Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Race recap- Mother's Day Classic

I was up early on Mother's Day and I wasn't making mum breakfast in bed!

 My mum lives in Wagga, and spends mother's day in Sydney with her mum. The last 2 years I have stayed in Canberra and now have my own tradition of running the Mother's Day Classic. Two laps of Lake Burley Griffin's central basin, bounded by Commonwealth and Kings Avenue bridges. The course takes participants past some of Canberra's iconic buildings: the NGA, Portrait Gallery, Questacon and the NLA. I have a soft spot for the Mother's Day Classic; I ran a PB last year despite the freezing blustery weather. This year, I had planned to run it for fun, having entered the SMH half marathon the following Sunday. My trainer doesn't believe me; he thinks I'll romp home to a PB.

The day before the race I slept in; it was my first Saturday without a long run in a few months and it felt glorious. I pottered around the house, for once not spending a Saturday physically and mentally tired. I hadn't per-registered, my other half Dan and I were going to run together, but he had been troubled by a bad back all week and wasn't sure if he was up to running 10k. So I left him snuggled up in bed and headed off early down to Lake Burley Griffin. Secretly, I don't mind arriving early for this run, there is never enough parking at the lake and at least I don't have to risk a parking ticket!

I park nice and close, gather all of my bits and pieces and head off to register.  Via the bathroom. The fog is so thick I can barely find the registration tent. I fill out my form, which is soggy from the fog, and line up to pay. Except I haven't brought enough money! I forgot that I have to pay separately for my timing chip so I head back to the car for more change.

Nice day for a run!
Back to the car, back to the bathroom, and back to finalise my registration. I have about half an hour to kill and browse the sponsor stalls. I reluctantly check my jumper in the baggage area and get ready to join the cheesy warm-up. The warm up is Les Mills style aerobics which I find way too complicated; if I only move my legs that's enough to get the blood flowing, right? Mum texts me and wishes me good luck and we text back and forth a bit.

We head on down to the start line and I'm feeling good, and decide to aim for about 55 minutes. It's hard to know where to place myself in the throng, it's a pretty big field and a fairly casual atmosphere. Even though one lane of Kings Avenue has been closed to traffic, the run director wants us to stay off the road for our own safety. Blergh, the footpath along there is so narrow I am already imagining the bottleneck it will be on the first lap.

We take off and I am immediately masses of runners swarm past me while I keep to my target 5.30 pace. I hit the first km at exactly 5.30 and head up onto Kings Ave. And almost come to a stop. Well, not really but I glance down at my watch to see my instantaneous pace is 6.30. I'm boxed in and can not pass anyone. Off the bridge and the congestion is not much better, I'm running pretty much shoulder to shoulder and trying to squeeze between runners all along the forecourt, the field doesn't really spread out until we are off Commonwealth Ave. Now though we are stuck dodging people arriving to run or walk the 5k.

I pass the halfway mark in 27.18 and head off for the second lap. Kings Ave is much less congested this lap but it's still too narrow to pass people. One of my knees starts to hurt and I start to worry about a first dns. I put my head down and try to distract myself by picking off runners ahead of me. Once I hit the 8k marker I open it up a bit and begin to pass more and more runners. At 9k I push a bit harder and bring it home strongly, stopping my watch at exactly 54.02 and phone at 54.15.

I know I have PB'd and done it easily, but I hadn't paid for the results sms.  I'd lost about 30 seconds on the bridges when I couldn't get around slower runners. I hadn't flagged at all. The pace felt comfortable and once I begin to surge I held 5.00 pace for the final k. My official time is 54.00 which is a 25 second PB and a 63 second negative split. BUT I am so cranky with myself! A PB in 53.xx sounds much faster than 54.00, I wish I had started to surge a little earlier or run a little faster or done anything to have come in 1 second faster!

Once I get home I jump in the shower, set up my banana chair on the back deck and doze in the sun! What a great way to spend a late Sunday morning. 

I don't mind racing the 10k distance, it takes me a little while to warm up, but this year I am focusing on the HM distance and trying to bring down my PB so I am not sure when I will race another without a HM shortly before or after. But I'm hungry, I think I have a 52.xx in me this year and I want to see if I right!

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