So I ended up racing the Captain Cooks Landing Run on the weekend with a heavily strapped ankle and no running the whole week before the race.
The run itself was awesome and really challenging. It starts with a 14 min climb (really muddy, clay surface). This is followed by a long steady downhill. The gradient down this hill is really similar so it is quite jarring on the body. After this downhill we headed straight back uphill again (this climb was longer than the first climb). Again we were treated to a really long downhill, then a flat/undulating track into Furneax lodge (and approx. half way). At Furneax there was lollies and extra water (if needed) and cones to show us the way. I mustn't of been concentrating here as I wnet the wrong way twice and lost some time which was a bummer. The second half of the run is undulating around the coast line to Camp Bay.
The run was good, I really enjoyed it. I was good for the first hour and 40 minutes but after that I went downhill a bit (and the last 10 - 15 minutes were a pure grovel for me. Doing virtually nothing for a week and then trying for a 27km tough run really took it out of me to be honest, my ankle only started to hurt in the last 20 minutes which was good though.
I led the race for the first 22km, Robyn Holland (swim squad member and Scottish buddy) passed me with 5km to go (she came 1st), Elenore Robertson (triathlete from New Plymouth) passed me with 2 km to go (2nd overall) and Aubrey Begley (Scottish runner) caught me with 500m to go. For me the last 500m was the toughest downhill of the lot as there was so much mud so I didn't even try to race Aubrey here as she is so good on the down hill and I really didn't want to risk it, plus I was pretty tired at this stage.
The top ten times were:
I finished the run and went to the water immediately to soak my ankle in the cold (very cold!!) water. After this we were treated to really nice warm showers for a $2 donation at Punga Cove resort! This shower was heaven.
Post race injury assessment:
My ankle only started to hurt with about 20 minutes to go and there was no additional swelling and/or bruising which was a good sign. I did, however, get a few blisters where there were creases in the taping! I also have three new black toenails from the constant downhill pounding, two blood blisters and same very sore/tight glutes, quads and hamstrings. To be honest I don't think I have ever been this sore after a race before.
After my shower I picked up my post race lunch pack which was devoured in about 5 mins flat (homemade meusli bar, muffin and yummy bread roll). We got to lounge around in the sun at Punga Cove for a while (I was in board shorts and a singelt- how cool is that).
We then caught the ferry back to Furneax and had our post race meal and the prizegiving. The meal was REALLY good... we had:
Bread rolls and butter
Roast mixed vegies (pumpkin, carrots, onion and kumara)
Steamed vegies (broc/ cauli etc)
Pork on a spit
Lots of condiments
Then: Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and cream
This was perhaps the best post race meal I have ever had as part of a race entry fee. Awesome stuff! Which is why I had to list the entire meal hehehe.
The post race beverages included numerous glasses of wine and the post race activities included organising a sweepstake for the rugby game (managed to talk to everyone in the bar), watching the rugby, and going for a swim at 10pm in the Marlborough Sounds (this swim was punctuated by numerous squeals from the girls as it was very chilly).
On Sunday we caught the water taxi back to picton, straight onto the ferry back to Wellington. We were treated to a 7m swell and as we entered the Cook Straight we were warned that we were going to experience some "undesirable conditions". I didn't get sick though thank goodness!
So all in all it was a good weekend but to be honest I would have loved to have run the race at full fitness and strength! But as my coach said before the race "There is a risk of course with running but sometimes those who never venture never gain. Sometimes a real champion is someone who can overcome these obstacles and achieve what they set out to do, and this may not necessarily mean winning or racing to your potential".
SO I didn't win (or race to my potential) but I did try as hard as I could given the circumstances, complete the race, come 4th against some very good competition and had a great weekend.