Not everybody would choose to run an 18 mile race on their birthday weekend. I did panic that not sticking to my 3-day-no-boozing-before-a-race rule might scupper the whole thing, but cocktails with friends at the Mount Nelson on a balmy Friday evening could not be missed. A day clear of the bottle should have been enough and anyway I wasn’t expecting a PB on a race that makes you run up Suikerbossie twice.
As this is one of our club races, and as I was on the race committee (yes I’ve got a clipboard) I was down to organise registration at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Rondebosch all day yesterday. Saying the same thing over and over from 8:30am until 3pm was pretty tiring, ‘are you licensed?’ and ‘thats R55 please’ and ‘don’t suppose you’ve got the R5 coin do you?’ to more than 1000 runners got right on the old preverbials. By the time Sue, myself and the other helpers packed the float, numbers and a variety of other race paraphernalia back into the cardboard boxes and got to Maiden’s Cove Bowling Club to set up for this morning’s race registration I was hot and grumpy. The mood reached a new low when we discovered the bowlers had a ‘do’ on until 7:30pm. Sue and I left when it was clear the freshly set hair and knife pleat trousers had no intention of moving from their half pints of lager.
So I was in for the special treat of a 3am start this morning which I managed pretty well apart from one eye was a touch blurry all day on account of being half open all night (at least thats what my optician tells me). More runners, more R5 coins, more moaning and bitching.
Just managed to make it to the start at 6am. The first 10km was a slog, and even though I run the coast road every Saturday it felt longer and harder than usual, I decided to throttle back on the Hout Bay 10km loop as I wanted to pick up the pace over the downhill in the last 10km. I had an unknown experience on the climb up Suikerbossie as I my legs were not screaming (sounds good but it means I hadn’t worked hard enough on the middle section) and I managed a quick pace on the 2km of uphill. From the top of Suikerbossie I tore down the hill to the Twelve Apostles Hotel and then managed an decent speed on the relative flat through Camps Bay to the finish.
I checked last night what my PB is over this distance and I was 3 minutes shy. So it wasn’t all bad considering that last year I got 2:58, but I really wanted a PB to kick off the year and to justify the money spent on the training plan. So I was disappointed as I didn’t get to feel the high as you spot the finish line knowing you’ve smashed a personal best. I was pleased as I managed a great negative split on the final 10km (also another indicator that I didn’t try hard enough): 56 minutes / 58 minutes / 51 minutes, but still it wasn’t what I wanted.
Only that it was.
I got home and discovered I’d bloody gone and entered my time incorrectly for the John Korasie 30km last August on my results sheet as 2:42 instead of 2:52. So I got my PB today, in fact I sliced a massive 7 minutes off my best time and when I crossed that line today I couldn’t celebrate and enjoy a very rare moment because old dumb-ass here *£@*%! up a simple Excel Document. Idiot.
Route: Race start outside La Med (Maiden’s Cove) to Hout Bay, loop around Hout Bay and back
Height climbed: 320m
Time started: 06:00
Total time: 2:45:59 PB!
Total distance: 30km
Average pace: 5:33 min/km
Weather conditions: Cloudy and humidity 69%
Runner’s condition: Stressed due to the volume of inane questions at registration this morning. Running does indeed make you stupid.