Okay Two Oceans, clean slate, here I come!

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years now, you may recall that the Two Oceans half marathon is not one of my favourite running races (understatement). I find the anxiety of the congested start, the hype around the race, and making the race cut-off all contributing to it being a very stressful run. I’ve even documented my feelings in various blog posts throughout the years:

Yowzer! I’ve realized I’m clearly obsessed with the race and focus on pretty much all the negative things about it. So I decided to look at the positive side this year. Instead of analyzing all the negative things that stress me out about the race, I’m going down to Cape Town focusing on the positives.

  • I am one of the lucky ones who managed to get an entry.
  • An Easter holiday down in the fairest, most beautiful Cape. I can’t wait.
  • I am blessed to report that I am fit and healthy while there are others, such as KK, injured and having had to pull out of the race. Sorry KK.
  • My Dad will be running the race too! This might be the most special thing about that day and I’m going to try and run at least some of the way with him.
  • There are so many of my friends and Running Junkie training friends who will be competing. It’s been an honor training with them and I can’t wait to see them reach their goals.
  • I have trained hard. I have covered the distances and done the work I need to do.
  • My Championchip times show that I am able to run a 21.1km race in under 3:00 2:50 minutes. I no longer need to stress about that 3 hour axe cut-off over my head.
  • I am able to run a distance that majority of people have never even tried to run. I am a runner. I can run 21.1kms! Me!OM2015

The Two Oceans countdowns posted on social media still take my breath away and give me serious *goosies*! It’s going to be fab! It’s going to be epic! Two Oceans, here I come!

Are you also running? How are you feeling about the race?

Dear Two Oceans Half Marathon… we need to talk.

Dear Two Oceans Half Marathon, 

Like most runners, I fell in love with you right from the start. You were the dream race, the one everyone spoke about. When my running training started at the beginning of each year, it would be centred around you as the goal date, the goal race. All the reading I did was about you. All the training I did was for you. In terms of running, you were ‘my everything’.

But since 2010, things between us started to go wrong. You started to see more people and the entries just grew and grew. The problem is that with 16 000 runners, it makes it that much tougher for me to get over that starting mat without losing at least 10 minutes. I don’t exactly have 10 minutes to spare because, as you know, I run at 8 minutes per km and this cuts it fine with a 3 hour cut off time. It’s funny because ever since I started running, I’ve allowed your 3 hour cut off time to dictate my runs and my pace to the extent that I feel absolutely miserable when I don’t run my half marathons under 3 hours.

I guess that’s my point. How you make me feel. Like any woman in an abusive relationship, I forgave you because I ‘loved’ you. I even started this blog about ‘Keeping up’ because I was so desperate to please you. But if I have to be honest with myself, you make me feel like a failure, inadequate, pathetic. You stress me out and instead of enjoying the run, I keep thinking that I will fail. I keep wanting to quit every single day but fear that other runners will judge me.

I don’t feel like that when I run other races. In fact, since January, I’ve noticed a change within me. I started to like running half marathons and not be stressed about the time. I started to enjoy the distance. I’ve loved every kilometre and when I’ve crossed the finish line, I’ve been so damn proud of myself. Proud because I am able to run 21.1km. So far, I’ve run 3 half marathon races this year and each one has taken me over 3 hours, but you know what, it didn’t matter. I have fallen in love with my running again!

So, I think what I’m trying to say is … it’s not you, it’s me. It’s taken me 4 years to realize that running is supposed to be fun. It’s taken me so many races to finally acknowledge that I run at 8 minutes per km and I’m okay with that. I watch so many other runners crossing that finish line after me with smiles on their faces. I want to be one of those runners. I want to be content and at peace and not carry around this huge burden.

So it’s good bye. We can still be friends and I will see you for the 8km run on Good Friday. But as far as any long term commitment, you’ve taken up way too much of my time and energy (both mentally & physically) already. I’m moving on.