the last 200m with me, absolutely hilarious; he's turning out to be a pretty toughie. Once I'd reached the finish line, I loaded up on a couple of energy bars, drank plenty of water and did my stretches.
Right now the body is feeling great with a little bit of soreness in the thighs. I'm planning to go for a 7km run today so that'll bring out any niggles that I might be carrying. Overall, I feel great and am really motivated to carry on with the training regime. Hopefully, I'll reach a point where I can take the plunge into doing a full marathon!
Until next time :)