The NZ Trial for the selection of the team to race in Hobart was last weekend.
I flew up on Saturday morning so I could spend a day with my friend Alice from Australia. I watched her jump off the Sky City Tower and was just in awe of her courage. Then we had lunch at the Sky City Orbital restaurant after that it was off to the casino for my first dabble in the pokier machines....hehehe...all in all I lost $6 but I had a good hours entertainment while there. So I didn’t mind the loss. We then met up with another of Alice’s Face book connections and enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours at a nearby park. A late dinner as we were both still full from lunch but I had to carbo load......(never again will I eat so much food..lol)
That night was one of the worst pre race nights I have experienced. It must have been nerves and also my dodgy tummy playing up....I couldn’t sleep as I felt so nauseous and by 2am was up in the toilet dry reaching and feeling awful. 4am I got my first wake up call.....wake up??? I had not been asleep yet to wake up. This was my call so I could eat breakfast, but with my tummy feeling so bad I could only manage ¼ a weetbix and wondered if it was hardly worth the trouble. All I hoped was that it would settle my tummy and not make it worse. I went back to bed in the hope I could get an hours sleep and I think I did get some sleep.
My coach was to pick us up and take us out to the track, with neither of us knowing Auckland and having only partial directions it was a little chaotic to say the least with us heading the wrong direction and doubling back only to look down on the motor way we needed to be on but having no idea of how to get onto it. Eventually with some negations we found our way and headed out to the track to arrive with 15mins to spare. So much for a good warm up but at least we were here. (Also found out that the two key female walkers had gone to Mt Smart stadium and so were also very late)
It was so awesome to walk down onto the track and have most people calling out hellos and well wishes. It was like a family reunion. We all headed out around the track for a few laps to warm up and stretch...doing drills along the straights as we went.
8 am and the call went out for all to come to the start line. My tummy had butterfly’s the size of eagles by this time. We were all lined up and they sent us on our way. My main game plan was to stick to 2min 29sec laps which would give me a total time of 2:04:10 I tried hard not to get caught up with the “elite” bunch but still ended up doing 2min 20sec for the first 7 laps...then I slowly pulled it back. I went through my first 5km in 30.20sec and then the 10km at 60.35sec it was then that I realised I had gone out way too fast and was starting to feel the strain of it.
About the 12km mark the cautions started coming in thick and fast and the first mark went up on the board. At this stage I was passed by Kelly Mabbett putting me 6 th.....nuts I thought. So I tried to keep up with her but she was slowly pulling away and I was finding it hard to keep to 2:29 and figured that it was no use wreaking myself over something that I couldn’t keep up with. At the 15km mark I noticed that Brooke had been DQ’d and that I had 2 marks on the board. My first thought was ...dq me now....I hurt so much. My next thought was ...Hey Kelly has my spot on the team!!! I looked to see how far a head she was and it was about 150mtrs. So I tried to pick up the pace but she saw my style change and my turnover quicken and so picked up her pace too. No matter how hard I tried to catch her she was staying the same distance away from me. As I rounded the last few laps I signalled to my coach (he was judging so unable to communicate with me) that I had two to go. I saw he look at his watch and grin. (he had just worked out that I was under my target time) When my time keeper called out LAST LAP...I could have kissed her. 50 laps is awful, thats 100 corners to the left and it really plays havoc with your head and your body.
I don’t think I have ever been so happy to finish a race ever. I knew I had not made the team but I had taken 7mins off my last recorded time for 20km and that to me was huge. I was elated for the girls ahead of me for making the team and also that I (the old nana) had only missed out by 1 min and was still 5mins under the qualifying time.
So considering I had gotten no sleep, had no food and had also pulled my calf from wearing my heeled boots the day before....I did ok...in fact....I did GREAT!!!
So now I am back home and training for the Buller Half Marathon. I will go down in 4 weeks (same day as Hobart Race – Feb 13th) and try to win the racewalk and better my time on last year.