And boy was it full of Ups and Downs. I live in the Waitakeres in West Auckland NZ, which is where the legendary athletics coach Arthur Lydiard trained the likes of Peter Snell and Murray Halberg to Olympic Gold medals using a revolutionary training technique involving long distance running in the hills.
Today was the Arthur Lydiard Legend Marathon which followed his training route. I didn't do the full marathon, not after damaging my ankle so badly in January that I seriously thought I would never run again! I had run the odd 8.4k in training with maybe one 9k and a 12k with lots of walking. My friend Hayley had been entered in the half marathon as a joke by some work mates (after she had run the Wellington Marathon, mind you) and on a little run asked if I would consider run/walking it with her. I thought long and hard. Could my body (I mean legs) stand up to it? I am nowhere near half marathon fit and this one is supposed to be hilly!
So I entered. Early this week I ran with hubby, only 6k and then I had to walk occasionally due to my calves pulling. Things were not looking good!
But never underestimate the power of a good event. There is no way I could have got round that route if it wasn't an organised event with marshalls, water stations and road markers. There is something about an official finish line that makes you want to keep going. And go we did. I am good on hills. Psychologically I am good on hills and my mate Hayley was grateful of the technique I employ. Aim for a point about five metres in front of you, get to it, choose another point etc etc. This was extended to include "Bloody hell that's a big hill. Tell you what let's get to that little crest about a third of the way up and walk from there" Of course at the crest the big bit of the hill no longer looks so bad so we run the whole thing!
Suffice it to say we finished...in a time of 2 hours 28 minutes and 11 seconds. Officially she was ahead of me but that's ok!
She ran the whole thing whilst I had to walk a couple of slopes due to calves pulling but then I lengthened my stride and she jogged beside me at my walking pace.
It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning, though I am glad it didn't rain :-) The course was amazing, the hills were generally ok (apart from the top of Carter Road) and the company was brilliant- thanks Hayley.
She now wants me to do the Onehunga half next weekend. It's flat but I will wait and see how the legs feel tomorrow. My aim this year has been the Waitakere Half in October so I will definitely be doing that one, now I am back on my feet so to speak.
It will be interesting to see if the cold bath I had when I got back will aid recovery. I am not convinced!