April 22, 2014


half hearted stroll over the finish line.
I started to nitpick at my first half marathon not even thirty minutes after finishing it, maybe nitpick inst the right way to put it after all the idea is to see where and how I can improve so I can do better and feel better next time right? But after limping to the car feeling queasy and making a trip to the bathroom with an angry stomach I shuffled and shuffled in my chair at the restaurant looking for a position that would somehow decrease the knee, hip and stomach agony and all I could think was WHAT THE FLIP DID I DO WRONG.

So after much consideration these are the things I'm going to do differently for my next anythingover10km run;

  • Eat more- my stomach was definitely not working well with the energy bar and oats bar I had that morning, I had eaten a good portion of spinach, chicken and sweet potato the night before but woke up late that morning and hadn't eaten anything substantial or even just something that doesn't come in bar form.
  • The right kit- from my not so extensive knowledge and from just learning a little more about my Nike free runs (running shoe of choice) I realized they are only designed to run up to 10 km at a time (also explains the knee pain when doing 14km training runs), so far it seems like Nike Lunalons are going to be my shoe of choice any time I'm running over 10kms from now on, or some not so expensive equivalent. I also died in the heat, the run had very little shade and I wore full length leggings and a not so airy shirt, running shorts already purchased so I never have to suffer through extreme leg heat again.
  • Calm the flip down with the training in the week of the race- the week of the race I had five Pilates sessions I was booked to teach and added to that a 5km run on the Monday, 14km on the Tuesday, 5kms on the Thursday and about 2kms on the Saturday which I'm fairly sure was a stupid amount of running (& corework) to do the week of the race. In future I'm going to do plenty resting and taper big time before the run.
I'm clearly no season distance runner, I've been running for about three years now and have only crossed over into the long distance game this year so ofcoarse all the points above are purely based on how I felt and not based on any great personal wisdom.

Something pretty awesome about this race culture though, on my second lap of the run I ended up running next to a girl about my age running with her boyfriend. She seemed to take a little pity on me thinking I was racing on my own, after I informed her I was just too slow to keep up with the people I was running with we ended up sort of running together. I lost her at the water stand for a bit and then she run up behind me when the weight of feeling sorry for myself had caused me to walk (yet again) and said "come on lets go" as she came past.. We did a little bit of motivating each other on and off for the last 5kms and congratulated each other at the finish. It was this 35 minute friendship with a perfect stranger that reminded me why I love running, its one of the few sports I know where perfect strangers want to high five you at the top of a hill, where others in the sport arnt trying to beat you but push you forward. Its a sport of personal bests, friends waiting at the finish line and perfect strangers cheering you on.

I'm ready to pick another race and start training again.

April 17, 2014


I am in fact in this photo- see tiny spec with pink shoes

I completed the race a few weeks ago and have needed a few weeks to resuscitate my ego, it took everything out of me. There are a few things I'm fairly sure I did wrong in my final week of training as well as my nutrition for that morning, not to mention my realization a few weeks later that my foot wear was a fair bit out of its league for such a race. However I thought I would first post a play by play of my mental,emotional and physical breakdown.

The race was in Sandton city, I had my reservations about a race in Sandton as it seems to be made up purely of hills to me but signed up for the race anyway as my running partner was already signed up. I waited on my own at the starting line because I couldn't find my running partners amongst the thousands of other runners. The start was fine, I tried to ignore the frantic initial rush and thought this run would be breezy as the first 2 km was all flat. Making my way down the first hill I found my running partners (hallelujah, familiar shoes to watch ahead of me) the down hill was followed by an all too brief flat before starting our first big up hill, an uphill is of coarse followed by a steep down hill and since this was Sandton the down hill was followed by an extremely long up hill, followed by a flat and then another up hill, followed by a long up hill a steep down hill and then an uphill I felt like I could have done on my hands and knees (you see the pattern here). The joy of it all was that the route was in fact a 10.5km route that you had to lap twice, so just when you thought you must have conquered the hillafterhillafterfreakinghill first half of the run you got to do it all over again.

It was at the 10km water point that I decided that running was actually the worst thing in the whole world, contemplated quitting, got lapped by the winner who was on his way to the finish line and decided after I had finished this half marathon that I was going to hang up my running shoes and never run again. I lost my running partner and watched one person after another pass me. I made it to the end and contemplated vomiting on the finish line.

I finished in 2hrs and 28mins, exactly 28mins longer than I had planned it to take me.

I was extremely humbled and developed a huge respect for the others in this sport who run three or four times that distance and finish with a positive attitude. My husband also helped remind me I wasn't as fit as I thought I was by saying "you should of seen some of the people who finished ahead of you, there was this fat mama with her hair all perfectly done who breezed in like 20 minutes before you", yup consider me humbled.  
...to be continued (in part two I go back to running, never fear)