Chasing My Dreams

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So what’s next after the most amazing Comrades Marathon experience?

I took a break from running the last 4 weeks yet all I could think of the whole time was RUNNING!

10487259_579398442170507_6473067939894266817_nDREAMING BIG AGAIN. NEW GOALS. NEW PLANS.

I’m very excited about my new goals – it’s going to challenge the wits out of me! I’ve been dreaming about doing an extreme adventure race since the day I took up running as a SPORT three and a half years ago but somehow had it in my head that I was not ready. Truth is, I will never be ready if I don’t plan and prepare for it!

My next adventure is a massive undertaking. It scares the hell out of me so don’t even want to say it out loud, safe to assume I got my work cut for the next 21 months…will be like giving birth to an elephant! Training is only one part of this journey. There are so many other things to consider; balancing family and work, experimenting with gear and the many sacrifices I’ll be making participating in extreme adventure racing & expeditions around the world. So many great adventures waiting. I want to do them all..OK, THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!

I’m still working on finalising my three year plan so trying not to focus so much on just the end goal anymore but also to appreciate and enjoy all the little detours (yip, those unforeseen challenges!) I will encounter on this journey.

Next Up – Marathon #10!

Number 10 is going to be special. I’m thinking sub 4:30 marathon! Yip, slow by world marathon standards BUT

  • I’ve already cut my time from 5:29 (2012) – 4:43 (2014)
  • I’ve learned the hard way what 10s/km over the marathon distance can do to your overall finish time, so I am working hard on getting faster over the shorter distances!
  • The key is I BELIEVE I can do it and love seeing the progress

So back to basics…reality – building my base , working on getting stronger and focus on running a little faster. Before I just wanted to run fast enough so that I could qualify for Comrades and not run the race with a gun against my head! The most stressful experience…ask any finisher who have just…just…just…missed the 12hr cut-off!

This time I want to push myself and see given the effort over the next few months what I am capable of. I know I can run a sub 4:30 mara just need to get that 10K time down! I should be able to run a 10K in 58-59mins just did not pick the right races before, so the thinking is training for 56-57min 10K and 2:05 half marathon.

Marathon number 10 won’t be until November so plenty of time to get mentally tough and play with speed which should leave me with a good base – going into the new year strong and ready to experiment with new aspects of ultra running like multi-stage races; night racing; ultra trails & the list continues…

My dreams are not gonna come easy but I am going to make them happen. The next few months will see me grow into the person that can achieve all these amazing challenges I’ve set out to do.

A Journey of A Million Miles…Designed Not To Happen Overnight! :-)

My ‘Comrades Award’ Speech

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Pinch me! I feel like a celebrity stalked by the paparazzi… http://midrandreporter.co.za/109686/best-foot-forward-for-the-children/

Three weeks later and I’m still living in my Comrades bubble. Sound cliche(ish) but with patience and perseverance the IMPOSSIBLE became POSSIBLE!

This year everything just came together on race day. I don’t believe I’ve ever run a race with so much confidence. Excited and on a high the entire way from Pietermaritzburg to Durban! Yes, some sections were tough – I was less prepared for the 60-90km ‘down run’ section. In hindsight I should’ve driven that part of the route as well but I thought …”Down, It’ll be easy!” :-) However at no point in the race did I hit a mental or physical low.

THE HONOURS GO TO…

I have been thinking about what to say in this post, so many stories to tell but this will take forever to get down on paper. I will do a separate post later about what worked for me this time and how I have progressed as a runner.

Since I am feeling like a running celebrity I thought it fitting to prepare a ‘Comrades Awards’ speech, like the celebrities would do on Oscar/Grammy night. This post is about saying thank you to all the amazing people that inspired and supported me on my Comrades Journey, helping me to get this bucket list item ticked!! It’s a long speech but I have the key notes summarised in CAPITAL LETTERS…to speed up when the lights start flashing! :-)

So here we go.

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Firstly, Kyalami Running Club (KRC) – I feel spoilt with so much support from everyone in the club. I appreciate everything our fearless leader Gillian is doing to make Comrades the special event it is for everyone running the race. You guys have made me see that Comrades is about camaraderie, not just on race day but also throughout training. The Comrades journey is long; training for the Down Run started in 2013. I honestly can’t see how it is possible to train for months, stay focus and motivated without feeding off the support and encouragement from your running buddies.

THANK YOU KRC FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE (AND OVERSHARE) MY RUNNING JOURNEY. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!

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Secondly, my charity Starfish Greathearts Foundation and everyone that supported my Race-4-Charity drive. I looked forward to running pass the kids from Starfish. Last year they were still there when I arrived in the dark in Pietermaritzburg – this year was even more special. The children were all sitting on a special stage at the Nedbank Green Mile and as tired as I was at the point (at about 70km) I gave it my all. When they saw me they all stood up and screamed MY NAME cheering me on!!! I had goosebumps running pass them, blew kisses and wished I had a camera to capture that moment. I love the feeling I get knowing that somehow someone’s life will be touched by the little contribution we’ve made.

YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB, LORIN!

Thirdly, my virtual running club/community on Twitter. Everyday I am inspired by motivational quotes, dreams and determination shown by other runners; daily support and messages of encouragement from my followers! The podcasts and run chat forums – still can’t believe there is so much to running!

TWEEPS, YOU ARE ALL SO INSPIRATIONAL!

Fourthly, my coach Ray from RunEtics.com – My training programme was Spot On!

I have never worked so hard for anything in my life – I ran almost 1000kms in the last 5 months but at no point did I feel over-trained. In fact I felt energised and strong throughout (sometimes I think I am a bit addicted to my training). No injuries or getting sick – other than the usual niggles but Ray has the answers to all my running related problems!

My highest weekly mileage was 100kms and that was 2wks after I ran the Two Oceans Marathon. A 100km week is huge for me! Didn’t believe I could do it…but I did. Highest monthly mileage was just over 250km! Over the last couple of months I’ve become the strongest, fastest, fittest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my adult life just by sticking to my training programme. I see and feel my body transforming everyday…it’s amazing!

THANK YOU RAY, YOU ARE A GENIUS – can’t wait for the next training cycle to start!

Lastly, my ULTRA AMAZING HUSBAND AND FAMILY! Putting up with me for months…you guys have no idea how easy you made things for me. Early morning runs (tick), weekend long runs (tick), races away from home (tick).What more can a running obsessed wife and mom ask for? Each day I am blessed with your love, believe, support, sacrifices…giving me the opportunity to CHASE MY SELFISH DREAMS!!

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY…

TO WHOM DO I DEDICATE THIS MEDAL?

I dedicate my first Comrades medal to my first born and biggest supporter who always encourage me and never seem to get tired of listening to my running ramblings!

This one if for you...Sabrina!

Dedicated to my daughter, Sabrina.

WHAT’S NEXT?

I took a self assigned 4 week break from running. Well at least a physical break, cos all I can think of now is running my next race :-). One more week to go!

I am working on my 3 year running plan. There is so many great races and adventures I want to do that I am not yet ready for…so in the short term the focus will be on getting to run a little bit faster.

SOME COMRADES RACE DAY PICS

I can write a book about my 2014 Comrades Race day but these photos say it all….18407792_71802 18464422_71807 18390942_71809 18565225_71810 18554091_1658 18559199_1660

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

My Two Oceans Marathon Journey

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I ran the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 2011. The race changed my life…

Two days after the race we drove back to Jozi and I told my family the next time we do Two Oceans I will do the Ultra Marathon (56km). They all just looked at me with eyes saying “we still getting used to you finishing a half marathon!” but still very excited I started planning and training.

I was happy. I found “my thing”. 5am to 6am was mine…everyone still sleeping while I am having the time of my life. Loved it! Never looked back. Well, only to see how far I’ve come….

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Mmm…starting to look like a running addict, would think I don’t have anything better to do!

2012

I was definitely not ready to run Two Oceans! I struggled to qualify. I ran 3 marathons in 6 weeks (how crazy stupid can one be!) – each time just missing the 5hr cut-off time. A hard pill to swallow however that made me realised how much I enjoy running (or perhaps it was the thrill of being challenged?). I’ve since learnt there are just some things you can’t rush…it’s not a reflection on you or your ability. If you not ready, you not ready. That’s it. You have to be patient and work hard (and  smart) for what you believe you capable of achieving.

Running is hard for me but there is so much satisfaction in seeing yourself grow and getting stronger and I have found that each race brings it’s own unique learning experience. The strangest thing happened to me while I was running all these races. I started to dream the impossible. Yes, thinking of running Comrades! That’s when I decided to get myself a running coach. If I am going spend all this time chasing crazing dreams I might as well do it right and so embarked on this is journey of a “Million Miles’.

My dreams are not gonna come easy and that is fine. I am having the time of my life – no need to rush anything…

2013

Traveling in Europe in 2013 during the easter holidays meant that I would not be home to run Two Oceans, but I was fine with that. Instead I ran the Rome and Paris Marathons so was more than happy to wait until 2014!

2014

photo-45So, finally in Cape Town to run in my 1st Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. I say my “1st” as if I intent running more than one of these. If you run the race 10 times you get a blue number. Anyone who wants to compete in this event must qualify by running a standard marathon in under 5hrs. Once you have you blue number you no longer need to qualify. You even get a double blue number for those who have run the race more than 20 times!! Insane…I can’t even get myself to run a race twice forget 10 times, no flippen way 20 times. I guess it all comes down to what makes you happy.

The Two Oceans Marathon is a 56 km / 35 mile ultramarathon and 21km half-marathon held annually in Cape Town, South Africa on the Saturday of the Easter weekend. Self-proclaimed as “the world’s most beautiful marathon”, the race is run against a backdrop of spectacular scenery through the Cape Peninsula.

The race starts in Newlands, and follows a more or less circular route through Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, over Chapman’s Peak and Constantia Nek, and eventually finishes at the University of Cape Town campus.

Two Oceans was planned as a long run for Comrades so I was more than ready to run easy and just enjoy the race. Having a structured training programme made all the difference in how I approached the race. I was doing all the right stuff in training (quality and quantity) and the running is starting to feel easier now. The build-up to Two Oceans included Dischem Half, PnP 36km long run, Vaal Marathon & Om Die Dam.

OMTOM Expo

I went to register the Friday which is normally the busiest, but it was fine I was just gonna be in and out. I saw the twitter updates that world record holder (2:03:23) Wilson Kipsang was going to be at the Expo, but never in a Million years thought that I would actually get to see him. I was browsing around when my husband told me they just announced that Wilson Kipsang is there, so we both made our way to where they were interviewing him. I had no idea how it happened, just being in the right place at the right time and we found ourselves right in front in the queue! What a lovely gentle young man he is. I took about 5 different pics on my cell with him and he did not mind doing the different poses. NO DOUBT…ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY RUNNING JOURNEY…

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OMTOM 2014

1. The First 28km – Fairly flat and I had to really tell myself to hold back, this is just a training run…told myself I am here to enjoy the race and get 15km of hill training in :-)

  • 7km Chapmans Peak
  • 8km Constantia Nek

2. UP Chapmans Peak (28km) – It was a long way up, but I focused and managed to reach the top feeling good…I was actually running in the Two Oceans Marathon, on top of Chappies and I was not being spit out!

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3. DOWN Chapman Peak (35km) – What goes up, must come down…love-it!

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4. THROUGH Hout Bay (40km) – Running through Hout Bay was just amazing with all the spectators, some great support from my running club and….LOTS OF WATER!

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5. UP Constantia Nek (42km) – A long 8km slog, but easier than I thought….still smiling!

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6. TOP of Constantia Nek (50km) – No stopping me know, still feeling good!

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7. HOME Stretch (55km) – Almost there…I’ve got this!

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8. Finish (56km) – Easiest and most beautiful long run, had so much fun on the road! I am designed to run…finally starting to think of myself as an ultra runner!

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 Thought of the day: Funny how a once impossible goal became an easy long run. There really is no telling how many miles you will have to run whilst chasing a dream…