So as stated in my other blogs, I was going into Tauranga Half seriously underdone in the running department due to a hip stress fracture so the plan was to take the run pretty easy, walk the aid stations and basically just see how it went.
My swimming hasn't been going particularly swimmingly since the Teps closed but I thought things were going a bit better recently - apparently not. I managed to keep up with the tail end of the Pro field for a while but was pretty much on my own after about 300m and then got engulfed by the age-group men after about 400m who started 2mins behind... There were heaps of teeny-tiny jellyfish which felt pretty gross but I didn't see any big ones and apparently there was a shark spotted in the bay while we were swimming - awesome. Came out of the water in 34mins which seems to be my new norm. In 2009 I swam 31something, if only I could get back to that level... As usual RooRoo was all lonely as the only bike left on the Pro racks...
Tauranga Half is known as a bit of draft-fest with huge packs that form mostly with age-group men. After about 5km I had a couple of boyfriends which I picked up or they picked up me, and by 10km there about 20 of us. The pack just grew and grew and was a bit ridiculous with people riding two abreast and freewheeling. I tried to stay at the back so I could keep a bit of distance but it was hard and I did find myself a tad close at times, and one of those times a marshal happened to pop up next to me and blew his little whistle and showed me a yellow card. Whoopsies!! I think I must have been at least 4m from the back of the guy in fronts rear wheel which is just slightly inside the draft zone, I certainly wasn't right up his bum like some people were riding. They then gave one penalty out to a guy in the bunch and that was it, which pissed me off a bit because there were a lot of people who were way closer than me. So I served my time in the naughty corner and then continued on my way for the last 25km.
Too be honest I wasn't really too concerned about the penalty since I knew it wasn't going to be a great race for me anyway and I had a nice chat to the volunteers who where working the naughty corner. One of our friends also got a drafting penalty and he said the guys who were serving their time were mouthing off at the volunteers which is so unfair on them, they had nothing to do with it. Hopefully they followed the rule of the clock starts when the mouth stops.
Anyway I came off the bike in a couple of minutes faster than last year in 2hrs27 + 3mins in the naughty corner.
My power wasn't too bad for a flat course so I was still working reasonably hard even with the group and wasn't just coasting along.
This was to be my moment of truth. I started out nice and easy and the leggies felt ok. I kept to my rule of walking the aid stations, I didn't feel like I needed to but it was nice knowing that I was allowed. I got passed by a few people including girls, which is not something I am used to on the run, but I managed to deal with it. At the half way mark I was 52mins something so nice and steady 5min/kms, everything seemed to feeling alright, leggies were getting a bit tired but no pain. The second lap was pretty much the same, I knew heaps of people racing and spectating so it was always nice to see a familiar face. Once I got off the mount for the second time and had 1km to go I cranked it up a bit to about the pace I should have run and finished on a strong note in 1hr45 - perfect pacing!! The highlight of the run was seeing my sports physician Tony Edwards who said I wouldn't be racing at Tauranga, he was surprised to see me.
Total time was 4hrs53 which is actually a PB for me but had I been fit I should have been at least 10mins quicker.
|How I am supposed to look when I run|
J-rad lost the Bowden family battle after letting Davo get away on the bike, Neilio rode well to make up for his detonation last year, Nick got a bit closer to the Bowdens than their liking but the biggest props go to Jess for wining her AG, being the fastest local and having the fastest bike and run times for AG women - look out IMNZ!!
|I have some ouchies from my race belt. Ouch.|