Looking around the small number of cars and the runners getting out and preparing for today’s race I knew that today would be the day I would come dead last.
What a mishmash of thoughts that went through my head to try to keep my mind off the heat…
- A cool breeze – aww there is Sue and Joanne’s arctic blast from Canada – thanks ladies!
- I wonder what the lady who I was chatting with on Friday is doing right now? I’m so lucky I can run.
- Sensible Louise did her 10kms at 7am this morning and sensible Janette did her 12kms at 8am, oh well, I do love Nile 10 Mile. It’s one of your favourite races – don’t forget that!
- There’s a dragon-fly! That reminds me of Running on the Fly’s facebook page. Gosh, she would love to be out in the warmth and sunshine instead of battling all that snow.
Warmth and sunshine? The sunshine part was right. It wasn’t warmth it was HEAT. It came up from the road and through the soles of my shoes and made my feet uncomfortably hot. It burned down on top of my head making me feel dry and headachy. It burnt my arms and made them leaden and heavy. Heat. Energy zapping. Ugh!
BUT! Keep smiling! Sing a song in your head. One foot in front of the other and keep going. Yes, I was coming dead last but I was happy.
Nile 10 Mile is a 16km out and back run from beautiful Clarendon House to the little town of Evandale in the north of Tasmania. It goes along Tasmania’s straightest stretch of road. It coincides with the Evandale Village Fair weekend and the Penny Farthing Championships. While we run there is a Penny Farthing road race in progress. We see lots of riders, although nowhere near as many this year as in the two previous years I’ve run this event. Runner numbers seemed down too. I’m guessing the heat! It was forecast to be 31ºC today but as we left Clarendon House the car said it was 34ºC – and we had parked in the shade.
Up until the turn around point there was a slight breeze on the face, but I knew this would be gone on the return. It truly felt like turning around and hitting a great big wall of HOT. I chipped away. By the time I got to the 11.2km mark I took a walk break.
A young lady on a Penny Farthing yelled out to me Keep Going! Your slowest run is faster than your fastest walk. I ran again. A chap rode by and yelled out You should be on a bike! I didn’t find this encouraging but kept going. Then an older gentleman (he had a big long beard anyway) yelled out You’re making that look hard!
Making it look hard? That’s because it was hard. Then I saw a freshly run over Tiger Snake in the middle of the road! That was it. The wheels got wobbly, all the lovely encouragement from others went out the window as I concentrated on that last remark about making it look hard. Then I thought about the snake again – then I worried about being pulled from the race – my mental toughness melted like a fallen blob of icecream on the hot road at my feet.
What’s that sound??? There came a flutter of angel wings, well not really, then came a familiar car with two smiley familiar faces and I could’ve cried! Bruce and Janette. Happy words, happy smiles. I tried to keep running as much as possible until I caught up with them at about the 13.5km mark. Then Bruce got out, complete with runners and ran with me! (And he is sporting injuries from a spectacular fall from his bike during a triathlon!) From there on Bruce ran and walked with me complete with a wonderfully cold drink bottle to keep me cool – cold water down the back never felt so good. Lots and lots and lots of wonderful words of encouragement and finally I was at the finish line.
1:51:05 by my watch. Four minutes slower than my first attempt in 2013. But I am so happy to have finished.
What did I learn?
- It would’ve been wiser to change to the 5km event today. I don’t do heat. Stubbornness is good but so is being sensible about the weather.
- That being a happy cheering person is the way to be at events. I’m certainly going to make sure I smile and encourage like an even bigger maniac in the future – and I’m going to yell YOU’RE MAKING THIS LOOK EASY!!!
- That I need to work on my mental toughness more than my running!!! Comments like I heard shouldn’t be given any time in my head space.
- That I have lovely friends who care. I truly can’t thank Bruce and Janette enough!
Oh and what about Pauly? He didn’t have his watch with him, his wife forgot to pack it! He ran about 1:20:00! He’s running like a machine. Official results aren’t available yet.
I know it’s hard for everyone in the northern hemisphere to hear this but ROLL ON AUTUMN!!!!
Oh and where did I come? Happy Dead Last. I was the last winner and I’m so happy to have that special place in today’s trying conditions. With a lot of help from my friends, I did it!
Happy running 🙂