Well... umm that was a couple of weeks ago now, but it was one huge week of running for me, not so much in "distance" but in "events". On Saturday 3rd December, my husband Anthony and I participated in a 6km Mud Run that was held at the Equestrian Centre in Sydney.... now mud running is so not my thing, but a couple of months ago, my bestie Sar and I were chatting about entering some events to keep up our motivation. Sar found the mud run and convinced us to enter. So we did. Then, not even a few hours later, she realised she had double booked and her daughters dance concert happened to be on the same day. Great.
I thought about pulling out too, but Anthony said he'd stay with me, help me over the obstacles, through the mud and water... Hmmm...
So, on the day I wasn't nervous as I wasn't putting any expectations on myself, just go and have fun... I mean, it would be fun running through mud puddles, crawling under rope nets and climbing over walls...right?! And it was! To my surprise. Most of the run was over grass and I was very comfortable with this. There was an obstacle probably every few hundred metres - most of them to climb over, a few nets to crawl under, a balance beam and a water slide but not as many mud puddles to swim through as I had expected - but those were the BEST!! The first mud puddle, Anthony decides to dive in chest first and mud splatters ALL OVER my face.....
They saved the hardest obstacles for the end, both of them we had to wait in line to have a go at, and both of them I couldn't get over .... but at least I tried! We finished our race in 53 mins. I never thought I would say this but I can't wait till next years mud run :)
Anthony and I after the mud run....
Then.... on Sunday we had a go at the Splash 'n' Dash at Wollongong Harbour. I convinced Sar and her hubby Dan to have a go too. Anthony, Dan and I went in the mini splash 'n' dash which was a 250m swim in the harbour and a 2.5km run. So we get there and it is cold and it starts raining. Nice. I am nervous this time... it's always a matter of facing my fears when I swim in the ocean. They call us up for the start and the women are set to go first... There are a lot of nerves, some girls say they don't even know if they will make the whole swim! More nerves! I tell myself "Ok, aim for the swim is NOT TO PANIC, take it easy and stop if I have to get my bearings." The gun goes... and we are off and swimming. The nerves start and I and I am gulping for air, swallowing water... Ok, stop panicking! So I settle in after getting to the first buoy. There is a girl either side of me which makes me feel comfortable. I feel like everyone has taken off! But I get to the second buoy and I can see the finish so I speed up.... and as I stand up, I can see Anthony wave to me. His race hasn't started yet.
The women swimming in the ocean:
I run up the stairs, passing a couple of girls on the way and get to my shoes, quickly change, although it feels like it takes me forever, then I am running. I see Sar cheering and that makes me feel better but my legs feel so heavy. Despite this I run past 3 more girls within the first km. Then I settle in. I love that feeling.... I get to the turnaround point with less than a km to go. I have only seen 3 girls in front of me.... can that be right?? On the home stretch, all the kids and men are catching up - I see Anth and Dan running together - they look like they are cruising! I can see 2nd and 3rd place in front of me but can't speed up enough to catch them. I cross the finish line and go over to meet Sar. I came 4th!! Very excited :)
Me finishing the "mini" splash n dash:
We watch more people finish, then Anthony runs through and then Dan, not far behind. The boys are pretty happy with their race. Dan was out of the water first then Anth caught up in the run.
Now for the fun run. Yes, I entered both. Idiot! Sarah and I decide to run together. I've never run with Sar before. I asked her before the run if she had a time goal but she said she wasn't feeling the best, not in the mood. I don't say much but I know that many times I have felt that way before a race, I have done really well..... It is so cold! We have a towel wrapped around our shoulders before the start and then pose (jokingly) for the camera at the start line before moving back and letting others to the front! The gun goes. Sarah takes off.... after a few hundred meters I look at my watch and we are running under 5min/km... hmmm... "um, maybe we should slow down a little" I suggest. We do and then settle into a comfortable pace. We pass the km mark, wave to the boys and kids. I check my watch and still think we may be going to fast to maintain the pace but sarah looks comfortable so I don't say anything. At 2km, 11mins... Sarah is still talking... I say "if you can still talk, you're not runnng fast enough" lol.... turnaround point and I see we are going to smash 30mins if we keep up this pace so I tell Sar. She promptly tells me to shut up! Noice...
Us before running...
Me, shut up?.... yeah right. 4km and we are just on 22mins. I try to give encouragement to keep going. I can tell it is starting to hurt.... what do I say?? Ummm.... so I tell her something like, "I'm not letting you stop now. Only a k to go and we are running the whole way, you'll never forgive yourself if you stop!" So we run. The whole way. Sar keeps up the pace so well. We pass the finishline in 27:17mins... smashed it!!! I am so proud. For someone who only started running this year, she ran amazingly!
Sar and me finishing the fun run:
Pretty big weekend, eh? So, the following Tuesday, Kembla Joggers held a women's 3km race and this year I wanted to run a PB. My goal: 13:30mins. I wasn't sure about it because of the big weekend but I was going to try!!!
First km, and my training partner Bridget takes off... we are running under 4min/km. A bit fast and I can really feel it. We slow down slightly and I tuck in behind her. We pass the first km in 4:10min. I can't keep up the pace and watch Bridget slowly get ahead of me, but knowing I just need to keep up 4:30 pace to do my goal time. 2nd km goes by in 4:30 on the dot... and I was really feeling it. I was trying to keep up that pace, continually checking my watch. 500m to go and I was slowing down. Feeling sick. Yuck. No.... keep it up, I tell myself. What would Sarah think if I gave up now knowing how much I pushed her on Sunday? Right. Run hard! So I did, feeling sick until the end.... out of breath, stuffed!! But I did it! I ran through in 13:26mins! Yay, another goal achieved :)
What a week of running... and so much fun too! Next goal is the one that seems to keep eluding me... running 5km in under 23mins. Well, now I am even more determined!