Friday, 5 July 2019

An Unexpected Joy {2019 Wellington Marathon Mizuno 10K Race Recap}

Don't you just love it when an unexpected joy comes your way? I was on the receiving end of such a delight last week when a friend offered me a last-minute entry into the Wellington Marathon's 10K event (thanks, René!), which took place on Sunday. She was sick and couldn't race, and after correspondence with the event organiser and the completion of a transferral form at packet pick-up, I was good to go. Wahoo! (I actually had an entry for the very same event back in 2017, but was sick in bed with the flu on race day and couldn't run. So this was the perfect opportunity to finally give it a go!)

The weather on race day was pure perfection. (And if you know just how bad Wellington's wintertime weather can get, that's something to be super thankful for!) It was cool (not cold), sunny and almost wind still. Perfect running weather.  

Since I didn't specifically train for this event, my goal was to a) run at a sustainably hard pace, and b) try to come in under 55 minutes. Oh yes, and to do all of that with good and proper running form! But mostly I just wanted to enjoy the experience: The race day buzz, the beautiful route along Oriental Bay, and the chance to finally get up close and personal with Westpac Stadium (Wellington's rugby stadium, or "The Cake Tin", as locals call it, where the race began and ended).

The race route.
  
I never checked my watch once during the race and just tried to run at a pace that was hard, but doable. And while the first seven kays were smooth(-ish) sailing, the last three were pure torture. So many mind games...! Thank goodness for the super sweet, coconut-flavoured sports drink that appeared as if in a vision just as the going got tough... It was exactly the boost I needed to dig deep, keep going and finish strong in 51:44. 




I was surprised to see that my finishing time was almost identical to that of my previous 10K race, for which my goals were more or less similar too. I guess that means that, for me right now, a 'sustainably hard' race effort translates to a pace of around 5:10 min/km - since I ran both of these races to feel without looking at my watch. How incredible is the body (mind?) to find a doable pace and just stick to it like a metronome...!?

As for my third goal, i.e. running with good and proper form, I'm afraid things went a bit south. When the going got tough, the forward lean went AWOL, ha! But isn't that exactly what keeps us coming back for more? The fact that there's always something to work on and improve? It sure is for me. 




So for now, it's back to the drawing board with some stretching, strengthening and stabilising exercises... Until next time!



13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kate - it's SO good to hear from you! I hope you two are well? Are you headed down to NZ sometime soon? xx

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    2. Walked Parkrun today after a break, have achilles tendonitis. Will have PRP next week. No visit planned, no money! Bought the book you recommended, Your Best Stride, never too late for improvement! Enjoyed reading A Wife on Gorge River by Catherine Stewart bought at Arrowtown when we were in Queenstown 2016. We are having a medical year this year, Gavin had three stents put in and I had an ovarian tumour removed, fortunately benign but has re-occured twice now, originally removed in the 1990s. The twins no longer managing Kby parkrun, now Madz but we don't often see her, I did the results today and Chris Wittaker was the Run Director. Temp around 1 degree C, fortunately no wind! Love Kate

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    3. So good to hear all the news, Kate - thanks! I trust that both your and Gavin's health will only improve as the year goes on. I didn't know about the management situation at Kby parkrun, but quickly spoke to Madz yesterday via Whatsapp to catch up. Thinking of all of you and missing you...! xxx PS: Our parkruns at Kapiti Coast parkrun (my new home parkrun) are super wet, cold and muddy at the moment... Quite the adjustment...!

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    4. Good to read your reply. Wet and cold are challenging, never mind mud and wind! Enjoy!

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  2. Congrats on the race and the finishing time! Great photo too, where you look very fast. The routes looks scenic and for a former (very very modest) rugby player like me the Wellington's stadium is a myth.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Stefano!

      It was my first visit to Westpac Stadium, albeit not for a rugby match, but I found it to be quite imposing nonetheless. I can't wait to spectate an All Blacks vs. Springboks game there...!

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  3. Congrats On The Sub 60min - Well Done

    Cheers

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    1. Thanks, Padre! Still dreaming of that sub-50...! :)

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  4. Maar Sara! Hierdie was na 'n allermintige siekbed! Liewe hygend, wat 'n goeie tyd! Jy is mosh diep vinnig, my susteR! (en ek dink nou nie jy kan van een fototjie se dat jou vorm uit was nie, jy lyk dan vir my so mooi!)
    Welgedaan, Serie! As bed-le mens so vinnig maak dan wil ek ook gaan inklim vir nog 'n rukkie :) :)
    Meeste liefdes xxxxxxxx

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    1. Dankie vir die mooi se, Saar - ek was self verbaas! Ek en Willie lag ook dat dit sekeR die lekkeR lang bedRus was wat my woema gegee het, hehe!

      Die foto is maar die beste een van 'n spul wat geneem is op die dag - op party buig ek heel agteroor. Ek hol mos maar selde ver - oefen meestal die vorm by parkrun en so, en daar Hou die glutes al mooi by. Maar sodra ek verder hol (en die pas probeer druk), raak die spulletjie moeg... Veral die glutes en skouers/rug (van 'run tall'...) - moet maar net aanhou om hulle te versterk. Lief jou erg! Xxxxxxx

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  5. Congrats on your 10 km race in Wellington. 05:10 min/km is a very respectable finishing time. It's the same average pace of your previous 10 km race ... this means you have been able to maintain your running shape.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Giorgio - much appreciated!

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