Cruel Runnings – My Elusive Sub 5hr Marathon…

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Such a nice T-shirt..pity I never ran the race.

I had no idea what was waiting for me in March – now I understand the saying “sometimes life can be a bitch”. That is exactly how I felt after my bad training month in Feb and due to personal circumstances I could not participate in key training races or keep to a training schedule in prep for my Two Oceans and Comrades. Instead of training properly I will race myself fit and be ready for my goal race. Right! Go-on! Just race it and hope to hit sub 5hrs. Some people can do it, I don’t seemed to be one of those lucky ones. Each time I got to the START I had doubts and it showed in my race times. I am not sure what or how it happen during these races, but there comes a point when I start doing numbers in my head and I know if I want to run sub 5hrs I will have to pick up the pace – then I just tell myself there is no way I can do it, without even trying! I don’t know why I do this to myself everytime. Instead of running the freakin race I plan for a “just make the cut-off” finish. Something I have managed to perfect. I manage to finish 4 out 4 marathons within cut-off! The last one was Jackie Gibson, a level 4 marathon – finished within 30s of the cut-off time, the last female to cross the finish line before the gun went off. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with finishing a marathon within the cut-off. To finish, even if you did not make the cut-off is a MILESTONE. But I have now moved my goal post.

Despite the commitment, I just can’t seem to nail sub-5hrs for a marathon. With one last qualifier left in May the PRESSURE IS ON! As much as this is exciting stuff it is also very draining and hard on the body and if I am not careful I could end up burnt out or worse, with an injury. I ran 2 full marathons (Sabie-Nelspruit and Jackie Gibson – more about these marathons in upcoming posts) and 2 half marathons in March, a great achievement…never in a MILLION years would I have thought I would be capable of this after one and a half years of running. It is AMAZING how the body adjust, really feel like anything is possible now – KEEP MOVING…FASTER NOW ! 🙂

Lesson 1…”IN TIME, WITH PRACTICE”

So far training in April seems to be much kinder. Moved the focused to training more and racing less – yes, it is a learning curve :-(. I am slowly but surely starting to get back into a routine though it seems all the hard running in March is starting to take its toll. I am getting all sorts of knee and LTB pains. Might be time to do the sensible thing and LISTEN TO MY BODY. No, wait, not now. Just one more try. SCARY how one becomes obsessed with race times and goals, especially if you just can’t reach them fast enough.

Lesson 2…TAKE IT EASY..You getting there!

Quote of the Day – “The true measure of a runner isn’t in time, but rather in the effort it took along the way.” Coach Jenny Hadfield

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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