Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Big Sur Half Marathon aka My Comeback Race

QJust like it disappeared, so it suddenly re-appeared. Of course I'm talking about running! As you know I've been 'away' from both running and blogging, for a rather long time. When I stopped running, I felt that I had nothing else to say. I certainly did not want to talk about crossfit, because even though it has done me a world of good, and ultimately led me back to running, I do not love it in the same way I do with running. Crossfit is a tool, a means to an end - running is my passion. But like passion, it can be a fickle thing.....but I'm working on.

 So on Sunday, I found myself on the starting line of the Big Sur half marathon, with no training, and the longest run in the past 3 years being 5 kilometres. Foolhardy yes, but desperate times call for desperate measures - and it was he best thing I could have done. I had signed up for this race very early on his year. I wanted to try and start running again, and thought that a November goal date would give me time to prepare. As usual, this did not happen, but over the past month, I have been trying to run at least twice a week - maybe just 2 miles, and then I did a few races....all 5ks. I was highly annoyed that I was going to miss yet another goal, and tried offering my place to some people I knew, they all said no.then I thought, well why not walk it - walking will be a lesson to me, and I will have lots of time to think about how lazy and unmotivated I have been. A colleague was kind kind enough to offer to drive me down on the morning, as I did not want to spend anymore money on a race I had not trained for. I got up at 2am on Sunday morning, drove down to meet him, the off we went, to Monterey 100 miles away.

 Race packet pick up, waffles and a coffee (at MacDonalds), and on the starting line at 7am. I thought I would run the first 3 miles gently and then walk the rest of it. I started off slowly, found a pace and just kept going - I walked up a few hills as I did not want to destroy my quads, and that was a good strategy. So here's how it went:
 Mile 1 - Republica "ready to go", and I was.....good warm up.
 Mile 2 - Adam Clayton's "Mission Impossible", still had me warming up, I needed to make sure I got to mile 3.
 Mile 3 - Roxy Music's "Avalon" and the Hermes Houseband's "Susanna" made mile 3 fly by. What already?
 Mile 4 - Still running, this time to Fatboy Slim's "Praise you like I should". Hmmm still feeling good.
 Mile 5 - uncharted territory this, but still running - thanks to KC and the Sunshine band's "Shake x3". Mile 6 - Alice Cooper had me singing "Bed of Nails" hope I did not look too weird!
 Mile 7 - Now I was really surprised that I could still run - maybe it had something to do with Sharam's "PATT"!
 Mile 8 - "Mortal Kombat" made me choose my destiny......and I did. I was walking up a few hills here.
 Mile 9 - I stopped and took 2 advils as I usually have terrible pains in my IT bands and hips. Felt
 nothing on Sunday, but I took them anyway. Luca Carboni's "Mare, Mare" was perfect as I looked out over the Pacific Ocean.  Mile 10 - I couldn't believe it was mile 10, and Rick Martin's "Livin la Vida Loca" pushed me to run more.  Mile 11 - Jamiroquai's "Cosmic Girl" had me thinking he'd written it for me.  Mile 12 - Spandau Ballet's "Gold", you're indestructible, brought tears to my ears.  Mile 13 - and I finished it with Survivor's "Eye of the tiger", never underestimate the power of a good song!  .1 - still sprinting with Rocky!
 I finished in 2:46 with a sense of joy, gratitude, elation, happiness - I had just done that, and it was probably one of the sweetest running victories. After 3 years of hell and not running, I felt the love again. And it was good. So much so, that I have signed up for the Berkeley half marathon nest Sunday. Irresponsible? Probably, but I have to get this monkey off my back. Any advice would be most welcome! Photos will follow soon.


  1. Great to see you back! Well done with the half. Just start the Berkeley really slow as well and stick to that. All the best!

  2. Baie dankie Johann - I feel like my old self. Sunday was a turning point, and I don't want to lose this momentum. I know I'm pushing it with Berkely, but my goal is not for time, I just have to get it done. Maybe if I can do 3 in a row, I can honestly start from scratch with a decent running program. I will take your advice - let me know if there is anything else.......