July ended with a heavy training and work load as I built towards some short flatter and hopefully faster running.
I had some big weeks at work and the heavy load from all angle took its toll for a couple of days but I managed to do 5 weeks of solid training hitting close to all goals before the lead in to the Australian half marathon champs on the Sunshine Coast.
I was also fortuanate enough to be sent the new road shoe from Salomon – the Running Avenue and the Running Avenue Pro to try out. And what awesome shoes they were! I found there slightly lighter but more cushioned Running Avenue was ideal for my longer slower runs and the pro was nice and responsive for my quicker efforts- being spoilt for choice I elected to use the Pro for the half- mindful I had 4 races coming up and recovery between them would be impertitive.
Race day arrived and I felt excited to race..always a good sign for me! I started out strong and up the first hill I maintained a good form and felt comfortable – I knew- just from the feeling and responsiveness in my legs- I was going to have a solid day. I tacked onto some guys through the first few kms and at the first u turn I counted myself in 3rd..though I was convinced I was 4th as the speedy Virginia had ran past me warming up so I thought she must have been out the front with the boys. The next 14ks saw me overtake the girl in front and sit with a Tasmania guy slowly catching the groups ahead until he took a gel and was gone into the distance!
I stayed strong through the next turn around but did start to feel the pinch with the headwind and long lonely stretch of road great for playing mental games with you..at times like this I think of my hard training, my turnover and how many minutes to go! Pain is temporary…
Coming into the final stretch I couldn’t help but grin – I had finished 2nd!! Not collapsing over the line was also a good sign- I had ran controlled strong and to my potential on the day and now a runner up in an Australian champiosnhip!
Staying with my Aunty and Uncle made life much easier! The next morning I got up and ran the Kiama coastal track an awesome 10km stretch along the ocean with close to 400m of elevation along the cliff tops just south of Kiama..magic!
I did a leg stretch at the Shellharbour Parkrun on a gorgeous morning before putting the legs up before the 2pm race.
The course and whole atmosphere brought back great memories of school x country! The pace was hot from the start on a tough dead track- I went out a bit too optimistically and blew up badly at 5k and suffered home into 14th- I hadn’t had that lactic burn in ages!
The time was slow but I had nothing more to give- sometimes the legs don’t wanna play! Lessons can be learned though and it made me keen to keep working on some speed! The the race can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/AthleticsNSW/videos/1792287217466620/
So Augest is almost done with the next 2 weekends involving a 14k Canberra times fun run and then the surfcoast 50k!
Then it will be another month of hard yards as I build towards the Melbourne half marathon and hopefully get close to 1.15!
Get out and play!