With the Fuji Mountain Race less than 3 weeks away, the Gold Coast 10km, part of the Gold Coast Marathon, was a chance for me to race, to test my fitness, but to also ensure I didn’t overdo my running, now that I am only weeks out from the main event.
That being said, it was hard to turn up and not run the main event – very hard! So, to pacify myself, I thought about the injuries I am carrying, about the precautions required to ensure I even get to the start of Fuji, and the fact I don’t get much opportunity to race 10kms, so why not make the most of it?!?!
Making the most of it, however, meant a growing seed started to take shape – could I run a second 10km under 40 minutes? But would going that hard, potentially agravate my achilles? Most probably yes, so I should take it easy right? But this was me, and my first outing as Mr Project Fuji!
So, I turned up Saturday morning, greeted by lovely conditions. But, there were people everywhere! I’d forgotten what turning up to a major event was like. I tried to make my way to the correct area for my speed to start the race, but I didn’t have a hope. I started way back!
The gun went off, and I waited, and waited, as the crowd surged forward, stopped, surged forward again. I told myself, not to worry. Need to take it easy today. Everyone had told me, don’t go too hard, don’t go too fast… don’t agravate the achilles. But, racing is racing, as soon as I finally surged over that start line, two minutes after the gun had gone off, I was off. I ran round people, through people, over onto the footpaths, and onto the road on the opposite side. I ducked and weaved, and thought, if I got passed all these slower runners, I’d be able to settle down to a nice 4-4.20min/km pace.
The stress of avoiding all the slower runners meant that for the first 2kms I didn’t even look down at my watch. Finally, the crowd was thinning, and I was kind of able to run in a straight line. I looked down and the pace said 3:45min/km! I was breathing hard, but I thought that was a result of my weaving. I was feeling good, and enjoying overtaking people now. Real Racing! So, I kept up with the pace. I must admit, I kind of enjoyed my pace being about double those whom I was passing. It was a bit of a kick, just to see their faces, many of them looking like they weren’t going to even make 5kms. Amateurs! I was thinking. Then Michale Shelly, the Gold Coast legend who’d won the last 5, 10km races in under 30min, came screaming back towards me. Brought me back to earth, I can tell you! He was canning! Looked soooo good.
I pushed on! I turned at the 5km and thought, I’m feeling good. Looked at my watch. 3:50 min/km. Not bad. I figured that if I kept this up I’d be in with a chance for a sub 40min race. In all honesty, this was what I really wanted. I’d only completed a sub 40min 10km race once. I wanted to do it again and prove it wasn’t a fluke. To hell with the Achilles!!!!! I still have 3 weeks to recover before Fuji!!!!
I’ve raced on the Gold Coast 4 times now, and well knew that going back was going to he hard. There’s always a head wind. I was mentally prepared, and figured, if I could stay around the 4min/km mark, all would be well in the world.
I was still flying past people. They started dropping like flies as the wind picked up, as they always did. Amateurs! I almost laughed hysterically as I flew passed them!
It was 2kms to go when I started to feel it. I felt fatigue. I also felt some very dodgy stomach movements! We’d had Thai the night before. Big mistake! I’d been as careful as I could with Thai, but something hadn’t agreed with me. I’d been on the toilet no less than 5 times before the race! It had been quite horrific, and was partly the reason for my lateness to the start. That, and the fact I was running on about 15min sleep. It would seem insomnia has now become part of my pre-race running routine.
With exhaustion, and my stomach now going nuts, I looked at my watch. I was still averaging 3:50min/km. I couldn’t really believe it. I never hit under 4min/kms in training. NEVER! I started to wonder if I’d set my Garmin on Ride mode. What the heck was going on? I figured, 2kms, I can wing it from here! That’s my favourite saying when I’m racing. I can wing it from here. OR. I can walk it in from here. AND Finally. I’ve worked my arse off to get this far, don’t blow all that hard work now!
It worked. It usually does. I found my kick. I found I was around my right paced runners now. They weren’t as easy to pass. But, I was still passing them, as I was kicking. I surged through that finish line in 39:18 (gun time) – and found my actual race time to be 37:52. Ecstatic! My achilles was hurting, but nothing too bad. I felt good!
People were hurting all around me, and I felt good! Felt like I could run another 10kms in fact! This was a first. My fitness really has come a long way…..
… showing slight hints of maybe, just maybe catching that running bug! :-)!
That would be just awesome!
No more Julia getrting grumpy at me for waking up early for my runs?
No more Julia complaining about heading to races at 5am?
And, I loved watching her come in, almost as much as doing my own race!
What a great day!
The third of our Project Fuji Team, Mr Gordo himself rocked up shortly after Julia, just coming in over the 1 hour mark in his very first race.
He’d sprinted the last couple of kms, so he looked a little rather worse for wear, but also was buzzing, as you do when you finish a tough competition run.
He’d worn the new Project Fuji running top proudly, as had Julia and I, but had suffered some technical issues… Runner’s Nipple had raised it’s ugly head!
When you’re body is not used to running, certain weak areas give in, which was exactly what had happened to Gordo. His left nipple had bled, leaving a nice big red stain on the Project Fuji t-shirt! It didn’t phase him, and as I said, that is really only a part of the initiation process. If you’re runner and haven’t bled from the nipples before, then you just haven’t run hard enough! 🙂
Post race, it was photo shoot time, getting some nice pics of the amazing weather, beautiful Gold C0ast, and the awesome Project Fuji Running t-shirts.
I’m extremely proud of them, and can’t wait to don mine again in 2 weeks for the Mt Fuji ascent! Less than 2 weeks now!!!