Remembering Valentine’s Night Race 2008

On Friday night I was trawling through my Twitter timeline and started to see tweets from people who had just finished the Randburg Harriers Valentine’s Night race.

I was suddenly overwhelmed with such emotion as I remembered the race that got me hooked onto running 4 years ago.

I remember that night like it was yesterday. The hot afternoon when we arrived at Randburg Harriers, sitting on the grass with friends watching the field fill up, walking to the start, the sun setting as the gun went off, the funny costumes people were wearing, the streets getting dark and then the final 300m when KK and other friends stood waiting for me as I neared the finish line. (I also recall the KFC burger on the way home!)

My time: 87 minutes!

Reflecting on the race has made me realise something…

I have spent the last couple of years obsessing about my running pace and the fact that I run so slowly. I have even gotten to the point where I have hated races and dreaded running just because my pace is so slow. I started a blog to document how slow I run!

Yet, on that night 4 years ago, nothing could take away that feeling of immense pride and self-accomplishment that I felt. I was on top of the world and felt incredible. Victorious. After completing that race, I felt as if I could conquer the world! But look at my time! Did I care? Not a chance!

So what happened?

How and where did I lose my passion and love? Where did this obsession come from?

I know the answer: Two Oceans 2010. Missing that 3 hour cut-off broke my spirit. I felt like a failure and since then I’ve been on a mission to ensure it never happens again.  In a way, it’s become the focus of my running and I’ve lost a bit of that passion that fuelled me that night. Yes, so I did go back and conquer Oceans, but the stress of it all still overshadows the victory.

These past couple of weeks, I’ve started to relook my priorities and decide what’s important. I’ve been doing some soul searching to understand exactly why I run, why I am so hard on myself and what I enjoy about running.  

Because right now, I’m not sure if what I’m focussing on is right. It sure as hell doesn’t feel as good as it did finishing Valentine’s Night race 4 years ago…

1 thought on “Remembering Valentine’s Night Race 2008

  1. I love the honesty of your blog posts, and respect you for putting it out there. I have realised that 5km or 8km or 10km or 90km is an achievement, whatever the pace. You’re doing what so many people can’t do. I wish you’d define yourself as a runner, and not an 8 min per kayer 🙂


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