Races

First race of 2011: Bay to Bay (30km)

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.

2:45:59

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.

Read my post race report from 2010

Race notes
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%
Temperature: 23˚
Runner’s condition: Stressed due to the volume of inane questions at registration this morning. Running does indeed make you stupid.

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Speedwork

Now thats twice in three days.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street – 20 minute fartlek session: 4 lamp post sprints followed by 3 lamp posts slow. Repeat again and again.
Height climbed: None
Time started: 6:20
Total time: 0:30
Total distance: 5km
Temperature: 27˚
Weather: Hot

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Bloody hell (well it was hot)

The evil plan bumped those dreaded hill repeats up to 800m long this morning. I measured the distance on Google Maps and had to run 200m up Kloof Nek as well. The Bergie lounging on the corner must have thought I was mad, and for once I probably smelt worse than him. Four of these sodding repeats took an hour to do so by the time I was on the last one I was concerned about dropping dead. Not joking.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Bellevue Street, 800m hill repeats at 30% x 4
Height climbed: Mwah ha ha ha!
Time started: 5:45am
Total time: 1:35
Total distance: 11km ish
Temperature: 38˚
Weather: Possibly hot enough to melt my running shoes to the tarmac. More of the same tomorrow…

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How much do you want it?

27 minutes.

Doesn’t sound like a lot does it? But right now its the only thing  that is going to make me go back and line up again on 29 May. To break ten hours I’ve got 5 months and more than 1000km of training runs, getting up at the crack of dawn to race, and finally 89km of pain and exhaustion you can’t possibly believe you can tolerate in the small hope I can run 27 minutes faster than last year.

Stupid? Probably. So I grit my teeth and ask myself ‘How much do you want it?’ Because however tired and crap I feel right now its nothing in comparison to THE RACE.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street – 20 minute fartlek session: 4 lamp post sprints followed by 3 lamp posts slow. Repeat again and again.
Height climbed: None
Time started: 20:00
Total time: 0:30
Total distance: 5km
Temperature: 33˚
Weather: Hot

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Monday night club run

I’m only writing when I’ve got something to say, oh but I did see a black and red cricket which was worth the excuse to stop for.

Running notes
Route: Kloof Nek car park to the Lower Cable Station turn at the end of the tarmac on Tafelberg Road and back
Height climbed: 180m
Time started: 17:48
Total time: 1:20
Total distance: 12.5km
Weather conditions: Bloody hot
Temperature: 30˚
Runner’s condition: Knackered

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Oh my favourite: Hill repeats

So in order to never have to do THE RACE again (because if I get a sub 10 I’m never going back), I got myself a new plan. One that I paid for. The theory being if you pay money for something you’ll do it. Today I’ve got hill repeats. Last year you’ll notice I used Bellevue Street and ran 200m climbs 10 times. This year I’m doing it again, but according to the plan its 600m repeats at oh, a 30% incline (which is still Bellevue). If you want to experience nausea, a shortage of breath and a sweaty mess all at the same time, I’d recommend having a go. The plan says to run gently or almost walk  back to the start – Walk? By the time I get to the top I can’t even think let alone move, my heart is pounding so hard I think its breaking out of my chest and if it wasn’t for the traffic I’d be better off rolling downhill.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Bellevue Street, hill repeats x 4 and then home via Buitengracht
Height climbed: Seriously?
Time started: 10:30
Total time: 1:20 ish
Total distance: 11km ish
Temperature: 25˚
Weather: Wet and miserable – bit like my attitude

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Here we go again

In my book, a new year should mean new things. I woke up slightly less hungover than last year (see post) and cracked open a pure white pair of Nike socks which contrasted nicely with last night’s filth still clinging to the soles of my feet (couldn’t get a taxi from the Waterfront so I walked home in flip flops). Sadly I didn’t have new shoes to run in. Well I do, but I’m hoarding those for THE RACE. I’ve currently got 4 pairs on the go. No.1: The new, pristine and untouched ones for THE RACE. No. 2 The ones I ran THE RACE in last year. No.3 My normal shoes (that used to be race shoes) which I wear on your common-or-garden training runs and No.4 the ones for the gym which also sport fetching holes. These, as you can see, are ordered precisely by the amount of action they’ve seen. Today I’ve selected pair No.2 which have 200km in them and are considerably more bouncy (they even squeak on my bedroom laminate!) than pair No.3 which are pretty much dead.

The weather also played nicely as it was raining when I opened a gummy eye to look out of the window, and by the time I’d got my kit on a good deal later it was cloudy. So being a creature of habit, off we go up Signal Hill, and this year I even manage it from the flat. In fact I tore up Kloof Nek to a (potential) best of 26:41. I would like to think that it was my (semi) new shoes that bounced me up the hill, but its more likely last night’s booze that dulled the pain of screaming lungs.

Running notes
Route: My flat to the end of Signal Hill and back
Height climbed: 240m
Time started: 12:30
Total time: 1:40
Total distance: 15km
Weather conditions: Cloud and some sun
Temperature: 24˚
Runner’s condition: Hungover (though not completely incapacitated)

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