Monday, 4 November 2013

Auckland Marathon Race recap

I did it! Marathon number 3 done and dusted. Here are some highlights from my weekend and the recap of the marathon.

Saturday we headed down to Auckland to peruse the race expo - I always love me a good expo all about running!

Free smoothies - Yusss!

A future runner? This dude LOVED the expo!
And to have a lunch with these lovely ladies - fellow runners and bloggers:

So awesome to hang with a great group of girls as crazy about running (and blogging) as I am :)
From left: 
Me
Michelle from Run Kiwi Run
Sheryll from Run to the Mountains
Check these awesome runners and bloggers out. I had a blast with them at lunch!

The rest of Saturday involved some serious prep (making sure everything was ready as I knew my brain would be off until at least 10kms into the run) and some serious relaxing.

Race Day:

It was a 6.10am start - this is way too early if you ask me but then it's nice not to be running in the real heat of the day. I slept terribly the night before because my alarm was set for the middle of the night 3.45am (what the heck!?!) and I didn't want to miss it. I haven't been up at that time of the night since I had a new born!



We wanted to be all ready to get to the start in case there were traffic delays, and for the all important last minute toilet stops. At the house, before leaving, because of all my nerves, I had a few issues with (ahem) my tummy. I didn't think anything of it at the time, just that it was nerves. Turns out that because of that I didn't really have much in the tank to run on... But I will get to that.

It was a glorious morning, such a beautiful sunrise and the start is at the most gorgeous spot on the waterfront in Devonport.


I was wanting to start with the 4.15 pace group as this was my goal. Well my goal was really just to beat my PB of 4:19, but with how well my training went I thought I would be on track to run a 4:15 no worries. Something must have happened last minute and I never saw a 4:15 pacer so just went off my Garmin for my pace. Right from the very beginning my stomach did just not feel that great. I think it was too empty and, despite all the hydrating I did the WHOLE week before, I continually felt thirsty and dehydrated. Eek!

Heading over the bridge was amazing, the weather was perfect (hot, but still great) and the view was awesome. I was on track for my 4:15.

I hit the half way mark at 2:09, 3 minutes slower than I should be for 4:15, but that's ok, there are no hills in the second half so I should be able to hold this pace. The turn around point was at just over 31kms. This is the hardest part I think. It feels like it just takes forever to get to that turn around and the whole time you're watching runners going back the other way wishing like heck it was you!

But I got there and then I was on the home straight. I got to the turn around in 3hrs 15. I was a bit gutted because I knew I was out of reach for a 4:15 and probably even a PB but I was still confident I could get in around 4:20 which I would have been happy with. Then at around 34kms I hit a small wall. Not the wall, but perhaps just a little fence. I needed fuel, and bad. I just had no desire whatsoever to take my gels. Just the thought of thick sugary goo just made me feel queasy so I stuck it out to the drink station where I had powerade or coke (who would have thought coke was so awesome in a marathon, I hate it any other time!) and water - plenty of water!

I kept on at a very sluggish pace, but I was running all the same. Then I really hit the wall at around 37kms. This is also where I lost the 4:30 pacer - gutted again! I knew there was only 5.2 kms to go but boy was I struggling. I wanted to cry, like seriously. What am I, a girl!?

I run/walked until around 39kms where I told myself I just needed to man up and get to the finish so I could stop! I saw Tim at 40kms and he ran with me to the finish. I was so sore by this point and my mind had given up, if he wasn't with me I don't know if I would have run that whole way so I was very thankful to see him and have his encouragement.

The finish is in sight!

My best supporter!
I finished in 4:37:08. And still beat the 4:30 pacer... Say whaaat!? I am so happy I finished it and I am happy with that time (now). I actually felt really terrible at the end and ended up having to lie on the nearest patch of grass for a while before I felt ok to get up. Haha. Once I got over feeling so ill and the fact that I felt like my time didn't reflect how well I trained, I actually was really happy to have done it and in that time. And hey, it's a course PB!

I am really proud of myself for my accomplishment only 8 months after having a baby. It's not a PB but it sure is a damn fine achievement. Heck, a marathon is a marathon and not all races will be best ones but I am sure there will be plenty more where that came from :)

And the best part about the finish? Having this guy there to celebrate with:
He just wanted to get his hands (and gums) on that medal - he is totally going to be a runner!
Thanks to all you lovely people who supported me and encouraged me through this whole journey. The last 4 months have been awesome!

21 comments:

  1. Massive congratulations Rachael! What an awesome achievement, running a full marathon so soon after having a baby! I am honestly in awe of your determination! Roll on the next one! :)

    See you again soon, hopefully!

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    1. Thanks Vera! Yes, I am quite proud of my achievements. Having a baby in my life definitely puts a whole new spin on it all and i have learned a LOT. Hope to see you in Kerikeri :)

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  2. Congratulations! Things don't always go as we would like them to on race day but the important thing is that you hung in there and you finished! Great job and I think it is awesome that Tim ran you in to the finish!

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    1. Definitely! We live and learn, or should I say run and learn :) Yes! I have the best hubby :)

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  3. Awesome recap Rach! well done! I saw a heap of marathon hobblers at the end- and guess what? I wanted to be one of them? well not necessarily a hobbler but run a full marathon and push my body to the extreme. I pretty much loved every part of my first half marathon, and definitely have the running bug! yah for me! :)
    Have loved reading your blog the last few months and it has definitely helped me stay in the game and was a great source of tips and inspiration so thanks heaps and heaps for writing about what you love.

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    1. Thanks Nadine! So cool that you got the bug, it's awesome huh! Such a thrill and sense of accomplishment and achievement. You must have done well then :)
      So glad you enjoy the blog and that you have found a few gems from it! It helped me get through my marathon knowing that my readers would be wanting to know how I went, so that was encouragement enough :)

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  4. way to go rach! you are awesome!

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  5. Well done for sticking it out! Did you end up getting a Garmin?

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    1. Thanks! No, my friend lent me hers again :)

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  6. I am in awe! Beautiful baby, fantastic supporting husband, and hey lady! You ran a freakin' marathon!!! Go you!!! Considering this is your third marathon, and the first after having had a baby only eight months ago, that is one serious achievement. Congratulations! It was so nice meeting you all, thank you so much for setting that up. I look forward to seeing you again some time :)

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    1. Thanks!!! I agree with the beautiful baby and fantastic hubby bit :) Thanks so much for the encouragement, you are awesome! One day I may even be able to run a halfy as speedy as you :) Loved meeting you too, can't wait for the next one x

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  7. Well done! It was hot out there. I spotted Tim at Vic Park as I was hobbling away and he said he was going to look for you :) I am shattered after the half and felt ill enough (despite training!!) so am amazed by your marathon achievements! Thanks for arranging Saturday, was awesome to talk running with a bunch of like-minded ladies, plus your wee boy (and Tim!).

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    1. thank you! it was SO hot! Yes, Tim mentioned that he saw you, how did you go? Saturday was so much fun, definitely will have to be a an annual thing at least :)

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  8. Congratulations Rach. You did awesome. There are not that many people who could do a marathon whether they had an 8 month old or not! Be proud, we are!

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    1. Thanks Tans, your kind words mean a lot! I am very proud and really appreciate all the encouragement :)

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  9. Congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment! Take some well deserved rest time with your little man :)

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  10. Just awesome Rachel - I'm so impressed and proud of you! Big hug!
    We are going to have to watch out for your son in the future - look at his little legs go in that first photo, and he can't wait to get his hands on a marathon medal!
    Love the photo with Tim pacing you to the finish, what an awesome gesture, you do look strong there even if you didn't feel it! Actually all the photos are awesome - won't it be great to look back at them later in life? Be very proud!

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  11. Oh my gosh! You are so awesome! 8 months after having a baby?! Amazing job! You'll get that 4:15 some day. For now, enjoy the sweet victory :)

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  12. Congratulations!! For someone who is 'considering' her first marathon, reading race recaps like this really help - especially when you keep it real and tell it how it is! I think if I do get the marathon bug (and I KNOW it is a bug, so at least I am 'thinking' about it well in advance) then my hometown of Auckland would have to be done at some point in the future...it would be rude not to right? (and also, I have heard that the Wellington marathon is a bit of a nightmare, so might just leave that one at the half distance!). Once again, well done, you rocked it - especially 8 months after a baby! Woohoo!

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    1. Thanks Leah, yeah I am pretty stoked! You totally have to do a full, they are amazing and such a great sense of achievement! Auckland is def a great one to do in NZ as it's cool to run over the bridge and it's fun running a really big race.

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