Undulating Valentines Nite Race!

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My first night race…what an experience.  Did not really thought I was going to do this. I have become a bit paranoid lately. Scared of injury, so I don’t really wanna do things where there is a higher risk of getting injured and then derail all my training plans! But I thought, this cant be too bad, candle lit streets…Common, this is going to be fun.

I am used to training in the morning, I feel fresh and energised. I know I am a bit sluggish in the evening, but I thought it would be great to experience a 10km and this event seemed to be well organised. Well, sitting through traffic to get to the venue was so stressful. I did not want to get a late start again. Finally, we got to the venue, just to stand in more queues to register. My heart rate was climbing without me having lift one foot as I said in traffic :-). We probably cut it with minutes to the starting line….and then 3,2,1…and off we went.

The CROWD

The crowd was awesome, there was probably over 5 000 runners. So, you can imagine it was a SLOW start. I thought to myself, ag its fine..I know I can run this 10km in 1:10. But it is not easy zig zagging around the crowd, you use so much energy! It was also getting darker and I struggled to monitor my pace and time on my watch. Not all the streets were equally lit so it also became difficult to see in front of you. I must say just seeing all the runners moving in front and back of you is awsome. BUT that is how far it goes for me and crowds…I NEED MY SPACE…I NEED MY TIME..and I NEED TO SEE WHERE I’M GOING.

My PACE

The roads were so full and as much as I want to pass it was difficult. I need to have an idea of how far into the run I am. Could not see a damn digit on my watch..did not want to bother with backlights and stuff, cos I did not want to fiddle in the dark and loose my race data. SO I just ran…and when I felt tired walked for what I believe was 30s…I think about 2km into the race I started to except my situation and just focused on the LONG ROAD still ahead.

UNDULATING?

The rout was so difficult. Felt like we were climbing most of the time, which is why I really needed to watch my time so that I can control the amount of walking.

The undulating 10km route...

Apart from all the hills, it was actually a nice race. The atmosphere was great. the residence really did there bit of cheering..there was more than enough coke and water…and HILLS. It was a beautiful evening…except for the fact that it was RACE! Just before the 8km (have to be honest, never saw any of the other markers) there was this HILL that never stopped. I think it was at that point that I decided..stuff this…now I am walking..I cannot run this. The time was showing 1hr..I knew I was not going to make my goal time. I can run 1km in 7 mins, so this will mean at best I could come in at 1:14, which would still be an improvement on my previous 10km, but I was so tired. That last 1km was a fairly easy run, it just felt that so LONG!..Finally, I’m there…1:17! :-). What can say…


The DEBRIEF

I  just could not understand why I could not run the 10km in 70 mins. All my training runs went to well. Its not that I was unhappy with my performance, just could not understand why I struggled so much, especially on the hills. I went and read up on the rout profile and realised it is actually categorised as a LEVEL 4…out of 5. So it was a pretty difficult race. Two Oceans is rated LEVEL 3, so I there is hope for me. So ya, back to the drawing board. This was definitely a great experience. Made me realise that to perform well in a race it is not just about running, there are other things to consider on race day, the crowd, your environment, the natural elements (rain, wind, dark :-))…so as much as you prepare, you need to always keep an open mind and be flexible. Most of all to enjoy the race.

I read on Two Oceans facebook site that there will be 20 000 runners, so I need to get more practice running in big races and getting use to crowd. Also, Two Oceans is not the race to be setting time goals/PB due to crowds, so I guess I have ONE GOAL…to finish in the 3hrs.

Quote of the day:

“The body does not want you to do this.
As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong.
You always go too far for your body.
You must handle the pain with strategy…
It is not age; it is not diet.
It is the will to succeed.
-Jacqueline Gareau

About Moerieda Mackay

Late to running and absolutely loving it! I'm married to my soulmate, Adam and blessed with 3 beautiful children. I am a Business Transformation and Innovation Professional and holds a MSc (Eng) in Industrial Engineering. Yip, a bit of a workaholic. I became addicted to ultra running whilst searching for that elusive “work-life” balance at the age of...40! I have no sporting background and with zero athletic ability running is by far the most challenging thing I've taken on but it has put me on a path of self discovery and serious transformation both physically, mentally and spiritually...and I love it!

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