Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My first Marathon

April 30th was the running of this years Rotorua (New Zealand) Marathon.  19 years ago I ran it.  I took a little time off before I ran my next Marathon, that was last Fall: American Discovery Trail Marathon here in Colorado Springs.  I am doing my next one in Ogden, Utah in less than 2 weeks.  With my thoughts for the upcoming Marathon a little scatterbrained - I have been thinking, comparing what the first one was like, compared to what this next one might be like.

The finishing time is a little fuzzy in the memory banks, can't find any official results either.  It was either 3:28:57 or 3:27:58.  It was run around a lake, entirely on paved roads.  Seasons are flip flopped, so April 30th is Fall / Autumn in NZ.  Can't remember weather conditions, most likely it was sunny, beautiful and nice. 

In a that was then, this is now moment.... training was so different then.  I ran most days, mostly the same places, same pace - my favorite place to run was from my house (lived on a farm) out to the Kaitoke Regional Park and back.  Was about a 15 mile jaunt.  Pulled these pictures from online of the area - quite a different place to run than the flatlands of Colorado....
Some of the filming for Lord of the Rings was done there a few years later - only evidence of that is the sign that is there now....
Trained for about 3 months, remember dealing with some sore shin splints that I just chose to run through.   No such thing as hill training, tempo runs, fartleks.  No taking any food or water with me on the training - if I got thirsty there was always a creek I could just stop at and scoop up a few handfuls of water before keeping going.  No GPS watch to track the pace, distance, elevation or whatever.   No technical shirts or fancy shoes, just what I could afford - cheap sneakers, singlet / tank top and rugby shorts.

Oftentimes in training I would have to avoid the sheep herds or cows on the roads.  Sheep are so stupid.  Easily spooked, never predictable, yet fun to chase after.  I never met a sheep that was smart.  I have a Sheep Story I will write out one day - it's a good one. 

Back to race day - just over 2000 runners.   Such a pretty place to run........

About the most vivid memory I have of the race was the 1/2 way point - the items available for the runners were water, flat / defizzed coke and bananas.  No such thing as Gatorade, GU, shot blocks.  We did one lap of the lake, had some gentle elevation climbs,  start and finish line was at the same place and I remember being able to do a good strong sprint to the finish where I got a finishers T-shirt, a banana and directed to a grassy bank to recover, collapse and have family members come find me.

The next day I boarded a plane, followed by another and then several more - leaving New Zealand and flying to the USA - where I have lived since.  For those of you who have run races, particularly ones that result in DOMS - I would not recommend running a marathon, then sit in a plane(s) for the next 2 days.  "Ouch" is a little non descriptive.

1 comment: