One step at a time: My journey to marathon number 2 (Part 2)

The reward for running City 2 Surf - beautiful Bondi Beach
The reward for running City 2 Surf - beautiful Bondi Beach

The reward for running City 2 Surf – beautiful Bondi Beach

I feel like I didn’t really get much marathon training done in this past week, yet I did my 5 days of running. However, I had a more immediate goal on my mind  – the infamous Sydney fun run, City 2 Surf!

In 2012 when I first started running, I proclaimed to my husband “Next year I want to be able to run the City 2 Surf without stopping, Heartbreak Hill and all!” I had never entered the race before, not even to walk it. It was never on my ‘bucket list’, until then!

So the following year (2013) I did just that – entered my very first City 2 Surf with no other expectations other than to finish it and run the whole way, including all the way up the much talked about Heartbreak Hill. At the end of the race I was very proud that I did those things and finished in a great time of 75 minutes, 35 seconds. I did not think Heartbreak Hill was as bad as I’d been led to believe, however no one warned me about the other hills that come after it! To me, they were the heartbreaking bit! That being said, I actually prefer running in races that I have not been in before. I would rather not know what’s ahead of me and remain oblivious to any challenges that might come my way. I find I usually deal with such challenges much better when I face them head on with nowhere to hide. So this year’s City 2 Surf should’ve presented a bit more of a problem to the mental side of my running!

Early in the week, what I decided to do  was to not let the pressure of getting a PB time in this race get to me. I decided that I was going to go into the City 2 Surf this year as a training run for the up coming marathon and run ‘comfortable’ – whatever than means! You see, whenever I race I never feel great, I always psyche myself out about getting a good time, or bettering my last PB that I don’t enjoy the run. I decided I didn’t want to do that this time & guess what? It worked!

Amy & I after our run

Amy & I after our run

I started out the race feeling calm and running with another Rachel’s Runner – my friend Amy. We ran comfortably and felt great until Heartbreak Hill. We made it up without too much of a problem. I actually felt really great by the time we heard the announcement that we’d just made it to the half way point of the race. I knew I had a lot more to give and from that point, well aware of the next hills ahead, I picked up the pace and ran hard for the finish line. I told myself not to look at my Garmin watch and to just listen to my body. I felt really, really good the rest of the way and to my amazement I actually did end up running a PB time! I came in at 75 minutes, 18 seconds!!! I had run 17 seconds faster than last year and felt a thousand times better, plus I’d had FUN! Along the way we took in all the sights and sounds of the City 2 Surf, even running while dancing the YMCA at one point, which was a really funny but amazing sight! I had also organised a ‘Spot a Rachel’s Runner’ competition via my Instagram and Facebook pages which added to the fun feeling of the day.

Spot a Rachel's Runner photos

Spot a Rachel’s Runner photos

After we finished we were so privileged to spend time in a friend’s corporate tent down on Bondi Beach. We had drinks, food, massages and of course a fantastic view. A fabulous end to a great run. As I type now, I am feeling a bit tired, slightly dehydrated and almost ready to hit the hay with my trusty SKINS RY400 Recovery compression tights on. They feel so comfortable and I am looking forward to feeling the effects of their special powers of recovery over the next few days. Until next week…nighty, night x

Some of our team of Rachel's Runners

Some of our team of Rachel’s Runners

Showing off our medals

Showing off our medals

 

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