City to Surf Perth 2014 12km Race

City to Surf Perth 2014

I’ve been sick for the past few weeks so I haven’t been able to give any updates on my training – mainly because there’s been nothing to update about! I managed to get one or two short half-hearted runs and did a little hill training, but to be honest, I was feeling so poorly I haven’t been able to do much else. It was a relief when my flu bug finally cleared away, thanks to some good strong antibiotics, in time for the City to Surf. I wished I had been able to get in a bit more training ahead of the race, but these things happen and I was only thankful that I had done so much running earlier in the year so I at least had that behind me. One thing though – I was really glad I wasn’t tackling the half-marathon this year. I definitely would not have been able to do that, not after this flu that practically wiped me out!

The morning of the City to Surf dawned cloudy and cool which, for me, is the ideal running weather! I pulled on my favourite red Lorna Jane core stability tank top, black Adidas ClimaLite running shorts and an old brown jumper to keep me warm ahead of the race. Comfy yet stylish for the race!

J, who was going to cheer me on, and I took the train in to the city. Because I naturally didn’t really bother reading a lot of the race info on where to go and simply assumed it was going to be similar to a few years before where everyone could walk up from Langley Park, we ended up getting off the train station at the Esplanade along with the 4km walkers, rather than at the city train station as we should have. After a little manoeuvring, we finally found our way to the cattle grid where the first wave of 12km runners were located and meet up with some of our other friends. I handed J my sweater and little purse and my camera to take some pictures of the race and then it was time to take our places in the grid!

We were supposed to assemble at 8.30 with the race starting at 9am. I was glad that I was doing the run with a few other friends so we could chat to each other. Otherwise I think I would have gotten really bored standing around waiting!

City to Surf, Perth, 2014, 12km

It always gets pretty packed in the beginning and everyone has to sort of walk the first couple of metres before we’re able to space out a bit more and start running. You can’t really see me in the picture above, but if you look closely you can see my hand waving at J!

The race begins with a run up the main street of the city, St Georges Terrace. It curves a little and then goes up the first hill of the race. NB: Perth is notorious for having lots of hills in its City to Surf run. Major challenge added, but also a bit of a major pain!

I always find the first hill a bit of a challenge just because we have to tackle it so soon after starting, but once we’ve passed that one, I always feel much better and ready to take on the rest of the race! The terrain goes a bit flat after that so it was just a matter of falling into a rhythm. The Police Band also struck up as we headed down the 2nd km and their music gave us a bit of a boost!

I noticed there weren’t quite as many spectators out to cheer us on as there were a few years ago but that might be because it’s quite hard for spectators to get to the sidelines because of all the road blocks. Water stations were placed along the road every 2km so it was great to have markers we could tick off as we ran. Later on, there were also tall blue banners marking off the kms for us as well.

One of my favourite things about running races, I think, is being able to run on roads and not having to worry about cars or other pedestrians. Though I always get a bit of a funny feeling that I should really be making way for some car coming up behind me, though of course there aren’t any cars!

The next big hill we would face was Underwood Avenue, which is the biggest hill on the course. It’s not as big a hill as the St Georges Terrace/Kings Park Road one, but it’s a lot steeper so I just kind of put my head down and go for it. Two things which helped me: 1) running up and down Underwood Ave a few times a couple of Sundays ago with a couple of friends helped me get into the right mindset for it and 2) all the step-ups and weighted step-ups I did in my Kayla Itsines BBG workouts. So on race day itself, Underwood Avenue turned out to be not as bad as I expected so that was a plus!

(side note: for those of you who are wondering, I am still doing the Kayla Itsines 12 Week BBG workouts. I’ve just had to stop while I had the flu but will be getting back into Week 10 as of next week so stay tune for the updates!)

After that, it was just a matter of running through mostly flat terrain and through the Perry Lakes Reserve until we got to Oceanic Drive and faced down a couple more small hills. I started to tire around the 10km mark and remember thinking, ‘Man, there better not be any more hills after this!’ Every now and then we’d see people slow to a walk as well and it was really tempting to stop and join them for a little bit, but I managed to stop myself just in time and pushed on instead!

By the time we hit the 11km mark, it was pretty much downhill all the way, which was a great relief! I took it easy in the last km, only sprinting when I saw the flags in sight. They had flags lining the way for several metres before you hit the finish line which was a nice cheery boost but also a tad bit of a letdown because you always think, ‘Oh, great, I’ve made it!’ when you see the first flag, then realise you still have just that little bit more to go! It’s not too far though and it really helped to have lots of spectators at the side cheering you on and calling out, “Keep running, just a little bit more and you’re almost done!”

City to Surf, Perth, 2014, Finish, Victory

That’s me all sweaty and messy with a big grin on my face after the run. We all just kind of flopped to the grass after and did a few stretches!

City to Surf, Perth, 2014, Finish, Victory

DONE!!!

I made it over the line at about 1 hour, 15 minutes. It’s not too fast, but I’m pretty happy with that because I know I’m not a fast runner and also because I know my body definitely went into a slump after those couple of weeks of flu so I just really wanted to take it easy this time and just enjoy the run. As it turned out, I also shaved five minutes off the last (and first) time I did the City to Surf 12km so I’m happy about that!

As usual, there were free bottles of water and fruit at the end and I was glad to grab a pear to munch on as well! We then grabbed our things and hopped onto one of the free shuttle buses back to the city to grab some well-deserved brunch at the La Veen coffee shop.

It was my first time there and I really liked the charming little cafe with its row of recipe books and little herb pots.

La Even Coffee, King Street, Perth

The staff were also really friendly and nice and went out of their way to accommodate our rather large group as we crowded into the cafe.

La Even Coffee, flowers, breakfast

I was a little chilly after my run and was all ready for a hot chocolate when I saw their list of fresh juices and decided instead that I could really use a carrot, ginger and celery juice. Everyone else in our group ordered juices as well plus bagels which came with a side of delicious-looking thin-cut chips. The bagels list looked really tempting, but I decided instead to splurge after the run and got the rosti with avocado and poached eggs with a side of smoked salmon. I can never say no to poached eggs!

La Veen, Rosti, poached eggs, salmon, Breakfast

After that 12km run, it really hit the spot!

When we were done with brunch, it was time to head home for a much needed hot shower. Right now, I’m just chilling out on the sofa with J snoozing next to me and a new book on my Kindle to check out on this lazy Sunday afternoon 🙂 Here’s to another City to Surf 12km run done for the year!

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