RAK 2017 in the bag

Another RAK half marathon isΒ done and dusted… but this time I was not able to get a PB on the run. I’m a little upset at myself for not getting it, but I know that I have not put in the proper training and amount of mileage needed in order to get that PB, so considering that I at least managed to finish faster than my half in November, I’m satisfied with the outcome.

As always, I spent Thursday night in RAK (this time with Nat) and got a good night’s sleep in a comfy hotel bed before the big day!

We were up bright and early, eating our oats for breakfast and then met up with friends who were running in their first half marathon! Exciting!!!

Our hotel was only 1.1 km’s from the start / finish line so we walked across, and headed straight for our start chute, and waited for the gun to go off and set us all on our way.

My plan was to aim for 5:30 – 5:40 km pace, for as much as possible, knowing that at that pace I was certain to get a sub-2 hour finish time. And my first 10 km’s were bang on!

But once I was just past 10 km’s I felt uneasy in my breathing and had to take a short walk break. I picked it up again after only a few meters, but by the time I got to 12 km’s, based on how I’d slowed down in that time, I knew I was not likely to get under 2 hours…. but if I could just stick to under 6 minutes per km, I was sure that I would still be in line for a PB.

I kept at it, but once again somewhere after 13 km’s I had to stop and walk again. I grew frustrated at myself here but knew that I had a very long way to go, and I was not going to let this race get the better of me. All I had to do was make sure I slowed down and kept to a steady pace… slow and steady.

With the new layout of the course, the 15 km mark is on the opposite side of the road to the start / finish line, so as I was coming up to that mark there were tons of spectators around, giving off such a fantastic vibe (even though it was mostly for the runners on the other side of the road who were crossing the finish line), but I then heard my name and turned to see a friend standing there, cheering for me πŸ™‚ What a way to give a girl her second wind! I immediately felt strength surge through my legs and lungs and off I went.

I got to about 17 km’s and felt the wheels loosen a bit again… another small walk break was needed. And then I was off again, turning the corner, only 3 km’s to go. You’ve got this!

Er, no you don’t. Only a few hundred meters along and yet another walk break was needed 😦

This was just before 19 km’s and I then told myself that it’s just 2 km’s to go – you can run the rest of the way! Go girl!

But once again a tiny walk break was needed while I still could not see the finish line, but then, not far ahead of me I could see the 20 km mark – I was not going to be walking when I reached that, and there was no way that I would walk within this last km!

I shoved out all bad thoughts and put one foot in front of the other, gave the 20 km mark a high five as I ran past – once again hearing my friend cheer me on from the side line πŸ™‚ – and pushed my way over that finish line, managing a strong (almost) sprint for the last hundred meters or so, and finished in a time of 2:05:15 πŸ™‚

About to cross the finish line

About to cross the finish line

Done and dusted!

Done and dusted!

Week 52 – Goodbye 2016!

Not exactly the blog post I’d have imagined my final Something New for 2016 to be, however there’s been nothing new that I’ve done this week.

So, to keep things alive for the very last few days of this year, I thought I’d wrap up on what’s happened in 2016 – which is something that I’ve never done before πŸ™‚

And boy what a year it has been – from the deaths of some great music legends (Prince, David Bowie, George Michael to name a few), to some big names in celeb-ville (Mohammad Ali, Allan Rickman, Gene Wilder a.k.a Willy Wonka, and even Fidel Castro!), it’s been a shocker of a year!

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But, it’s thankfully not been all doom and gloom. While it’s not necessarily been a great year for me, it hasn’t been outright awful and I’ve accomplished some greats in my running, and ticked a few things off the bucket list πŸ™‚

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I’ve spent the year surrounded by fantastic friends, travelled to some great places and have spent some real quality time with my family too.

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These last few days of 2016 are going to also be spent surrounded by some fabulous friends sharing my birthday with me, and seeing the new year in the only way I know how – having a huge party, ending with a bang, and spending 1 January lying on the couch, watching marnie re-runs and stuffing our faces with pizza πŸ˜‰

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And so I end this post off wishing all of my readers a super Happy New Year for 2017! May it bring you happiness, love, laughter and friendship ❀

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Another race, another PB!

I seem to be on fire at the moment!

I ran a 10km race this past weekend and got another personal best in the race πŸ™‚ This time only by about 90 seconds or so, but a PB is a PB!

A few weeks ago I had already decided that I was going to go for a PB on this race, and said to myself that if I get it then that’s awesome, and if I don’t then I have to at least know that I tried and that something went wrong on race day.

After the last few races going really well (a PB in the half marathon at RAK and a very sore, but great half marathon in Hatta), I knew that I had a good chance. I worked out what I needed my pace to be on race day to cut just a few seconds off and I worked on that.

The night before the race was a fabulous chilled one at home with the housemates and a couple of other friends, watching TV, eating pasta dinner and a few cheeky chocolates, and then off to bed at a respectable hour for a good night’s sleep.

The alarm went off in the morning and I had to drag myself out of bed – thankfully it was a race, and I was fetching Nat so there wasn’t that much temptation to crawl back under the covers… and knowing that it’s warmed up outside definitely helped too πŸ˜‰

We got to the race and did our warm up and then headed to the start line… I kept chanting “55” to myself – that was my time I was aiming for. 55 minutes. 5:30 / kilometer. I can do this.

The first 4 km’s were under 5:30 which was great, then the 5th was only 5:31 so no panic there. By the 6th km I knew that I had a PB in the bag provided nothing went wrong from here.

And then just before the 7th km I got a really bad stitch in my side and IΒ had to walk a little bit… but I knew that I had a few seconds to play with so I was able to give myself a few seconds to walk it off, and then was at it again about 20 m or so down the course.Β At about 8km’s the stitch made another appearance but this time nowhere near as bad so I just ran through it, knowing that it’s only 2km’s to go!

Of course the photographer got one of me walking my stitch off 😦

I hit the 9km mark and started to pick up my pace… Nat saw me come around the second last corner and she ran with me for a bit, encouraging me on the way – I had this!

I turned the last corner and I gunned it… finishing strong with a time of 54:19!

Coming into the finish line

Coming into the finish line

My 10km PB :)

My 10km PB πŸ™‚

And then just for fun, while we were waiting for the awards, Nat suggested that I have a photo on the podium… so after a bit of convincing I thought “Why the hell not?! I’ve done really well in my last few runs so I may as well enjoy a 1st place for fun” HA!

(not really) First place

(not really) First place

** The photos taken of me while running are courtesy of the organisers of the race