My second 21km EVER – and I was not ready for it (training wise) and yet I still did it and I finished!
Distance: 21km – BOOM BABY!
Weather Conditions: It was slightly overcast, we started at 6am, but by the time I was coming in the sun was out and it was pretty warm out there.
Parking/Traffic: Directions to the start and where the parking was was a bit of a mess. We met up with other runners all looking for parking down side roads in Pretoria. Thankfully we like to get to a race with enough time so we had time to look for the parking etc. Because I came in late, and well after the 10km runners, leaving the parking was pain-free.
Event Organization: Like the directions, it was a bit of a mess. They had limited hands available to hand out pre-entries and not a lot of structure so there were no clear lines to queue.
Water stations: Well organised water stations and plenty of supplies, especially since I was at the back of the pack, by the time I came through the support was still strong on the sidelines and enough water and coke on offer.
Marshalls: Super efficient. At times in the race I was only me on the road and there were at least plenty of Marshalls on the streets guiding me on where to go.
Medals: This was honestly a well earned medal. I had the option of not doing this race, or only running 10km, but I stuck it out and I finished it – and before cut off.
Vibe on the road: We hit the streets of Pretoria bright and early at 6am. Rob have me a quick kiss and was off to try beat his previous 21km time. I started running at a nice pace in the beginning with a lovely French guy. He had a nice easy pace and we chugged along nicely together. At 3km, I had an upset tummy (over-share but at least I am honest! and it happens, right fellow runners?) I made the rookie error of changing my eating habits and drank a low GI endurance drink at the start of the race – clearly this needs to be tested on a few training runs. 4- 6km I had pain and cramps in my legs/calves and numbness on my feet. I hit 6km and I suddenly felt great – and climbed a hill for 1km in 7min. At half way, 10km, I knew I would finish the race if I kept my pace consistent. And I managed to do that. In the end it was longer than 21.1km – my watched clocked me at 21.3km! and I am telling you those extra 200km were the longest part of the race – I was mentally and physically finished. I finished in 2hrs56min – which averages as 8.15min a KM. Not too shabby for an untrained runner!
One thing is for sure, I proved to myself that I can run. And that I can run 21km. This week I plan to give my legs a rest. I have a 10km race this weekend and then next weekend I run Sarens 21km.