On The Run

Year of Running 2018

I started running in 2017 by setting a goal to run 17 races. Although I was tempted to continue the momentum by doing 18 races in 2018, I chose not to as I wanted to focus on quality over quantity this year. Running all those races in 2017 was fun but I never really had time to focus on the quality of my running. So although there were fewer races this year, I really felt I grew into my own as a runner. Well, it’s time to sit back and reflect on 2018. Courtney at Eat Pray Run is hosting a “Year of Running” Link Up with questions helping runners to sum up the year. Here is what I have to say, enjoy! 🙂

  •  This was tough to answer as each race was different and came with such great lessons. But I think the Diacore Half Marathon takes the cup. It was my first Half Marathon and I ran the perfect race. My race strategy was to finish happy and strong and I did. As it was Mother’s Day, my sister brought my kids to spectate around the 12 km point and having my little girl run alongside me for a few metres of my first Half Marathon was amazing. But even more than that, it was the feeling of conquering a distance I never thought possible. Here is the full race recap.

  •  I enjoyed all the speed work I did leading up to the Soweto Half Marathon and my best run was the last Mile Time Trial I did at the National Stadium. I shaved 21 seconds off my previous time trial and felt like an absolute champion on that track. In the last few metres, I screamed and cheered. Just thinking about it now has me smiling from ear to ear! A close second is when I ran my fastest 16 km distance on a rare cloudy morning in Gaborone. Eliud Kipchoge had just beaten the world marathon record and I set off wanting to run 16 km in his marathon time, which I did!

  •  In my first 18 months of running, I chose not to run with music. I’ve never really been into music in general but sometime this year I decided to get a music player for the days when I am alone on my long runs. I really enjoyed the experience and for my 19 km Long Run it was what kept me going. For Christmas I got the BlueAnt Pump Air Wireless Sports Buds so I am really looking forward to trying those out as I haven’t been comfortable with my current earphones.

  •   I can’t remember actually being told this and in many ways it kind of revealed itself to me on its own – “Be Stronger than Your Excuses”. Excuses are so easy to come by. I have one, actually several, before each run. And so many of my excuses are valid. That’s the thing. They don’t sound ridiculous. They are real reasons for not running, i.e. being exhausted after work or it being way too hot. But the secret I have found is to override those excuses with a stronger voice or by putting in place routines and contingency plans that ensure the run gets done.

  •   Last year this was easy to answer – I would have gone with Isaac Makwala, one of the top athletes in Botswana. The specific inspirational moment was when he had to run a solo 200 m qualifying race to make it into the World Athletics Championships Semi Final after he had initially (and unfairly) been barred from running with others. Seeing him run alone on that track, in the rain, was so inspiring. But this year, I think I will nominate my running crew. Each one of them in their own way motivates me to work consistently and push harder to be better.

  •  Oh, I have so many! But I am going to choose this collage of photos because of what they signify. I did my first Obstacle Course Race this year as a team. And the four of us really exemplified what a team is supposed to be. While others were fighting around us, we helped each other over each obstacle, and this series of photos shows Tapiwa helping me get over one of the obstacles after I had fallen into some very soapy water whilst doing the Rope Swing. This was solidarity at its very best. Here is the full recap.

  • Best Looking Medal from the Year: I think this honour goes to the BDF Mogoditshane Medal. I loved the colour that is missing from so many of our medals.

  •  This was a toss-up between the Soweto Half Marathon and the last challenge I did, the Gaborone Striders 10 x 10 Challenge, both of which still need to be officially recapped. Soweto had a phenomenal vibe and running through the streets of Soweto to great cheers from its residents, old and young alike, was so special. And I think this will definitely become an annual event for me. But I think the experience I would do tomorrow without thinking twice, would be the 10 x 10 Challenge. We had to run and log 10 km a day, for 10 consecutive days, and then we all ran together on the Final Day of the challenge. It was awesome. I chose to run some days alone but on many days I was joined by different friends and family, including my dad. It challenged me mentally even more than physically and really lifted me from the slump I had gotten into after the Soweto Race.
Photo Credit: GRSC 10×10 Challenge (FB)
  •  Resilience and Growth.

How was your year of running?! What was your best race experience? What is the best piece of advice you received?  Please let me know in the Comments Section. Otherwise, if you are a runner blogger, join the link-up too as it is such a fun way of looking back and summing up the year!  It’s open to the end of January 2019!

13 thoughts on “Year of Running 2018

  1. I loved following your journey this year! You had some really great races and experiences 🙂

    I like that you want to focus more on quality vs quantity in 2019. I did the same thing after I ran 15 half in 2015.

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  2. I love this post and your beautiful photographs, and your amazing running crew. I’m lucky to have my Sedate Ladies and we have sometimes dragged each other round, although not literally over obstacles!!

    I only did one official race this year and didn’t get a medal for it, but the Canal Canter was fun and I did it with my girl Bernice and we got on well and built a foundation for doing our ultra next year. Best race was probably my unofficial marathon just because I had the best people with me and two of us covered the miles we missed through illness and not starting the Manchester Marathon. It was fun, and I went to the toilet in a tile shop, which is an experience you do NOT get in a big road mara!!

    Happy 2019 running: I’ll look forward to reading about what you get up to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz – this running crew keeps me going especially on those long runs. And thank you for following my journey – your comments always keep me going.

      Well done on all the running you did this year. I have loved following you and I just have to mention this – I have loved all the volunteering you have done for the running community. I do a lot of running but I often forget who is behind the scenes supporting organised running sessions or races. You have been awesome and really inspired me to not just run but “give more” this year to a sport that has given me so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you so much, that’s a lovely thing to read. I do get a lot out of the volunteering, too (although I’m going to spend most of Saturday clicking on a stopwatch in the damp …) which make it a good thing to do and fun to do. I look forward to seeing what you decide to do in tha area, too. Have fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to see you writing again. Had missed your blog and once again love your races because they’re ones unique to your blog – fun to see new to me races.
    I agree with you re: quality over quantity. I didn’t put that to paper, err keyboard, but it’s definitely something I’m thinking of. I’ve finally become comfortable with running for the sake of running without needing races as tool. It was nice to have some moments in the fall of being excited about racing as I’d missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my goals for 2019 is not to keep disappearing!! I’ve loved focusing on quality – it has really made me focus on getting better as a runner. But… but… I must admit nothing gets me quite as pumped as a race! So I may just add a few more this year!

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    1. I think it will be hard to top my first Half too! Special for so many reasons! Chaitali, I can’t seem to comment on your blog! I used to be able to but not any more – not sure if the error is on my side or whether I am doing something wrong!

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