Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Quick Getaway to Gold Coast, Queensland

Friday, 3rd July 2015

We flew into Gold Coast via Jetstar and landed at the airport before noon. As we queued to picked up our rental car from Budget, the lady at the counter asked the hubs if we were there for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. :D

We were pleasantly surprised to have been given a new red car, woohoo!!

We decided to stop by Burleigh Heads for some lunch as our tummies were beginning to grumble. Unsure where to go for food, we found ourselves outside the fish and chip shop.

Might as well!

Shared a single platter for $17. No biggie but good enough to keep our tummies happy. :)

Walked towards to beach after lunch for a quick look-see.

We were rather too chilled for words - instead of stopping by the expo to pick up our bibs, we headed straight to our accommodation to check-in, rest a bit before heading out again.

We found ourselves at the unofficial Main Beach parkrun because some friends said they'd turn up. *no names mentioned* While waiting for team McCleish to arrive, we chatted with Trish, a runner from Brisbane. She was there with her husband and running buddy, and they were doing the half marathon on Sunday.

The crowd began to build up and Tim (General Manager of parkrun Australia) kicked it off with an opening speech and introduced several people to the crowd. There were a couple of elite runners that day, but for the life of me, I don't remember their names.

SCTR represented!

The legs felt good. We were stoked to find ourselves mostly running on a track instead of a concrete pavement. Most of the run was on a track and it was pretty cool - I would say it's a light trail for beginners, with a little undulation every now and then. Every now and then, we'd catch a glimpse of the aquamarine sea beyond the trees on the route back to the start area.

The pictures I have don't do the route justice. I have to say that it's a pretty good parkrun route. In fact, I loved it!

If you're in Gold Coast for the weekends, do join their parkruns on Saturday mornings at 7 am.

After that, we rushed off to Surfers Paradise to meet up with our friends from Malaysia for dinner. We didn't expect it to be so difficult to find a parking spot!

*sigh* There is always a photobomber trying to be funny!

Bin and I were clearly under dressed for that rather breezy evening. :D

We were indecisive where to have dinner and eventually decided on Belly Busters. We took a while to decide what to order (we were pretty clueless) but after 15 minutes, we made our selections reluctantly. The whole stack of ribs was huge!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Recap of Asics Half Marathon at 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon

I signed up for the Asics Half Marathon at the 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon for 2 reasons; a post-exam weekend getaway to celebrate the end of a full-time 6 month course, and to provide myself a goal to keep fit and keep myself in check lest I lose my fitness altogether. The trip itself was also to catch up with some friends. :)

Being too busy and exhausted with studying during the past 6 months certainly took a toll on my fitness. I gained weight, felt less of a runner, and my frustration ate into whatever I had left of my confidence. Every day after work and every month after an exam, my respect for working mothers increased by a notch – how did they juggle everything??

One of the long runs with Bin and Eugene at Altona Beach.

Studying and training

When I signed up for the half marathon in April, on the last day of the early bird registration, I only had 2 months of strict training (haha) to follow. This forced me manage my time properly, giving me a perspective of what I wanted to achieve in the evenings, besides cooking dinner, studying and completing assignments.

Getting involved in running again definitely made me happier, and parkruns on Saturdays reflected the progress of my training. I was gaining my speed once again, although not as speedy as I was 2 years ago.

While waiting for a table at Vapiano for dinner the night before the race.
Photo courtesy of Foo.

The gloomy winter evenings didn’t help things. It was always easier to say, “It’s too cold, let’s skip the running!” rather than change into running gear and get our butts out of the door. It was hard work.

I told myself that even if I did minimal training, I would manage to comfortably finish in 2:15 so I need not put too much pressure on myself to chase the sub-2 finish that has been eluding me for all these years.

At Vapiano, standing in line to order your food before a designated cook.

Was my training enough?

Like the last 2 (full) marathons, I adopted a training plan which I was comfortable with. I did a half marathon trial 3 weeks before the event and despite how difficult it was for me, I was surprised to finish in under 2 hours. Granted my posture was horrible and I was panting like hell, but I was happy to know where I stood - the sub-2 was within reach. 

No more doubts about it!

Managed a group photo despite being late. We got lost in the crowd!
Photo courtesy of Jamie Pang.

Race Day – Sunday, 5th July 2015

We stood at the end of Corral B and couldn’t see the start line at all. It took us several minutes to cross the timing mat but I wasn’t sure how long it took. I tried looking for the clock but I don’t think there was one at the start gantry. Or maybe it was facing the other direction.