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City to Bay

I’m pleased to be able to report that I did indeed visit Adelaide, and ran the 12km City to Bay race. Actually the main reason for going to Adelaide was to catch up with some special friends, but it just seemed too convenient that I could also shoehorn in this little jaunt, even if some of my friends were convinced that they were nothing more than an afterthought. Hmph! As if! 😉

The day of the race was an excellent running day, cool but sunny, with little wind, and there was a record turnout – just under 30,000. So it was another great opportunity to enjoy being one of the crowd of like-minded, like-motivated and life-affirming participants, pushing themselves to achieve a certain degree more mastery over their physical selves, using willpower and mindpower to overcome whatever complaints their bodies might throw up during the course of the event.

I had high expectations of beating my time from 3 years ago (58m34s) for a couple of reasons. One was that I had been unwell in the week leading up to that last race, and had only decided on the morning of the race that I would definitely run it, but out of caution not push myself too hard. The other reason was that I had been doing so much running recently, and over longer distances than I had before, which should have given me the extra reserves to run that but faster. So I set my target at 57m.

I didn’t get an accurate time on the day, due to staggered starts and the difficulty in getting my watch timer started, which didn’t activate until I was well over the start line. But the official results were finally published online today. Here is my runkeeper race record, and following is my official result.

City2BayResults2009

The time of 55m24s corresponds to a pace of 4m37 per km, so is slightly faster than the 4m43s I managed during the Sydney City to Surf. But given that the Sydney race has a big hill in it and Adelaide is a very flat course, these paces are probably pretty much on a par.

So having underestimated my capability twice in a row now (ie. set myself too “easy” a target), I have no choice but to set a much faster paced target for my next race. The next likely candidate is the Run4Fun 10km event at Sydney’s Olympic Park. Given that this is a flat course, I will set my target to be tad faster than my Adelaide performance ie. 4m36 per km / 46m0s total.

Can I stand the extra extra pressure I’m putting on myself? Will my ego be diminished or inflated by my next race result? Now that I’ve made it public I can’t back down without loss of face. So surely, now, my ego will force me to train even harder… Or will I manage to forget my ego enough just to run and enjoy it without all this silly, needless pressure?

Ah yes – this is a seemingly trivial matter, but in fact reflects most precisely the causes of the entirety of problems of the human world. I will write more about the ego in another post.

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