Treading lightly

The RAC 10km race is one of my favorite road races on the running calendar. It’s well organized, you can enter on the morning and the best part is the 8am start which means you still get to sleep in and enjoy your Sunday long run (bonus)!

Having taken a break since last year for his stress fracture in his femur, KK decided to run with me. We never run together. He’s too competitive and runs almost double the pace faster than what I can run. Which usually means we fight. And besides, I was worried about his leg. Would he manage 10kms?

But 2kms into the race, my worries turned to my own pain. My foot!

When I had X-rays taken in November last year for my sprained ankle, what surprised me most was finally seeing what had caused months of heel pain. The plantar fasciitis was in actual fact a heel spur!

I had not felt the stabbing hot poker to my heel since I started running again in January but boy did it rear it’s nasty head at this race.

I was disappointed. Was it ever going to go away? Most probably not.

Did it ruin my race? Definitely not!

Watching KK’s body language, the glee written all over his face at the fact that he was running: priceless! We stuck together for the entire distance.

And when he pushed me up that last 500m into the RAC field, I didn’t hate him. I would’ve run another 10kms if he asked me to.

Running through the Jo’burg streets engulfed in the most beautiful autumn colors. Just beautiful!

There are a few more winter races coming up soon and we’re both looking forward to them.

Will we run them together? Judging from his motivation to regain his running strength and fitness, most probably not. As I blog this post, KK keeps moaning about the DOMS from his training. There’s no such thing as baby steps in his life! Dude’s on a mission!

The final (leg) stretch 

After months of intense training, KK is finally tapering for the Comrades marathon.

I wish I could sigh a breath of final relief but no, he’s still got a few more weeks to go. One month actually. 4 weeks. 30 days. 

Until then, we’re still avoiding sick people (ie.: all people), being in a state of hunger 24/7, sleeping as much as we can and being incredibly grumpy! I say ‘we’ because as the wife of a Comrades runner, you have no choice. You’re in it for the long run!

Race qualifying started last year November already. Then it was the UTCT trail run in December, a few marathons in the beginning of the year, followed by x4 (!!) ultra marathons, Two Oceans being one of them. In between that he’s been clocking over 100kms per week. And heading into taper, it doesn’t stop. Now KK starts with fartleks and short (that’s short?) 30km long runs. 

I’m tired. I’m not the one training but I’m tired both mentally & physically. I said to KK earlier tonight that a runner cannot run Comrades marathon every year. It takes so much out of you!
Not only for the runner but also family & friends along side you all the way. 

But for now, it’s taper time. Let’s do this! *cheers*

Tired legs resting

Improvements often happen behind the scenes

When I talk to people about my running, I always slip in the fact that I ‘walk run’. It’s as if I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that I’m actually capable of running non-stop for kilometers on end. My pace is slow so telling people I walk means I don’t have to explain myself. 

But I noticed something today about my running pace during the Alan Robb road race that I wasn’t even concentrated on training for. I managed to run almost the entire way for 15kms at a steady consistent pace! I hardly walked!

Pacing road race running

I stopped at one or two water stations and walked on the very big uphill (on a very flat route). Other than that, I ran! 

Late last year, I remembered trying to run 20 minutes non-stop. It took me over three weeks to get it right. But since then, I’ve forgotten about it. 

Something must’ve worked. Was it the exercises from bio Mari? The stretching homework? The weekly runs? Hell, whatever it is, I’m thrilled! 

Quite ironic, I’m happy about something I didn’t even realize I was working on! 

So true of life, we’re often so focused on things that we think matter and don’t realize all the positive progress were making in other areas of our lives. 

Go me! ^5

The trip counter

Ever since I started running, there’s a habit I’ve picked up when I drive my car. I re-set the trip counter to “0” to see how far certain distances are if I were to run them. For example, it’s 3.4 kms to the gym from my house; 4.7 kms to the highway on ramp and 14.8 kms to get to my office. In the run up to any half marathon races, I typically use this exercise to prepare myself mentally. Passing that 21.1 km mark in the trip feels amazing.

So when KK entered the Bonitas City 2 City ultra marathon I started checking exactly how far 50 kms was and discovered that it’s a hell of a way! It’s pretty much the same as driving to my offices, then back home and then half the way back to the office again! *gasp*

City2City1

In his 22 years of running, he’s never attempted such a far distance before, having previously stuck to half marathon distances. I don’t know who was more nervous, me or him? From the time I wished him well at the start of the race, to seeing him coming up to the finish 5 hours and 22 minutes later, I was shattered!

City2City3

Well done on a fantastic run babes! I’m so proud of you. Comrades, here we come! (well, you…but you know what I mean.)

City2City4