There are 52 days left to the Two Oceans marathon!
52 days to put in my best efforts and prepare to run my best race possible on the day. I’m so excited and so proud of my efforts. You’ll remember in November I ran my first half marathon, The Soweto. I didn’t know what to expect and in hindsight, I realize I completely under trained and was not nearly as prepared as I should have been on the day. I had no plan, I didn’t enjoy the training and mostly I just winged it. This would probably explain the extreme pain I was in from the 17km mark, why I could hardly walk for a few days afterwards and why I cried when I crossed the finish line.
But my #OMTOM2015 preparation is on a whole other level and I’m excited for the race! I’ve worked hard. I’ve been dedicated and I have a plan. This is all largely thanks to my good friend, Nicole, who is a Run Walk For Life Trainer & Manager. She has coached me along the way, she’s given me excellent advice, helped me figure our a good training program, kicked my arse when I didn’t want to get out of bed and pushed me hard and I am so so grateful to her. My running has come on in leaps and bounds. But I have a plan….. We started this past weekend, running longer distances to gradually increase to an 18km run two weeks before the race before entering the tapering phase. On Sunday, I did a 13km run, an LSD (long, slow, distance) and each weekend until two weeks before race day, I will do an LSD and continue to stretch the distance.
During the week I’ m focusing on pace. I am a slow runner, no shame in that, time on the road is time on the road after all. Currently, I run at about a 8 – 8:30 average pace but I checked the Two Oceans website and noted that they discourage runners who run at an average pace of 8:30 from entering the half marathon as you won’t make the cut off time. So from today my week runs will be all about pace. I’ve set my TomTom to force me to run at an average pace of 6:50 to 7:15 and during today’s run, I managed to bring my pace down from over an 8 to 7:50. So I have got lots of work to do, but already an improvement.
I won’t lie, training like this, with a plan, it’s tough. I start my day week days at 4am with a cup of coffee before I head out to either walk to the dog or put in a good run. By 7pm, I’m exhausted. But I am loving it. It is a privilege to be able to run, it truly is a gift. Each time I’m out running, gulping lungs full of air, sweat pouring and legs burning, I remind myself of how a year ago, I could not have imagined being able to do this. And I am grateful.
People ask me how I find the time and the energy, easy really. Make the time, that’s why my day starts to bloody early and energy…. well I have it in spades since I lost all the weight and started focusing on eating a clean, low carb, high fat diet.
The #FitBitFaceOff is also really helping me stay motivated. I am VERY competitive! I want Team Wonder Mommies to win and we’re doing an excellent job so far!
The challenge has also opened my eyes to just how active I’ve become in the past year. I was so inspired by the likes of Nicki, Jenty, Tanya and Gaelyn and I can give a large portion of the credit to them for the running journey I’ve been on. I’ve often seen how peeps online can become annoyed by what is sarcastically known as #annoyinggymtweets but these girls, just by sharing their activity, their journey’s, their passion for being active and living healthily, they planted the seed in my mind. They made me stop and think, they made me want to also be able to share annoying tweets and Instagrams about my journey to an healthier, fit and strong me and I don’t care if people are annoyed by my shares, because maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there, watching my feed and having the seed planted that they too could live a better, healthier, fitter and stronger life. Also, sharing and getting the positive reinforcements from others really helps keep me focused.
So here’s to the next 52 days of training. To the tired legs, the calloused feet, the early mornings, the sweat & the sacrifice. I am beyond excited!