The nitty gritty: Family road trip! My partner and I drove up with our two dogs, fully loaded the car with gear, tent, food etc, and made our way up past Nelson to Marahau. All the driving reminded me of when I lived out of my car for 3 months traveling throughout the US of A two years ago. Except, in stark contrast, I was 100% on my own solo, which presented its own unique challenges. Both enjoyable in very different ways.
|Obligatory photos of the Zeus-meister...|
Once in Totaranui, I held on to my winter jacket for as long as I could; I get cold easily. The wind was blowing like crazy, sort of but not really raining (blue skies but still drizzling, I don't understand). At the race start, every single person's gear was checked to make sure all had their required gear (polypro LS top, hat, gloves, seam-sealed waterproof jacket, survival blanket, whistle, bladder filled with water). Out of 300+, only 3 fucked up. That's pretty good! Race brief, and we were off. In speaking with my coach, I made a comment about how I very rarely go out too hard in a race, in fact I'd say I'm rather conservative. She suggested that I go out slightly (SLIGHTLY) harder than I normally would and try to hang onto that. In the last couple weeks, it has been what I've been practicing as well. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable right from the get go, not 20k into the IM marathon.
Well, we were off, running comfortably with everyone all bunched up at the beginning, only to spread out in the first climb less than 1k into it! Did my job: went out harder than I usually would. How did this pan out? Well, I seriously seriously regretted my decision to go out and attempt to stick to such an effort from the 13-18k mark. Not even halfway, and I'm tired already. I did have a wee cooldown (water to my hips in places, yes!) crossing the Awaroa Inlet, so that was a nice break from the head-pumping, calves screaming beach running or single track hills!
4:22:13 (1st F was 3:57:xx), 8th F, 4th FU40, 64/314 OA.
|End of race day rainbow.|
Did some post-race exploring but the end of the road trip can seriously be categorized by this:
Halfway down the West Coast on our way home, we got news that the Haast Pass had indeed been closed again (it had closed due to a major slip taking out the road, but had been reopened again during daylight hours last time I had checked). Well, a 600km detour later to return home by the East coast and Lindis Pass, we were back home in Wanaka. Ouch!
|Sunrise in Marahau the next morning.|
|Top of Takaka hill somewhere.|
|The white one|
|In the mystical faerie forest, West Coast|