And now to my last ‘race’ of 2013. I had wanted to add another one in December (the Tour de Tamborine 10k) but I had to make a deal with Simon: another race where we’d need to spend the night down the coast before it (the race started at 7am) or new running shoes. New running shoes FTW!
The PWC Cool Night Classic starts around 5pm in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, crossing the Goodwill Bridge to South Bank, past the entertainment precinct, back across the river at Victoria Bridge and onto the bike way, before making its way back to the gardens.
Later start time? Check. Cooler weather? Check. Extra training and feeling stronger? Check. Feeling rested and motivated? Check. New playlist? Check. All ready to PR and go under 38 minutes? Check! Check! Check!
I wanted my playlist to be more fun so I cannibalised my Twilight list and added some more dance inspired tracks:
Zedd featuring Foxes “Clarity”
Katy Perry “Roar”
Pink “So What”
Blink 182 “All The Small Things”
Leftfield “Song of Life”
Mat Zo featuring Porter Robinson “Easy”
Pink “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”
Gym Class Heroes “The Fighter”
Redlight King “Comeback”
Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais “Summertime Sadness”
Pink “Raise Your Glass”
Before shot! Simon turned it into a ‘photoshoot’ telling me to ‘Work it, baby’, to which I collapsed into laughter. By the time I got to this point I was nervous and I was putting extra pressure on myself. The route seemed relatively flat and I was feeling strong. I could run for 15 minutes plus now, surely I had this in the bag?
There were more than a few people at this race. The start line was in the middle of those trees, funneling all of these people into the gardens proper. It wasn’t a nice start but running into the gardens was a good contrast and I kept running and running.
I was feeling pretty happy until I hit the first bridge. Simon had tried (repeatedly) to warn me that the bridges weren’t as flat as I had in my head but I didn’t listen. The first bridge has a rather steep incline and I was winded before I got even a quarter up it. I was kicking myself for abandoning my hill training. So, I walked about half of the bridge and I made myself start running again. I ran about half of South Bank before my legs really, really hurt. I’d set RunKeeper to give me 10 minute run intervals with a one minute walk. I’d skipped the first walk and took a couple of smaller ones at this point. I ran to the next bridge and allowed myself to walk up the spiral ramp to the top, and across half of the bridge.
My memory is hazy but I think I ran most of the remainder of the route, with maybe one walk break. The reason I say ‘my memory is hazy’ is that my shins were incredibly painful. I was wearing my Skins running tights but it wasn’t enough. It was sheer force of will that kept me going and the hope that I might PR. RunKeeper had lost the satellites as I’d run over bridges and under roads, so it was telling me I had done almost 7km and I had no idea what my pace was or how much time had passed from when I’d run across the timer mat. Frustrated and in pain I came around the bottom corner before the finish and I barely had anything left to push. I was gutted and barely responded to Simon when he found me.
After a sweaty hug, a long overdue bathroom stop and some water, I could smile and say I had done another 5k in 2013. I kept updating my phone for the results but in my frustration I couldn’t find the right spot. It took me two days to actually find out that yes, I had PR’d.
See how crazy that start was? It took almost four minutes before I crossed the timer mat from the start gun.
It wasn’t in the 37s but it was close and I beat myself up for my walk breaks and ‘what if …’ but it is what it is. I ran through some very painful shin splints, unexpected inclines and around some idiotic guys who could have very easily hurt people with their antics, but I didn’t quit and it was an improvement on my 5k time this year.
I saw my osteo the week after this race and my shins were still quite tender. He advised me to not run for a few weeks to give them time to heal, that I had pushed them and if I kept going I would very likely do permanent damage. I want running to be something sustainable over the long term, so as much as it was difficult to stop running after making so much progress, I did stop. Guilian suggested cross training, maybe cycling and swimming for more low impact cardio.
And so began my next adventure!