The months after GodZone pursuit have been incredibly busy. After getting back to Christchurch (from the race) I had barely unpacked when I headed off on ‘Journey’, a 10-day tramp as a part of my Environmental Science paper. It was a fantastic way to recover from GodZone. Most days we only tramped for a couple of hours, did presentations and learnt about the environment. It was lots of fun.
After Journey it was back into study. I had another 2 weeks off training, but barely noticed it as I was focused on getting out whitewater kayaking and rock climbing to log hours in for my papers. I had not managed to get enough kayaking/rock climbing hours in during the holidays due to racing GodZone. This meant I had a short time to log around 35hrs of the 60hrs kayaking hours I needed as part of my Kayaking paper. The amount of theory work also increased. This meant hitting the books and spending time in the library. With all this going on I decided not to race the 3D Rotorua premier 50km multi-sport race this year as I could not train enough to be competitive. So I decided to do something different and entered the 3D Rotorua half marathon on Queen’s birthday weekend, which gave me a chance to improve my running. I also convinced my boyfriend James to race it as well, which was fun.
With only a couple of weeks training and a crazy week of assignments race day came. It was a chilly morning and reluctantly we removed all our warm clothes and headed to the start line. This race for me was just going to be a bit of fun and a way to see where my running was at. I didn’t have a serious race plan but was still prepared with water and a couple of gels. Off the start line we went. I did not want to start too fast, so eased into it. I saw James just in front of me, I wasn’t worried……yet I never saw him after that. Lots of people surrounded me for the first hill climb, I liked it when the field spread out a bit more. When I got onto the second hill climb, it was awesome -less people, gorgeous bush and awesome single trail. It was a good climb with a nice steady gradient to start, which got steeper as it went on. I slowly gained on a chick in front of me. I managed to catch and pass her but that was not the last I saw of her. I popped out of the single track onto a four-wheel drive track – yes the top of the hill! Ahhhh, wrong I was deceived as there was more hill around the corner. I was enjoying the downhill until seeing the chick I passed before was catching me. I picked up the pace, but she managed to pass. I kept the pace up and tried to keep her insight and not let her get away. Past the finish line – 10km done and onto the second lap. I got over the first hill and on the second hill and found I was gaining on the chick again. I pipped her just at the top but knew I would have to work hard to keep ahead on the flat and downhill. I did not stay ahead for long before we were running together and having a quick chat. I kept on her tail the rest of the way and tried to pick up the pace in the last few kms. She spotted this and did the same, I just didn’t quite mange to catch her before the finish. I was stoked to make it to the finish line having enjoyed my run with a bit of competition.
I enjoyed the half marathon and feel that I achieved my goals, well other than letting James (my boyfriend) beat me. This was my first official half marathon – the other I have done was the Outward Bound half marathon. Racing only one discipline was different for me and has given me an idea about how my running is currently. Next up is sitting down with CP coach Chris Stagg and setting out my goals and races for the rest of the year.