April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
So there is good news and there is bad news. C’est la vie, right?!
The good news is I didn’t die as predicted and I actually managed to finish the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon despite rather unpleasant conditions.
The bad news is that I missed cut-off by a measly 4 minutes!!! I am SO bummed about that… but let me tell you why this may have happened and why this was possibly my worst race ever…
Firstly I know I wasn’t well prepared training-wise for the event, next year will be very different because I won’t have just had a baby. But training aside, the runs that I did get in stood me in good stead for the race and I felt surprisingly strong for most of it and I also recovered quite quickly which was a pleasant and verrrrrry welcome surprise!
However, even if I had trained really hard for this race there were severla factors that jsut didnt’ go my way on race day. First was the traffic getting there. It was C.H.A.O.S.
We (my running buddy Aimee and I) basically sat in one spot for about 45 minutes before panic kicked in and we managed to weave our way to a parking spot and then had to run 1km to the start…. only to find out when we’d arrived that the half marathon had already started. YIKES!
Fortunately we caught up pretty quickly.
UNfortunately it meant we were right at the back so for the next 2km we did a very slow walk.. with a few half-hearted attempts at running… until it finally thinned out enough for us to run. By then we were on Edinburgh Drive, the ‘new’ hill in the race. And what a hill it was. This is where I lost Aimee and began my very own, very slow race.
Once the hill was gone it was quite a lovely downhill for a while, and while I heeded the expert’s warnings not to take them on too hard and then pay for it later on, it was hard not to enjoy them knowing that an even worse hill was waiting later on.
At the 7km mark I couldn’t believe how fast the time had gone already, but my heart started doing weird palpatation-things and forced me to walk for a bit. The emergency vehicle drove past slowly and I seriously contemplated stopping them to ask them to check me out, but I decided I didn’t want to risk losing time over nothing. So instead I found a nice little bush and stopped for a pee African-style (what?!?!) and by the time I started running again I felt fine. Weird.
It was shortly after that the rain started. Thankfully I had taken my rain jacket with, but after 10 minutes it made no difference because it was raining really hard and I was soaked through and what little parts of me were dry were soon freezing from the wind which was quite strong as well.
By the time I hit Southern Cross Drive it’s fair to say I was quite miserable. By the time I was half-way UP Southern Cross Drive I was beyond miserable. My clothes were completely drenched. My shoes weighed an extra 2kg from water and my heels were rubbing against my shoes, forming some nice little blisters. Everyone around me was quite down too because the rain was at it’s hardest here, coming at an angle and being made even worse by the wind. I was ever so happy to see the top of that hill.
The rest was a bit of a blur. Since I had decided to walk Southern Cross and save my energy I was able to run most of the rest of the race which I was happy about. I mostly just wanted it to be over and to be somewhere warm and dry.
I usually like running in the rain, but this was a hard race in hard conditions. I spoke to some of the ultra runners afterwards and they said they had loved the rain, but had had no wind, so that would have made a big difference. It’s INFINTELY better than running in the heat, but I would have preferred kinder conditions for my first Two Oceans.
So I eventually crawled over the finish line, almost in tears because I had JUST missed the cut-off and thus didn’t even get a medal to show for my effort. My hips were also feeling very sore and my calves were starting to seize up.
But the day wasn’t over yet… we still had to catch a bus from UCT to where we had parked in Newlands… and for some reason there were only 2 buses running that day. I don’t know what went wrong either but we waited with hundreds of other very unhappy, wet, cold and tired runners for 2 HOURS in the rain before we finally got on a bus. I have never been so cold in my life and I’m not joking when I say it took the rest of the weekend to fully warm up. Just thinking about it gives me chills.
However, as always happens with these things the bad memories fade and the pride at actually still having finished it 5 months after giving birth is back with me and I am already promising myself next year will be different. This as I prepare for the Spar Women’s 10km race this weekend…no rest for the wicked….
PS Running for 3 hours when you’re a breastfeeding mother IS NOT FUN. So big up to any other breastfeeding mums out there. You’ll know what I mean…