Friday, March 22, 2013

Suikerbosrand Done

We were invited by the mountain club of SA to a presentation by Nepal Tourism on a group of Nepalese woman who have set out to climb the 7 summits see for more. We could not turn this opportunity down, having been in the Kumba last year. So Namaste's were brought out of the closet, it was a great evening although they served us dinner around 9pm. A bit late for the night before race!! We ended up going to bed around 11:30pm. No Guinness this time!

The alarm sounded at 3:30, we got ready hoping to leave before 4:00am, I was not exactly sure where the start was but we entered the entrance gate I found on my gps and off we went. There are tow entrances, this was not the right one. I managed to find the other one on the GPS and off we went, a bit of dirt driving was fun but a shortcut none the less. The road in the reserve could not cope with cars parked on either side and traffic both ways so it took some time to find parking, then to sort out our entries,Liz wen to the loo and I said  to meet back at the car. About 100 in front of me with mere minutes to the start, the helpers were struggling, many people could not find their numbers but they kept on searching. I saw our names on an envelope, being tall helps sometimes, grabbed them and  gave them to the guy handing out our T shirts. I ran back top the car, it was only a few minutes before the start, got our numbers on, I have printed some labels without details on to save time. As we were leaving the car we heard the announcer I guessed the start was delayed. Others were still coming in to the car park. We made our way to the  where we though he start was, where are all the runners?  I stopped to tighten my shoes as my feet were moving around in my shoes. In the distance we see the leads runners nearly a 1km down the road.. no delayed start, start the watch and off we go. When I got to the 1k marker my watch was close enough to 1km to be happy I found the start.

 This the profile, other than the up and down it has no correlation to the profile on the entry. Having some severe misgivings about the race , the organisers etc, by 5km I was really enjoying the race. I set out to do the downs at or below 7.00/km and to try and keep around 7:30 on the ups.   I did however decide to keep it comfortable and not push too hard. I ended up going a bit slower than I hoped- my hopes were actually way too fast for this route. I find it amazing when doing a 52 how going through 21 or 32 or 42, which are normal race distances, does not feel like the end of the race, but just an achievement of a distance marker. I go to 21 in 2:34 which was good, 32 in 3:55  and 42 in  5:14, I was really happy with these times, but up to    35ks my average was still 7:22. It was from here onwards that my pace slowed. The hills contributed but also the lack of long distance training had an impact. I suppose that's why we do these longer races, to build up the required stamina.
It was encouraging to be able to leave many runners behind over the last 10ks, even when we drove out after finishing I saw numerous runners who I had passed during the race. Next major race is Loskop 50 on 20 April, there is the possibility of a 50k training walk on the 7th April, maybe a slow  LSD there would be a good idea.
I really struggled with my shoe laces today, they were way too tight, I did not want my heels moving up and down. I tried  stopping to loosen   them and release the double know but then a few ks later the knots came loose, but were still tight over the top of my foot. I could feel they were really tight but did not want to loosen them too much.The tops of my feet, directly under the laces knot were pretty swollen after the race, they have gone down today but are still a little tender. I think these shoes are a narrower fit than my other pair of Kayanos. I will need to sort this out before my next long one as these are intended as my Comrades shoes...

Another race down, 248ks for the month so far can I get to 400? Time will tell

Monday, March 18, 2013

52k @ 52

This race should be fun on Thursday

Sunward Fordyce 52 km, Half Marathon & 10 km

Online EntryFlyersClub Contacts
Date:21 March 2013
Organisers:Sunward Athletics Club
Distance:52; 21.1; 10; 5;
Province:Vaal Triangle
Start:Kareekloof Facility
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Contact 1: Cheryl Gould
(W) 011-5249502
(F) 086-6503503
(C) 079-5907259

Contact 2: Brian Gould
(C) 078-4576893
Entry Details:
Pre-entry Closing Date: 14 March 2013
Pre-entries close on 13 March 2013. Entries are also accepted at the start from 04h30 but are limited to 1 200 entrants for the main race.
Route Description:
Difficulty Rating: 4. Route Type: Circular
The route winds along a tarred road through the scenic hills and valleys of the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, and finishes at the Kareekloof picnic resort. The organisers promise a tough but unusual run as a variety of animals can be spotted along the way. This route is always challenging but rewarding with excellent pre-Comrades hills to negotiate. This race has been described as "not for the faint-hearted" by participants.

Suikerbosrand Marathon
Prizes and Give-Aways:
Gold medals to category winners and silver medals to all finishers in all three events.
Course Records:
MenJ. Teffo03:13:062006
WomenL. Folsher03:57:102012
Editor's Notes:
The race takes you away from the demands of urban traffic as only official organisers' vehicles are allowed along the route. A number of clubs are using the event as a pre-Comrades long run because of its timing on the calendar. The route offers everything Comrades has and possibly a little more! Because of environmental and logistical sensitivities it is imperative that you arrive early for this race.

The half marathon starts at 07h00 and has a 3:30 hour time limit. The 10 kilometre race also starts at 07h00 and has a 02:00 time limit.
Finishers: 812

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vaal Marathon

As noted previously this years race planning  has not worked out like previous years. I like to do  my long races about a month apart to allow for recovery between races. I am essentially now 1 marathon behind what I had planned, but missing a marathon is not a real problem as I prefer longer slower races.

With the disastrous month of Feb behind us- Sasol cancelled, Holiday gone wrong, near disaster with Max our precious dog.... March looks set to be a much better month for me anyway.      
In the the last few weeks we have not been able to train as regularly as we normally do, but I still got some good sessions in, Liz however needs her daily fix and without she gets grumpy, loses focus and .... enthusiasm.

We were up at 3:30 to head off to Vereeniging for the start of Vaal marathon, the fast and furious route promising a good time for all.   I had hoped to leave  just before 4 so as to get to the start around 5, to allow enough time to stretch the legs , enter and hand in Liz's tog bag. We were only a few minutes late but the traffic build up was starting as we got within 2km of the stadium, the trusty GPS got us a back route to the parking.
Entries were simple, the air was a lot cooler than expected which could be due to the presence of 3 rivers in the area, even by the start at 6 am it was warm enough.
My goal was to follow my pacing chart from fellrnr, get my ave pace to 7:00 and then keep it there as long as possible, knowing my max pace should be around 7:08.  This was a big race so my first km ended up taking 7:46, there were wide enough roads to allow the field to spread out I soon got into a comfortable stride.By 6kms I was at 6:59 and feeling good, I was wary of going to too fast as I have done a few fastish 21s lately and did not want to overdo it, I was trying to walk within 10 secs of 7:00 /km, a feat which I achieved  until lap 23 which was fine but after lap 12 I never got below 7 until the final km...
There was a sub 5:00 bus which was led by Vlam  I was never more than about 500m ahead of them, I knew I could not allow the bus to overtake or I would be in trouble. At one stage around 35km the leading runners caught up with me as they started a walk cycle. I seriously got tired of hearing the singing and breathing instructions right behind me. The lack of longer walks was causing me the fear that maybe I was not going to make ...  ks 30- 34 were my slowest of the race, i slowed to 7:35 on two of those laps. It was around then that I knew i had to dig deep, a increase my speed a bit. I managed  a few 7:15 ks and kept the bus at bay. I really had to dig deep, but the thought of having to do another marathon for my qualifier was like a real kick in the backside. I know we need to do some ultras and was not sure of qualifying on a tough Ultra like Suirbos- where I am only hoping to average around 7:30 for some good time on my legs.  These thoughts spurred me on as I raced for the stadium. The bus was bearing down on me as we came in to the stadium, I could almost hear their feet landing behind me....        I held on beating the bus by a few seconds, 4:59:04 on my watch. My second fastest 42 on my watch, I did 4:58:59 at Kaapsehoop in 2011 and my third sub 5:00 after 4:59:30 at Elands Valley in 2010.

The day before the race I hydrated well , took some salt tabs, and carbo loaded with a Guinness.

How did I feel aftewards?
My left hamstring cramped as I stopped after crossing the finish line.
I felt much better after about 15 miuntes at the club tent after the race- this was a real blessing as I was not expecting a club tent. The muffins were great thanks so much to Kebu  for organising the eats.  I had about 2 L of energade  before leaving the  car park..
We stopped for Tonic water on the way home, a great after race drink, the chocolate milks were finished damn.
I drank more energade at home along with a rehydrate. I did have a few calf cramps but they were not as bad as after Tuks and Pirates back to back, the legs felt much better after drinking more.
This morning my hamstrings are a bit tight and my calves feel like I've done a 10k.
So hopefully the good recovery continues, I think the extra fluids after the race have helped with my recovery

I do not like marathons, but looking forward to Suikerbos 52 on the 21st March.