123

Waiheke Race Report. (Read 848 times)


Now that was a bath...

    May I start by saying ouch. That was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. But I suppose I should start at the begining so here goes. My husband and I got up at 5:15am. I struggled to eat my toast as I never eat so early and I felt slightly nauseaus. I wasn't worried though - I had food packed just in case. We drove to the ferry port and I said goodbye to John and joined the ranks of runners waiting for the boat. I was really nervous. Everyone seemed to be in groups or to have family and I felt like the only person stood around on my own which made me sad. Everyone got their race numbers on the boat and they had huge litre bottles of suncream everywhere for runners to use. That made me aware of the weather for the first time and it looked good to me! The temp was 25 C but the important thing was that humidity had dropped from about 95% to 50%. Great news. My first sight of the island was overwhelming. I had only commented to my husband yesterday how New Zealand coast has no cliffs and how the beaches all roll back into the nearby villages and towns. Not true for this little island. Impressive cliffs sheered skywards putting our boat in shadow and letting me see for the first time how brutal this run might be. I felt a little lost at this point. We waited about forty minutes for our bus which drove us to Onetangi beach. I was glad to find another lady from England that was on her own and we sat and chatted our nerves away. Winding over steep, steep hills, struggling up some, chugging up most, my eyes took in everything and I played over and over in my head the words of my email to the race director. 'How hilly is the course?'and his response 'Very. I have included every single Rotorua hill I could find.' This answer, which had confused me so as I knew only of Rotorua as a holiday destination, was found in the words of the people around me. Many use the hills of Waiheke to prepare themselves for the hills for the Rotorua race later in the year. It seemed many of my companions were here as a training run. And then we were there. I think that there were two hours before the race began. Onetangi was a beautiful beach, the one functional building, a cafe, was closed but provided most of us with seats. I sat with my new friend and we drank too much, pee'd too much and talked of our journey to NZ and our families. The time passed slowly but too quickly at the same time. We were called to the start and told the race rules whilst we stretched and fought our nerves. When the gun went off I wanted to run out slowly and that option would have been available but within a few meters the course turned left, past the cafe and away from the beach and the first ascent was on us. As I looked up that first hill I thought that this might be the only chance I get to pass a few people. I knew that the group would spread out quite quickly with many killed by the inclines so I picked up my pace and started picking my way through the group. I felt strong at the top but my breathing was very labored and I used the first downhill to recover my breathing and to think about how I was going to tackle the next uphill. The next one was long and steady with steep areas. I saw people start to walk. 'Hills are my friends' I thought over and over again. I sensed faster runners coming through so I tried to run on the gravel and dirt at the side but it was sloped terrain and I couldn't keep my footing. I had to rejoin the road. The next downhill I passed a few more then slowed in the dip before the uphill to regroup my breathing. This hill was the one that broke me. Long and steep, it started very steep and I probably managed half before I had to walk. In parts the only way I made it up was to put my hands on my thighs and use that to push my body upwards. I walked past many of the runners though and realized that this wasn't a bad tactic. I thought of JK, it seemed a Jake tactic to me and it was working! After the next downhill there was a little bit of flat as we rejoined the coast. I could breathe again! Once I felt I was breathing aerobically again, I picked up the pace and managed to pass a few more. Here I took my first water, having passed the first couple of stations running. You could see the next hill around the corner and it really f&*%ed with my head! I turned into this one and began the ascent, my breathing struggled quickly. Again I made it about halfway and thought I would walk fast and see if it helped. I picked a point in the distance just before the top and decided to run then no matter what. It felt easy when I ran again and the three that had passed me I quickly got ahead of on the downhill as I was re energized from my walk. Sections of the downhill here were really steep and I had to take tiny paces to avoid falling. The next uphill was another killer and I started it with about 35 minutes gone on my watch and no idea how far I had run. It occured to me that if this took me the 1hr 30 I had predicted, I would be doing this for another hour and I knew that I wouldn't make it. I walked the top part of this hill and started to run down the descent, again passing anyone that had passed me during my walk with ease. This downhill was short and then it was up again. I noticed my first kilometer sign. I had run 5k. I was heartbroken. 40 minutes to do 5K and 7K to go. I started to feel sick and wondered if I would finish. The next stretch fortunately saw a period of about 6 minutes running on the almost flat. I felt stronger again and picked up the pace. I get confused a bit here but something amazing happend around one of the corners. I saw the next marker and it read - 4Km to go!. I had misread the last sign. I hadn't run 5k - I had already run 7 at that point and now I had already done 8k. Suddenly I felt on top of the world and the next two hills passed much easier, I really picked up the pace and passed several more runners. The next 2 kms saw the biggest ascent of the course. A 2k long hill that has some very steep sections. Here for the first time we pass through the shopping districts and people are cheering us on. I smell coffee from a shop and wish I was there. This hill is killing me. I walk more than I run and pray for the top. At the top a woman was clapping me on. I wanted to cry a bit here, it seemed too hard. 'It's all downhill from here love' she cried 'run like the wind'. I realised my legs were numb and they felt very shakey but the thought of the descent spurred me on! I rounded the corner hoping desperately for a glimpse of the finish. I found only another hill and for a moment I hated that woman. At the bottom of it a sign - 1km to go. I ran faster, still no feeling in my legs, I could run 1k, it wasn't far. We went around a bend and I expected the finish line - not in sight yet, another bend, I was sprinting now, I just wanted it to stop, but no finish line - my body took over and slowed me to a walk. I looked behind and there was no one for quite a while so I let my body walk and I searched for the end. Suddenly I heard cheering. Over there, just the other side of the bushes. Oh boy I ran. I didn't think I could or would but I so desperately needed this to be over. I finished completely shellshocked to the announcer calling out 'Claire Boyle - from Papatoetoe'. I just couldn't believe that it was over. My watch showed 1 hour ten minutes and 35 seconds. Much much faster than I thought possible on those hills. I don't know when the official times will be posted but my predictions had been... 1:30:00 - if the hills are hard. 1:20:00 - probable finish time 1:13:00 - was the time that the race calculator gave me for a flat course based on my fastest 12K training run I couldn't be happier with my time. I think it was about a 9:28 pace. One of my toes has gone white at the tip and has no feeling still (the next day) and the rest of my toes feel bruised. I am guessing that it's from all the downhill pounding. The white toe is leaking fluid under the nailbed. My right calf is very tight and sore but my quads feel great (just a little tender) so I guess running all those hills (I am tempted to think of them as slopes now) payed off! I bow down to those that ran the 25k, but mostly I bow down to the ultra runner who ran the 25K and then ran back to the start to do a total of 50K as a practice run for his desert ultra coming up. Are you still awake? Claire xxx Ps - I will be back next year. I will aim for the 25K. I will cry at the thought but I will damn well complete the full run if it kills me. Which it possibly will. Anyone want to join me? I have a great photo. I will try and get it scanned and show y'all. Claire xxx
  • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
  • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.


    Now that was a bath...

      By the way that is complete rubbish about my quads. I just tried to stand up and I realised that the only thing stopping me feeling the pain in my thighs is the even worse pain in my right calf. Ouch. What have I done to my poor legs? Claire xxx
    • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
    • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.
      va


        Hi Claire, Congratulations on your great run! Great race report too! Smile Btw, do you have a RA map of the race course? I'd be interested to see the elevation chart.
        Mile Collector


        Abs of Flabs

          Congratulations Claire! That was an awesome job! You even beat the predicted time! It seems like the magic of race day kicked in. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience with us.


          Now that was a bath...

            Hey the map is here - http://www.runningahead.com/maps/b6fb1106b33a4012a39fce507b5271f4 You might need to switch it to KM to have it make sense with the report though Smile
          • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
          • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.


            You'll ruin your knees!

              May I start by saying ouch. That was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. xxx
              OK, now go find something harder.
              I started to feel sick and wondered if I would finish. ... Suddenly I felt on top of the world...
              yeah, it's kindof like that!
              I wanted to cry a bit here, it seemed too hard.
              Happens to me in every race! Claire, you have come such a very long way. Congratulations on a fabulous race and an absolutely wonderful time in a very challenging event. I felt you would do quite well (for sure better than you expected) if your knee didn't act up...by the way how was/is the knee. Put a wrap on the toenail that is leaky...that'll keep it on for the next couple of days. It WILL come off, but you want to leave it in place if possible for 3-5 days at least. Believe me, it'll be better coming off in a few days than now! You can say your goodbyes to it anytime, it is definitely leaving you! As for bowing down to other runners...don't do that. You are an amazing runner and they should be bowing down to you. I guarantee that ultra dude has spent a lot more time preparing than your few weeks! Rest well, oh, and if you have to use stairs, try "backing" down them. It'll help the quads quite a bit. Not too late for an ICE BATH! Congrats, great report! Lynn B

              ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                Congratulations, Claire. You ran a fine race & wrote an excellent report. Great job all around.

                The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

                  Attagirl! Wish i had more time to properly congratulate you - I'll try to get to it on Monday. For now, well done ... I never had a doubt. In fact, a couple days ago when I read one of your posts, I wrote down my prediction on my little calendar here. You were hoping for 1:30, I think - and I knew you were full of crap. But I didn't want to jinx it, so I kept my guess to myself. My guess was 1:09:30. Am I good or what? Can't wait to hear your official time. Bravo, toots.
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                  -----------------------------

                    OK, now go find something harder.
                    What he said. Smile
                    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                    -----------------------------

                      Words fail me. Well done. Smile

                      Roads were made for journeys...

                      bas


                        Claire, I'm impressed! What a way to do your first race! And what a race for a first race! You rock! bas

                        52° 21' North, 4° 52' East


                        My dogs are fast, not me

                          Awesome job, Claire!! Congratulations!! Robin
                          Robin


                          Now that was a bath...

                            Lynn - thanks for the toe advice! Find something harder? On to it already. My English friend told me to try this one...http://www.eventpromotions.co.nz/tough%20guy/index.htm In summary... Course Description The course is based at the beautiful Lakes Ranch venue, just north east of Rotorua. The full course is ten kilometres, (two 5km laps),and is based on an "Army type obstacle course". You can run, walk, push, crawl or climb through a variety of natural and man made obstacles. The course includes water trails, a rope climb, mud slide, crawl under barbed wire, a tricky wire rope bridge, unbelievable native bush trails, paddock running, swamp crossing and more mud. The course has been designed for you to complete and have one of the most memorable experiences of your life. And so much more between now & then Big grin Thanks everyone for being so supportive. I am sure that I have made more fuss about my first race than - well than anyone ever has! I joked to my husband on the way there yesterday that I bet you are all dreading me doing a longer race. I haven't shut up about this one! Jake - you quite clearly are the man. I'll be keeping my finger's crossed that my 'official' time is closer to your guess than my watch. And hey - your advice got me up those hills so i have to thank you for that! Claire xxx
                          • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
                          • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.
                              Claire, I am so happy for you. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this race vicariously through your posts! Can't wait to hear about your next challenge! WTG!

                              Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




                              Go With The Flow
                              Thyroid Support Group

                                Great run--well done! I thoroughly enjoyed your report--very inspiring! You gave it your max effort, and it paid max dividends. Way to go.
                                My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                                123