Skip to main content

GNW: Sydney to Newcastle FKT 2021

10km Sun Run & Why Running Only 10km's is Really Hard

10ks of pain

There's something especially hard about a 10km race. Unlike other events where I get to catch my breath by having to hike up a mountain or getting a long downhill that I can just let loose on and use to recover, for me a 10km race is a constant grind where I feel like I never get to catch my breath and my heart rate is going through the roof. The Sun Run is no different, although it is very scenic.

Start Line
I was lucky enough to win an entry through a competition that R4YL was running, and as I was in Sydney that day anyway the race fitted in perfectly. This was very much a Sydney race, lots of people, lots of good looking gear and a scenic location right on the beach as the start. I positioned myself near the start of my wave and got ready to race, this race starts straight up what looks like a gentle hill, but is actually steeper then it looks, or maybe I just go out too hard and it makes my heart rate go sky high so it feels like a steep hill. Either way this year I was better prepared and when we started off I didn't go at sprint pace but held back just a little bit so I could kind of breath and watched as a lot of guys sprinted past me. By the top of the first hill I could feel my hear beating hard, 190 something, which is fast race pace for me, and for the rest of this race it was all about holding on. The first lot of sprinters started dropping off at around the 3-4km mark which is pretty normal in this sort of race and I was still feeling ok, or ok, as in I couldn't breath, my heart was going crazy, and there was pain but my legs were still moving which is all that matters.

Racing
I followed the course on it's weird in and out pattern as it goes around parks and a series of 90 degree turns as it doubles back on itself to ensure it gets it's full 10km distance. Then it's back on the coast and up some hills to fantastic views over the Pacific Ocean and Sydney's North Shore beaches. My mum and aunt were waiting at Freshwater to cheer me on and take photos while they were buying their morning coffee, I couldn't really say anything to them as I ran past as that would have taken breath that I did not have. I may have given a thumbs up.

The final stretch along the front of the Manly seems to take forever and by that point I was in pain, I was still pushing but my body was yelling at me to stop. I could feel my lungs, heart and legs all pumping as hard as possible and I didn't have much left for the kick at the end but I still managed to get my heart rate over 200bpm, which I think is high, it felt high. The sort of high where the edges of my vision start to get darker and I know I'm going to stop soon one way or another. I think this is why runs <=10kms are just not my thing, the pain is too constant and I find that I get mentally as well as physically drained. On longer runs my body is yelling at me to stop at certain points, but that's normally just at the end of the race, or if it's earlier in the race, it's more of a confidence thing then me actually being in pain or pushing too hard so it's easy to ignore. It's interesting though to see how much control your mind has over what you can push yourself to do. For me it's like a fire inside of me, I get super competitive and I have to keep it under control during training, but come race day I just let loose and see what happens.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

GNW: Sydney to Newcastle FKT 2021

(Distances mentioned are based on the original mapped distances. The actual run distance ended up 10km longer than what the maps calculated. The route used was the current route, no temporary deviations in place. But there are newer course changes) The original plan had been to fly to WA and race Delirious WEST as the first race in a crack at the Triple Crown (3 Two Hundred Mile races in a calendar year). But COVID restrictions brought that plan to a halt and after discussing it with Julie Brock, we both had the same backup plan. GNW!! The run took place on the same weekend that Delirious WEST was originally planned and I wanted to do South to North (Sydney to Newcastle) because that’s the way the bushwalkers hike, it’s the way I first hiked it in 2006 and I really don’t like the giant steps in the southern section so wanted to get them out of the way early. So the plan was made! Mum and I met Julie and Dave (Julie’s partner and support crew) at the Obelisk at Macquarie Place just befo

100 miles/162.8km on the Hume and Hovell Track

I had serious FOMO after volunteering at GNW this year, so the quest to find a 100 miler to enter was underway. At first I thought I’d go Feral Pig (163kms on the Bibbulmun track in WA). But then I saw a Facey post from Hume & Hovell announcing that they were worth 6 UTMB points. Looked good, so I sent a few messages to people who’d done the race in previous years to get a sense of what the trail and race are like and all I heard back were good things (apart from the flooding last year), and being in a location that I’d never raced before and on an actual hiking track, I was sold! The race was very very well organised, a fully marked course with tape every few hundred metres and reflective strips for the night. Plus the Hume & Hovell walking track signs with their direction arrows. The directions leading up to the race were great, locations were made clear enough even for someone not from the area and we scoped out a couple of the aid stations early on, just to make sure mum (s

Trying another Triathlon

Being injured for such a long time meant that there was plenty of cross-training. So I decided it was time to put all of that extra training to use and compete in a Triathlon. I did my first ever Triathlon at TriWyong last year with the Try-aTri event, but this year it was time to up it to the longest they had available. The Club distance event, with 1km swim, 30km cycle & 8km run. I was pretty nervous about both the swim and the cycle. So in preparation for the swim I’d been doing lots of laps various Newcastle pools and I had a couple of 1km long open water swims to see how I’d go. Attempt 1 at Toowoon Bay went great. Attempt 2 at Patonga was a total disaster and I learnt why the swim leg is the first leg of a Triathlon. I’d just finished a tough 25km trail run and had packed my cossies and wetsuit to have a practice swim. As soon as I hit the water my feet started cramping, so I stretched them out a little and set off. It didn’t really get any better, at one stage I was floating