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#fat2fab: Week 44 – #IRanSoweto #WeRunSoweto

So I ran Soweto!

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Image Courtesy Of Nike Running ZA

Yes, I really really did! If it weren’t for my stiff and tired legs, I’m not sure I’d quite believe it!

On Saturday, the night before the race, the magnitude of what I was about to do suddenly hit me….

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On the 6th January this year, I tipped the scales at 118kg’s and couldn’t even walk down the road and here I was on the eve of completing my first half marathon, 32kg’s lighter and fitter and healthier than I’ve been in more than a decade! And I realized what an incredible privilege the last 10 months have been. That my transformation has been so much more than just physical and I’ve learned so many amazing lessons about myself, about my determination, my staying power and the great big set of balls I have, I feel like I’ve transformed not just my body but my mind too.

I hardly slept on Saturday night, I was soo nervous for the race and eventually I got up at 3h30 because I couldn’t stand to lie in bed and stare at the clock a second longer. So I tiptoed downstairs, drank a couple of cups of coffee and ate a banana and then got my kit together and got ready to go.  I’m so grateful to Samantha Curley-Young who stayed with me for the duration of the race, she helped keep me going and helped me set my pace and she knew just when to push me when I thought I couldn’t anymore. We also drove together, along with Jenty to the start which did help calm my nerves a little because by the time she arrived to fetch me, I was so adrenalin drunk I couldn’t even respond to messages on my phone.

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The race itself was VERY well organized! I loved it. No unnecessary delays, no hanging about, we just got out there and got the job done!

At about 8km’s I had a serious attack of the nerves. I kept asking myself what the hell I was actually doing! I wasn’t even half way through and why the hell did I sign up for this! Thankfully that sensation of OMG I can’t do this, why am I doing this and the panic that accompanied it was short lived and I felt I ran really well from the 5km mark to about the16/17km mark, I felt strong, I was able to run for much longer stretches and at a good pace! This half marathon saw me beat my PB’s on a 5km & a 10km so I knew I was doing well.

But at 17km’s I “hit the wall”. It hurt. It hurt so much I didn’t think I could do it. If it weren’t for the fact that we only had 4km’s left to do, I swear I would have bailed! I just kept telling myself I’d come TOO far to quit now! Sam was there cheering me on, along with some chirps about queue the Rocky music and some bad singing and air punching from some smart Alec who ran past us and gave us a good laugh and I managed to keep going. By the time we reached the finishing field, I had a severe stitch, I was in extreme pain and I could only just manage a shuffle! But I crossed the finish line and as soon as I heard my ChampionChip beep on the mat, I burst into tears!

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The tears were so much more than just relief. They were tears of joy and happiness. I did it! I ran a half marathon! I proved to myself and to everyone who made fun of me at the beginning of this year, that I could do it. That I wasn’t the fat chic anymore.

And then I cried and cried and cried! And then I had champagne with Sam, Jenty and Jenna as we celebrated our achievement!

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My official race time is 3:00:18 but I prefer my Nike running app, which said I ran a sub 3!

The best/worst part… now I want to do it again!

Next up…. Half Ocean!

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22 Comments

  • Reply femmegypsy

    I have goosebumps! YAY YAY YAY. You’re amazing 🙂

    November 4, 2014 at 8:12 am
  • Reply Yoli

    You are a freaking rockstar!!!! And thanks for all the inspiration – I did my first 10 this year (also ex fat chick) so now you are making me think 21 is do-able…..

    November 4, 2014 at 8:31 am
  • Reply Nicky Davis

    I have tears! Well done Sharon – you rock!

    November 4, 2014 at 8:32 am
  • Reply Immeasurable Love

    Well done to all of you!

    November 4, 2014 at 8:34 am
  • Reply Nisey

    Such an amazing personal achievement Sharon, you can be very, very proud of yourself xxx

    November 4, 2014 at 9:15 am
  • Reply marciemattushek

    Well done! What an incredible achievement. And the bug has bitten. I did my first half about 15 years ago, and did my first tri on the weekend. You go girl!

    November 4, 2014 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Jenty

    Love it 🙂 you did so well! I’m so pleased I was there to share your race with you!

    November 4, 2014 at 10:02 am
  • Reply CalT

    So incredibly proud of you! You’ve always been an amazing person – so glad you now realise it!

    November 4, 2014 at 10:03 am
  • Reply Katherine Van Der Walt

    Well done. So proud of you. Look forward to hearing about many more races.

    November 4, 2014 at 10:35 am
  • Reply cat@jugglingact

    I am totally in awe of you 3 ! Gosh, what an achievement and in less than a year!

    November 4, 2014 at 11:36 am
  • Reply charliesbird

    Congrats, it’s an awesome achievement!

    November 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm
  • Reply Alet

    Well done Sharon, so proud of you!

    November 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Wow. You have my admiration.

    November 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm
  • Reply Karen at MomAgain@40

    Fantastic!! Well done

    November 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm
  • Reply #fat2fab: Week 45 – Me…. In A Swimsuit! | The Blessed Barrenness

    […] Monday morning last week and had gained a couple of kg’s, literally over night, after running my first half marathon. My horror would extend all the way through to Wednesday, when, with each mornings weigh in, […]

    November 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm
  • Reply A Little Ramble About My Annoying Running Tweets & A #FitBitFaceOff Update. | The Blessed Barrenness

    […] 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 […]

    February 10, 2015 at 10:52 am
  • Reply #GetSetForOceans15 I’ve Worked Hard! I’m Fit! I’m Strong! I’m Ready! | The Blessed Barrenness

    […] and I’m ready. I believe this, my second half marathon attempt, will be so much better than my first attempt, which hurt like a bitch, I cried at the finish line and swore I’d never do it again. I’ve trained harder and smarter this time, I’m […]

    March 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Running…. A Fresh Perspective | The Blessed Barrenness

    […] running mojo back, how do I know this? Because I never want to go through the pain and the tears of my first ever half marathon, last year when I ran the Soweto. It’s a great deterrent for me. Want to run a half marathon? Be prepared. Train hard. Put in the […]

    July 16, 2015 at 11:22 am
  • Reply You know what they say about the best laid plans?

    […] do it. I’m much stronger and much fitter than I was this time last year, when I ran ran the Soweto Marathon back in 2014.   I’m also a much more experienced runner now and have a few more half marathons under my belt […]

    November 2, 2015 at 10:40 am
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