Sunday, November 25, 2012

Run For Relief

The Wellington Run for Relief is a fundraising run organized to raise money and awareness for the displaced people of Burma.  With the extremely generous support of friends and family, I ended up raising $115.00.  A huge thank you to Mum and Dad, Annabel, Laura, Gabrielle, Rangi, Jack, Reva and the anonymous donors.

When I left home the weather was really overcast and not particularly warm, but by the time I had driven to Wellington, the sun was beaming down, and I was beginning to wish that I had worn shorts instead of 3/4 length, black compression tights!  Heaps of runners and walkers gathered at the start line, and we set off into the heat.  As we headed up the Hutt Valley, alongside the river, we left the cooling ocean breeze behind, and after about ten minutes I was leaving a trickling stream of sweat behind me on the trail.

I think it must have been at least thirty degrees and with the sun blistering down I was scolding myself for not having slathered on some sunscreen (Mother's precautionary words of sunscreen preparedness from my youth ringing in my ears!).  The course followed the Hutt River from Petone to Lower Hutt City in a loop, and those of us running the 12km race, did the loop twice.  The benefit of the heat and the distance provided plenty of time to sympathize with the plight of the Burmese.

There were no drink stations, and after the first loop was completed, and with a mouth so dry that I couldn't swallow, I was beginning to wish that I had bought my Camelbak.  I managed to pass a few runners, and had to really push myself in the last couple of kilometers (urging myself "come on" pant, pant, pant "come on"...etc), powering as fast as my dehydrated body would carry me, to the finish.  My time was somewhere between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 min (no official time was recorded, and I didn't have an exact time that I had started).

Dehydration and hot conditions, made the reasonably flat run seem an awful lot harder than the hilly run in the rain the previous weekend.  The experience is an amazing example of how important adequate hydration is, and how the ability of the body to maintain physical processes is reduced under dehydration.

In other news, I went for my first official trail/hill training session on Thursday, running a trail circuit in the hills, and doing some hill sprint repeats.  The weather was also super hot that day, though most of the trail was blissfully shaded, so apart from the burning lungs, the workout was quite bearable.  Training to be able to maintain speed and endurance on hills feels like such an uphill battle at the moment (pun intended), and it is such a long time ago that I found running on the flat to be challenging, that I feel as though I will never get fit for hills.  But then I have to remember that I have only done hill running a hand full of times, and that the more I do, (gosh I hope) the easier it will become.  Also, I enjoy the variation of hill running much more than very long flat distances.

So here is to the coming weeks of training: in the spirit of the Hobbit and in the words of Tolkien "may  the road rise up to meet [me]"

...though not so hard or fast as to hit me in the face. :-)

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