Round the Bays: It's D-Day


I don't think I've quite comprehended that the race is on Sunday. I have carefully tucked the fact into the back recesses of my brain, along with other unpalatable truths - like the fact that I haven't been to the dentist in five years and there's probably six fillings and a $3000 bill waiting for me.

But, like my oral health procrastination, it is the kind of thing that will come back to bite me sooner than later.

This week I have been extraordinarily slack on training. I've told myself it's because I'm winding down and giving myself a bit of a rest before the real hard work sets in. The truth is I'm actually just feeling plain lazy - it has been a fairly big week for me at work and the last thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning is go for a 30 minute run, even though I know it will probably get some endorphins pumping through to my brain and make the rest of the day more enjoyable. That extra hour of sleep is just too tempting.

So my last biggish run before the event was on Sunday - a 40 minute jog along Tamaki Drive, partly to get a bit of a feel for the actual race.  I went with my workmate who has kindly promised to jog with me on race day, even though her fitness level extends quite far beyond mine. When I say 40 minute jog, I think my friend would testify that it was probably a 20 minute jog broken into four pieces and that it took a fair amount of coaxing from her to get me to run the last 20m.

We're aiming to complete the run in under an hour. I've long accepted it will actually still have to be a walk-run kind of venture because about the longest I've ever gone without needing a break is still just 2kms. I was about to write "how embarrassing", but when I think that just over 6 weeks ago I would have been lucky to be able to run to the dairy to grab a chocolate bar, I'm going to chalk that up as an achievement.

I am hoping somehow I will surprise myself and pull out some stamina on the day. I know one thing for sure - it will not be a big St Patrick's night this year...

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Sunday is D-Day and I can't decide whether I'm nervous or ambivalent.

It's only 8.4km but the reality is I'm still not that fit and while it's not a terrible test of endurance I'm sure I'll be pretty blown by the end of it.

When I started "training" about five weeks ago I said I wanted to do it in 37 minutes, knocking 10 minutes off my pre-"training" base time - but I now see that was foolish.

My "training" habits haven't been as exhaustive as I would've liked though I'm aware that I have no-one to blame for that but life and myself.

In short, while I have no concerns about being able to run it, I won't be doing so at any sort of brisk pace.

I figure I'll get another reasonable length run in tonight, rest up on Saturday then hurl myself at it on Sunday.

One thing I'll be sure to do is have a decent breakfast before kick off - a hard lesson I learned when I ran a half marathon in Napier about five years ago.

I was fairly fit at the time and while I was only running around 10km a session I was playing rugby at the time as well so figured I had it in me.

The week before the run, the mate I was supposed to do it with pulled out then the night before, my flatmates held a bit of a shindig. Supportive they were not.

I woke up late the morning of the run and didn't have time to eat so shot down to the starting line and got into it. It was hard yakka throughout and around 17km into it I hit the wall. Other runners had support crews on the sidelines with drinks and the like but I hadn't thought that far ahead.

I remember passing an old teacher of mine before the half-way turning point then him passing me about 4km from home. That was humbling.

I finished the run but that last stretch was a real test and I felt rubbish the rest of the day and swore I wouldn't make the same mistake again.

So I'll be having a decent feed.

I'll also be making sure my shoes are comfy, my shorts won't chaffe and that I'm well hydrated and warmed up. Also, don't sunscreen your forehead as when you sweat it can dribble into your eyes and that's the pits.

All told I'm looking forward to it.

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