Evidently ’tis the season to be sick, for me. Despite gulping down fists full of vitamins and probiotics, I can’t seem to build up my immunity to fend off any germs coming my way. This has been the case since having to undergo minor surgery end of June coupled with a course of antibiotics. The latter will surely be the end of us as a species …
Spending a week out of town at a conference, in confined spaces with hundreds of people from all over the world, is bound to catch up with you if you’re susceptible and lacking in little fighting soldiers to protect your health. Needless to say, when I woke up in my own bed on Saturday morning with the mother of all sore throats, I was well and truly peeved. Suddenly the uncontrollable urge to nap in the middle of the day two days prior didn’t seem so unusual anymore.
Stocking up on meds and vitamins, I was secretly hoping it was just hayfever or a one-day-flu or some such. But by the evening, I realised that the symptoms were there to stay and I was grappling with myself about whether to do the event (which we pre-entered) or not the next morning. In fact, I had made up my mind that it would not be wise to run. To top it off, the weather was also turning to custard with wind, rain and sleet and temperatures dropping to the single digits.
By pure miracle, when we woke up on the Sunday morning, race day, I wasn’t feeling too shabby. In fact, I was sure it was just a lame bug doing a quick round and that it had moved on already. I got dressed, ready for action, but also prepared myself, stocking up on coffee, snacks and a good book, for incase things go pear-shaped in the two hours leading up to the start forcing me to stay behind while Gerry runs alone.
As we drove east over the mountain towards Waipukurau the weather was really crap. But by the time we parked the car, it wasn’t half bad. If it was pouring and the wind was howling, the decision would have been easy – I would not have gone anywhere but stay in the car, snugly tucked in with a blankie, hot water bottle, coffee and my book. But fortunately (unfortunately!) it was still manageable, so I decided to go out and earn my race T-shirt. What’s the use of wearing an event T if you haven’t done the miles?
The plan was to take it really easy and go slow – slow as in a 7min/km pace or slower, taking lots of walk breaks. But plans don’t always pan out, and as we hit the road with some wind and a light drizzle, I hesitated between taking it easy, but being exposed to the averse conditions for longer, or going faster and getting off the road quicker. Although I was already almost last, there was no turning back, so I decided to just soldier on and do what I always do: run by feel.
We were happily trotting along with the drizzle coming and going, when suddenly between 6 and 8 kilometres it started raining. By then we were quite wet anyway, from the drizzle as well as sweat from wearing lots of layers, including a water and windproof jacket. At times it stopped and almost looked as if the sun might come out, just to change within seconds to a drizzle again, with wind forcing water into every nook and granny.
I didn’t feel too bad from my newly caught cold and the weather could have been worse (I guess it can always be worse!), making the outing quite fun. The jolly atmosphere from previous years was certainly absent because of the inclement weather and it struck me that there were no kilometre markers (how did I miss this from previous years? Oh, memory, where art thou?). The change-overs for the teams were also less festive, and no motivational posters en route this time. And where was the guy who nudged runners along with beers last year? 🙂
Overall I think we did have the best window during the day for the run, as it got really cold afterwards. During prize-giving, however, I cooled off severely and was shivering uncontrollably after a while.
Afterwards a few of us (Gerry, myself, Rob, Pete, Kevin and Karin) went to the nearest pub for a beer and lunch before heading home.
Still a great country event boasting a large field, despite horrible weather. The free T’s with the ridiculously low entry fee of $15, makes this by far the best value for money half marathon in the country. Thanks is due to Hatuma Lime as the main sponsor.
Can’t wait for next years event!
PS. Eight days after the event I was diagnosed with bronchitis. Urgh. And another course of antibiotics … Sigh.