|Battling the rain and a slight head wind at about the 5 km mark|
Pulling the odd all-nighter at university was common for me and I wasn’t alone. Cramming for a calculus or political science paper at 3am required immense will power. Many turned to those dodgy NoDoz caffeine tablets which were new at that time. But being a little more health conscious than most I just couldn’t get into that crazy pill popping at all. All I required was a packet of b&h cigarettes, a jar of Bushells instant coffee, cream and sugar.
Fast forward 25 years and even that regular coffee has long since gone. Marriage, being a Dad and middle age kind of does that to you. Now I run, count calories, stretch and fall asleep on the couch before 11. Gulp!
After checking in at the motel in Taupo I headed into town. I registered, talked to the locals about the horrible weather forecast then drove the course paying close attention to wind direction. On the way back I pulled into a supermarket to buy dinner and pre race essentials. Back at the car I felt proud of myself for not buying too much crap. The image below shows buns with preheated chicken and coleslaw for my main. A little confectionery for dessert washed down with dependable yet overpriced hydration drinks. Oh yes, and one more thing not in the picture. I bought an energy drink. Something I hadn’t done in years but perhaps perfect for that pre-race boost to go with the creamed rice.
|The start and finish point on a fine day in Taupo and a |
snapshot of dunner the night before
The rain and wind were relentless. Thrashing my little motel window at 2am was enough to get me out of bed in search of a ‘healthy’ sedative. Not thinking, I cracked open that V for ‘victory’ energy drink and downed the lot hoping it would calm my nerves and went back to bed. They say the sound of a human heartbeat is that of its 4 valves closing. In my case, lying there with eyes wide open I reckon that sound equated to 8 values. Whether I was on my left side, right side or directly on my back which I never do, made absolutely no difference to the pounding that was emanating from my chest. That bloody V drink I thought. How could I have been so stupid!
I felt youthful once again as I lined up at the start of the Taupo Half Marathon. After all it’d been 25 years since I’d pulled off an all-nighter like that and I honestly didn’t feel that bad either. In fact, I felt rather good, energised to the max and ready for the challenge ahead. And off we went.
|Wide awake and careering down the hill at the start of the |
Taupo Half Marathon
|Approaching the half way point where I recorded a time of 46.11. |
No sign either of that nasty psoas muscle problem too
|Trying to hold my form. Chest out, head up and pump those arms|
|Click here to check out my splits|
I loved taking part in this race. A super event that attracted lots of runners and walkers in conditions that weren’t ideal but that no one really minded. Incidental statistics for us number junkies. I finished 79/1457 overall. 9/163 in my age group and an official time of 1.33.30.
And one more thing. That running streak of mine is over. I stopped it at 42 for no other reason than I felt the number was appropriate. 42 consecutive runs averaging 10 km per day. In all honestly I think those 42 days have made the greatest contribution to me as a runner than anything I’ve done previously. I’m off to bed now but before I go … hot chocolate anyone?