Manawatu Striders Half Marathon 2017 | Training and race recap

Running | A Little Bit Of Lisa

I promise my training was more consistent than my blogging.
Here’s a list of other things that are also more consistent in my life than blogging:
– Me eating whole blocks of chocolate in one sitting
– My cat getting his own poop on his feet
– My cat walking over our bed with his own poop on his feet
– Entire seasons passing by
– Earth orbiting the sun
– World wars
– Jesus’s return etc
So, the last time I wrote it was my first week of training. I was super excited to get back into it and to be honest, I enjoyed all of the training as part of the coaching package I won with Love My Sport.

I spent nine weeks running on trails, running on the grass in bare feet, running around an athletics track, skipping around and jumping, and running in the rain.
I even did a 10km training run, and a 15km training run. That’s insane. Honestly, who even does that? People with coaches who tell them they have to, basically.

The 10km training run was my favourite because it’s the first time I’ve run 10km since my half marathon in 2013. Once I pushed through the pain I felt like it wasn’t even my body and I just kept running and running like I was flying… or at least hovering.

Also, after the first few weeks of training and running on grass, plus foam rolling the crap out of my shins – my shin splints were pretty much gone. They were a bit fresh on my 15km training run but other than that, I can’t complain.

My speed and fitness increased so much over these two months and while it’s definitely not the most ideal amount of time for a half marathon training period, especially when you have minimal base fitness, I am pretty proud of what I achieved over that time.

The actual Manawatu Striders half marathon was less wonderful though.
It was unfortunate timing when I got really sick with a cold on the week of the event. I very nearly changed down to the 10km event and even afterwards I’m still questioning whether I probably should have just done that.

On the morning of the run I woke up feeling pretty decent so thought I’d just get it done as best as I could.
Thanks race organisers for the 10am starting time because it’s way too damn cold in Manawatu at the moment for any of that 7am nonsense.
We arrived at the start area at the Massey University recreation centre at about 9.30am and joined in with the Love My Sport mini warm-up and a pep talk from coach Chris.

Running | A Little Bit Of Lisa

When we started I was feeling pretty low on energy and that feeling didn’t go away for the whole run. Everything felt heavy and slow and a struggle.
But I chugged on through and felt like I had a pretty steady, albeit slower than usual, pace until about the 7km turnaround point where I wanted to die and my throat was dry af.
Coach Chris was waiting at the turnaround like a champ with a delicious gel that I slurped down pretty damn quick.
Sidenote: Highly recommend SIS gels over any others I’ve tried. They have water in them so you don’t need to drink a cup of water to wash down the usual gluggy gel.

After that sweet boost my body felt pretty good until about the 14km mark.
Apart from the fact that I was angry. Like really angry and for no reason whatsoever. Not even good fired-up angry. Just like OMG everyone stop cheering and screw you lazy 10km runners bouncing along all fresh and cheerful kind of angry
I was running alongside one 10k runner who said ‘don’t worry, we’re almost done!’. I informed her, with the utmost sass, that I was actually only halfway. Pretty sure if I had the energy to trip her over I probably would have.

Running | A Little Bit Of Lisa

At about the 14km to 15km turnaround, there was nobody around. I was going slow as hell and chugging along the back with the other snail-like folk. It was lonely and I was not having a fun time.
This race was definitely not like the Melbourne Marathon where hundreds, maybe thousands, of people are standing along the run route cheering you on and keeping you going.
There were very few people around at all, and most of them didn’t even say a word when you went past. Is this a Kiwi thing? The only events I’ve done have been in Australia and Aussies love a good cheer.

I’m not going to lie, I walked a few times and definitely considered giving up.
It wasn’t until right near the end – a frickin 1km steep uphill finish – when I saw my friends and husband Adam. It was too late by this point though. Adam ran with me to the finish and was being a super encouraging angel telling me I’m almost there and I can do it, just keep going, you’re doing great. I told him to shut the hell up. Oops.

Running | A Little Bit Of Lisa

I crossed the finish line with a horrendous time of 2 hours 40 minutes.

I knew it wouldn’t be a perfect run for me but I also didn’t think I’d be able to do it at all, so it’s not all bad.
More than anything it’s fired me up to keep going. So now, I’m training for the Mount Maunganui Half Marathon, which is at the end of August, and the Auckland Half Marathon at the end of October.

Adam is running the full marathon in Auckland and we are running as Charity Heroes to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog post but if you’d like to sponsor us then we would be so grateful! You can do that by visiting our fundraising page here. Thank you so much.

What do you think?