If anything, 2015 taught me this…

There are three races that I ran in 2015 which taught me incredibly valuable lessons which I’ll be using as a guide in 2016.

1. RAC 32km Tough One – Lesson: Set big, hairy, audacious goals

RAC 32 km road raceI had never run further than 21kms and this distance frightened me! I had sleepless nights worrying that I’d fail. In the weeks leading up to the race, it consumed my thoughts. But I did it! And loved it! I experienced moments of pleasure as well as extreme doubt & pain on the day. There were blisters. But wow, I floated on air pretty much for days after the race.

I realized this:

  • I must set goals that are so big, they fundamentally change my life
  • I need to ensure I surround myself with people who believe that I can achieve my goals
  • Always believe in myself! I proved that day that I can achieve anything I set my mind to
  • I also learnt that in life, the journey is not always easy and there will be uphills. But each & every step will get me to that finish line! It’s the rule of running.

2. Kaapsehoop 21.1km – Lesson: Write your own story

Kaapsehoop half marathon FinishI had heard the stories that this race was easy, flat (downhill) and a piece of cake. In fact most people spoke of PB’s. I believed them and repeated their stories with confidence. But on race day, my experience was different. The race was tough. The weather was unbearably hot. The camber of the road was painful and I did not manage to shave off the time I had expected to.
I know now that:

  • I shouldn’t believe everything I hear
  • I need to get the facts for myself and not blindly follow the masses
  • Make up my own mind. Have my own opinion
  • In every situation, everyone has a unique story to tell. What’s mine?

3. Two Oceans half marathon – Lesson: Sometimes in a race what matters is who runs along side you

Two Oceans Half marathon 2015If you’ve followed my blog then you’d know that Two Oceans and I have not had the easiest of relationships. In fact I’ve hated the race since I missed cutoff a few years back. But last year I ran the race with my Dad. We ran together the entire way and as the light drizzle came down and we chatted and laughed at stories along the way, my fear and anxiety of the race disappeared. I didn’t care what my pace was or what my finish time would be. Nothing could take away that special moment.

This wonderful memory showed me that I should:

  • Focus on the right things in my life. Look around and appreciate what really matters
  • People who matter will always be there for me
  • Realize that the reward is not the medal. It’s the family & friends in my life that run my journey with me each & every day!

All in all I’m truly blessed that I am able to run. It’s not about how fast or how far I run. It’s the fact that I’ve started 2016 fit, healthy and happy. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead! Enjoy the run…

Final thoughts on my Two Oceans race

I’ve been away on holiday and haven’t yet had time to blog about my Two Oceans half marathon race yet. But after returning to track training this evening, I realized that I still wanted to capture some of my thoughts from that day before I forget them.

It was the 5th time I ran the race – 3 medals, one DNF as well as numerous fun day runs under my belt. This year was the second time running the ‘new’ and perhaps more challenging 21.1km route.

TO2

A couple of things I have finally come to know and accept about the Two Oceans half marathon race:

  • It’s congested. Very congested, especially for those runners who start in E batch.
  • Due to the congestion, aiming for a PB is a tough job (I say that even though I ran a PB and so many others did too).
  • For so many people, Two Oceans is their first half marathon and often, a dream come true. It’s only fair to allow them to get caught up in the vibe, the emotions and enjoy their race. <Note to self: don’t share all your previous blog posts filled with too many negative feelings>
  • I need to remind myself that being one of the lucky ones to have gotten an entry and afforded the trip down to Cape Town is a blessing.
  • Running with friends and family make the day extra special and I loved every step of the race with my Dad at my side.TO
  • One of my biggest running goals has been achieved. The one where I don’t need to stress about making that final 3 hour cut-off gun. The tears swelled up watching runners dash onto that field, desperate to make that cut-off. The jubilation of those that made it but also the anguish of those that didn’t. It’s all in the spirit of the race.
  • I guess my final comment is that I’ve made peace with the race. I don’t hate it as much as I used to. I don’t fear it. We’ve become friends.

See you next year Two Oceans. XoXo.