Last year my BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) was to complete the Queenstown marathon, which I ticked off not necessarily in style, or in the time that I was aiming for, but got the job done anyway. For anyone who is contemplating doing this run – do it! Not only is it a beautiful scenic run, it has enough undulations and a wee hill towards the end to keep the run interesting and the mind focused. So, what’s been happening since then? I have to admit that after the marathon I was on a bit of a high for a few weeks and when I spoke to Richard to de-brief, I was all about ‘yeah lets do that again!’. I was busy searching around the Internet trying to find another marathon event I could do before Christmas. His advice was to see how I felt in a few weeks…. In reality what happened was the euphoria wore off and the body and mind remembered the physical and mental effort it took to achieve that goal. I was quite happy to toddle off on holiday and have a break from training and I enjoyed just running for fun without having to meet targets and also not ‘having’ to run for an end goal.
While on holiday I went about planning what my next goal would be. I decided to see whether or not I could do a half marathon under 2 hours – my previous best was 2:19. I always lament about how slow I am and get frustrated with constantly being passed by other runners so, armed with a training programme from Richard I did the St Clair half and managed to improve on my time – or maybe it was the free bottle of wine at the end that spurred me on…
I also joined the CP Tuesday morning run group which has been a very steep learning curve for me. I am in awe of the athletes in that group (they are my run heroes) and I have gotten quicker just from trying to keep up with their warm-up pace! Christchurch half rolled round in early June and I surprised myself with a new PB. About 16km into the run I decided that flat, asphalt running did not put me in my happy place, so the mental challenge was to suck it up and appreciate the fact that the sun was shining and there was coffee at the finish line. At this point my achilles was pretty sore and if someone had offered me a ride to the finish, I think I may have been tempted.
My goal for a long time has been to run an ultra (will start with 50km!) and I have decided to aim for completing the Tarawera 50km trail run in November. As I write this, I am 117 days away from achieving this goal. Watch this space to see how the plan and journey unfolds….