So… do I start with the part about me running 10 km without walking? Or do I start with the part about me getting a new PB? Or do I start with the part about me having a phenomenal morning with awesome friends all pushing to achieve personal fitness goals?
Yesterday, just a week after completing the Mini-Monster Race in South Africa, I did another 10k race! For those of you who are new to the blog, I am on a great mission to complete 17 races in 2017 and this was my third race. My body was shattered after the Monster but I had a lovely Pilates Class on Monday which helped to stretch things out. On Tuesday I felt strong enough for a run and did 3.02 km in 23:19 min (7:42 min/km pace). On Wednesday, I ran with my cousin and she upped the tempo a bit so we did the same stretch we had done a couple of weeks ago but increased our pace tremendously, making it my new fastest pace for a short run (2.77 km, 20:28 min, 7.22 min/km). This run was followed by another great pilates class. The excitement started building as the race approached and on Friday we collected our race numbers.
The day before the race I was quite tense. I desperately wanted a PB because I felt that I had put in all the hard work. When I ran 10k in 1.18.41 last year, I had only been running for 4 weeks and I felt that I “deserved” a better time now especially as I am so much fitter. I had some gluten free cheese and tomato grilled sandwiches for supper and then went to bed shortly after putting the kids down.
The Race: This time the race was a 5 minute drive from our house so nothing compared to the 4 hour drive last week! 🙂 We were scheduled to start the race at 05:45, 15 minutes after the half-marathoners. But the gun only went off at 06:07. On the plus side this gave us some time to catch up with friends and shake off the nerves! When we finally started, I had not really warmed up nicely but I got into a very good rhythm early on. I didn’t feel like I was going fast but it turns out the first km was actually my fastest stretch – 7.27 min/km (not counting my sprint finish at the end!). I quickly found a few pace-makers and some I actually stayed with for most of the race. This kept me focused. I had a very steady pace for most of the race, even when going up the small incline I stayed strong and steady.
It was a linear route and mostly flat (A 34 metre ascent; compared to last week’s 286 metres this was a “walk in the park” LOL!) We started at Airport Junction, then went up Nelson Mandela Flyover, straight down to Kgalagadi Breweries where we turned around and headed back to Airport Junction using the same route).
As it was linear, it was great seeing Ditiro and my friends as they made their way back after the 5 km mark. At the halfway point I was still feeling very strong and was completely aware that I was now in unchartered territory. It was only two weeks ago that I managed my 5 km stretch without walking! So to pass this mark and STILL be running was a feat on its own. But as the race continued, my body went into autopilot. When I got to the 7 km mark, I was certain that I would manage to run 10 km without walking. At the 8 km mark, I toyed with the idea of stepping it up a notch but at this point I was too scared to burnout and have a weak finish. However, when I got to the 9 km mark I pushed, averaging 07.02 min/ km for the final last km. With 500 metres left I threw my water bottle to the ground and just stepped on the accelerator a bit more. I steadied myself at this new faster pace until I could see the finish line a 100 metres away and then I just gave it all I had left. It was one of my strongest finishes yet, with my sprint at the end being 06:02 min/ km. I started pumping my fists in the air, and came through the finish line dancing and smiling.
My time: What a day!! What a PB!! I ran the course in 1:15:11 hours, a 3.5 minute Personal Best! But for me, what was even more significant is the fact that I ran 75 minutes without walking!
After the Race: It was soon back to mummy duties so I rushed back home to take Kaia for her tennis lesson. She told the coach that I “won the 10k race”. I didn’t exactly correct this minor detail! 🙂 We later had a hearty lunch at Sanitas Tea Garden and I treated myself to a lovely bowl of chips in addition to my main meal!
- I feel like a runner: Ditiro always said if you can run 5 km without stopping, then running 10 km is just around the corner. I didn’t actually believe him. Well… turns out he was right!
- My gait needs a lot of work: I need to figure out how to improve my form. Do any of you have any ideas?
- My breathing is starting to sound more effective: I felt like I was more in control of my breathing and I used pilates breathing techniques (in through the nose, out through the mouth) when I started to feel tired.
Pros/ Cons of the race:
- They provided a route map a week before the race and this really made a difference in terms of mental preparation.
- Official times were already up when I checked in the afternoon! Definite plus point for me!
- The pre-race package consisted of an old running magazine from October 2016 and the promised t-shirt was nowhere in sight! 😦
- It was a very late start, almost 20 minutes after the official start time so on the return leg of the race, it was already quite hot.
Would I do this race again?
Yes, I loved the route. The best part of this race though was celebrating my small victory with these beautiful people. Each one of them achieved something great yesterday, with Ditiro getting an awesome 47:01 minute time.
Thank you to all my friends who ran yesterday, thank you to my friends and family out there who are always cheering me on, and thank you to all the bloggers around the world who keep me accountable every single day.