Monday, 10 December 2007

At least i finished

Having not raced for 6 weeks (or 4 if you include my 5K Gunn run which really hard to think of as a race compared to my standard Ultra), wasn't really sure what to expect. I seemed to be almost over my cold but had a few psychological issues with the knee (maybe i'm not used to double storey houses and sloping blocks but i seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time putting pressure on that knee and being reminded of it by the pain). Woke at 3.30 for the 5AM start (very used to being used to being woken by the sun at 4:30 so was surprised to wake 5 minutes before the alarm - obviously my body still knew what to do on raceday) and was there with 30 minutes to spare. I knew this one race where wearing a top is a waste of time (because of the humidity and i suppose i should add that is for the male runners :-D) so was a little taken aback when given a paper race number instead of the usual texta on the shoulder. Still i bent the number to fit the shorts. Quite a large field (heaps of relay runners fleshing it out), with plenty of familiar faces as well as an obvious race favourite in David Eadie, and we were off pretty much on time unlike last year. Was running comfortably as i assumed many of the bolters were relay runners and had found a good rhythm by the time i passed early starter Steel Beveridge at North Palm Beach. From then on it was a very humid slog southwards, passed by the occasional solo runner and numerous relay runners but as usual feeling at home on this stretch which does make it easier. I think i did the first half purely on water (i could be wrong towards the end memories are vague) and knew that i'd be hanging out for Coke (yeah i know i should call it "Cola" all my requests for coke on the way back must have made the aid station people think that i Ben Cousins having a bad day). From the turn it was a case of don't get windburn as relay runners flew past, but that did spur me on and gradually i did get some to pace myself against. By Palm Beach i was hot and steamy but much happier with my run and as usual running on the highway rather than the footpath (dead easy to work out my state of mind when running when i'm not confident i'd be on the footpath but once i feel that usual aggression and arrogance it's off to the road!). Chasing a couple of relay runners from 15th Ave to Tallebudgera SLSC had definitely made me push myself more than was wise so i had a long drink at that aid station (always fired up that next section as i recall how one of the great iconic live music venues, The Playroom, is now a carpark as i run past). The climb up to the Burleigh aid station made me feel the knee for the first very thankful Nic had a beer waiting there to wash down all that coke. The beer "inspired" me till North Burleigh but the hill and steps just about finished the knee. At that point i was passed by GCRR Keith (obviously with more heat tolerance than me wearing long skins !), walked a little but eventually the knee let me run again so it was off to that incredibly expensive cauldron Hedges Avenue. Finally at around 4 and a half hours i was finished (not only in the sense of the race but physically and pretty much mentally !) a massive PW and over an hour behind Davids 3:25, still i was just happy to finish in the end. Got a chance to catch up with alot of people so the next couple of hours flew till presentations and the exhausted drive. Didn't know how exhausted i was till i got home, lay down on couch watching golf on tv with ceiling fan going full blast for the next 4 hours, too worn out to do anything else. Eventually worked up the energy at 4 to wander down the local Dominos for a $3.95 hawaiin pizza (timed nicely to see how Aussie superhorse Miss Andretti went in Hong Kong - unfortunately she did no better than me still the TAB side trip meant my pizza was waiting for me). Paddling along the beach eating pizza, definitely the best i'd felt all day:-D. Even more humid today so not giving any thought to what's next, at least the body now feels half decent and a sense of relief that this long racing year is over (and no talk of next year or injuries for at least a week).

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