Tauranga Half Marathon

“When can I run again?” – Mark de Lew

On 22 March 2022 I had an L4 & L5 Discectomy. My first question after Surgery to my Surgeon was “When can I run again?”

He said that “NO one had ever asked that question. Mostly they ask about pain, movement, work etc. Nine out of ten individuals will not run again. Not that they can’t but mentally are afraid”.

I said to him then that I was going to be that 1%!

I linked up with Coach Ray for a ‘walk to run’ plan. Always wanting to do more, not happy with his ideas of pace, distance, or time, but constantly listening to the words “Trust the Process”. I never could manage the slow pace, but… We got where we needed 😉

Race forward, just over seven months, and Bronnie and I are at Tauranga and I’m lining up on the start line of the City to Surf Half Marathon.

The week leading up and the day before was possibly by best preparation, equal to IMNZ. As motivation I had purchased my Asics Metaspeed – carbon shoes, which made and make a tremendous amount of assistance and gain.

Vegetables and Salads for two weeks and the body felt remarkable, fluid loading the day before. A kumara and fresh salmon meal the night before. A pre-workout concoction the day of, and a gel at the start.

For the first time EVER, I did not run to a time plan. It was about “can I do this, will my body let me finish”? I’m 100% all about time, speed and PB’s. This one was different. I planned to break down the race into 5km distances realising that I had not run more than 50 minutes twice! I had been incorporating a lot of STEEP hill work for endurance.

The event started and I got dragged along at a 4:45 pace, laughed when I looked at my watched and dialled it back to a 6:00, as I’m not yet ready for my 5:20 yet. 5km flew by, then 10km, and I was still feeling great, expecting the wheels to fall of somewhere! Then 15km hit and I realised I was close to home. At 17km I was around 1:30:00 and realised that my first event back could be a sub 2hrs Half. Then I hit the Mount and approximate 60meter finish on soft sand. Final time was 2:17:14, which, although guttered makes me feel my PB of 1:41.39 or close to, is doable in six months at the Hawkes Bay half. Eight months after this will be my final triathlon where the goal is to take 1 hour off my time at the Tauranga Multi-Sport 70.3. My final pace was 6:32 with an NGP of 6:11.

I went for an ice-cold walk along Pilot Bay in the water after my run and an ice cream to soothe the feet, legs, and quads. Surprisingly, my body bounced back quickly, little pain but tired. I burnt 1,330 calories, my aerobic, performance, heart rate and cadence were all at levels I was stoked with but obviously the heart rate will continue to drop as I keep getting fitter and aerobic will get lower. I had a huge meal on the way home, but my weight that night was still less than my run weight so the metabolism and body was still working.

Monday was a slow and small recovery swim, 1,350m @ 29:22. Tuesday was back to my walk to run regime, but my body was still tired so stopped at 15min. Normally I would have pushed through, but I have bigger plans and want to remain injury free.

Looking forward to my next two events and the journey along the way… “Mauria to pono” – Believe in yourself.

Mark & Bron after the finish 😃

A huge thank you to my Bron who has been my biggest supporter and advocate, before, during and now post-surgery! To Ray, your patience and resolute is second to none, and how you get used to or tolerate my quirks needs a medal! You’ve shown me “Ka mate Kainga tahi, ka ora kainga rua” – There is more than one way to achieve an objective

E tu ki te kei o te waka, kia pakia koe e nga ngaru o te wa” – Stand at the stern of the canoe and feel the spray of the future biting at your face”.

Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra tukana to atarangi kia taka ki muri I a koe” – Turn your face to the SUN and the shadows fall behind you

– Mark “Oomps” de Lew

If like Mark you have got a big goal you need assistance to complete, apply to join the Qwik Kiwi squad.

Click here for more information: https://www.coachray.nz/get-coached-coach-ray/coaching/

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