I want to think of myself as being health conscious but I have to admit that I have never reached the point where I was completely satisfied with my body. I always have something to complain about. Anyway since I got married, AS has been a great support and workout partner. He has so much knowledge in health and fitness and always keeps suggesting to me to do various exercises to improve my fitness. Since last year to motivate ourselves we decided to run the 14km City2surf.
City2Surf is the largest timed running race in the world and it has been held as an annual event since the first run on 5 September 1971. It is a charity run and this year they raised 3.9 million dollars. The best thing about this run is that anyone can participate. You just need to pay the entry fee and off you go. There are singles, couples, seniors, kids, mothers/fathers with prams and family coming together to run and have some fun along with the exercise.
The run starts from city centre and passes through the suburbs of East Sydney, Kings Cross, Rushcutters Bay, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Dover Heights and ends at Bondi Beach. The most difficult part of the course is “Heartbreak Hill” at the halfway mark, a 2 km long steep ascent from Rose Bay to Vaucluse along New South Head Road.
I was a bit scared this year because since the birth of my nephew a month ago, our exercise routine has gone out of the window. The weather prediction for the day was also mostly rainy and windy. So it didn’t look like it was going to be a fun run this time.
But we still managed to be in the city by 9am for our run to start along with 85,000 other runners. Just before the run started, most people were throwing their jumpers and hoodies to the side of the street for charities.
As we run it gets so hot so it was normal for people to throw away the old jumpers that they come with. We did that last year but we became wiser this year and decided to tie them around our hips to use after the race. Last year after the race we were chilled to the bones and we had to go to the mall to buy a new jumper.
In the crowd there were so many people with masks like gorillas, Batman, Super girl, the Smurfs, and a man in a sumo suit. I think one of the highlights must me the group of guys dressed as Usman Bolt, the history making Olympic athletic from Jamica.
When the gun when off to start me and AS along with everyone else took our pace. I think the first 5 km was ok as it was just the start. We ran and walked alternately.
There were lots of people cheering along the way as well as many water and Gatorade station. There were lots of live bands and mascots as well. I did manage to take some photos. I knew that the clock was ticking but it was fun to stop for a few second for photos.
When we reached 7km, I couldn’t believe that we were only half way through. I was really tired and I was asking AS to slow down. By then we were also climbing uphill which didn’t help at all. I have to thank AS who kept me going even though my toes were hurting really bad in my left foot.
We did this last year also but I didn’t remember it being too so hard so I kept pushing myself to the end. When we were on the last 4 km I was really happy and on the last 2km, I was glad it was going to be over soon. When we crossed the finish line we knew that we did good as we finished in under 2 hour (1 hour, 50 minutes). We did about the same last year as well so both of us were very happy. We got the medal for finishing it. 🙂
We caught up with a friend of ours who ran as well and were just happy to catch a bus to go have something to eat. It was 12.30 by then and both of us hadn’t eaten anything.
While practising for the run, I tried to research on how to make a quick recover after the run and I found the following in the website.
1. Within 5 minutes of finishing, drink some water or a natural electrolyte drink like coconut water.
2. Within 15-20 minutes of finishing, consume a recovery drink that contains high quality protein and carbohydrates – stash some protein powder (organic/vegan brown rice protein, or a good quality whey protein is best in our books but use whatever works for you) in your run pouch and mix it with cold water at the end of your race and you’re good to go!
3. Within 60-90 minutes of finishing, consume some whole grains with fish (your best option!), lean meat, egg, nuts, or another good quality solid protein source and plenty of salad or green veggies.
4. Antioxidant rich foods are your friend, so anything green or red in colour, or even a good old-fashioned apple, is on the menu!
5. Avoid anything inflammatory post-race, like processed carbs, sugar and caffeine. Alcohol is definitely in this family too but we know avoiding a beer after the race might be a little too much of a big ask, so if a few bevvies are on the menu, make sure you do a few things to counteract the effect, like these…
6. Before you start swigging from your beer mug, swallow a little milk thistle, drink some beetroot juice, or gulp down some fish oil supplements. Snack on anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, berries, walnuts, flaxseeds and kale… make ‘em into a juice if you need to and then, if you still feel like it that beer is all yours! Just remember to drink plenty of water alongside it!
7. Oh… and remember to STRETCH after your race.
Note to self for next year
Don’t wait until less than weeks to go till the City to Surf before bothering to look at the recommended training program.