City to Surf to Cider

What an awesome weekend of running, friends and food! 

Josh and I went out to Bondi Pizza for a delicious Saturday night pre-race dinner meal. We kind of splurged, and took carb-loading to the next level 😉

 

We couldn’t pass up this dessert, especially on a cold, winters night.. chocolate brownie scrolls

And then we had to brave the rain and bitterly cold wind to make it back home for an earlyish night before race day

First thing I did when I woke up was check the weather, which didn’t sound promising by the sounds of the rain on the roof

I made us breakfast.. Yoghurt, banana and my homemade muesli for Josh and warm banana oats for me 🙂

We managed to get a lift into the city which was amazing (Thanks Mike and Tez)! We then enjoyed the pre-race half-an-hour-or-so crowd watching and pumping ourselves up and trying not to get jumpers and track pants face-planting us.

SO cool to see SO many people ready to run! It never fails to amaze me how such a massive event runs so smoothly.

As 8:30 approached jumpers were pretty much flying everywhere and some even managed to get caught in the trees. It was most entertaining 🙂

The race began and we spent the first km dodging people. It was our longest km but we managed to clear through the crowds and settle into our pace. The vibe was electric.. with cool bands and entertainers keeping our spirits up throughout the race. These guys were hilarious and since they went to so much effort I had to sneak a pic.

There were lots of drink breaks along the way, however Josh was running to his watch, so I did compromise a few drink breaks for a bit of extra ground.

We finished strong! It was such a good feeling crossing the line together. Last year I finished the race in 77 mins. My goal for this year was to finish in less than 75 mins. We totally smashed it and finished in 71 mins and 58 seconds! 

It was a great race. Lots of hills, a lot of self talk and plenty of heavy breathing! I ran faster and further than I had in quite a while.. and contrary to my own advice I wore relatively newish shoes. My feet paid for it. I took off my sock to discover the biggest blister I have ever seen in my life!

Taking a look at the stats, we ran a pretty steady pace throughout the race. Our first km lost us a bit of time which is expected when you are running with 79 998 other people, and the 6-8 km splits were the infamous ‘Heartbreak Hill’.

After the race we headed to Josh’s work tent for food, drinks and a massage :). Perfect way to wind down after the race. We then continued the celebrations at Josh’s place where we enjoyed post race music, beer and cider. Mmm. Pictures ended there.

But before I conclude, the day sounds all dandy but I do have a confession.  On Saturday I shared my Race Day Tips. But I didn’t take my own advice! I wore my fairly new sneakers, which I possibly had not worn in enough and ended up with the BIGGEST and most painful blister of my life. Poor Josh, put up with my crying  and treated it with disinfectant, a non-adhesive bandage and a lot of love and patience!  I was tossing up whether or not to share the picture as it is quite graphic.. but after all, it is a battle wound.. so here is a mini one 🙂

I leave you with a few questions..

1) Any suggestions on how to treat my battle-wound??
2) How do you like to celebrate after a race?
3) What is the funnest sporting event you have participated in?

Thanks for awesome day Sydney! Race days like City2Surf truly make me feel proud to be Australian 😀

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Race recap

Hi guys!

Welcome to my very first post.  I hope you enjoy your stay and follow me along my journey.. running, eating and all else that I share

I am going to begin my first blog entry with a recap of the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon that I ran last Sunday. Jeez, it was a tough one.  Some days you just get into the groove, and others are a bit more of a struggle. This was quite the struggle.

I woke up bright and early at 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning (it was still pitch dark outside and freeezing!).  What got me out of bed you might ask.. oats and tea ofcourse! I switched the heater on full blast, got dressed (Race tip #1: Always have your clothes, race-bib, ipod etc ready the night before) and ran to the kitchen to make breakfast.

Now for Amy (my sister) and I, making oats is process which involves what we call ‘nurturing’.  It always involve stirring, adding water, addding milk, testing, stirring, adding banana/prunes/seeds/nuts, stirring, heating, adding more milk, adding honey, tasting, reheating and finally, when perfect, eating! (I will go through the actual method in more detail at a later stage ;).

Oats and tea

I then braved the cold and drove to the station, where I caught a train into the city. When I arrived it was a bit chaotic but I just marched along, following the crowd as I do 🙂 until we reached the starting area where the sun was just rising!

Saint Mary’s Cathedral

I tried to warm myself up by awkwardly running up and down, used the porter-loos a few times and before I knew it, it was 6:45am and time to begin. For the first few kms I struggled to find my rhythm.  There were over 5000 people racing, and the roads were jam packed. Usually I can focus my mind on my own goal and get into my ‘zone’, but I seemed to be a bit all over the place.  Eventually at about 7kms I began to find a good rhythm and wow it makes a difference!

For me, the best part of racing is being able to set a goal and challenging yourself constantly, both physically and mentally to reach that goal.  The second best thing about racing is looking out for your fans a.k.a. Josh (my man) and Amy (my sister) who I knew would be waiting for me at the finish line… it is definitely good motivation to keep running 🙂

At about the half way mark we started passing alot of spectators… and I had my eyes zooming left, right and everywhere in search of Umz (a.k.a Amy and Josh. Ha! Spotted! Half asleep…) I know it is supposed to be the other way around, them looking out for me, but I started screaming “Joshhhhhhhh……Umz…….”.  It was all very exciting.

Spotted! In the fleuro orange shorts

The few kms of the race my knees started to take a beating but I just kept rolling.

I eventually finished and hobbled across the finish line at 2.00.34. 
I was very proud of myself even though it wasn’t a PB.

Josh and I….me attempting to stretch

We then took the train to Bondi Junction and had a good breakfast at Skinny Dip Cafe.  Umz and I had toasted sourdough with ricotta, honey and toasted walnuts (sorry no photos!) – But OMG amazing! Josh settled on poached eggs on turkish toast with a side of avo (it looked good, too).

We then headed back across the Harbour Bridge, home-bound (I live in the Northshore) and I went straight for a massage at our local shopping centre, to get that lactic acid moving! It was painful but SO worth it. The rest of the afternoon involved a hot radox bath, pjs and sleep 🙂

Race day is always fun, isn’t it?

Tell me, how do you relax after a hard workout?