Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Half Marathon Day

By Carolyn Enting

Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Half Marathon Day
The inaugural Queenstown International Marathon event was a winner for MiNDFOOD associate editor Carolyn Enting who made it over the finish line still standing.

Adrenalin is a funny thing. In the lead up to the Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon on Saturday I was so keyed up for my half marathon event that sleep mostly evaded me for the two nights prior, granting me only four hours of shut-eye. Yet when race day finally dawned I felt ready. This is what I had been training for since February. The moment had arrived!

So it was with relief and excited anticipation when the start gun went off and I began to run alongside thousands of other half marathoners, each with the same goal – to complete 21km, and for some to achieve a PB (personal best).

After weeks of clawing my way back from a foot injury (plantar fascia/joggers heel) my goal was to cross the finish line in full stride. As long as my feet held up I’d be good to get to the end I decided. My running coach Gaz Brown of GetRunning was confident that my base training would get me through, and he was right.

Fellow GetRunning coach Kiri Price also gave me some solid and very good advice. “Treat the first 7km as the warm up, the next 7km get into the rhythm, for the last 6km think ‘this is for me’, and when you get to the last 1km step up the pace”.

Breaking it down into chunks certainly helped. And so did my absolutely awesome running partner Michelle Pallett Olds who insisted on running beside me the whole way, despite knowing she could have done a much faster time without me.

More scenary

One thing I love about running long distance is you’re supposed to be able to talk when you run. So that’s what we did. We exclaimed excitedly over the glorious landscape we found ourselves running in, and throughly enjoyed running on the cycle trails (much easier on the body than road running) that wound through tree-lined avenues, past majestic snow-capped mountains, lupins in bloom, and alongside the still waters of Lake Wakatipu. It was raining but that was fine.


The plan was to break the run down into six minute run/2 minute walk chunks over the entire 21km but I was feeling strong, so decided to try and run it. After running the first 7km without any problems I pushed on. My left foot began to grumble 7km out from the finish line and then the right knee decided to hurt too (probably because I’d begun favouring my left foot).

“Keep talking to me” I’d say to Michelle, who was amazing. “You can do this,” she kept saying as I grimaced and puffed, putting one foot in front of the other.

“Yes, I can,” I said. “I’ve got this.”

Even so, the exertion of digging in for the final dash had me seeing stars.

“I feel amazing,” cried Michelle.

“I think I forgot to breathe,” I manage to utter before taking a huge breath and then groan as we approach a small incline leading up to the finish-line. Urgh.

Spectators are cheering us on. “Go Caro. Go Michelle”.

We cross the finish line together, both recording exactly the same time of 3.08.47. Now that’s teamwork!

I can’t believe it but at the same time I can. Gaz from GetRunning set the programme. I did the work. And SportsLab’s treatment of my injuries got me to the start line and over the finish line still standing.

Me and Michelle

Gaz had Champagne and Ferg Burgers waiting for us as our reward. And, yup, we were lucky to get in before the weather bomb hit Queenstown shortly afterwards and saw many marathoners pulled off the course.

The next day dawned all sunshine and blue skies but the weather is not something anyone can control. What you can control is the preparation. Do the work and you’ll get there. Remember back in February I was so unfit I couldn’t run more than 10 paces without puffing.


Would I do it again? Absolutely!



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