Monday, 20 March 2017

Race Report: Twilight Run 10km (and Uni Life)

Hey look, I’m back! This ol’ blog site hasn’t quite gone 10 feet under yet, but without a doubt my posts will be few and far between. The reason that I'm back is the fact I ran my first 10km race in about 2(ish) years last night.

The finish line. Photo Credit Meng Li
The reason for running in a ‘road race’ (yuck, what an awful term) is to see where I'm at in terms of training. For the past 2 months I’ve been in my ‘base building’ phase. A lot of easy k’s within the aerobic zone (for me that’s around the 5min/km mark on flat), just trying to have something I can work off for the rest of the year. And I get to finally start specifically training for the Gold Coast Marathon next week, so exciting times. But as part of the base building, I haven’t really done much speed work and if I want to achieve my goal of breaking 3 hours for the marathon, I’m going to need to be speedy. This race was all about that. Speed. So the goal was to break 40 minutes, as I’ve only ever done that once a few years ago when I was still doing track work. But since this race means nothing to me in the grand scheme of things, I needed to try and do it without destroying myself, so I could jump straight back into training the next day.

3 days before the race I jumped onto the UQ track to do a 2km at 4min/km, then with a 5 min break, a 3km at 4min/km and during that race-pace session the signs weren’t good about me breaking 40 mins. The first 2km were easy but I really struggled with the 3km rep, only just making the required 12 mins. Not good. The only thing I hoped that would change come Sunday is the fact I’d be running with other people, and this would help me get across the line in the desired time.
Sunday rolls around and it rains, a lot - putting the humidity through the roof, but since the race was held in the late afternoon, at least it wasn’t too hot (in Brisbane terms, it was still 26°C, I’m sure I’ll get used to the heat eventually 😜)
The course
 My race plan was this; as I didn’t know how long I could hold out for pace wise, start out and try and hold 3.50min/km for the first 3km and try and have a 30 second buffer, then drop back to 4min/km, save some energy for the short climb at the 8km point, then depending on how I’m going time wise, either push hard to try and break 40min, or take it cruisy to get across the line. Not quite what happened. I didn’t anticipate the first 3km to be the twistiest of the course (have a look of the course map, you’ll understand what I mean). So I was about 10 seconds behind schedule at the 3km point. But what I also didn’t expect is to have such a strong 4th, 5th and 6th km. I was really happy being around the 3.50 mark and it feeling easy. There was a bit of a head wind that picked up for the final 4 km’s, but when I crossed the bridge and hit 9km at 35.12 I knew that unless I injured myself, there would be no way I wasn’t going to cross the line over 40 mins, so I took my foot off the pedal and cruised home, knowing that training would start again the next day.
I ended up coming home in an official 39.16, which got me 31/1569 and 3rd in the 18-19 category. So happy! Thanks to the vollies at all the aid stations whom gave out water so I could douse myself and not die from the humidity, and to the race organisers. A great event!

On a completely separate note, uni! Most of you who are reading this would realise that I relocated from Sale, Victoria to Brisbane to continue my education and that I’m currently studying Exercise and Sport Science at the Uni of Qld, while residing at King’s College. How’s it going so far? Yeah, pretty good. O-week was hectic, but it terms of stripping the freshers down and building us back up again, a similar program run by Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse probably does it a bit better (then again, LSC&PH also does have over 100 staff to support the 100 people going through the camp compared to 40 or so King’s leaders to the 140ish freshers, the King’s leaders did a good job!) O-week helped me to create a lot of new friendships which is exactly what I needed moving to a completely new area, not knowing anyone. And life at the college since then has been great, there’s a real sense of mateship amongst everyone that resides here. Everyone is proud to get around each other at all the sporting events and represent the ‘Wyvern’ (the college ‘mascot’ as it were). And there’s always something on, which can get in the way of studies. Speaking of which, studying. I thought going back to hit the books after a year off would be fairly hard, but for me it isn’t, especially since the content is so relevant to what I do as a sports enthusiast. It also helps that a lot of the content that’s been covered in these first few weeks across all my courses is stuff I’ve already learned in year 12 (except for the chemistry, god how I hate chemistry). Almost everything is sweet, my only bugbear is the hierarchy within the college. 1st years are at the bottom of the pile, 3rd years at the top. Which for all intents and purposes I’m happy with, the longer you’re here, the more respect you’re given. The only issue is that I’m (for the most part) 2 years older than most of the freshers (so many 17 year olds, I thought I left that back in high school haha), which means that I’m the age of a lot 3rd year college students. I’m still trying to figure out how I fit into the scheme of things, but I’ll get there eventually!

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