Trying again. On my own terms.

I was giving a good friend of mine some advice the other day. I told her, “Pal, you’ve done everything you can do. You’ve given it all you’ve got. There’s nothing more you can do now. It is what it is…” Days later, as I contemplate whether or not to run the Two Oceans half marathon, I started to give myself some of my own advice.

Family and friends know that I hate this race. It overwhelms me. It’s congested, it’s over-hyped, it’s rated by so many runners as “The ultimate race”. But I hate it. It could be largely due to the baggage I carry of not making the 3 hour cut-off a couple of years ago. Even though I came back and ran a PB on this course the next year. But the pressure is intense and I allow it to control me.

But when I think of the advice I gave my friend, the words seem quite appropriate for me too especially when I look at the facts.

I’ve trained hard this year.
I’ve run five half marathons since January with ease.
In between regular interval training at gym, I’ve run on weekends too.
I’m 10kgs lighter having changed to a Banting way of eating.
I’m more comfortable with my running than I’ve ever been.

Am I still slow? Yeah, but it’s not important to me anymore. That’s my pace, deal with it. I have.

The main thing is that I’ve done all I can do in preparation for the race. There’s nothing more I can do. “It is what it is.”

If the congestion with 16k runners causes me to lose precious time, nothing I can do. If this means missing cut-off, so be it. I have to accept that if it takes me longer to run the first km and I lose time, it is what it is.
If it’s windy or it rains, nothing I can do. That’s just Cape Town weather.
A lot of factors are out of my hands but at least I’ve done everything I could possibly do in the build-up to this race. The rest I can’t control.

So ya, let’s see how it goes. Right now my nerves are killing me!


Thoughts from a race – #picknpayhalfmarathon

MedalThe Pick ‘n Pay road race is one of my favourite races. I’ve completed the half marathon three times and last year, I enjoyed the 8km fun run. Looking back, there are always moments during a race which stand out for me. Here are the ones from this particular race:

  • At 15 minutes before the race started, there were no queues at the loo’s. Bonus!
  • Even if I thought we were standing close to the front of the start pack, when the race started, it looked like a kilometer of runners stretched out in front of us.
  • I have started to recognise the same faces from previous races and it’s great to say hello as we head on out.
  • Another runner stopped me as we headed close to the 3 km mark and told me she remembered me so clearly from the Johnson Crane race. (That’s all she said? I hope it was a good thing.)
  • You get water points and you get water points. But two water points on this race rocked!
  • Having KK meet me at the 19km mark to run me to the finish line – Wonderful! I was filled with emotion.
  • A girl who had run slightly ahead of me the entire way slowed down in the last kilometer. I pushed her in front of me when we got to the field. It’s only right that she deserved to finish the race ahead of me.
  • Don’t under-estimate the awesomeness of a hotdog after running 21.1km!

If you ran and would like to add to my list, feel free to do so.

See you next year Pick ‘n Pay!

Thoughts while running through a zoo

This morning KK and I ran the Gerald Fox 10km and 21.1km race at the Jo’burg zoo. We’ve run this race twice before and every time we’ve run it, the weather has been miserable. It was no different when we arrived at the zoo with the temperature hovering on a nippy 9 degrees.Okay, so let me cut to the chase. How’d it go?

The good:

  • I felt strong. This must be due to the weekly spinning sessions as well as the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon runs.
  • I kept to my run/walk strategy.  Ironically, it takes my mind off watching the kilometres.

The bad:

  • KK and I forgot our running chips at home so our race times were not recorded. Pity for KK who did a PB! 1:41 minutes for 21.1kms.
  • My Garmin died on me at the 8km mark. Dead. I need to get it fixed. It seems my satellite doesn’t switch off which drains my battery.

The ugly:

  • The race was tougher mentally than physically. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I did not feel like running in the cold. I struggled running whilst being surrounded by walkers who kept passing me. In fact, the last 1km was hectic. I’m racing against people who are walking. WTH!
  • At around the 6km mark, I thought about running a half marathon again. Just the thought of it scared me and I was filled with self-doubt. I need to work on this. *what’s new*

So to end off on a postive note, my training for the 2013 running season has started early. Last year, I only started in November with the Irene race but already I’ve completed Old Eds, Wanderers and Gerald Fox.

This is good. Now just to keep going…