Monday, September 18, 2017

2017 Update

After my "disappointment" at Comrades  - it was just a bad day at office or maybe just an over ambitious goal of sub 11, I needed a new goal.  This came with our Entry into Sky run (look here a whole new experience is to be had!

A goal I have had for X years is a sub 3 at Rustenburg Mountain race (25km) having missed it by 24 and 18 seconds over the last 2 years. Well thanks to Kypie and Liz pacing and encouraging me I managed a 2:29:12 but I really felt and paid fort he effort..

I suggested to Kypie that we do Vaal River City Marathon as an early qualifier for Comrades to get that out of the way. He came back with ok if you help me on AGN 21km championships the day before- who can turn down a challenge???

In my 2 weeks walking since Rustenburg my times have been about 30 sec/km too slow. My legs felt heavy... I could not let Kypie down, so not needing a real fast pace as competition was no that great, we achieved our goal and Kypie got Bronze.. Well done.

With my slow pace over the last 2 weeks I had really thought about not doing Vaal but we had pre-entered and I NEEDED  the distance as Liz and I are now in Sky run training mode.  I could not let Kypie down and felt good about my slightly improved pace on Saturday..I even got Tobie to walk with hoping it would give me an added incentive to achieve my qualifier.    Giep also joined us. I had also been asked to give a fellow Runner Lucas a lift to the race... All these early mornings and poor sleep don't help a night owl.. getting up at 3am is WAY too early.

Needless to say we got to the start line with a really cold wind blowing and butterflies flying around my stomach.. Some Biltong helped a bit ( also helped prevent Nausea with Liz which was great). We set off with Kypie jogging along next to me and Giep grabbing on for dear life. We started fast - was it too fast I don't think so, I try and pace on the difficulty of the route. To do sub 5 we needed to average 7:04 per km, whereas on Saturday our first half was 7:20 and second about 7:10 so we did need to push the pace today hence Kypie running. after about 10km we were on 6:55/km and really feeling good, then the route direction changed. We had been with the wind and did not feel it .... now we felt it essentially for the rest of the route. Our pace dropped immediately.. wind has a bad effect on my mood -(something I must work on) and at around 13 km we saw Tobie (who is a slow starter) about 200m behind us. By 18km he was with us, not because he sped up we were slowing down.. The organisers had said there was a cutoff at 21km of 2:30 ( it actually was at 20km ) so that was my focus which we went through in about 2:28 ish.

Then my trouble started! Tobie who walks without watch just pulled away-- (actually just kept the correct pace)  I had hoped the wind behind would get me moving again, I had two energy bars , I ate them both with little effect, I was "spent" !! I tried to keep up  the pace but at about 30km I told Kypie to go ahead and by keeping at 7/km he should make it..
These splits show it all

I had various pains from tight calves, sore hammie and quads  the I felt my hip flexor eventually .. I "settled" in to a one foot in front of the other / finish this damn race -pace .. I guess I was just under-trained  but also it was my first ever back to back 21 and 42 having done a 25/32 just before Comrades as my  previous high back to back.  Today I feel fine , no pain slightly tight calves but ready to face the week... Will need my energy this weekend as we do some Drakensberg training in the Monks Cowl area- hopefully up to the top of Champagne Castle and back down (40  +km) on Saturday and then Cowl cave and back (35km?)on Sunday plus a recovery hike on Monday. Sky run here we come.

Lucas won the Marathon in 2:31 awesome ,pleased we gave him a lift!!
Liz did a LSD  for 4:33
Kypie and Tobie did 4:59 WOW
I scraped in at 5:14:59
Giep did not make it... Stopped at 21km
Job Done


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Comrades 2017 Qualifier

Sasolburg 42 2017
After last year when I struggled near the end of the marathon this year I decided I needed I needed more of a cushion...
I have never started a marathon this fast averaging  below 7:00 /km right up to the 35th km, whereas previously even on my fastest I only just got below 7 for a few kms. There are pros and cons of going out to fast when a fade is inevitable and  trying to stay at a consistent pace - in half marathons I really enjoy negative splits where the second half is significantly faster than the first half. Like when I do a social walk for say 7 or 10km then race to the end. The benefit of knowing and understanding the route was emphasised by the result yesterday..


The hills are not really steep but they are slow poisons- long and never ending: from 17 to 30 is a long slow grind which is not felt on the first lap when still fresh! The hill at the end is much easier when you are within time and do not have to force the pace. 
At around 3km I was joined by a runner from my previous club, we have both moved on and we managed to stay together till the start of the second last hill at 34km. Where he went ahead and joined Buks in his 5 hr bus.  It was really great to chat along the route sharing stories and experiences.. The kms just flew by.
I tried some 32GI Race tabs for a bit of extra energy and used Creme Soda from the 32km mark for a bit of help... Never quite sure how much sugar helps but at the end of the day I managed to do my sub 5 and achieve a marathon PB time of 4:55:16 on a relatively flat course, probably not the easiest but one I have come to enjoy.
I did the first half in 2:25 and the second in 2:30, I did not push hard at the end as I knew the qualifier was in the "bag".. Now the serious training begins..