Sunday, September 16, 2007

Burn Baby Burn

Well, it appears I chose the crash and burn option. In fact, I crashed and burnt in spectacular fashion, even for me! I'm not going to reveal my time, though you can always search for it if you're really that interested. Let's just say that it wasn't even close to what I should have been able to do.

I honestly don't know what went wrong, but I'm proud of myself that I decided to keep going and didn't quit. I was already feeling stomachy before the race, and I nearly chose to skip breakfast and settle on some fruit instead. I should have taken that option. I had a brief period of feeling ok at around 40 minutes, and my 10km time didn't reflect my final finishing time. However in the second half the wheels just fell off.

I had a couple of incidents of having to stop to spit out bile, and despite the drink stops I was very thirsty and had to stop at a couple of random taps. The final killer for me was hearing Ann chatting away behind me for around 10 minutes, knowing that she was about to overtake me. She duly did so, which was hugely demoralising.

Halfway through Hikoikoi Reserve the trail crossed a dead-end road. There was no martial to tell us which way to go, so I stood there for a few seconds, ran a little way further up the trail, still couldn't see anyone, ran back to the road, and spotted an official 100 metres or so down the road. I started off that way, got around 50 metres, then got called back by a guy who had finished and was running back to come in with the tail enders. I was furious, as was he. We ran along the trail a little way together and he was wonderful, encouraging me and keeping me going. Mention must also be made of a lovely older Scottish Harriers guy who ran with me for a way on the Hutt River trail, and encouraged me to not worry about my time. I passed him again on the Port Rd. He looked like he'd torn a hamstring or something fairly race-ending, and I would have loved to have been able to stop and walk with him. In the end I was at least able to send a passing ambulance off in his direction.

Let me just say that I think this is my least favourite course of those I have ever run. First the ugly industrial Hutt Rd, then some relief along the river trail, then a mix of more industrial and suburban streets. Lots of corner turning, lots of road crossing, lots of little humps to get up and over bridges. Just when you think you're nearly onto the Port Rd you realise that actually you still need to keep traveling off to your left for another kilometre or so. Around Port Rd, then onto the extremely narrow Hikoikoi trail, with more doubling back, more little undulations. Finally onto the Petone Foreshore with the finishline in the distance, seeming to take forever to reach. And whose stupid idea was it to put a sausage sizzle right next to the finishline? If I wasn't about to vomit beforehand the odour nearly put me over the edge.

Thanks to all the Jog Squad girls who cheered me as I ran in, even though they how badly I'd done. I got over the line and everything cramped up. I couldn't move without something else going into spasm. The guy handing out water made me drink three cups of strong Gatorade before he would let me get up from the post he'd ordered me to sit on. I missed out on a banana because they were all gone. That made me very grumpy. I had been followed around the course by guys who looked like they wanted to pick up the road cones, and by the ambulance driver, who looked like he wanted to pick me up, which had only served to rub in the fact that I was running at a snail's pace. I hated the event and was determined never to do it again. I didn't even win a spotprize.

Then something funny happened. I got home, ate, sat down and immediately wanted to go out and run it all over again to demonstrate that I was actually better than that. I even started toying with the idea of doing Wairarapa Country again. To my credit I finished today, even when everything seemed like purgatory. I didn't let my wipeout affect me too deeply. And I started to plan my triumphant return to the sport that is the half marathon.

I did astoundingly badly today, but this is not the end of the story. It's a fairly repetitive story. Girl trains. Girl runs a bad event. Girl trains again. However this story WILL have a happy ending. There is a sub two hour run in this girl.

Wouldn't life be so much easier if I wasn't so hung up on times?

Kate - I think playing the 'I'm sick' card was the good option! Get well soon...


Kate said...

I'm SO sorry today didn't go as planned. You DO have a sub-2 half in you, and I know you'll find it. I say go for Wairarapa- you didn't get the race you deserved today, and it may well turn up there. Hehe- this is the tHIRD time I've planned pelorus and not done it. I don't think I could even have made it round today, let alone in a respectable time.

A fun tri-season this summer might be just what you need? Then City of Wgtn in January? I tried to pace a friend to sub-2 there last year. I failed, but would be happy to try again!

Kate said...


Sass said...

I'm so pleased that you found your determination instead of wallowing this evening:) I also hope you got your muffins and cider:)

I feel like I've got reeeal bad jet lag!

Pip said...

Thanks guys. I'm still not sure whether Wairarapa would be the glorious comeback or another horrific defeat! Let's see how the next fortnight goes...
I've had a lazy day, a muffin, a cider, a bath and fish and chips for dinner (Hamish's idea). I've finished reading a Neil Gaiman book, Coraline, and now I'm going to ease myself off the sofa and head off to bed to read another.

I've been thinking that we'd all like our lives to be perfect, and that we'd like to not have to be embarrassed by our defeats, but then how interesting would we be? I will measure myself not by the games I lost, but by the way I learned from that loss and used it to win on another day.

Aaaah. Defeat and general weariness seem to make me wax too philosophical! At least I'm not grumpy though...

Off to bed!

leonie said...

i'm not going to say sorry and i've certainly no idea how you felt (or feel). i know that yesterday you ran the perfect run for you and that you have the opportunity to get something amazing from it whether the outcome was what you wanted at the time (or not). and, i know you don't need any advice from me, because you already know what is best for you at every moment including this one.

i am going to say (because i mean it) that i am very very proud of you.

i know that you know that your run was perfect, because everything always is.


Bruce said...

Sounds like it was a tough day, well done on finishing & better luck next time.