Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spar Ladies Race 2014 - on a go slow...

I decided to go ahead and enter the Spar Ladies Race (aka Spar Women's Challenge) again this year, despite being pregnant and almost on 21 weeks at that. I decided to do it because it's a fun and social race, which the boys enjoy, and there's a great goodie bag, and also it's an 'everyone and their granny and their fat aunty' kind of race. Sure some people are competitive about it - heck I usually am, and it's where I have achieved many of my previous 10km PB times - but it's also a walking, social and jovial race where you don't HAVE to compete.

After running the little Madness Relay at work last week though, which was 'only' 1.4kms but felt so much further and tougher than expected, I was feeling pretty daunted at the prospect of partaking in a 10km race. Even though I have been doing 10-12kms most Sundays anyway, most of that is usually walking, and I don't time or push myself particularly so a RACE of 10kms suddenly sounded very scary. Also having to wake up early and get to the start and brave a huge crowd seemed much more of a challenge than usual.

I had pretty much resigned myself to just walking it, knowing that even if I did I wouldn't be last.

We ended up waking up a little late but still in time to get there. Because I was not competing I wasn't trying to get  starting spot near the front - which I normally do - and we just joined the queue at the back. We only had about 5-10 minutes to spare before the start. Soon the gun had gone off and we were still standing there. 5 minutes later we were still standing there.... with 22 340 participants there is no way you all get going at once. It took us a good 10-12 minutes to get to and across the start line in the end. Good thing I wasn't trying to win any prizes! The first 1-2 kms were so congested with people, mostly walkers, everywhere. So as soon as there was any gap I'd take it and try to jog to gain a little ground and pass a few slow people.

By the 2km mark although there were still THOUSANDS of people ahead of me I just had the urge to break away a little and so I broke out into a trot and kept going. Somehow I carried on trotting and dodging and passing people and next thing I'd passed the 4km marker and then got to the water point at 5km. I had some coke and walked a little then and then took off again. It wasn't easy, but it really wasn't too bad. So off I trotted next thing I passed the 6km mark and then rounded the turn at the end of the promenade and knew it was the home stretch back tot he stadium. I considered walking a few times but at the pace I was going (between 6:00-6:45 min/km) I was able to keep plodding along without feeling exhausted or sore or uncomfortable so I decided to push onwards.

By the time I got to 9km I decided I might as well run all the way to the end! So I did. In the end I finished with an official time of 1h17mins. But I had timed myself from when I crossed the start line and finish line and had 1:06 recorded. I reckon without all the hold up in the beginning I MAY even have just cracked a sub-60, which I think is not too shabby all things considered!

So while this may have been my slowest official 10km ever, I still think I did damn well and am proud of the achievement. I mean I am very nearly (in 3.5 weeks) 40 years old (which is officially a veteran) and past half way pregnant with baby number 3 (technically 4), and I can run 10km in just over 60 mins. Nie te kak nie! :)

here's my recording from my iPOD Nike+ (it was not calibrated 100% correctly hence the distance seeming a bit short).

The results are out already... noting that there was a total of 22 340 participants on Sunday and 10 995 people completed the 10km event, and I started at the back and took about 12 mins just to get across the starting line and even then couldn't move more than a shuffle for a while... I finished 1517th, which is still in the top 15%. 

Which is both/either pretty impressive and/or shows just how not athletic the mob in this race is!

(I am usually somewhere between 100-200th in this race and came 70th last year)

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