As I write this, there are just three days to go before the Comrades marathon. KK will be running his second one and going for what is known as a ‘back to back’ medal. His training compared to last year has been entirely different mared by a horrible groin injury since March and less mileage on his legs.
Him and I approach our running in very different ways. I like to
over analyze and talk about the run to death. I read books, articles, blogs and ensure I’m engaging with other runners on social media. KK zones out.
There’s one advantage to this. Along with the frustration of an injury not healing fast enough and less and less time to do that one last long run, I noticed KK becoming more and more determined. As if as if because he couldn’t train his legs, he put that energy into training his mind.
Not once has he mentioned bailing. He never talks about quitting. He doesn’t even have a plan B. In his mind, he intends to run the best race he can and come home with his medal. Some might call it arrogance or even ignorance but I think when you take on a race of this magnitude, you need to have your head screwed on right and not have a single doubt in your head or hints of failure. He talks about that medal all the time as if he imagines it in his hand. His eyes are set firmly on the goal and the challenge ahead.
They say that even though you’ve done the training, Comrades is a mental race. Once you pass around the 60km mark, your head takes over and you’d better have that mental strength to push on when your body begs you to give up. If I know KK, this is his strength. Failure is not an option.
Good luck Karl! I’ll be there with you, in your heart, every step of the way. I love you…