Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lactic Turkey Half Marathon - Done and Dusted

Yesterday I completed the hardest event of my life. The Lactic Turkey Whatipu half marathon.

The good news is that I finished it. The bad news is that it took a whole lot more out of me than I could ever imagine and I'm left feeling as though I will never do an event like that again.

I left home feeling a tad nervous with Mrs G and Anne-Marie and we arrived at Whatipu in good time to register. We knew to carry plenty of fluids and a pack of emergency supplies with compulsory equipment as is required on an event such as this.

At about 9:30am the run began and up through the Waitakeres we went. Quickly the group spread out and the athletes amongst us were off way too quickly for me to even contemplate keeping up. The first of the tracks was narrow and had to be single file for quite some distance and as I ran upwards I noticed that I was not able to keep up with those in front and had to pull over to give those behind me an opportunity to pass. I wondered how I could feel so unfit at this early stage of the run and struggled on. Up, up, up I went to the point that my legs were screaming in pain and trembling but what was worse was the down hill slopes and my legs felt as though they'd give way from my knees, they were that tired.

At about 10kms in to it I met a man and I asked how much further. To my horror he replied,
"You're not even at the half way point yet, mate."
I was devastated! But had to keep going. At two different points I went off the track and was so close to being lost in the Waitak's but managed to keep my wits about me and find the track again. I was on my own for about 2.5 hours until I caught up with 2 chaps both doing the half marathon. One was struggling while the other was supporting him. How I wished for someone to support me. It was a very lonely time for me out there for so long on my own...
I chatted to the chaps and decided I would head off and leave them and for a bit they were on my tail chasing me up the hill. They never caught me. My only victory for the day.

As I reached Whatipu camp ground some folk cheered me on, at which point I wanted to cry and found it hard to breath. Gasping for air I ran towards the line and a whole bunch of people clapping and shouting words of encouragement.

I had made it! Finally, 4hrs and 8mins later and I felt absolutely gutted. Gutted because I wasn't able to run the whole thing and because I did such an awful time. There was no sense of achievement. I have run marathons faster.

My 2 friends did ok although they found the event really tough too. My Facebook comments have lifted my spirits and on reflection, I finished it and didn't give up. I have always said that I like to set good examples for my boys and I challenge myself to demonstrate that no matter how hard things get, stick at it, chip away until you get to where you want to be.

There are some things I know about me and one of them is that I'm never going to be a swimmer, perhaps I'm never going to be an off road runner either...or will I?


Anonymous said...

Dear Mandy

Well even though I feel your diappointment in this blog I think you're a winner, a real champion!!! You not just setting an example for the boys but for anyone reading this blog. Good on ya!!

On Saturday I did my first official run. The Waiheke 7km wharf to wharf. I had a buddy with me but for every step I made she made 3. I figured this out within the first minute of the race. My heart sank of course but I knew that if I was to finish this I had to run my race and no one elses.

There were more hills than I am used to but I discovered that I like hills and valleys and felt it harder dealing with the flat sections. Thanks to the womans health mag I think I will start using those section to do short sprints to up fitness and weight loss.

Although it was only 7km when I got the finish line is was fantastic! I did what I set out to do. I will be getting ready for the next run and hope to do 11km.

Better, take care

Mandy Cunis said...

Thank you!
Well done on your first event, WG. You made some interesting discoveries during your run and this is you building up to becoming an experienced runner.
I've grown to love the hills too (as long as they're not the ones out at Whatipu).
I'm planning on doing the Cathay Pacific too but the longer one. Good luck with your training and thank you so much for your kind words. xx

Anonymous said...

Hey Mandy

Shaun here, event director for lactic turkey events and organiser of the race you did on Saturday. First up congratulations on finishing. It is a great acheivement and not something that many people can claim to have done. This is a hard event and for a newbie or any fitness level a tough challenge. I have done plenty of these events myself and know that this is one of the hardest. Even those people at the front find it hard.

I just wanted to let you know this so you don't get down on the experience or under estimate what you acheived. This type of running is tricky. With so many factors coming into play no matter how experienced you are - water and food intake, steepness of hilly, knowledge of the course, pace you get sucked into at the start. Even the experienced have troble getting it all right on the day.

Stick to it and mark this down to a learning experience to consider and improve on in your next event!

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