I do like to keep a general level of fitness, because if I'm going to stick around for upwards of ninety years, I'd like to avoid getting creaky as long as possible. My yoga practice back home in Denver brought me the lovely trifecta of friendship, fitness and spirituality. Our bank account can't justify a yoga practice in Australia--so my fitness here consists of meeting at the beach once a week for an exercise session designed by my
City2Surf is the world's largest running race--let's face it, I'm never going to enter the world's longest race, so it might as well be the largest. Riding on the coattails of my sprint triathlon last fall, I had looked forward to our trip to Australia and thought it would be great to participate in an event while we were there.
And then I proceeded to basically do no exercise until June 20, when I registered for the race. The City2Surf route begins in downtown Sydney and finishes up at Bondi Beach; a great way to enjoy the gorgeous city of Sydney. And I had a whopping 7.5 weeks to get used to running 14km; not so bad, even for someone who really doesn't like running.
So in the meantime, I wisely spent my energy doing lots of agonizing and procrastinating, along with a teensy bit of running. You see, I'm lazy at heart, and I simply don't have a lot of motivation to run any sort of distance on my own. I manage about 4km and then feel...done. And when I feel done, why should I go any further? Thankfully, the large majority of humanity doesn't suffer from this affliction. Surely this gene isn't selected for, or else we as a society would still be living in caves and grunting monosyllabic words.
While I wish I could say that I was able to muster up a miraculous and vigorous inner strength and follow a strict solo running plan to train for the event, it's simply not the case. Instead, my runner friend Kylie took mercy upon me and slummed it with me for a few runs--even though it meant that she was doubling up on her runs with her real running partner. Suddenly, I was scheduled for a 8km run (which was great), a 10km run (which I despised every step of after the 7km mark but finished it only because Kylie was running with me), and a final 10km run last weekend (that felt great). Of course, there was lots of agonizing before each of these runs. After the last one, the agonizing continued because it was my final shot to run a longer distance and I was still 4km shy of where I needed to be. Also, since Kylie was running in a different category than I was, I would be alone for the real race--amongst the massive throngs of other runners, of course--but this was still worrisome.
. . . .
This morning I awoke a few minutes before my 4:15am alarm and braved the insane gusty winds occurring in these parts to stand around for 2.5 hours until my start time--it turns out, 85,000 people take quite a bit of time to get over a finish line, even if they're neatly divided up into categories and locations in an intersection.
|one section of runners, as far as the eye can see and beyond|
My goal for the race was to not walk, and my best case scenario was to have the same pace I had in my earlier runs, right around 6 min/km. My unofficial time was right around 88 minutes, averaging 6:08/km.
Not speedy, but for a non-runner, I'll take it.
And Kylie, I absolutely couldn't have done it without your help. Thank you!