Thinking & Feeling

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

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Spar Ladies Race 2015 - My come back Post-Pregnancy

I ran the Spar Ladies Race on Sunday. It was my first race in a full year. I 'ran' this race last year at 21-22 weeks pregnant. I had planned to run the Sundown Race in December, or the March Moullie Point Race but due to circumstances I missed competing in both of those, so had not had an official post-pregnancy come-back yet. I have been running pretty consistently for the past few months and as I have entered the 2Oceans Half marathon too I have been doing a reasonable amount of distance running. So I knew I could handle to run 10kms pretty easily. I just didn't feel particularly fast. When I run these days it feels like a comfortable plod, more than competitive running. But as it is principally for my own fun, relaxation and 'me-time' so I am ok with that.

I generally enjoy the Spar Ladies Race. It's a big, fun, festive gathering. This year I entered the 10k event and I entered the boys for the 5km event. Griffin was away at school camp though, so Quinn's friend Josh came along in his place.

I managed to get up in good time and we arrived at the stadium nice and early and got a good parking spot (at the gym) used the loo and headed to the start with about 45mins to spare before the start. I wore my club kit - as this race finally has a club runner's 'seeding' section in the front so you don't have to fight with thousands of other participants who are WAY more enthusiastic than capable when it comes to running so they push to the very front and then just walk slowly after the race starts. It would be funny if it wasn't so darn irritating if you are trying to compete for a PB.

Sean Falconer (of Modern Athlete and Runner's World fame and who commentates a lot of the running races now. And so much better than whiny Neville(?) did) knows me and I'd chirped him about this being my comeback race on FB, so as I arrived he said 'And here is Jane Fraser just arriving'. I felt like a minor celeb, even though no one besides the 2 boys with me heard or knew me. LOL.

I got into the club pen (I had to climb over the fence as the idiot security guy said I was too late - 40 minutes before the race started!? Dimwit), and felt ready. We waited quite a while and the start was a bit delayed but finally the gun went off and we were off. Despite being about 20-30m from the start line and with the club runners there were STILL slow people in front of me who I had to dodge and pass but eventually I found my place and pace and got into a good rhythm. Having waited so long for the start though I found I needed to pee after just 1-2 kms. Argh. So at the first water point I dashed into the port-a-loo, wasting precious minutes peeing. Oh well, one does what one must.

Once I'd pee'd I felt much better and got going again. I got into a steady rhythm and started enjoying the run. I'd told A where the route was going and that the turning point was down the hill from his house near the Seapoint swimming pool and sure enough there he and Nathaniel were as I got to the turn. I was tempted to stop and say hi, but because I was trying to get a decent time and prove that I was 'back' I didn't want to lose time and smiled and waved as I passed but pressed on.

My aim in this race was to get a sub-60 time, my stretch goal was to get a sub-55. My wildly ambitious goal was to aim closer to sub-50 but that seemed completely unrealistic as it took me years and year to crack sub-50 the first time, so I didn't want to aim too high. (my fastest ever 10km was at this race 2 years ago when I was fit and strong and blasted out a 47:48!). Anyway buoyed by the support of the boys I continued onward and tried not to slow down even though the legs were starting to feel a bit heavy.

Before long I got back to the stadium, entered the grassy area and headed for the finish. I was delighted to see the clock tick over from 48 to 49 minutes just as I got there and I passed the line. My watch recorded 48:58, the clock said 49:06 and my official time is recorded as 49:12. I'll take it thank-you very much!

I must say I felt really impressed with and proud of myself. 7 months to the day since giving birth and full year since my last race and even then I was not competing, it's closer to 18 months since I ran at full pace. There's still life in this old body, and now I am officially a veteran (over 40), if I keep it up and can improve I have a chance of potentially being placed in the top 10 of my age category.

The results are out form Sunday:
- I came 107th out of 3321 10km running finishers. So in the top 3%.
(There were another 7000+ 10km walkers and about another 10000+ who did the 5km)
- I came 15th out of 690 in my age category. So top 2%.

I bumped into my colleague Wendy-Joy at the end of the race.
Displaying Spar.jpg
 On Saturday is the 2Oceans Half Marathon, and I am really hoping to manage a sub-2hr for that.

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