After weeks of training, we entered the 19th and FINAL week! This was my hardest week. Not in terms of training but really just keeping all my emotions in check. On the one hand, I was extremely happy (and almost relieved) that Race Week was finally here. All I have been thinking about for 19 weeks has been this race. On the other hand, I was nervous – funnily enough, not nervous about the race but terrified that I would suddenly fall sick. Then my husband caught a cold and instead of being a caring wife, I almost banished him to another room. Almost. I was so thankful when Race Day came and I was fit and healthy. My legs felt good, no cold in sight. I was ready. Here is my final training recap!
Monday, 7th May: Rest Day.
Tuesday, 8th May: Easy Run, 46:59 min, 6.01 km. After work, I drove to my cousin Tapiwa’s workplace and we did the 6 km run together. What a lovely run! Ankle and knee felt good. In fact, body as a whole felt well-tuned!
Wednesday, 9th May: Pilates Class, 1 hr. I left work early so I could do a pilates class. This is something I have really neglected and before Race Day, I was keen to get some good stretches in under the guidance of my favourite pilates instructor, Oliver. It was brilliant. I would say 90% of the class was done lying back on a foam roller, testing my balance and core strength quite a bit! Excellent workout and just what my body and mind needed.
Thursday, 10th May: Easy Run, 36:18 min, 4.51 km. Coach Nicola had only put 4 km on the training plan but I just had to add 0.51 km when I realised that’s how much I needed to reach 300 km of running this training cycle! I went out to the Sebele Agricultural Grounds with Ditiro and the kids and we met our friends Polelo and Paul who joined us for a walk. This run was slow but I felt such a sense of accomplishment and said out loudly that whatever happened on Sunday I have done everything I can possibly do. I felt ready.
Friday, 11th May: Rest Day. We picked up our race packs. There was already a buzz of excitement in the air. The City was ready to run!
We were all so excited about the special bags we got, all made in Botswana using different African patterns. It was a really special touch.
Saturday, 12th May: Rest Day/ Preparation Day. We made sure everything was ready and set for the big day. I finally chose my outfit. I was initially going to go with my trademark bright race colours but felt for my first Half, I should do something different so I went with all black! Then I threw in a white cap so my sister and kids could easily spot me on the course and pink socks – you know I wasn’t going to leave pink out for my first Half, right?!
Sunday, 13th May: On Mother’s Day, a Half Marathoner was born on the streets of Gaborone. Everything just came together for this race. All the hard work. All the joys. All the tears. It all paid off! I did the first 14.5 km with Tapiwa – we chatted, we laughed but we kept pushing forward. We were shocked that we were averaging paces that we hadn’t even done in training. We questioned whether we should slow it down but our bodies felt so good we just kept going. My best moment came around the 12 km point when my sister and kids were cheering from the side of the road with banners saying, “Run it like you stole it” and one that Janelle mentioned on her New Jersey Marathon Race Recap, “If Your Legs Fail, Run with Your Heart”. Having Kaia run with me for 50 metres for my first Half and on Mother’s Day, well… what an amazing thing. As I entered the final stretch, I questioned whether I had it in me to do a sprint finish and my legs answered with a quick dash to the end. I finished strong, happy, and PROUD!! I never really had a time goal BUT I always hoped I could do it in under 2h 45 min and guess what? I did! I am still waiting for the official results, but my watch says I did my first Half Marathon in 02:41:21. Fellow runners, I have found my distance. You have just got to come back for this Race Recap!
Mileage this week: 10.52 km
Mileage this training cycle: 300 km + 21.1 km!
Gym Classes this week: 1
Grade: A+ (I succeeded in keeping it nice and easy this week and killed that Half Marathon!)