Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017

Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017
Alfie's first medal

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Magic Mile

When I was training for the London Marathon, I discovered Marathontalk - a podcast that I can download on to my iphone and listen to when out running.

I have found it very interesting and informative, and when they mentioned that they were doing the Magic Mile Challenge through September, I thought, "Mmm, interesting!"  Basically, it was training to run my fastest one mile.  There would be three teams - UK, USA and Rest of the World.  And, all the results would be age-graded (best bit!)  and I could run it between 3rd and 16th September.  I registered and decided to run my Magic Mile on 12 September.

So, this morning, being Magic Mile Day, I went out and ran my one mile!  Well, not quite like that.  Steve said he would come with me on his cycle (which was great as it is a real challenge to run REALLY hard on my own and it's always nice to have his support!) and I jogged up the main road for 2kms.  Then, I started my Garmin and I jogged another 1600m (one mile) along the R43 so that my one mile would be run back and I could see exactly where I would finish.  I took note of which way the wind was blowing too, but I didn't go and try to find a big hill to run down ('cos that's not allowed in the rules!)

On the way up to, and along, the R43 we saw a (brown?) woodpecker sitting on the telegraph wires, and then a couple of Fish Eagles circling overhead, calling, (obviously waiting with one eye on me, so that when I  started my one mile, they thought I wouldn't make it, and they would have a meal waiting!)  There have also been thousands and thousands of little caterpillars in the road for a few weeks now.  It has been impossible to run around them, there are too many of them.  At least, there WERE too many.  There don't seem to be many left now!  Lots of them have been squashed into the road!

The weather was bright and sunny for the run, but it wasn't too hot, and there was some wind, but not as much as there has been in recent weeks.  I chose right for once!

So, at the end of my jog, I stopped my Garmin and put a stick on the side of the road so that I didn't forget where the Start Line was, then drank some water from my water bottle.  OK, ready...

Garmin on, and off I started.  Not too bad to start with - I could see (a mile on) where I would be finishing - at the junction!  Steve encouraged me by telling me how fast I was going, and he said he would keep at a constant speed so that I knew if I was speeding up or slowing down.  I didn't find the first half too bad, although it is very difficult to judge distance when all there is at the side of the road, is bush!

I decided after a few minutes that a whole mile is actually quite a long way, and the end wasn't coming up very quickly.  But I was keeping my legs going as fast as I could!  I had no idea how fast I was running as I had no intention of even peeping at my Garmin until the end.  All Steve was saying to me was, "You're at about 11 now." "You're well over half way now." "Oh, you're just dropping down a bit.  Speed up!"  "Keep going.  Nearly there."  "Only about 500 metres now."

I wanted to stop!  Less than a kilometre to go and I wanted desperately to stop.  I slowed down, but I couldn't stop yet, (Come on, woman!) and then sped up again!  Keep going!  Keep going!  And, then, I was there!  I had done it! I hoped it was less than 9 minutes.  I was sure I could run a mile in less than 9 minutes.  I had been practising my speed after all for the last couple of months.

I ran it in 8 minutes 36 seconds.  Hooray!  Which gives me an age-graded time of 6 minutes 35 seconds. OK, so I'll never break a five minute mile, but I don't care.  It's good to me.  I'll just have to try and improve further now.

And all those extra calories I had earned too!  Yummy! :)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

10km Race on 8 September 2012

We went to Brackenfell again this weekend so that I could run a 10km race in Kuils River.  It was the Medihelp Tekkie Challenge 10km.  There were a number of other races also being run on Saturday, one of them being the 4Paws 5km.  Lots of dogs trotted around it, dragging their owners around with them.

Dogs (and owners) of all shapes and sizes took part in the 4Paws 5km

One dog even took his owner around on a motorcycle

And for those who didn't have a motorcycle to get around quickly, there was always the horse!

Anyway, back to the 10km Run.  It was another early start but the weather was considerably warmer than the Run I did a few weeks ago, and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  I had registered and picked up my number the evening before so I didn't have to arrive TOO early and could have a lie-in until just before 6am.

After dressing, making my porridge and taking Steve a cup of tea in bed, finally we were ready and arrived at the school where the run was to start by about 7am.  After queuing for the loo, and a quick 'warm-up', I went to the start line where everyone was gathering.  This race was slightly different in that the women started first, and the men a few minutes later, so that the race would have an overall winner, whether that winner was female or male.  I thought that is a fantastic idea!  The handicap time difference this year was 5 minutes 10 seconds, a minute less than last year.

"Is it really time to start?"
 At the gun, we (the women) all jogged off.  9 minutes 34 seconds later, the first man (sorry, the first 10 men) ran past.  How can ANYONE run that fast?

I did not find it an easy race, even though it was relatively flat (well, flat by South African standards anyway!).  I suppose some races are like that, the same as some training runs are like that.  I had not been feeling great for a few weeks and my legs certainly did not want to run that day!  I struggled on for the first 4 or 5 kms and felt like giving up.  The only reason I didn't was because we had come such a long way so that I could run it.  I thought, "Zip up your man suit, woman!" and from that point on which, I was delighted to see, also coincided with reaching the top of a hill, had a few lovely downhill stretches dotted about for the remainder of the run.  I think I had also taken about 35 minutes or so to do just 5km, and was thinking, "Oh well, I've blown it now anyway!"  I had wanted to complete the race in about 63 or 64 minutes and so beating my previous 3 10km races.

So, after zipping up my man-suit, I talked to my legs and went for it!  I tried not to think of the pain of the exertion, and the time, and was concentrating on watching the kilometre markers disappearing past me.  Six, then seven, and I waited for number eight.  That seemed to be a long time in coming, and then I saw number nine coming up.  Wow, what excitement then!  I must have missed number eight.  "Just keep going, come on, you're almost there! Keep going!"  Then, suddenly, I could see the finish line.  So glad!  No breath left!

And I could stop!

Collecting goodie bag at the finish

1 hour 5 minutes and 8 seconds.  I must have run that second half in 30 minutes or under!  Wow!  So, all was not lost.  I managed a 10km PB of about 10 seconds.  Now, if I had had a better run....

(Mmm, methinks maybe I COULD run a 5km in under 30 minutes then!)

Oh, and a woman won!

I'm happy now (and got my breath back!)

A big thank you to Celia and Dad again for giving us such a lovely weekend.   We had a great time with you.
Oh, and a huge thank you to Baruch as well, for giving us such a laugh.  It was quite novel of him to find a somewhat different way of getting Steve to feed him his lunch:-

1. Get Steve to drop bacon and egg butty in the pool, while dragging chair into sunshine to sit on and eat it.
2. Get Steve to retrieve lunch from pool.
3. Get Steve to drop remains of soggy bread, bacon and egg on edge of pool for Baruch to eat.