I think I’m ready!
After yesterday, I’m feeling confident that I CAN DO IT!
I’ve been feeling quite stressed about the race, which is in just 25 days, especially after I read on their website that the cut off time is 3 hours and they don’t recommend runners who run at an average pace of 9 minutes per km, participate. I’m a slow runner. I generally run at an average pace of 8:30 which is cutting it fine. And really I don’t want to make it to almost the end of the race and not be allowed to finish. So over the past few week’s, I’ve been doing a LOT of pace work and have managed to bring my average km per hour down to 7:30. Of course it’s easy to maintain that pace on an 8km run, not so much on a 21km run!
But then yesterday, I did an LSD (long, slow, distance, for those of you who think I’m running high) run with a group of RWFL members and it was FANTASTIC! With an LSD, the point is to go slowly, a minute slower than what your normal average pace would be, the point is to train your legs to go the distance and show your mind that your body can do it and boy, I did it! I run nearly 19km yesterday morning at an average pace of 8:29 which is pretty much a minute per km slower than my usual pace and my race day pace over 21km’s will be somewhere in the middle. I felt strong on yesterday’s run, I felt like I could keep going further, longer, harder, faster. My breathing was good and perfectly controlled.
For the first time I believe I can do this. I’ve got this in the bag. I’ve worked hard over the last few months ensuring I get a good 2 to 3 runs in every week where the focus is purely on pace and then one good long run each weekend where the focus is purely on going the distance. I’ve sacrificed good times for training, I’ve sacrificed sleep and gotten up at 4am to train, even on weekends. I’ve run callouses on my big toes (I pronate, a lot, especially on my right foot) but I have LOVED almost every minute of it.
I’m eternally grateful to my good friend Nicole, who runs a RWFL branch and has been there every step of the way for me, getting her butt out of bed at ungodly hours to run with me, to motivate, encourage and train me. I’m grateful to Andrew, a multiple Commrades finisher who ran the LSD with us yesterday and gave me great tips, motivation and encouragement and got me up all the hills (we ran a very tough route yesterday, which I’m told my experienced runners would have been graded a 4!). I’m also grateful to the Boskruin Running Group, there roots are fantastic and the mileage I’ve packed on in the last few months is largely in part to them.
I’m fitter and stronger than what I think I’ve ever been in my life 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 fitter, tougher, stronger and lighter than I was back then.
I have one more LSD ahead of me this weekend and then I start tapering in preparation for the race, focusing on nutrition and staying injury free till race day. I am so so so excited!