So, one of the major things I've been doing in NZ is running and getting more fit in general. I've lost about 24 pounds since I left Canada and went for my first real run around Christmas (after a couple failed starts in November when I tried barefoot running on the beach and hurt myself instead). After 29 runs and about 188 kilometers ran, I entered the Rotorua Off-Road Half Marathon this Sunday w/ Jacqui's dad and Jacqui did the quarter-marathon at the same event!
It was a pretty awesome experience! My previous two races in my life were a 5k I ran drunk/hungover in Anaheim on a company trip in about 2007, which I think I did ok on but have no evidence of it, and then a 10k in Cochrane in 2009 where I came in last in my age group at a time of 1 hour and 13 minutes, which honestly was mostly 'walk'.
This was my retribution! 21.1km was the furthest I'd ran by 6.1km and my top goals were: finishing, running the whole way, and finishing under 2 hours. I'm happy to say I succeeded in all of them! My final time was 1:53:30, and I'm even more happy about it due to the extreme hilliness of the event. Way more hilly than expected!
In fact, the hills just kept coming. In the most epic of circumstances (from my point of view), I'd ran about 19.8km and was really dying for the race to finish, I couldn't go much longer, I thought, as I rounded another corner and saw the worst hill of the entire event staring me down... There's no way, no way... And then miraculously I saw Jacqui's dad half way up the hill and knew this was my chance and there was no way I could stop now... With the boost of adrenalin this gave me, I passed Dr. Lim and sped on to the finish, literally limp-running over the line as I just barely caught another competitor at the line and came in 190th out of 488, and in the top 2/3s of my age group (20-34), which was both much more respectable than my 1:13 finish at the 10k in Cochrane and pretty great for only running for 2 months before, in my opinion!
I've really discovered a passion for running and the willpower to stop my useless unhealthy snacking. I just hope it all lasts once I return to real-life in Calgary. :)
|Triple cuddles in the back seat! Early morning drive to the race, about an hour away from the farm.|
|We all got free bread as part of our race package! Jacqui and her dad got "Men's Wellbeing" and "Women's Wellbeing" respectively and I got "Weight Management" bread, wtf!|
|All ready to go, wearing our Sportiiiis!|
|Way too much excitement for sitting around post-race.|
|Dexter came to visit! It's somewhat sad he couldn't run the race with me, he's been my constant training buddy on all my training runs. Good puppy!|
|Dr. Lim soaks up the sun|
|"I could've beat that guy!" Dexter thinks as top prize is awarded...|