Thinking & Feeling

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

Sunday, 20 November 2005

I am now a competitive athlete!

Well, I had a momentous occasion on Sunday morning - I ran in a road race! Granted it was only a humble 6km fun run, but for me that's quite an achievement.

I have never run that distance in my life. Somehow I skipped the whole sport and athletics thing when I was in school, and I only started regularly exercising when I started doing yoga when I was first pregnant in early 1998. Nearly 8 years later I still do yoga at least once a week, and I do kata-boxing weekly as well as running every other day. Most importantly I really enjoy it too!

I think I can safely say that I am more fit now than I have ever been before. Although I guess that's not saying much... :)

Anyone who knew me between 1992-1997 will know that I went through a very interesting weight curve - first losing 12-13 kgs and then gaining a whole heap (25 in total?). I went trough some rather emotional times and I think it was a general period of growing up, and learning that life is hard 'deal with it'. So it was a period of losing myself and then finding myself again. In 1996/1997 I decided it was time to pull myself together and started looking after myself instead of punishing and hating myself. I had moved in with Richard by this time (although our relationship has not been easy I appreciate that he actually stuck with me in those early days when I don;t think I looked or felt well or happy). I also changed job to one that was more challenging and enjoyable and that helped too.

By the last half of 1997 I had lost around 13 kgs and was back to my original weight before all the nonsense started - around 55kgs. This seems to be my natural weight because apart from my pregnancies I have now been at this weight give or take 2kgs ever since. Even with all my pregnancy gains I was back to this weight in 3 weeks and 3 months respectively with each child. It feels good.

My friend Beryl has really become a fitness fanatic this year and is competing in events every other week. She runs, swims, cycles, mountain bikes etc. Now I don't have the time or inclination to participate with that level of dedication and regularity, but I have been inspired to push myself a little.

So when I saw the pamphlet for the Landmarks Marathon, and that it had a 6km fun run, I thought that would be ideal for me, because it was nice and short, and the start was a mere walk from my house. It also got me into the hotel gym in Montreal, because I knew I couldn't be too sedentary.

So on Sunday at the ungodly hour of 6:30am I set off on my brisk walk through the quiet and fresh dawn to Western Province Cricket Club, I arrived there with mere minutes to spare before the start. I couldn't find Beryl (we had arranged to meet at the start with the intention of running together). Soon the starting gun was fired, my MP3 player was on and we were off.

I set of at an easy pace and found I was passing lots of people, and ended up probably in the front third, and as far as I can tell I stayed there. The course was fairly easy through the mostly flat and sometimes undulating leafy suburb that is Rondebosch. I ran the first 3km quite easily and at a fair pace and then started feeling a bit tired. I managed the rest by walking for a block when I felt my breathing get laboured and then running again once my heart rate slowed down. I finished the 6km in 35 minutes, which means I averaged just over 10km per hour, which I think is not too bad for my first attempt.

I think I'll do it again & I might even feel brave enough to try 10km next time :).

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