Running - My New Passion*

Tuesday, 6 February 2018, By Peter Laws

Running - my new passion

Well it's November 2017 and two days before my first half marathon. How do I feel you ask? Well it's been a long time contemplating whether or not I would ever be able to run this distance. You will see from the comments below that I had trouble even managing a distance of 5k non-stop and have been doing some 10k runs more recently. But extending this out to 21k certainly is going to be a challenge that will take not only stamina and physical prowess, but more mental strength than I have had to summon before. My running started back in 2006 when I was working for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and has continued from this point over the years. In 2015 I joined Vision Personal Training and started running with their Run Club every Saturday doing 5km - 8km runs. The Run Club spurred me on and in October that year with my Trainer Kyle pushing me along, I completed my first non-stop 5.7km run at Melbourne Marathon. I further enhanced my running in 2016 when I completed my first 10km run in the Melbourne Marathon, although I did walk at one stage. The Vision Personal Training team decided to take a team to Queenstown in August 2017, so I decided to do the half marathon and my training started in earnest. With my training plan in hand and Kyle pushing me along, I slowly built up to completing approximately 20kms per week in a run-rest-run regime. I also started referencing anything I could find on the internet for half marathon training. I found many articles with various ways to train and also articles on mental training, which I think was actually more important for me. Everyone in the Run Club and my Trainer Kyle, all keep saying, you can do it. Will be easy for you. In October I met with some of the Run Club group and completed an 18.5km run as my last long run before the Half Marathon in Queenstown

So here I am with a group of runners that have decided to take on the challenge of the half marathon and in the amazingly awesome town of Queenstown in NZ.


The day of the Half Marathon

After rising at 5am Saturday morning, ready for the Half Marathon. I am very nervous about doing this distance, but am now committed. At 7am we are walking with friends to catch different buses to the various start points for the 10km and half. We board the bus and just talk about the awesome scenery, this actually helps take my mind off the run. Arriving at the start we are now in a big paddock greeted by hundreds of other participants and still more runners arrive until the crowd swells to thousands of runners. In fact, just on 4,000 people are running the half marathon. We meet up with my Trainer, Kyle, and others from the Vision group and we are moved to the starting line ready for the start at 8am. The start is in waves and we are the third wave off for the start of the half marathon. I am running with a friend who will keep my pace as we set off together. The road is wide and easy to navigate other people and our pace quickens. Now the road gives way to a track and we are sprinting downhill at a rate that is hard to keep up. Loose stones and gravel on the path makes it difficult to navigate and keep pace. The scenery is absolutely awesome with mountain ranges, fantastic river crossings and it is hard not to take in the beauty of this country. At 8kms we have a sugar hit and some water to keep us going, it is now starting to get warmer. We are still setting a fast pace and I can feel myself tiring, but keep up the pace. However, after 12kms, I can no longer keep pace with my friend and find my legs starting to cry out for rest, so I tell him to continue and I slow right down. In fact, I am forced to walk for a while to regain my momentum. I start off again at a more subdued pace. Now it is only 6kms to go and I can now feel a bit of panic that I won't be able to finish off the run. I decide to have another break and then slowly I start off again and continue intervals of running and walking. My knees are hurting and my legs feel a little like dead weights. I know I have run this distance before but the early pace has exhausted me. Taking another hit of sugar, I continue, determined to finish the run regardless. The kms are slowly going by and many people are passing me and I pick slower runners to try and pace for a while. At 20kms a couple of other Vision runners pass and my Trainer is amongst them spurring me on to finish. I just can't seem to do it, but I am so close. I allow them to pass and say that I will see them at the finish. With only 1km to go I push myself with every ounce of energy I have, mentally and physically to finish the run. I continue to run and finally pass the finish gate at 2 hours and 16 minutes. My first half marathon and obviously a personal best.

Will I do another one? Probably not, but it has now been ticked off my bucket list.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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