I arrived up on the Gold Coast on Tuesday which gave me 4 days before the 10k race to relax with Damian and get some desperately needed sunshine! Melbourne winter has not been kind this year. Too cold, windy and rainy for the likes of myself ;-) I had a good race at Launceston and backed it up with a good solid run at Geelong the week prior to Gold Coast so was confident that i was fit and strong and ready for a fast race! The first day was perfect weather. Beautiful warm and sunny. We sat smugly out at the cafe whilst sending messages back to Melbourne telling them how great it was up at the Gold Coast! I got a nasty little shock the next morning when i woke up to rain and 30kph winds!!! Yikes!!! Out i went for my morning run after making a pact with Deeks that i would train in the rain this year if he let me race Launceston. I used to always take a day off when it rained. I considered it a message from weather gods helping me out with a day of forced rest and i am certain that i have read that the Kenyans do not run in the rain. Luckily it barely rained whilst we were living in California and so i did not miss many training days last year. However being back in Australia has been a bit more challenging and hence Kaz Version II has been created. The one that now runs in any weather conditions! Thanks Deeks!I felt a bit flat running wednesday and thursday in the rain and wind, and also a little bit uneven in my running style, however it is not uncommon for me to feel a bit flat leading into a target race with a few easy days of running and i knew i would get a great massage from my favourite masseur (yes Damian!) pre race to iron out any body kinks. I knew that i also had a few heavy weeks of racing in my legs and some great sessions in the gym which the few easy days would help me to absorb.I woke up Friday morning and felt much better. Perfect. Phew. One day to spare. Friday was also my birthday so it was fun to be up at the Gold Coast to celebrate it. Damian gave me a beautiful bird necklace -a reminder that i am a flying birdie and i had my good luck charms with me ready to go.
Saturday. Race Day. My favourite day. I was running a little late so only managed to squeeze in 15min warm up including strides. The gun went off and i immediately settled into a good rhythm. Not too fast & not too slow -right on target (between 3.25-3.30 was my goal). I passed halfway in 17.15 and felt strong. I knew there would be a headwind on the return trip so was happy to have a few seconds up my sleeve for the trip back. The girls who had gone out too fast were starting to come back to me and i slowly picked them off one by one. By 7km i had worked my way into second place. I was starting to struggle a bit into the wind but tried to keep a steady rhythm. My pace slowed to 3.45/km and i was passed by another girl. I remained calm and kept running. I still had time in the bank. I passed the 1km to go marker at 31.30 and was super excited to think that if i ran a fast last km i would get 34.59. I picked up the pace and gave it my all to the line. I was a bit upset coming down the finish straight to see the clock ticking over at 35.46. I later found out that the 1km to go marker was for the marathon the next day and not the 10k...explains why it took so long to get to the finish line! I ended up with 3rd place and was pretty happy with my result as i went into the race ranked 8th. The magic 35min 10k marker lives to see another day and i will be back to give it a hiding later on in the year.The post race celebrations were wonderful. Time to relax, have fun and let the hair down. Great food -my favourites both Japanese & Thai shared with fantastic people, a little bit of sake and red vino, lots of frozen yoghurt (too cold in Melbourne for this!), and mini-golf, air hockey & ten-pin bowling with Ann and Frankie...who managed to put us to shame and as a result we had to pay for their ice-creams...reminder to self not to bet on myself when it comes to non-running related sports!
Gold Coast reminded me of why i love running so much! Great people, great performances from friends & training buddies all trying their best to achieve their dreams and goals! It was a fantastic mini-break from the nasty Melbourne winter and will keep me smiling during the wet and windy winter training runs.Thanks guys and i look forward to the next challenge!Happy Running :-)From Kaz
Karen Barlow wins Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon
“Chicago was my goal race for the year. Unfortunately it was hot and humid and I had been training in the dry and cold, so I pulled out after suffering through 14 miles,” said Barlow, who won February’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon. “On Wednesday I rang Matt Turnbull and said I’m just up the road and I want to end the year on a positive note after putting in all this training. Goal one was just to finish, goal two was to have fun and goal three was to win if I had a chance. This just feels phenomenal and I had so much fun today. I ‘chicked’ a helluva lot of guys out there on the course.” Aish, Barlow Win Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver MarathonUpdated: Oct 18th 2010 7:04 PM EDT by Dan Cruz