Archive for February 25, 2010

Marathon Running…

Sunday started with my nerves waking me up rather early…  After lying awake for some time trying to prepare myself for the long day ahead, I got out of bed and went about my pre-marathon prep which involves checking and re-checking my race pack to make sure I have everything I need.  I left my friend Amanda’s house in a bit of a frenzy because with all the checking I’d forgotten to keep my eye on the time…

I took my place in the starting group just as the ‘gun’ went off and basically resigned myself to the fact that the race was going to be difficult given the fact that the longest run I’d done since November was 18km… Taking it slow for the first 17km’s, I searched for someone I knew which I could run with but alas, besides some familiar faces I ended up just putting my iPod in and blasting any negative thoughts away.

My trusty seconds were waiting for me at the foot of Red Hill ready with sweet potatoes to fortify me on this notoriously steep and windy road.  As I was about to head off I spotted Christopher, my last Red Hill running partner starting up the hill so I fell into pace with him and the person running with him Julie.  Now Julie is from North Carolina so we immediately hit it off chatting about the States (I lived there for 2 years) and all the other interesting topics you manage  to cover on a race that takes over 4 hours, if you are not sure what these topics include here is a short list:

  • Ben & Jerries Ice-cream
  • Divorce
  • Running shoes
  • Other Races
  • The Comrades
  • Cancer (Julie has survived stage 4 breast cancer)
  • Jelly Bellies
  • French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

That is just a short list 🙂

The trusty seconds were waiting 4km’s from the end with more potatoes and it is only then that I realised we were almost done, Julie and I had been chatting so animatedly and consistantly since Red Hill that it felt like the rest of the marathon had just flown by.  We both realised we weren’t going to make it under 4:30 so we decided to pick up the pace and give it our best shot to the end which we made in 4:34 – I am almost positive we did those last 4km’s at 4 minutes a K…

Now, I meet many people on these races all of which make some impact on me – there is Katie from  Pinelands who encouraged me to go on alone at the half-way mark of my first comrades, then Anne who fell very badly at the Two Oceans but still managed to help drag me over the finish line – but Julie is going to stick in my mind for a long time I think.  She danced for the camera’s just outside Cape Point Nature Reserve and copped a feel from the guy wearing a bra about 5km to the end.  She fought and beat cancer, running between Chemo sessions and bragging about the fact she didn’t need to shave when she lost all her hair – her strength of spirit is tangible and I consider myself privaledged to have spent 3 hours together running with her.  Thanks for running with me Julie, they make them tough in the States too 🙂

Special thanks also to Nicolene and Ines for sacraficing their Sunday morning and seconding for me, also to Amanda for letting me stay over – I might have to make this an annual thing!!

If you ran let me know how it went, the gale-force winds we were putting up with didn’t make this the easiest race I’ve done…

Running Medals

The BDO Peninsula Marathon

On Sunday I’m running the Peninsula Marathon which is quite special to me considering it was the first marathon I ever did (although the route has changed).  I’m probably about as nervous as I was 2 years ago because I haven’t done any long runs since last November…

Check out the profile below:

Peninsula

Good luck to all the first time marathon runners, despite the look of the profile this is a spectacular run with beautiful veiws which, if you aren’t too tired, you should stop and admire.

Also for the first timers, the last 5km are always the worst so make sure you eat enough during the race to carry you through to the end.  I have my trusty second Nicolene waiting at the bottom of Red Hill and again just after The Point, so if you are in need of some energy then look out for a red Polo and trot over to ask for some food.

I’ll send an update next week.

Knysna Marathon entries open!

The Knysna Marathon or more aptly, the half, is one of those races which everyone looks forward to.  It is on the last weekend of the Oyster Festival in Knysna which already draws a substantial crowd, but for some reason this race inspires first timers and keeps those not so consistant runners coming back, year after year, to basically remind themselves why they should not run.

Cape Town is left almost people-less on that weekend as everyone who is not already in Knysna heads up there for one of the biggest party weekends of the year and yes, the race.  As I mentioned in my race dissection from last year, there are pretty few people who actually do this race seriously which is probably why it is so much fun…

The entries opened on February 1st, they usually open in April, so make sure you don’t get left out.  The race is on July 10th this year!  Hope to see you there.

Half Marathon Route

Half Marathon Route

Full Marathon Route

Full Marathon Route

Running Help…

Help…

In 2 weeks time (13 days to be exact), I have my first marathon in what feels like AGES…  The last marathon I ran was last years Comrades, just to put a few things into perspective 🙂  I have been SO slack this year with races – this is not to say that I haven’t been training, of course I have but I just haven’t tested out how well that training has been going…

So the Peninsula marathon is on February 21st.  I was going to use the marathon to try and better my Comrades qualifying time as well as to qualify for the Two Oceans, but since I haven’t taken part as consistantly in races as what I have in previous years – I’m starting to feel the ever annoying running nerves which seem to burrow themselves right into my stomach and make it lurch every time I think about running a marathon again.

Let me know if you are doing the Peninsula too, it would be great to say hi!!